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Old 10-26-2010, 02:08 PM   #1 
Canuck Fins
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Cycling Planted Aquarium

I've read the sticky thread about cycling and other threads on cycling and I'm still a bit confused. My tank is a 5G which came with a filter; I'm going to buy a heater this week before I start. I want to plant my tank (not sure how many plants I need). I don't have a fish yet.

Do I plant my plants, turn on the heater and toss in my ammonia or shrimp and take a month, testing daily? Or is it different with the plants in there?

(I know I've started a pile of threads in the last week. I just want to do this right.)
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:08 PM   #2 
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I don't do the fishless cycle-I only do the fish-in cycle method and IMO/E the fish-in cycle is safe provided that you are willing to make the needed water changes-both methods take about the same amount of time and when you add the right number and species of live plants to the mix it can make fish-in cycle easier and safer for the livestock.

With fishless cycle you have to have water test products on hand with fish-in cycle you don't have to have water testing products in hand, however, they can make the process easier and I do recommend water test products-but more important-you got to understand what the water test mean, how to properly perform the test and what to do with the results of the test-

Cycling with active growing plants be it fishless or fish-in can present some issues as far as understanding water prams-live plants change the dynamics in the process and you can have more variables as the plants use the ammonia before conversion-often in very heavy planted tank you will not see nitrate reading...... the sign used to indicate cycle stage.

In a fishless cycle it may be easier to cycle without the plants and once cycled-make the water change, plant, re-fill and add the fish/livestock

The beneficial bacteria only colonize to the amount of food source within the tank-fishless cycle you colonize for higher bioloads and when a low bioload is put in the tank that extra bacteria die off
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:02 PM   #3 
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actually plants speed up the cycle and make it safer if you do decide to keep fish in there early. and if your tank is heavily enough planted you wont have the end-of-cycle ammonia spike.

dont toss food if you ask me. you can just use the waste from betta as your form of nitrite. the plants absorb ammonia and nitrites and even excess nitrates.

and when i mean HEAVILY planted. I mean like at least 70% of the tank is planted. No joke. but I wouldnt add the betta untill you can see signs of growth on the plants showing that the excess is being used in the tank. Just what I think

also think about this. Plants come from someone elses tank most likely... so those already have a lot of good bacteria on it. Bam

Last edited by Hadouken441; 10-26-2010 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:11 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadouken441 View Post
actually plants speed up the cycle and make it safer if you do decide to keep fish in there early. and if your tank is heavily enough planted you wont have the end-of-cycle ammonia spike.

dont toss food if you ask me. you can just use the waste from betta as your form of nitrite. the plants absorb ammonia and nitrites and even excess nitrates.

and when i mean HEAVILY planted. I mean like at least 70% of the tank is planted. No joke. but I wouldnt add the betta untill you can see signs of growth on the plants showing that the excess is being used in the tank. Just what I think

also think about this. Plants come from someone elses tank most likely... so those already have a lot of good bacteria on it. Bam
Unless you are paranoid like me and you bleach them in case of snails...Lol
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:22 PM   #5 
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Okay, someone please tell me this doesn't sound as complicated as it sounds.

I've read the thread on options for cycling. What I'm not clear on is...
* what am I testing for in the water during the setup period?
* what tells me the tank is ready for a fish?

Last edited by Canuck Fins; 10-29-2010 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:03 AM   #6 
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add fish whenever. just keep up with changes. only like 30 percent every 6 days. do that for like a month. then you can change it to like 40 percent every 12 days
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:37 AM   #7 
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It is not as complicated as it sounds......

You test-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate

Numbers you want to see in a cycled tank:
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 5-10ppm-best kept under 20ppm
pH-stable

Remember-in heavy planted tanks the numbers can be different based on the type and number of live plants and if they are actively growing-often heavy planted tanks may not have nitrate readings
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:04 PM   #8 
Canuck Fins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Remember-in heavy planted tanks the numbers can be different based on the type and number of live plants and if they are actively growing-often heavy planted tanks may not have nitrate readings
What I'm thinking is I'll cycle without plants so I know there's a cycle in there and then add plants. I don't know how many plants I will get yet.
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