Cycling a planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Cycling a planted tank

OK, I did a search here and found a reference to this article: http://www.rexgrigg.com/cycle.htm

I just wanted to confirm that someone out there has had success with his method of stocking with plants and almost immediately stocking with fish. I was planning a fishless cycle especially since I've had a bad experience with a betta getting tattered fins from ammonia toxicity during the nitrogen cycle. But if I can in fact do things this way in a heavily planted tank, that's awesome! I was getting really stressed thinking I'd have to find a time when I'd be home for four weeks straight to do daily ammonia dosing and water testing (we have a lot of trips coming up in the next few months!)
sunnyday is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:21 PM
Many plants...little time
 
Coltonorr's Avatar
 
PTrader: (66/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,634
I'd cycle it with "hardier" fish like tetras or danios. I wouldn't use neons or cardinal tetras. How big is the tank?
I wouldn't cycle it with a betta


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Coltonorr is offline  
post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coltonorr View Post
I'd cycle it with "hardier" fish like tetras or danios. I wouldn't use neons or cardinal tetras. How big is the tank?
I wouldn't cycle it with a betta
Er, I'm very much not a fan of cycling a tank with "disposable" fish. My choices as I see them are to do a fishless (ammonia dosing) cycle, or to trust in the "silent cycle" method and the idea that the plants will take care of the fish waste in their own right.

It's a 5.5 gallon, and the betta is the only fish I plan to stock.
sunnyday is offline  
 
post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 12:33 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
sick lid's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 575
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyday View Post
Er, I'm very much not a fan of cycling a tank with "disposable" fish. My choices as I see them are to do a fishless (ammonia dosing) cycle, or to trust in the "silent cycle" method and the idea that the plants will take care of the fish waste in their own right.

It's a 5.5 gallon, and the betta is the only fish I plan to stock.
I agree. Go fishless. You'll feel better about it, and so will your fish.

4/26/2012, lost the finest man. Rest easy Pops...
<--Great Danes are people too!
180g, Fluval FX5, 404, 128watts t-8, low tech, heavily planted, with Albino and reg bristlenose plecs, Congo tetras, Amanos, a herd of Corydoras Sterbai, Boesmanis, a big old common plec, & Otos.
32g tall eclipse3, fluval403, with a handful of bristlenose plecs.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
sick lid is offline  
post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 01:43 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Bugman's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hillsboro, Ga.
Posts: 792
Ok, so I am not a expert or scientist. This is just my experience. I also read that you could introduce fish almost immediately in a "heavily" planted tank. When I set up my first 55 I used BioSpira and introduced the fish the next day. After that I started reading about not needing the cycle period. When I set up the second 55 I used Seachum Stability just to be sure but no BioSpria. Not one fish lost with either one. Both tanks were very heavily planted. Since then I have built two 20H's and two 5.5's. In all these tanks I used Stability since I already had it on hand. Both the 20's were pretty heavily planted and I waited about 1 week before adding fish. No loss. No amonia buildup. No issues. I built both of the 5.5's in the last 3 weeks. In the first I put 2 guppies in after 1 week and 2 oto's after 2 weeks. No loss, all fish are great. The last 5.5 was built 2 weeks ago. After one week I added 2 oto's. They are both in excellent shape. Again, I did use stability in the tanks for insurance and I do a long drip to acclimate fish.

Again the is just from my experience, but I beileve that with a heavily planted tank and good filtration you can certainly introduce fish quicker than 4 weeks.

Larry Bugg
Atlanta Area Aquarium Association
North American Discus Association - Vice President
Bugman is offline  
post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 02:56 AM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
Fishless cycles are possible, but you need to have a plan B in case the tank takes longer to establish than planned. A 5.5gal shouldn't be difficult at all though- especially if you can pull a bunch of mulm from one of your other tanks and lay it under the substrate.

If you're going to be away for a few months, I'd personally think it would be wiser to wait to set up the tank after you get back. Things can cycle out of control really really quickly in a 5.5gal. Not much room for imbalance.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Bah, now I'm just confused again.

I don't have a source of seed bacteria; my previous tank was taken down months ago and my only aquarium hobbyist friend runs saltwater tanks these days.

So the consensus seems to be to do a fishless cycle, not a silent cycle. If I do a fishless cycle with plants, the plants will uptake the ammonia, correct? The actual bacteria colonies will grow very, very slowly if at all? What will the algae think of all that?

Or should I cycle the tank before adding plants? I was kinda counting on the plants to carry a seed bacteria population themselves, to be honest. Seems like cycling a bare tank would take a REALLY long time. If I cycled the tank without flora or fauna, I'd have to add both plants and fish pronto after the cycle was complete, correct? So that the bacteria colonies don't waste away for lack of fish waste?

I'm out of town for three days at the end of this month and about five days in mid-September. I have a great petsitter for the rest of the menagerie here, whom I trust to feed the fish and make sure the filter is running; I just figure it's a bit of an extra imposition to ask her to dose ammonia and measure water parameters as well.

Wah, I don't wanna wait till the end of September to *start* cycling and then the end of October to add plants and fish! But I will if that's the sanest route and the safest for my new pet.
sunnyday is offline  
post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 03:56 AM
Guest
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,150
Cocktail Shrimp, Already Dead, Remove tails, Toss in 3 to 6 depending on size of tank and Size of Cocktail Shrimp, and forget the tank for a couple months while on vacation, if your worried have a buddy "Feed" the empty tank a Shrimp per Week while your gone,You harm no fish and get a nice Strong Cycle. Feel free to put your plants in while doing this.
vance71975 is offline  
post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 03:58 AM
Planted Member
 
rice n curry man's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 199
I read online you can cycle a betta in a 10g as long as it is heavily planted..
rice n curry man is offline  
post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 04:50 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
OverStocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (76/94%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SoDak
Posts: 10,732
Quote:
Originally Posted by vance71975 View Post
Cocktail Shrimp, Already Dead, Remove tails, Toss in 3 to 6 depending on size of tank and Size of Cocktail Shrimp, and forget the tank for a couple months while on vacation, if your worried have a buddy "Feed" the empty tank a Shrimp per Week while your gone,You harm no fish and get a nice Strong Cycle. Feel free to put your plants in while doing this.
Honestly, this is junk.

Use regular ammonia(cheaper than these shrimp).

Last edited by Gatekeeper; 08-19-2008 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Inappropriate conduct
OverStocked is offline  
post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 08:37 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: England
Posts: 66
Sunny day

I am fairly new to this hobby but have used the forum for every stage of my set up.
I now have a beautiful planted tank, still in its early stages, still battling the algae, but my fish seem happy.

I used eco complete and then planted pretty heavily from the start.
I sprinkled a little fish food in each day to hopefully kick start my ammonia build up and tested ever other day for all parameters.
My parameters never showed any spike and I had experienced what is called a silent cycle.
Rather than do a bad job of explaining what this is, probably best to search for that on this forum or other sources, donít feel I'm being lazy, I just wouldnít want to give the wrong information.
I know what you mean about having to wait, but during the set up of my tank I was able to reposition scapes, play with filters, pumps, etc, all without putting any fish in danger.
On a final note, even though I have relatively little experience, I donít feel that is needed to air a view on using fish to cycle a tank.
Just because something can 'cope' with living in a hostile environment, it doesnt mean that it should be done.
With so much information about fishless cycling out there, those who condone using fish make me a little angry.
Surely one of the main delights of this hobby is to have living creatures thrive and grow in an environment created by us, the hobbyist.
Seeeing a shoal of minnows display to each other, whilst shrimp carry on with their substrate buffet, all ignoring the chain loaches chasing each other around the bogwood is a joy, a real joy.
Watching fish gasp for air, because of actions instigated by you, with the knowledge that this would happen, is not.
sean1974 is offline  
post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean1974 View Post
I used eco complete and then planted pretty heavily from the start.
I sprinkled a little fish food in each day to hopefully kick start my ammonia build up and tested ever other day for all parameters.
My parameters never showed any spike and I had experienced what is called a silent cycle.
How long did you wait before deciding you'd had a silent cycle?

If your water parameters didn't spike, why would stocking fish from the start have been inhumane in your case?
sunnyday is offline  
post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 02:56 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
tazcrash69's Avatar
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Hawthorne, NJ
Posts: 3,207
FWIW, I've used the silent cycle from Rex's site twice. Once in my 55, once in the 125.
Each time, the tank was had a decent fish load (not fully stocked), and loaded (60-75% of the footprint) with lots of cheap fast growing stems (anacharis, and hornwort).
I never saw any ammonia with my AP test kit.

Walter

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
or my
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.
Proud former member of:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


--May the floor under your tank always be dry, and your glass clear!!!
tazcrash69 is offline  
post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 02:58 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: England
Posts: 66
My tank had been having fish food sprinkled into it for 3 weeks, when no ammonia spike came I got a little confused, as I say, I'm new to all of this.

After coming onto the forum with my parametr readings I was advised by the good people on here that I'd had a silent cycle.

For me, I didnt stock from the start bcause I dont know about the silent cycle, and I'm not sure you're able to know whether ther amount of plants will give you one. So I started the fishless cycling process, kept testing, and after a while it became apparent that i'd had a silent cycle.

I suppose a case of better safe than sorry, but believe me, I know where you're coming from in regard to wanting to set the whole tank up now....it really is very frustrating !
sean1974 is offline  
post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 03:09 PM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by rice n curry man View Post
I read online you can cycle a betta in a 10g as long as it is heavily planted..
"Can" and "Should" are two very different things. High ammonia and nitrites can harm and/or kill bettas just as well as any other fish.

As I said before, "silent cycles" are possible- but you can do everything "right" and sometimes still get ammonia spikes, so you just need to be prepared just in case. This is why I personally wouldn't recommend adding a fishload immediately- you're likely to lose the fish if you do get an ammonia spike. IMO playing it safe at first is much safer for the fish and also less headaches for you b/c anything that does go wrong is exponentially easier to address if you don't have the welfare of livestock to consider on top of everything else.

If you're set on getting fish quickly, I'd still strongly discourage you from getting Cardinals till you get back from all your trips. Cardinals are sensitive fish and really should only be added to established tanks. You're going to have your work cut out for you keeping water parameters clean and stable in a 5.5gal with a betta anyways, so start there and see how it goes?





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome