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Old 06-17-2011, 10:19 AM   #1 
n3wport's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Norristown, PA
10 gallon cycling: plants or no plants

Okay so I am going to fill up my empty ten gallon tank with water on Saturday.
I bought this stuff called "Stability" and it apparently helps cycles your tank. Has anyone ever used this?

So when should I put in live plants. After the tank is cycled correct?
How will I know when the tank is cycled?

Also, if I use lives plants, is there stuff you can put into the water every so often for fertilizer or something? How do you quarantine plants? What if they have disease on em

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Old 06-17-2011, 10:40 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Ok I tend to cycle with plants in. Stability just helps converting the bad ammonia to the neutral kind that you want. It also helps new fish settle in with no issues. I use it all the time even with no new fish I add some once a month.

How are you going to do the fishless cycle? You can use some crushed food to cause the ammonia spike you need to kickstart the system. Also if you have a tank that is already going I would add at least a litre of the tanks water to the new tank - it will then have some more goodies to start the cycle on. Normally when you start cycling a tank it becomes a little cloudy for a few days. I found with both my tanks that went away in 2 days. After the cloudiness goes away you can start testing the water. Once the parameters (I can never remember the numbers) are testing safe you can add fish.

I do all my cycling with fish in. Both my tanks have rather big filters that uses the ceramic rings as well as the filter sponge to establish a healthy tank. What I do is when I start a new tank - about 2 weeks before getting the tank, I add the ceramics into one of my older tanks and leave it be. Then when the new tank is ready for water, I just add those ceramics to it. You can use a handful of gravel from your existing tank as well. What my brother did is since he started a new tank with fish in, he used about 2 handfuls of the gravel from his old tank, placed in a pantyhose, placed that in the tank - there are always good bacteria on the gravel that we cant see. The stability then helps converting the fish waste into good ammonium.

As for the plants get some flourish from seachem. That makes a huge difference since its a nice fertilizer that you use and you really use so little of it! My plants are going mad since i started using that. I just want to get some excel now for a Co2 boost.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:55 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Illinois
Having plants in the tank will help out with the cycling process.

As far as Stability. I've never used it as I don't really like to put any chemicals in my tank other than what's needed (dechlor). I've read of some people saying it's a complete scam while others swear by it. So it might be something you have to make your own decision on or research more.

To know that the tank is cycled, you'll need a testing kit. We here recommend the liquid kit to the strip tests as the strips are usually not accurate. If you can't afford the cost of a kit (they're about $25-$30 but last a long time and so worth it), then you can take a sample of your water to a petco, petsmart or maybe even your local fish store and they should be able to test the water out for you for free.

Here's a link all about cycling:

As far as the QTing plants, you can do a bleach dip and that would work to kill of any diseases.
Taken from a user at (great place to find out some excellent information about plants!) "It depends on the plant that you are dipping. Some are more sensitive to others. You should use a 1 part bleach, 19 part water dilution (1:20). This is assuming you are using the standard 5% bleach solution." and a few minutes is all that's needed. Make sure to rinse them off after that really well.

There are fertilizer tabs, liquid fertilizers and things like that but it generally depends on what kind of plants you have. If they're easy, beginner plants...I wouldn't worry about fertilizing unless you're really having problems with the plants. I really recommend stopping at and ask any plant questions you may have there. Or you could go to bettafish's parent site plant forum here:
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:02 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Norristown, PA
Thank you both for so much help! Im sure its annoying to retype all this stuff like a broken record. I can cycle my tank with fish in it. I didnt think you could.
It a 10 gallon. Im planning on a few plants and there will be 2 bettas in it (divided)

So if I cycle the fish in there I wont use that stability stuff.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #5 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Yes, you can cycle fish-in. Put the two fish in along with the plants and check the ammonia levels every 1-3 days- do a 50% or less water change when around (but not over) .5ppm- anything over or even at is harmful. Recheck after 20 minutes to make sure your ammonia is around the .25ppm mark.

Do not let the ammonia drop to 0 due to too-large of water changes. No 100% changes, add dechlorinator to new water before adding it in and dont rinse the filter out.

If you have plants, especially stem plants, it may say that the ammonia is at 0, which is fine. Change the water 25%-50% every 2-3 days and begin to check for nitrites and then nitrates. Plants, like said, help to cycle a tank and keep it safer for the fish in the process.

Ive cycled my tanks upwards of 15 times, because I move a lot with college. With plants and diligent testing, I can get them to cycle on average in just 2 weeks.
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