To cycle or not to cycle?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
Smeagol
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Question

To cycle or not to cycle?


Is the information in this article accurate? It says that traditional cycling of a planted tank is unnecessary.

http://www.rexgrigg.com/cycle.htm
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
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ooooo boy. Hot button issue you have chosen.

As I understand it, there are some very select few plants that will directly consume ammonia. Most plants help polish the nitrogen cycle by consuming nitrates, which are the end result of the cycle.

If you're going to have fish in your tank, I would do the fishless cycle. While I respect Rex's work, I disagree with some of his postures.

If, however, you choose to follow his guide, I would add a very light bioload and test at least 2x per day for ammonia.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:48 PM   #3
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I have done so many times.
Takes more than three or four plant's,and not too many fish at one go.
Would buy lot's of fast grower's intially, and replace them with other's once the tank has matured (week's).
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:54 PM   #4
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Default To cycle or not to cycle?

Depends on what you want, how you want to achieve it. If you have time and it is your prerogative to load up on plants on sacrifice of scape/fish, then you might attempt this.

I wouldn't really recommend it. It would be easy to screw up. There's no "add X amount of filter pads and be auto cycled" (like I find with my nanos) and no "add X amount of ammonia every day"

Additionally, he said some things that makes me think he isn't an expert, but that's just me analyzing his writing.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #5
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I load up on plants and put in fish weekly until the tank is stocked and never had a problem. First time I set up a planted tank the first fish in were otos and they never skipped a beat, must have been eating the biofilm on the plants themselves for the first week or so. I have a large tank and that first single school might be 10% of the eventual stocking.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:32 PM   #6
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While Rex has a style all his own the information is competely valid.
Lots of experience, a few laughs and good information if you background his posts right here on the tank.

Read the whole page linked before posting a reply because it's been years since my last visit seeking information. I prefer stocking in steps rather than a slam dunk approach and always quarantine new fish.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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Well, I've been following Rex's advice, and everything has been working fine for me. I heavily planted my tank with lots of stem plants and floaters (water wisteria, anacharis, hornwort, red ludwigia, etc. and I've been slowly adding fish (1-2 every 4 or 5 days) and testing daily. I never ever had a test show any ammonia whatsoever. I still do 25% weekly water changes just as a precaution, but I've not lost a single fish yet (my tank has been up and running for two weeks now).

Really, I think it is whatever you're comfortable with. I'm doing a low tech tank so lots of stem plants and floaters are perfectly fine with me. If you're planning something different and don't want those type of plants, perhaps you're better off doing a fishless cycle and planting whatever you want when its over.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:45 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'm already 9 days into a fishless cycle, so I'm not going to change course now. It's just that I almost fell out of my chair when someone showed me Rex's article. Geez, if they had only showed me before I started cycling my tank....... Oh well. I just hope the darn ammonia starts dropping soon.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: To cycle or not to cycle?

I THINK if your ammonia levels are too high it'll stunt the cycle.

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Old 03-19-2013, 01:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaFish View Post
Well, I've been following Rex's advice, and everything has been working fine for me. I heavily planted my tank with lots of stem plants and floaters (water wisteria, anacharis, hornwort, red ludwigia, etc. and I've been slowly adding fish (1-2 every 4 or 5 days) and testing daily. I never ever had a test show any ammonia whatsoever. I still do 25% weekly water changes just as a precaution, but I've not lost a single fish yet (my tank has been up and running for two weeks now).

Really, I think it is whatever you're comfortable with. I'm doing a low tech tank so lots of stem plants and floaters are perfectly fine with me. If you're planning something different and don't want those type of plants, perhaps you're better off doing a fishless cycle and planting whatever you want when its over.
This is the way to go about it - slow and easy - lots of plants (with floaters) and just one or two fish at a time. Generally, no problems at all this way.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeLove View Post
I THINK if your ammonia levels are too high it'll stunt the cycle.
I don't think they are too high. Only around 4ppm. It's just taking forever to see that initial drop.... getting impatient.
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20g high: 2x24w T5ho, DIY CO2 & Excel, 2xAC50, Flourite, miscellaneous ferts.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
This is the way to go about it - slow and easy - lots of plants (with floaters) and just one or two fish at a time. Generally, no problems at all this way.

Well, I definitely plan on having LOTS of plants. I want it to look like a jungle in there!
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20g high: 2x24w T5ho, DIY CO2 & Excel, 2xAC50, Flourite, miscellaneous ferts.
Otos, Red Wag Platies, Harlequin Rasboras. Marsilea quadrifolia, Jungle Val, Cabomba, Tropica Sword, Water Sprite.
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