So here's my plan. (read as many articles as i could find on fishless cycling) but still have questions. lol
There has been a delay in my plant order, which is no big deal.
But i am itching to get this tank up and running and have my fauna to observe.
I would prefer to plant the tank empty and have it planted while fishless cycling but that will set me back at least a week. I was thinking of starting a cycle in a clean 5 gallon bucket to built up the bacteria in the filter. Then setting the tank up as planned and then putting the semi cycled filter in the tank. I would then restart the fishless cycle, which would hopefully take less time since the filter is already seeded.
As i was typing this i realized i was kind of overthinking this
I could just start cycling the whole tank, drain the water down to an inch or two, plant and continue the cycle.
Would there be any beneficit to one over the other? The only things I can think of is cycling inside the tank would build up some bacteria on the substrate hardscape etc. But would i have to have some concern about algea? (thats where i figured the bucket i could have less concern over this? I dont want to have an algea explosion in the tank bc that will be annoying.)
Also would an airstone help anything?