Question about cycling - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-12-2020, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Question about cycling

I'm not sure I'm putting this in the correct category, apologies.
I have a 10 gallon tank which I am redoing. It may need to cycle again, but I changed the substrate yesterday. Will probably get a fish in a couple of weeks. Here's where I am confused; if the tank cycles before I get my next fish, do I need to add food pellets to keep the bacteria fed to keep the tank cycled? I used all previous filter media. Unfortunately the plant was without fish/snails for two weeks. Plants are new except for two small anubias, which are glued to agate.
Out of curiosity; do people who keep planted tanks without anything else, have to add things to keep their cycled tank going? Thanks
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-12-2020, 12:26 AM
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Cycling is just the bacteria build up. The ammonia can be added by later stuff such as fish fecal matter, etc. The point is, once your tank is cycled, it will remain cycled unless you crash it somehow. The bacteria will live on the plants, on the substrate, on your filter media. So, if your tank is cycled, you don't need to keep adding random stuff to keep it cycled. In my experience, cycling only affects fish, invertebrates, I haven't had it affect my plants. If at all, it's the light, temperature, pH, and whatever else that affected the plants. If you have a heavily stocked tank, you should be good.

I keep several tanks with no fish, just some snails, and a crapton of plants, I use it to quarantine. Hope that helps.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-12-2020, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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thanks. I've always wondered how people keep plant only tanks.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2020, 03:10 PM
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The beneficial biology in a tank competes with plants for ammonia as their source of nitrogen. However, slow growing plants like anubius aren't much of a factor. So BB is not necessary for plants, but rather to keep ammonia and nitrites in check for the health of livestock.

It could be said that the size and health of the BB is relative to food (ammonia) and oxygen. Although very resilient, the bacteria colony will begin to die back if/when there's no food.

Cycling a new tank

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2020, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Miramo Moss, beneficial bacteria

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
The beneficial biology in a tank competes with plants for ammonia as their source of nitrogen. However, slow growing plants like anubius aren't much of a factor. So BB is not necessary for plants, but rather to keep ammonia and nitrites in check for the health of livestock.

It could be said that the size and health of the BB is relative to food (ammonia) and oxygen. Although very resilient, the bacteria colony will begin to die back if/when there's no food.

Cycling a new tank
Thanks. Since I am redoing the tank I am keeping an eye on water parameters until I get my next fish. I may be wrong in assuming that changing substrate, and having the HOB off for over 24 hours, caused a loss of my BB. Just in case, working on rebuilding the colony.
I always had an algae problem in the old tank. Not any I've seen posted, but it looked like my Miramo Moss balls unfolded and grew along the gravel and plant leaves. I thought this was bizarre, so I moved the one moss ball to another tank and it began in that tank. It would wrap around my plant roots on my driftwood and I would pull it out in flat sheets. When I rolled it up, looked like a moss ball again. I have to roll my moss balls every week to keep them from spreading. Ever heard of?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2020, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishie777 View Post
When I rolled it up, looked like a moss ball

again. I have to roll my moss balls every week to keep them from spreading. Ever heard of?

Sorry, I've never had moss balls.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2020, 09:58 PM
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The cycle gets a lot of talk and that almost always leads to a lot of differing ideas as we all do different things in the tanks. So different levels of "cycle" is the norm!
For a person who has a big shipment of fish coming and wants to add them all at once a totally big load of bacteria being ready is very important, while a person who may only want to add a couple fish at one time, can get by with far fewer bacteria.
But once we get the bacteria started and have both groups of bacteria in place, there may be some cutback as bacteria go dormant but both groups are there and ready to jump up and eat if they get the chance.
So unless you are looking at adding more than ten fish, etc. or have an extremely clean (as in impossible!) planted tank so that there is just NO dead plant matter, there is something for bacteria to make do on!
I think of the cycle and the two groups as being like a factory where the first shift makes a product and second shifts works with that product to get the finished item.
When starting a new tank, it is like starting a new factory and we have to hire and train first shift which takes a couple weeks before we can hire and train second shift to finish which may take another two weeks.
But if we shut down a working factory for a couple weeks, both first and second shift are hanging around and fully trained so they jump up and turn out product much quicker than starting from scratch!
As long as you don't expect miracles the first week, it works fine?
I bet there are a bunch of trained workers hiding out in all those plants in the tank!
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