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Cycling New Planted Tank

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Hi all, I am brand new to the planted tank hobby and I am looking for some advice. I had a tank years ago, but just recently decided to get back into it. I was just wondering what is the best way to cycle a new planted tank? My LFS said to do a fish-in cycle, but after doing some of my own research I'm leaning towards the fishless cycle. Any recommendations?

Also my set up is:
15-gallon tall tank
75 W Eheim Jager heater
Aquaclear 30 filter
Finnex fugeray lighting
and Eco complete as the substrate with seachem root tabs

My current plants are:
Anubias Nana
Pennywort
Italian Vals
Ludwigia Repens
Dwarf Sagittaria
Java moss
and dwarf hair grass coming later this week along with some java ferns

If I do the fishless cycle is it still the standard dosing of Ammonia? The tank has been successfully running for about 2 days and figured I should get to cycling since it all seems good. Thanks!
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Not the same dose. Ammonia can and will melt if not kill your plants if it gets too high. I'd try to keep it at .5ppm or less. It will take longer to cycle but you won't kill your plants. You can always set up a bucket or a tank with your filter on it and cycle that to get the bacteria in your filter and then move it over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the response! that seems like a good idea that I might just have to try. If I do that will the plants be alright with no filtration or do I need to do frequent water changes? Also since its already planted would adding fish be appropriate?
 

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thanks for the response! that seems like a good idea that I might just have to try. If I do that will the plants be alright with no filtration or do I need to do frequent water changes? Also since its already planted would adding fish be appropriate?
I'm no planted expert, so you can take this with a grain of salt. In my 5 gallon walstad, it's HEAVILY planted, like a LOT. I put more than 12 fish in it (tetras and white clouds) and the water parameters are amazing. I'd say if you have enough plants, you can almost get away with a instant cycle.
 

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Are you open to using bacteria starters? If so, TSS+ is a pretty good compliment with the fishless cycle! In my experience at least :) I don't necessarily think it's an instant cycle like it claims but it gives the cycle a big boost and it will probably finish quicker than if you hadn't used it. I was having issues with my fishless cycle for 5 weeks because it was very slow and some things just didn't feel quite right, and I decided to dump a bottle of TSS+ 4 days ago and my cycle is now a couple days away from being complete! I just wish I'd done it earlier to save some time :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea I saw those and was a little skeptical so I didn't look much into it, but seeing as you and many others have had success I dont see why it wouldn't work. So many choices! I guess I'll just have to pick on and roll with it.
 

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Get a cocktail shrimp from the grocery store. This is the easiest and cheapest way, if you ask me.
 

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Yea I saw those and was a little skeptical so I didn't look much into it, but seeing as you and many others have had success I dont see why it wouldn't work. So many choices! I guess I'll just have to pick on and roll with it.
I was skeptical as well, as I'd gone with API quickstart the first time around and it didn't really do much. And although TSS+ worked well for me, I hear that sometimes depending on the weather and date of production, the bacteria can be expired or killed due to extreme weather conditions. So sometimes people get a bad batch and it doesn't work. Thankfully, that wasn't the case for me, but I just thought I'd let you know :) As long as you're doing a fishless cycle, you can tweak different things until they work for you! Good luck :)
 

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I personally wouldn't go with the cocktail shrimp method. While the rotting carcass will introduce ammonia, you also get the rotted carcass in your tank. Then you have to figure out how many cocktail shrimp it takes to get a 15 gallon tank to 2 or 3ppm ammonia. And you need to keep adding that amount until the cycle is complete.

A bottle of Ace Hardware 10% ammonia is cleaner and you can find calculators around the internet to tell you how much to add for the level of ammonia you want and your tank volume.

Like this one: Ammonia Calculator for Aquariums - Spec-Tanks

Adding some media from a cycled tank really helps jumpstart the process.
 
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