Dirt tank and cycle? - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Dirt tank and cycle?

So im planning to start a new 25 gallon, but im confused?

can i dirt my tank and start my fishless cycle with ammonia at the same time?

or do i wait until fishing cycling then dirt the tank? i dont want to make a big mistake. Just trying to be cautious
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 04:59 AM
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Dirt then cycle.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 05:00 AM
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Dirt, plant, and fill!!!

Patience once drove a man insane

Thanks for your time
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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sweet!
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 05:48 AM
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Better to ask than cry foul later.

Plant it and odds are you'll never see traditional cycle values if you test parameters because plants love ammonia.

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2-75g planted, 5-55g planted, 5-20g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 8-10g, Refugium, doghouse/newbie
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Better to ask than cry foul later.

Plant it and odds are you'll never see traditional cycle values if you test parameters because plants love ammonia.
i should be hitting 5ppm when i first dose ammonia right?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 07:01 AM
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Yes, dose your ammonia but expect to see the plants knock down the tested value every photo period.

The Fraternity of Dirt
If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it
RubberSideDownOnTheLanding,
2-75g planted, 5-55g planted, 5-20g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 8-10g, Refugium, doghouse/newbie
2012 update adding table top pleco pans & a 90g (Nutz)
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Yes, dose your ammonia but expect to see the plants knock down the tested value every photo period.
Would it better if i planted now or later on?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 04:04 AM
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I planted my mud tank as I filled it with brazilian microswords a bit of hornwort. Week and a half later added Molly fry(the which are still alive). At the two week mark I drained it properly planted it and added some chili rasb., Nara jerdoni, and scarlet badis. No deaths so far and everything is happy

That is a question your going to get multiple opinions on.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 03:15 AM
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Depending on how densely you plant, you may be able to have a silent cycle. Planting 80% of your tank footprint with fast growing stems (which you can remove later if you wish and plant more rooted plants) can allow you to start slowly stocking the tank without spikes of ammonia and nitrate.

I was skeptical, but saw it firsthand in my 20 gallon long. I've never had ammonia measure above .25 ppm, and no detectable nitrites or nitrates.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 03:19 AM
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Dirt, plant and monitor.

Some garden soil will go through its own cycle. The natural microorganisms in the dirt may or may not live under water, and it can take up to a month for them to sort out who is living and who is dying.

You can begin the fishless cycle when you start the tank, but a few things to watch for:
1) Many plants do not like high ammonia. You might want to test twice a day, and add as needed, but ONLY to 1 ppm ammonia. This is still a lot of ammonia, but is spread out over the course of the day so there is no one peak that is too high for the plants.
2) Test Test Test... the newly submerged soil might produce enough (or even too much) ammonia all by itself. You might not need to add any for a while. As it settles into life underwater, you may find that you will need to add ammonia later on in the cycle.
3) If the plants are OK with a bit more ammonia, the nitrifying bacteria are OK with ammonia to 5 ppm and nitrite to 5 ppm. However, if the ammonia is constantly returned to 5 ppm then the nitrite production will go too high, too fast. Best: Add ammonia to test 5 ppm only a few times, just in the first few days. As soon as nitrite shows up allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm, and maintain it there for the rest of the cycle testing and adding ammonia once a day. If the plants have trouble with this much ammonia, revert to hint number 1.
4) Be patient and give it time. A whole new ecosystem is developing, and this does not happen overnight.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Dirt, plant and monitor.

Some garden soil will go through its own cycle. The natural microorganisms in the dirt may or may not live under water, and it can take up to a month for them to sort out who is living and who is dying.

You can begin the fishless cycle when you start the tank, but a few things to watch for:
1) Many plants do not like high ammonia. You might want to test twice a day, and add as needed, but ONLY to 1 ppm ammonia. This is still a lot of ammonia, but is spread out over the course of the day so there is no one peak that is too high for the plants.
2) Test Test Test... the newly submerged soil might produce enough (or even too much) ammonia all by itself. You might not need to add any for a while. As it settles into life underwater, you may find that you will need to add ammonia later on in the cycle.
3) If the plants are OK with a bit more ammonia, the nitrifying bacteria are OK with ammonia to 5 ppm and nitrite to 5 ppm. However, if the ammonia is constantly returned to 5 ppm then the nitrite production will go too high, too fast. Best: Add ammonia to test 5 ppm only a few times, just in the first few days. As soon as nitrite shows up allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm, and maintain it there for the rest of the cycle testing and adding ammonia once a day. If the plants have trouble with this much ammonia, revert to hint number 1.
4) Be patient and give it time. A whole new ecosystem is developing, and this does not happen overnight.
best reply of all. thank you =)
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Dirt, plant and monitor.

Some garden soil will go through its own cycle. The natural microorganisms in the dirt may or may not live under water, and it can take up to a month for them to sort out who is living and who is dying.

You can begin the fishless cycle when you start the tank, but a few things to watch for:
1) Many plants do not like high ammonia. You might want to test twice a day, and add as needed, but ONLY to 1 ppm ammonia. This is still a lot of ammonia, but is spread out over the course of the day so there is no one peak that is too high for the plants.
2) Test Test Test... the newly submerged soil might produce enough (or even too much) ammonia all by itself. You might not need to add any for a while. As it settles into life underwater, you may find that you will need to add ammonia later on in the cycle.
3) If the plants are OK with a bit more ammonia, the nitrifying bacteria are OK with ammonia to 5 ppm and nitrite to 5 ppm. However, if the ammonia is constantly returned to 5 ppm then the nitrite production will go too high, too fast. Best: Add ammonia to test 5 ppm only a few times, just in the first few days. As soon as nitrite shows up allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm, and maintain it there for the rest of the cycle testing and adding ammonia once a day. If the plants have trouble with this much ammonia, revert to hint number 1.
4) Be patient and give it time. A whole new ecosystem is developing, and this does not happen overnight.
ok so i set my tank up yesterday soil, cap off , heater ,filter. I put a small dos and it upped the ammonia to 1.25. The next morning i upped it up a little bit more, and it went to 5.0mg? should i do a water change or leave it b?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 03:33 AM
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Last edited by DogFish; 04-23-2013 at 01:31 AM. Reason: inappropriate response
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 03:42 AM
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I dont know if this typical but I added MGO planted with HC, DHG and some duckweed for floaters and added cherry shrimp 2 weeks later no problemo.
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