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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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cycle for a planted tank?

Hi,

I'm setting up a very small 10gallon planted tank - really to just play around with to see if it's something I would like to do.

I have another 30 gallon which I did the usual cycle process in, however with this tank I really don't know if I'm going to like it or not so really don't want to buy fish just yet

so my question is do you have to cycle a planted tank? and if so what is the best method to do it without having to buy fish?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydeweycat View Post
Hi,

I'm setting up a very small 10gallon planted tank - really to just play around with to see if it's something I would like to do.

I have another 30 gallon which I did the usual cycle process in, however with this tank I really don't know if I'm going to like it or not so really don't want to buy fish just yet

so my question is do you have to cycle a planted tank? and if so what is the best method to do it without having to buy fish?
I suppose you don't have to purposely cycle it...eventually it will cycle itself. Anyways, just add a tiny bit of fish food and leave it up and running. That will get things going.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 10:54 PM
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As Daximus said, you don't need to cycle a planted tank with no fish.

However, the plants you bring in to plant in your tank will already carry some amount of beneficial bacteria on the leaves and in the roots, and with the regular addition of small amounts of ammonia, either in the form of store-bought liquid ammonia, or small pieces of raw shrimp, for example, or bits of fish food as mentioned by Daximus, the quantity of BB will expand to the substrate as well.
The addition of a filter (with media) to your tank will take in bacteria too, thereby becoming seeded to an extent. Then, if you should so decide, you'll be ready at any time to begin adding a very few fish at a time to your 'seeded', cycled tank.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 03:02 AM
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Plants with enough lighting will consume any ammonium spikes and nitrate if no ammonium is present. Other than that if there are no fish or inverts in the tank you don't have to worry about Cycling. "Fishless" cycling is just introducing ammonia and waiting for the bacteria to colonize. Still takes quite a while, relatively speaking. You can speed up the process by adding live, cultured, bottled bacteria to just a week to ten days.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 03:50 AM
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If you add fish slowly, just a couple in a 10 gallon tank, a couple of weeks after planting the tank, the plants should be growing well enough to consume the ammonia from those 2 fish, and the bacteria will grow a bit more, so a week or so later you can add a couple more fish (small ones of course). After another week or so, you should be able to add whatever fish you plan to keep in the tank, and the plants and growing bacteria colony will be able to handle the ammonia. I do this regularly, with no problems.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply's
I have an established goldfish aquarium I was thinking of just taking one the filter media out of it and using it to "seed" the new tank. I'm not sure about the addition of fish yet, but last time I started a planted tank I had a horrendous outbreak of diatoms so not sure if I have it right but was hoping cycling would prevent that? Or will diatoms occur in a new tank regardless?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 06:23 PM
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Chances are the diatoms will occur in any event. It's not uncommon and is a fairly regular occurence as a part of 'new tank syndrome'. They should eventually disappear as the tank matures, and assuming proper attention to reasonable lighting periods, and an acceptable plant fertilization routine.
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