The Planted Tank Forum banner

Choosing the best cycling method

670 11
Started a few posts lately to get back up to speed. So, about to get my first "big", 120p, tank and I will, of course, have to cycle it. I wanted to gauge the opinions of the good people on this site on the methods of cycling.

First things first, it will be about fishless cycles only without additives like stability or seeded materials. I know this would vastly decrease cycling time but I don't have access to either one.

Not sure yet what the exact design will be so I guess I will keep it fairly broad. I know of silent cycling with a fully finished aquascape, but experience taught me that even though you do daily 50% water changes.. You will likely end up with some dead roots in the soil and quite a few melted plants. I really would like to avoid this, I'm also not going for a Dutch style so going for a fully planted tank from the start doesn't matter too much. Also read that it might hamper the growth of the bacteria as you are banking that the plants eliminate the majority of ammonia.

Then we have fishless cycling with added ammonia or organic matter. Guessing this works best with an empty aquarium? Then we still have cycling with nothing but soil in the tank. To me this seems like the best way to go, the leaking ammonia from the tank feeds the bacteria and you don't have to clean the substrate or do water changes during the cycle. Though this is theory,and I would love to know if any of you still do water changes when there is nothing in the tank?

Lastly, cycling with soil, hardy plants and floaters. This seems like a good way to go about my cycle as well, setting up the basic plants while floaters take up quite a lot of the ammonia.

Added info, if possible I'd like to do as little water changes as possible, if possible. As my water is quite bad and buying an RO filter would require me to buy a secondary water tank which would need to be filled with "special" Water that gets delivered by water truck(?). So I am buying RO per 19L water jugs.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

· Registered
519 Posts
FWIW, I have plants growing out in the tank that I add 3-4ppm of ammonia to every day. Several varieties of swords, some Val, etc. Bare bottom tank with an FX6, UV, CO2 reactor. Plants growing like crazy and the ammonia isn't bothering them at all.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts