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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of cycling a tank. The only test kit I could find was the API Ammonia kit which I believe cks for total ammonia. I dosed it with ammonia to about 2 ppm ( as close as my eye could distinguish color) and a couple of days later it spiked to 6+. This weekend I finally got a API nitrate kit and nitrate showed 4+, and the Ammonia kit registers 6+.

I am not sure as to what these kits are telling me. I do have a "master FW Kit" coming this week so I can monitor NitrIte as well, but am I correct in assuming that the one kit is looking at all forms of ammonia and the other is looking at just Nitrate?

Right now all I have in the tank is live plants which seem to be doing well after an initial loss of a few leaves and stems. I am seeing new roots forming. I am suspecting the dead leaves going in the filter for the big spike.
 

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The only test kit I could find was the API Ammonia kit which I believe cks for total ammonia.
It does, and that's all you need to test for right now. I'd remove the dead leaves and do a water change to get the ammonia back down to 2ppm.

Have you read up on fishless cycling?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have read about the fishless cycling and decided to try it. 25 years ago all I did was burry 5-6 goldfish in the UGF, wait 10 days and add fish with no problems. It seems the more technical I get the more problems I encounter. I guess the "KISS" rule is one to live by.

The one deviation from what I have read that I have is the live plants and planting substrate. I don't think I thought about the nitrogen leaching out increasing the NH levels.
 

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Yeah, you may not have to add any ammonia at all. I'd just do the water change and monitor it to see if it keeps climbing back up. Seems like quite a spike for just a few dead leaves.

When ammonia drops to 0, test for nitrite, as it should be peaking. When nitrite drops to 0, the tank is cycled. It's really no more complicated than that. In your case, you may or may not have to add ammonia. If you do, just add enough only once every other day to bring it up to 1-2ppm. Test nitrates at the end only to see if you need do a water change before adding fish.

Post back if you have any more questions.
 
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