Fishless Cycle w/ Plants Question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Fishless Cycle w/ Plants Question

I'm doing a fishless cycle using ammonia. I've read that keeping the lights off is better during the process but there are plants in the tank so that's not an option.

Question: should i add fertz during the cycle at all to keep the plants happy?

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 02:48 AM
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Another thing you might want to be careful of is that ammonia will damage and/or kill aquarium plants at certain concentrations (what those are I do not know). Hopefully someone more experienced will have insight into this.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:12 AM
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Your plants will love the ammonia around 4 -5 ppm along with the high nitrite and nitrates I don’t know what your substrate is but if its dirt you shouldn’t have to dose ferts except maybe phosphates ( test first )
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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I hear you. I am keeping the ammonia levels at ~5ppm which is the recommended levels until nitrites start showing. I have read that plants are beneficial in a fishless cycle as they absorb some of the ammonia/nitrites. If nothing else, they add surface for the beneficial bacteria to colonize. But I'd like to be able to keep them and I haven't been able to determine if I should fertilize during the cycle or not.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I should change my sig... there is no dirt. It's plain playsand.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:18 AM
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I have been leaving lights on 12/12 ish for the plants while doing ammonia dosing. It also doesnt hurt to turn up the heat to speed it up a bit.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:19 AM
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I did a fishless cycle with plants and found the added ammonia was enough nutrients for me. I just added a little bit of Flourish Comprehensive every once in a while. But if you were seeing bad growth/obvious lack of nutrients in the plants I don't imagine anything bad happening from dosing.

Edit: Didn't see you just had playsand. I would probably throw some root tabs in regardless and dose water column if that's what you were planning on doing later on anyway.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Yup, heat is up there at 30C and the lights are on ~10 hrs/day. Do you use fertz at all?

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:23 AM
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i'm going to use it for shrimps but i generally do about half the recommended dose every once in a while... only once in the tank i'm cycling so far.. since its only been just under a weak.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMex View Post
I did a fishless cycle with plants and found the added ammonia was enough nutrients for me. I just added a little bit of Flourish Comprehensive every once in a while. But if you were seeing bad growth/obvious lack of nutrients in the plants I don't imagine anything bad happening from dosing.
All right thanks for that.

Obviously the plants I have in there are all new so right now it's difficult to tell if they are in need of anything because they all still look pretty good

I'm only trying to anticipate what comes... if it comes.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:25 AM
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:25 AM
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Keep an eye on them is there are no signs of deficiency then no need to fertilize get a bottle of excel and double dose when you start seeing algae as long as there are no fish in the tank I’m not sure how double dosing excel will affect the fish
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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How big is your tank and how much ammonia are you adding?
Tank is a 32G.
The ammonia I got is 5% pure ammonia (supposedly). I add enough on a daily basis to keep the levels at 5ppm. I am using the API test kit for ammonia. In my case, with a 32G, 10 ml of 5% ammonia got me the 5ppm levels I was looking for.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Keep an eye on them is there are no signs of deficiency then no need to fertilize get a bottle of excel and double dose when you start seeing algae as long as there are no fish in the tank Iím not sure how double dosing excel will affect the fish
I've had a bad experience or two with excel and melting plants. I'm not going there again.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:37 AM
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All right thanks for that.

Obviously the plants I have in there are all new so right now it's difficult to tell if they are in need of anything because they all still look pretty good

I'm only trying to anticipate what comes... if it comes.
What plants do you have and what light level are you at?

Quote:
Keep an eye on them is there are no signs of deficiency then no need to fertilize get a bottle of excel and double dose when you start seeing algae as long as there are no fish in the tank Iím not sure how double dosing excel will affect the fish
I wouldn't recommend dosing excel unless your plants are in need of CO2 and you can't do DIY or pressurized. Excel will melt some plants (and is definitely harmful to livestocks in large amounts) and while spot treating bad algae breakouts or something like bba to thin it out is a good idea, it's better to fix the root of the problem instead of just dumping chemicals in your tank.
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