Plants while cycling? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Plants while cycling?

I am starting my tank tomorrow, and was wondering if i put Christmas moss on my branch wood, would it die since the tank is brand new, and hasnt been cycled yet?

Or should I wait till the cycle is completely done before adding plants?

I planned on going a fishless cycle.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 03:04 AM
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No need to cycle with planted tanks (if you know how to grow plants that is - I'd still recommend a fishless cycle for planted tank newbies). Plant densely from the start and you're good to go (let the tank run a few weeks if you want).

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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So the christmas moss will be fine during the cycle period? I will be adding fish in there a few weeks from now, and I just wanted everything to be perfect.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 04:02 AM
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Some plants are too sensitive to high levels of ammonia.
If you do not want to risk it, here is how to do the fishless cycle that I have posted, but in a way that is safe for plants:

Dose ammonia to only 1 ppm, but do this twice a day.

This will grow just as many bacteria as a larger dose that is only done once a day.

Here is the fishless cycle:
Fishless Cycle

Set up tank and equipment.
Fill with water, including dechlor.
Optimum conditions to grow these bacteria the fastest:
GH and KH at least 3 German degrees of hardness, and higher is just fine.
Add some other minerals, for example plant fertilizers: KH2PO4, trace minerals.
High oxygen levels.
Good water movement.
A place to grow. They grow on surfaces, not drifting free in the water. Filter media is great. Sponges, floss, bio-media are all good places for these bacteria.
You can add a starter culture of the right bacteria if you want. It is optional. The cycle can go faster if you add something. Media from a cycled, healthy filter. Bottled bacteria containing Nitrospira species of bacteria. Do not waste money on anything else.

Add ammonia (no surfactants, no perfumes) to test 5 ppm.
Test daily. Add more ammonia to keep the test at 5 ppm through the first few days.
Test for nitrite. When nitrite shows up allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm.
Test daily, adding enough ammonia to bring the test to 3 ppm once a day. If you are growing plants that do not like this level of ammonia then test twice a day, and add enough ammonia to bring the test to 1 ppm twice a day.
If the nitrite gets to 5 ppm do a water change. Perhaps add less ammonia for a few days. The nitrite removing bacteria (Nitrospira species) are slower growing, and the ammonia removing bacteria might be making more nitrite than they can deal with.

When the ammonia returns to 0 ppm after 24 hours, and no nitrite shows up at that same 24 hour mark, then the cycle is done.
A fishless cycle with no plants might have VERY high nitrate. Do a BIG water change, or even a couple of them to get the nitrate way down before adding the fish. You can fully stock the tank.
A fishless cycle with lots of plants might show almost no nitrate. The plants are part of the bio filter, and are removing a certain amount of the ammonia before the bacteria even have a chance to turn it into nitrate, and then the plants are removing some or all of the nitrate produced by the bacteria. I would still do a big water change.

If the fish you want to keep need water different than the hard, alkaline water that grow the bacteria so well, now is the time to change that to softer, acidic water. While you were trying to grow the bacteria as fast as possible you wanted optimum conditions for the bacteria. Now that the colony is well established you can change the conditions. They might not grow so fast, but that is OK.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the write up! I really appreciate it! Regarding your comment about sensitive plants, do you consider Christmas moss sensitive?

I was hoping on using fishing line to tie the moss onto the branches before I fill the tank up. This way, I do not have to do it later on, when the tank is filled with water.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 08:40 AM
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No, I have Xmas moss in all sorts of situation and they grow fine !
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonxflare View Post
I am starting my tank tomorrow, and was wondering if i put Christmas moss on my branch wood, would it die since the tank is brand new, and hasnt been cycled yet?

Or should I wait till the cycle is completely done before adding plants?

I planned on going a fishless cycle.
The beauty of live plants is that they need our 'waste' to survive. Aquatic plants will absorb ammonia, nitrite, nitrate (their preference is in that order) if anything it will make your tank cycle faster.

Add as many plants as you want, it makes things better not worse.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 10:40 AM
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What substrate are you using? Only if your using aqua soil amazonia would I recommend to wait, otherwise go forth and grow
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrungOut View Post
What substrate are you using? Only if your using aqua soil amazonia would I recommend to wait, otherwise go forth and grow
Thanks for everyone's comments! I will be using Eco-complete when it comes in today. I can never resist black sand, it just looks so nice
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 07:39 PM
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I've been looking forward to see this tank since you started asking about lighting. What have you decided on?
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