Fishless Cycling with Live Plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Fishless Cycling with Live Plants

Hi everyone

Thanks to this forum, I believe I have everything needed to set up my new 30 gallon aquarium minus the fish. I will have a pretty heavily planted tank from the get go and will perform a fishless cycle. One piece of equipment Iím missing and wonder if needed is air stones/pump. Iíve read articles saying I need it and other opinions saying itís not needed. Any insight on this?

Edit: I have a Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters 30 - 200 GPH

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 11:25 PM
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You mean an airstone for the fish. I never use one and you definitely shouldn't need it with an HOB. If your planting heavily just get the plants growing and then slowly add fish after a month or so. You shouldn't need to add ammonia or anything else. Depending on your setup and plant choice your plants will need either co2 and/or fertilizer.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
You mean an airstone for the fish. I never use one and you definitely shouldn't need it with an HOB. If your planting heavily just get the plants growing and then slowly add fish after a month or so. You shouldn't need to add ammonia or anything else. Depending on your setup and plant choice your plants will need either co2 and/or fertilizer.


If possible, Iíd like to stay away from Co2. What type of fertilizer would you recommend? Below is the plant stock.

Anubias Nana

Anubias Nana Petite

Java Moss portion

Java Fern

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown

Thanks for the insight!


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 11:58 PM
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Heavily planted is in the eye of the beholder.
If you truly are heavily planted small quantity of fish over a few weeks should work.

If you do cycle with ammonia test kit for NH3 is a must.
Excessive ammonia can burn/melt plants.
1ppm would be my limit with plants in tank.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Heavily planted is in the eye of the beholder.
If you truly are heavily planted small quantity of fish over a few weeks should work.

If you do cycle with ammonia test kit for NH3 is a must.
Excessive ammonia can burn/melt plants.
1ppm would be my limit with plants in tank.
I'm questioning if I am actually "heavily planted". The plants that will be in my tank are 3x of each plant on my list above. After watching Aquarium Co-Op video about planted live cycles, I may opt out of the Ammonia supplement. I do have a test kit however. Is that a correct way of doing it? I will also be using Thrive as recommended. I just need to figure out proper dosage or "pumps" per day or week.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 02:20 PM
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The plants you've list are slow growers, so prolly about half the Thrive recommended dosage will be fine. Also, as mentioned, if you just add a fish or two at a time, you should be fine.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 02:23 PM
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Small plant load maybe dose 1/4 of prescribed Thrive. Monitor NO3 @ end of week.

Brought up ammonia because many have burned up/melted many plants starting and cycling a new tank. Either from dosing to much ammonia or using a substrate that releases ammonia and not doing WC's
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Small plant load maybe dose 1/4 of prescribed Thrive. Monitor NO3 @ end of week.

Brought up ammonia because many have burned up/melted many plants starting and cycling a new tank. Either from dosing to much ammonia or using a substrate that releases ammonia and not doing WC's
Thanks for the help. I will probably need more! lol

I'm assuming you are a guppy lover? I think I would be too. My next excursion will be figuring out my stock. I want guppies for sure, I just need to find tank mates and a "centerpiece" fish ranging from 4-6". I'll probably be calling on you soon on that!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 03:20 PM
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Moscow guppies is something my wife started years ago.

I have been selling off the phish.
Going "Phishless" has been my goal, I'm in it for the plants.

One exception, even with just plants mulm will still accumulate.
Decayed plant matter etc... so I got a small school of 8 Corys.
They keep the substrate agitated just enough that I no longer vacuum the substrate.
If there is visible substrate.
I feed them a high quality sinking pelleted food and no water quality issues.

As I convert all the tanks to capped soil a small school of Corys will be kept in each.


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Heavily planted is in the eye of the beholder.

If you truly are heavily planted small quantity of fish over a few weeks should work.



If you do cycle with ammonia test kit for NH3 is a must.

Excessive ammonia can burn/melt plants.

1ppm would be my limit with plants in tank.


Iíve planted my tank. However, I donít think itís ďheavilyĒ planted. Iíve started my cycle at 1ppm. I will check it in the morning as well. Based off what you see, do you change your recommendations on thrive and/or ammonia?




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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 02:13 AM
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That's pretty lightly planted really. Heavily planted is more along the lines of....



Bump: Or even this...



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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
That's pretty lightly planted really. Heavily planted is more along the lines of....





Bump: Or even this...





Yeah. I think I was envisioning way more! Lol. Iím looking at mine what should my Ppm goal be?


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 07:07 AM
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Get some water sprite two or three bunches.
Light's on no more than eight hours total for the day.Place the lighting on timer where you can get the most viewing time.
Dose fertilizer at dose called for for your size tank.
Perform water change once a month till fishes arrive, and then weekly.
Clean filter material monthly.
Clean glass inside with clean paper towel folded into fourth's weekly.
Pick up some more anubia,crypt's whenever you can.
See.. "silent cycling with plants".
Pinch of fish food every other day just like you might feed a few small group of guppies in the tank mentioned should provide for nitrifying bacteria, and some bacteria arrives on plant's.
No real need for ammonia unless you use it sparingly such as the 1ppm mentioned .
My two cents.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Get some water sprite two or three bunches.
Light's on no more than eight hours total for the day.Place the lighting on timer where you can get the most viewing time.
Dose fertilizer at dose called for for your size tank.
Perform water change once a month till fishes arrive, and then weekly.
Clean filter material monthly.
Clean glass inside with clean paper towel folded into fourth's weekly.
Pick up some more anubia,crypt's whenever you can.
See.. "silent cycling with plants".
Pinch of fish food every other day just like you might feed a few small group of guppies in the tank mentioned should provide for nitrifying bacteria, and some bacteria arrives on plant's.
No real need for ammonia unless you use it sparingly such as the 1ppm mentioned .
My two cents.
Yeah, I'm keeping my ammonia dosage down. At what point should I "re-up" to 1 ppm? Thanks for the knowledge drop, btw!

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 01:21 PM
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Every couple days if one insist's on using ammonia.
I personally think a few small guppies in 30 gal tank with plant's and afore mentioned every other day feeding would present next to no harm to fishes or plant's and tank would mature(cycle) at slow steady pace.
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