There is no reason to "manually" cycle a small tank - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 03:56 AM
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I cycled my canister filter for my 55g in a 5 gallon bucket using ammonia and Tetra Safe Start (which does contain nitrospira). The cycle happened so fast I never even saw any nitrites, I went from 4ppm ammonia where it had been holding since I dosed it with ammonia the first day to 0 around day 5.. at which point my nitrites were also 0 and I started getting increasing amounts of nitrates as I added more ammonia (which was fun, dosing it up to 2-3ppm and then watching it test at 0 a day later).

It happened so fast (I was expecting weeks, not days) that I had to keep dosing the bucket (and later the tank) with ammonia to keep the bacteria colony going because I hadn't planned to fill my tank or even get fish right away. Once I knew I'd be adding fish I stopped dosing the ammonia and I've never seen an ammonia reading in my 55g since. My nitrites are always 0 and my nitrates increase until I do a WC.

*I should add that I've stocked this tank slowly, so I haven't really had any "new tank" syndrome to worry about. I didn't want to go nuts and fully stock the tank and have the whole system collapse on me. I am adding the last of my planned fish in the next few weeks and my tank will be fully stocked and that happened over the course of 5+ months.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 04:08 AM
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Instant cycles are possible, but usually more so in saltwater with live rock.

For me though, just add an active bag of substrate and sprinkle bacter powder and do water changes and good to go.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by auban View Post
material from another tank would have the same thing as the bottles of bacteria...
+1, in 20 years of primarily focusing on planted tanks, if you tend the plants, they come in loaded with bacteria and also remove NH4, so there's no cycle, a so called silent cycle occurs, there's no NH4.

Hard to have a cycle without NH4.

Most do frequent large water changes anyhow the 1st 1-2 months, 2-3x a week, 50-80% etc.

No NH4 is going to build, up with that routine.
After 1-2 months, any bacteria that is around that can nitrify, is well established by then.

Live bacteria from established tanks are your best cycling product made.
Well, plants are better, you can sell them and they look good, bacteria? Not so much.

ADA has the NH4 in the soil, but this quickly is taken care with lots of plants and the standard large frequent water changes till the plants take over after 1-2 months.

I see no need to cycle a planted tank, no one has offered a good rational for it for in a planted tank I've seen to date. Stuff like taking basic care of the tank, doing water changes etc, adding enough plants to start with, taking care of the plants etc, those are the larger issues.

You cannot bottle patience and good care.

Tom Barr
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 01:53 PM
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There's plenty of reason to cycle a planted tank.

One major reason: sometimes the livestock one plans to keep is sensitive or expensive and needs a well-established tank in order to thrive. Rarer Gobies and some species of shrimp immediately come to mind.

Patience and good care are non-negotiable, though.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 02-09-2013 at 05:46 PM. Reason: typo
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