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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about ready to fill up my new 54 gallon tank. I have the background in, the substrate ready to go in. Filter, heater, everything. I only have a little bit of mature filter media to borrow, so I'm going to try Dr. Tim's One and Only for the cycle.

I only have a few of my plants. I haven't ordered the rest yet due to freezing conditions. My plants should arrive next week Friday (the 28th). Any reason to wait until then to start the fishless cycle? I know it's obviously easier to put plants in an empty tank, but I can drain it.

My thoughts: I've read a lot of varying opinions from you don't have to cycle a planted tank to you shouldn't fishless cycle a planted tank, etc. Because then the plants and bacteria are competing for resources, etc. I don't think my tank will be heavily planted, but I think maybe on the high side of moderately planted. I know plants absorb some ammonia and may compete with the bacteria for that. But I figure if the bacteria have a week to establish and then I put the plants in, the plants will take what they need and the bacteria may die back a little bit, but it won't matter because the plants are handling the ammonia instead. Thoughts?
 

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As for myself I plant right after putting the water in. Plants will help the cycle establish itself. There are bacteria living on them too. I would plant right away.

Michel.
 

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A tank needs a nitrogen cycle in order to keep fish in it without harming them.
A tank which has been planted over a period of time likely has gone through a cycle already as the plants carry those bacteria on them. Bt under no circomstances would I just add a lot of plants and just behind that add fish.
That having been said, I don't think it makes any difference to the plants if you add them while your cycling the tank. But try to remember that the Beneficial Bacteria NEED ammonia to live. So add the fish as soon as you know the cycle is done.
Just do at lest a 50% water change before you add them to get those nitrates down lower than a 20. The percent you change brings down the nitrates at that same percent. So if the nitrate is at 40 a 75% water change is called for to get it to
a 10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I definitely wasn't planning on adding fish right after I planted - just wasn't sure if I should wait to start the cycle until I have plants. Fish will come after the cycle is 100% completed. I have ammonia drops to use. I've cycled 3 tanks, but I've never had one as heavily planted as this one will be.
 

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I always plant before filling the tank, with just enough water to make the substrate moist. Much easier that way; Amano does it.
 
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