The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Fishless Cycle Ammonia Questions
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
aroo
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How long has the tank been running?

I haven't bothered using ammonia to cycle a planted tank. Instead I do a gradual ramp up over a period of about a month. I start off with the plants and any snail hitchhikers. I let the plants settle in for a week and a half to two weeks while I play with the scape. During this period I may drop in some fish food. Usually I will see very slight changes in nitrogen levels.

After two weeks I add a few fish and continue to monitor the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels. I've never had the levels jump to anything which would distress the fish. After another week I add a few more fish. Continue in this mode until fully stocked. As long as I add the fish gradually I don't have problems.

I'm ok with being patient and adding the fish gradually instead of by the beer cooler load. I can't handle the sticker shock of a $500 livestock purchase! Plus, some fish won't do well without a mature algae and biofilm load. Even if the tank is cycled, I still need to wait before adding these guys. I know, this isn't a fishless cycle. But it works for me.
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