View Full Version : Will a fishless cycle harm new plants?

11-08-2006, 02:29 AM
So I just bought a 5 gallon tank that will eventually house just a crowntail betta, but I want to cycle the tank and start planting before I bring him home. I was wondering if the ammonia and nitrite spikes during a fishless cycle will harm my plants? I'll be planting dwarf hairgrass to make a nice lawn. (9watt bulb on for 12 hours a day).

And while I'm here, do you have any suggestions on a compatible taller plant for him to "rest" on?

I'll be keeping my pH at 7.0, and temperature at 77F/25C. Tank height is 16". I won't be using a CO2 injector.

Thank you! :)

11-08-2006, 03:35 AM
Barron's has a good guide/mini encyclopedia on live plants. Considering the bioload and species involved, the tank does not even need to be cycled. Instead I would go with the general method described in plant books as far as adding plants initially, letting them settle in for a couple weeks, then starting to add fish. I have anacharis/elodea, java moss, and hornwort in my planted 10 gallon that houses a number of algae eating shrimp, white clouds, and a crowntail betta and all the fish seem to like it.

11-08-2006, 05:10 AM
wow, I don't even need to cycle? cool.

I guess I'll go ahead and get my substrate ready for the plants and start with a hardy one, then go from there. I think I'll add the beta last, maybe.


11-08-2006, 05:29 AM
If you plant densely you'll never see a cycle. That's the great part about planted tanks. They will take up most of the NH4 before you notice. The tank will still cycle, but it is much milder.

Also, bettas aren't as susceptible to NH4 and NO2.

As for plants to add in addition to the hairgrass, I'd go with anubias (any of them would work).

I do wonder if you'll have enough light for the hairgrass to really thrive, though. Keep an eye on things to see if you'll need more light. Anubias, at least, will probably be fine with 9W.