Is this article accurate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Is this article accurate?

https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/...anted-tank/16/


It says that you need to cycle your tank for a planted tank. Well, actually, it seems to change its mind at the end and add fish instead of plants. But, I was under the impression that adding plants to a tank speeds up the cycling process if you intended to add fish. So, is this article trying to tell us that you need to cycle the tank somehow magically with nothing in the tank except flourite for 4 weeks? Something is amiss with that article and I think it should be replaced with one that actually includes the part where you add plants (before fish, at that)



o and btw, i'm new here. hello.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 04:45 PM
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No, from what I've read, plants help cycle the tank asap, something about eating the Ammonia so there is no ammonia spike (however, my wife the chemist tells me that's not entirely accurate, plants eat the nitrates or something that somehow are caused by ammonia, etc, I'm not really sure of the 'exact' process...but def. add plants in the beginning, and it will speed up the process)

Also, throwing in a thin layer of peat moss under the substrate to feed the bacteria, and throwing into your filter some bio-media from an established filter or some mulm will jump start the bacteria colonization...read the 29gallon link below in my signature, I'm thinking my tank will be cycled in 7 days...

Also do a search for "Cycling" and "cycling plants" using the ADVANCED SEARCH and "search titles only" option you'll find some more info...

NOTE: To do a *SEARCH* and get the answer you want, its often best to go to "Advanced Search" and search in the title only.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 07:38 PM
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Ammonia breaks down into Nitrite which breaks down into Nitrate. All of these are suppliers of the macronutrient nitrogen that plants need. Plants don't necessarily help "cycle" the tank in the sense of building a bacteria colony, but they do make the tank fish-safe faster. Plants will absorb a great deal of the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and use it as nutrients; the other benefit of plants is that when it does absorb ammonia, it helps break it down into nitrite, allowing the second type of bacteria to develop sooner. Normally, cycling a tank would involve the first type of bacteria developing first, which breaks down the ammonia (ending the ammonia spike), but causing a nitrite spike, which feeds the second type of bacteria that breaks down the nitrite into nitrate. Plants also provide surface area for the biofilm to develop on.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 07:43 PM
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The part about cycling the tank with just the substrate in it is probably to have the water parameters stabilize. If your plants aren't very delicate, go ahead and put them in as long as the water is dechlorinated.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 10:21 PM
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Fishscale...

Is adding a dechlor like Seachem's Prime into the water enough (hope so that's what I did) instead of letting it sit out in a bucket out overnight w/ the dechlor in it...?

Re: ammonia, hmm, my wife tells me its not physically possible for plants to absorb ammonia, so either she's right or your explanation is 'mostly' right...thanks for explaining the part about ammonia breaking down into nitrites then nitrates, which the plants absorb, which I see makes the tank more fish-safe quicker, but I don't think the plants absorb ammonia itself?

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 10:50 PM
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Prime is a good one, it will work. Many people on this forum do not age water at all. You couldn't use a python with aged water.

I believe she is right technically, but ammonia is rather specific. I am sure it bonds with other things in the aquarium. For example, ammonium phosphate is a fairly common fertilizer for terrestrial plants.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 02:36 AM
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Gotcha, ya the pyhton is hard to give up for convenience...

Good point on the ammonia, I'll bring this up w/ the lil lady see what she says...

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 08:53 PM
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It seems like I've read that plants can actually absorb the nitrogen from ammonia (or ammonium, or whatever form it is) from the fish waste more readily than the nitrate we add in for ferts. Of course there might be steps inbwteen going from ammonia->plant but in the end the fish waste feeds the plants, just like how they spread cow waste on the fields.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 09:05 PM
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When you cycle a tank using plants, you don't end up with a full nitrogen cycle. The plants themselves may absorb ammonia, so you won't end up with a full regular cycle where ammonia is produced(phase 1), bacteria grow in response to the ammonia and produce nitrities and nitrities skyrocket whereas ammonia plummets(phase 2), in response nitrite eating bacteria multiply and your nitrates skyrocket, whereas the nitrite and ammonia have fallen to zero(3rd and final phase).

Now if you are going to cycle using plants, it is important that you are using healthy plants to begin with. Also, if you have high plant mass in your tank and a heavy fish load and the heavy plant mass is keeping your water parameters(ammonia and nitrates stable), if you ever remove any of the plants too quickly or you have unhealthy plants that die quicker than they grow, you could throw your whole aquarium into another "recycle" mode and endanger your fish.
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