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What is the most ideal level for plants and fish? I have chard, turnip greens and peppers. and no fish until I find out that it is cycled up. I don't know how to determine if it is cycled up yet either.

What all levels do I need to test for again? Any help welcome.

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great Idea. I dont have any gravel in the tank so  this would be somewhat simple to clean. so were you telling me to try and make ammonia 0 before? maybe not but if you were, why would I want this without fish? maybe someone else said that...?

TCLynx said:
Since your ammonia isn't 0 it means there is something breaking down in there and your bacteria haven't starved.  Some people will use a tiny bit of urea fertilizer, it will take a bit to convert to ammonia but would work if you have it on hand.  If all else fails, a pinch of fish food might help to ensure your bio-filter doesn't starve but you will want to try and clean out any uneaten feed before you put new fish into the tank.

When you have fish in a system, you want to have the system balanced such that the ammonia and nitrite stay at 0 or pretty darn close.

If you are running without fish and want to make sure your bio-filter stays active you need to add some small amount of ammonia regularly to be sure the bio-filter is fed so that you are not having to re-cycle up next time you do add fish.  You want to make sure your ammonia and nitrite can get back down to 0 when you do go to add fish.

ok this sounds understandable. thank you

TCLynx said:

When you have fish in a system, you want to have the system balanced such that the ammonia and nitrite stay at 0 or pretty darn close.

If you are running without fish and want to make sure your bio-filter stays active you need to add some small amount of ammonia regularly to be sure the bio-filter is fed so that you are not having to re-cycle up next time you do add fish.  You want to make sure your ammonia and nitrite can get back down to 0 when you do go to add fish.

Hi Adam welcome to Aquaponics

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