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midway through fishless cycling...

1048 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ctaylor3737
Hi everybody,

I've been doing a fishless cycle for the past two weeks and it seems to be going well. However, I was doing some more reading at work today and it seems to be a popular opinion that if you are planning to have a heavily planted tank, you can start stocking with fish pretty quickly.

So my question is, if you were me, would you keep going with the fishless cycle and adding ammonia or start introducing fish?

my tank info:
29g with fluorite sand substrate
Finnex FugeRay Planted+ LED
Marineland C-160 canister filter
ammonia = 2ppm
nitrite = 2ppm (just started appearing 5/13)
nitrate = 0ppm

I don't plan on having a heavily planted tank, maybe just up to 50%.

Thanks for any input!
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Actually I think you may have misinterpreted what was said. This may or may not be
what they are talking about.
What usually happens in a tank which you did a fishles cycle in is that because you added ammonia at a higher rate than what might occur naturally, you can add all or most of the fish when the cycle is over as at this time the BB count is high enough to support them.
Also if there are many plants in the tank when you do a cycle, it just gives that much more places for the BB to live on AND the amount of plants uses up nitrates faster than
if there was less plants in there. Plants also use up ammonia so one more reason
such a tank could support more fish quicker.
But I would not put fish in before I got a good nitrate reading. And it often takes two weeks between when the nitrIte shows up and the nitrAte does.
I hope this is directly related to what you are asking about, but don't know for sure.
You're far enough along that it is best to just finish at this point. The advantage of fishless cycling with ammonia is that you build up a very large amount of beneficial bacteria and you can stock most if not all of your fish at once. Plants do use ammonia and provide extra surfaces for bacteria to grow, but they can only work so fast so you need to stock slowly for that to work.

If you do decide to just add fish and use the plants to cycle, make sure to do a few 90% water changes because your levels are much too high for fish to survive right now. Personally i'd just finish out the fishless cycling since you can add more fish at once and you don't have to worry about if you have enough plants or not.
I agree with those above.
If the tank is heavily planted,then plant's are said to be 10x faster at using ammonia than bacterial colony could.
For silent cycling as it is called,takes a fair amount of plant's that are established and doing well and is best to add fish a few at a time.
Actually takes on average, about two week's for nitrites to appear with fishless cycling method but nitrAtes are usually only day's behind.
Many have had success by reducing the amount of ammonia added once nitrites appear by 1/2.
No need to keep adding ammonia at 3 to 4ppm once you see nitrites for too much ammonia at this point often result's in stalled nitrite stage which could itself last week's.
If you already have quite a few plant's that are doing well,then adding a few small fish spread out over a few week's can be done but is wise to monitor the tank for ammonia and be prepared to perform water change should ammonia level read anything but zero.
At 2 weeks you are doing pretty good. My daughters little betta tank at 2.5 gallons took 2 months to cycle. I had never heard of a cycle until I decided to get my own big boy (3 gallon lol) planted tank.

I dropped the bio max in her tank for 2 weeks before I started up my tank and my cycle took about 10 days. So much can be said for established media. Your next tank (and you'll have more I guarantee) will cycle much faster.

You could add fish now but you'd need to add a small number of fish and do at least 2 water changes a week. Personally you are close to being finished so might as well wait a bit more time and fully stock.
Thanks for the advice. I'll go ahead and wait for the fishless cycling to take its course. It was news to me that it should be done in a non planted tank and to add plants when it is finished. I was really happy to see nitrites this week, halfway there!
Yea wait for the cycle to complete, if you are not experience in watching the parameters it is very easy to spike your fish and kill them. After the cycle add fish slowly and keep up with your water changes. Keep reading in the meantime there is lots of great information here.
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