First time cycling a tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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First time cycling a tank.

So here's my plan. (read as many articles as i could find on fishless cycling) but still have questions. lol

There has been a delay in my plant order, which is no big deal.
But i am itching to get this tank up and running and have my fauna to observe.

I would prefer to plant the tank empty and have it planted while fishless cycling but that will set me back at least a week. I was thinking of starting a cycle in a clean 5 gallon bucket to built up the bacteria in the filter. Then setting the tank up as planned and then putting the semi cycled filter in the tank. I would then restart the fishless cycle, which would hopefully take less time since the filter is already seeded.

As i was typing this i realized i was kind of overthinking this
I could just start cycling the whole tank, drain the water down to an inch or two, plant and continue the cycle.

Would there be any beneficit to one over the other? The only things I can think of is cycling inside the tank would build up some bacteria on the substrate hardscape etc. But would i have to have some concern about algea? (thats where i figured the bucket i could have less concern over this? I dont want to have an algea explosion in the tank bc that will be annoying.)

Also would an airstone help anything?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:28 PM
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I'd just start the cycle in the tank and add plants when you can.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:41 PM
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Start the cycle in the tank, lights off. No algae because no lights.

When the plants arrive:
1) Drain the tank as low as you can.
2) Plant.
3) Refill.
4) Test and dose the ammonia to only 1 ppm if you think the plants will not like higher ammonia. You could try 3 ppm, but if the plants do not like it then the tank will grow bacteria just fine with 1 ppm, especially if you dose that much twice a day.

By getting a week start on the fishless cycle you sure are doing it right!

You can also practice during that week with the test kits, heater, light and so on, make sure things are working the way you want.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help.

On other forums/threads i have read that heat will help speed things along. Is there any optimal range. I have a deep blue betta stick with not temp control, that when i had it in a 1 gallon tadpole tank would get to high 80s (don't plan to use a heater, specially this one once i have fauna). Thankfully the tadpoles didnt mind the few times i forgot to unplug it after an hour or two.

Also should I run an airstone, or would aiming the spray bar to create a lot of agitation be enough.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 12:50 AM
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Surface agitation is fine. I agree with just getting is started, won't hurt nothing. Only thing is that i never dosed ammonia, i just tossed in a small amount of flake food every few days and tested and changed water ever 10 days or so. Never got to strict on cycling. Amazon frogbit is a floating plant that is plentiful and a nitrate sucker that i've used in cycling my past 2 tanks. Fun stuff
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