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View Full Version : Planted tanks = no cycling



gunk
07-17-2008, 01:13 AM
Okay so I need to get some pregnant fish away from more aggressive fish who will eat the fry. I have a 10g with a makeshift sponge filter that I haven't had time to set up.

If I set it up as a planted tank and let the filter run for like a day, will it be safe to add the fish?

Ellen4God
07-17-2008, 01:15 AM
I'd be a little hesitant in doing that. I guess you can give it a shot to see if your levels turn out okay like that.

kaoticice
07-17-2008, 01:32 AM
I wouldn't recommend that method, its very risky. Even if you set-up a heavily planted tank, plants will still need the right condition before it can start balancing out the tank. I'll give it at least 4-7 days at least.
Some advices for quick cycling;
- add water from the original tank. Not only you'll get the same consistent water chemistry but you'll also seed beneficial bacteria to the new tank
- Adding mature filter sponge/medium including gravels.
- If you have plants from ur original tank, those would also help the cycle the tank.

PUNISHER VETTE
07-17-2008, 01:35 AM
I'm going to go with no... Although plants will use a little ammonia they mainly take up nitrates which you'd need bacteria to process the ammonia to nitrites to nitrates.

I might even be wrong on that in that they might like ammonia more then nitrates but the ammonia is dangerous to fish so you don't fertilize for that.

Anyway a newly planted tank isn't going to have very good growth and there is already going to be enough nutrients for them to not need to take up much of the ammonia.

But thats just what i think. Go and buy some biospira or something of the like if needed. That or get a clear hang on divider for the fish to stay in while still being in the same tank.

Anomaly
07-17-2008, 02:12 AM
As mentioned earlier, seed your tank using gravel and/or filter media from an established tank. That will help tremendously. If you have a local LFS that sells Bio-Spira, go buy it and add it to the tank when you add the fish.

That method works really well, but you'll still need to monitor your water parameters daily.

Lady Hobbs
07-17-2008, 02:16 AM
Big tank I'd say yes. Small tanks will still get toxic levels.

Mvjnz
07-17-2008, 02:56 AM
I don't see how you'd get away with not cycling just because it has plants in it. My tanks have heaps of fast growing plants in them, but they still needed cycling and when the power was out and the filter stopped working, the water went bad, despite the plants.

Btw, water does have any beneficial bacteria in it. The bacteria are in the substrate and filter, so using tank water will do nothing, except add nitrates to the water.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
07-17-2008, 02:59 AM
Devil's advocate here. :27:

Silent cycling a tank is an excellent way to get things going. It works something like this. A tank get's fully planted from the very beginning and proper ferts are added minus nitrate. Then, a smaller bioload is introduced to the tank immediately. Plants take up nitrogen in 2 forms, one of those is NH3/NH4. If enough plants are planted and the bioload added is not too high, then the plants will take in the NH3/NH4 as fast as it is produced, thus the NO2 stage is never really reached to detectable levels. This does work, I've done it and I know many other people who have done it as well. You just need to be sure to add a lot of plants in the very beginning. Tank size is somewhat irrelevant, the main concern here is bioload, of course that is linked to tank size, but that is the key, keep the bioload down and it does work very well.

KingFisher
07-17-2008, 03:04 AM
Devil's advocate here. :27:

Silent cycling a tank is an excellent way to get things going. It works something like this. A tank get's fully planted from the very beginning and proper ferts are added minus nitrate. Then, a smaller bioload is introduced to the tank immediately. Plants take up nitrogen in 2 forms, one of those is NH3/NH4. If enough plants are planted and the bioload added is not too high, then the plants will take in the NH3/NH4 as fast as it is produced, this the NO2 stage is never really reached to detectable levels. This does work, I've done it and I know many other people who have done it as well. You just need to be sure to add a lot of plants in the very beginning. Tank size is somewhat irrelevant, the main concern here is bioload, of course that is linked to tank size, but that is the key, keep the bioload down and it does work very well.

That's exactly how I did my 29 gallon tank this past time and I never had a bad reading the whole time. It is very important to add the fish slowly over a period of weeks or a month to let the bacteria get established in the filter.

Evil Slimy
07-17-2008, 04:12 AM
+1 to what ILuvMyGoldBarb said, assuming you plant heavily and with fast growing plants.

gunk
07-19-2008, 04:08 AM
Thanks for all the advice.

I think my plan as it is right now is to use gravel from my establsihed 10g as well as some java moss and swords from that tank. I'll set it up, add a small dosage of ferts and a bit of Flourish Excell, give the tank a day or two to get going, and add a my pregnant molly.

If anyone has objections to this plan or any other advice I'd love to hear it.

Evil Slimy
07-19-2008, 04:20 AM
Should be fine, especially given the gravel, but just to be safe I would get more fast growing stem plants like hygrophilia, egeria, bacopa, cabomba. For silent cycling to really work you need a lot of plants.

nwnittany
07-19-2008, 04:30 AM
More devil's advocate here...

Why not just buy a cheap three-way-breeder that will fit inside your 10G ? Use this until your other tank is cycled ?

I've bred a lot of fish this way, albeit easy ones (e.g., platy, guppy, swordtail, molly, etc)....

kaoticice
07-19-2008, 08:27 AM
Should be fine, especially given the gravel, but just to be safe I would get more fast growing stem plants like hygrophilia, egeria, bacopa, cabomba. For silent cycling to really work you need a lot of plants.

I'd like to add hornwort in the list :ezpi_wink1:

Lady Hobbs
07-19-2008, 10:03 AM
Adding fish slowly is the way to cycle with or without plants. If people stocked 10 gallons sensibly there would be no problem cycling but the problem is that they don't. Even a planted tank will become toxic is you have 20 fish in the tank and it's not cycled. The plants are not the trick. The level you stock the tank is. Plants will absorb some of the toxins if you don't give it more toxins than it can handle.

gunk
07-19-2008, 03:45 PM
I'm going to plant this tank as heavily as I can in hopes that fry will be able to hide easier from their parents. But I'm not sure how good my lighting will be so my options are sort of limited. I'm using a regular hood that currently has 2 incandescents in it, but I'm going to replace those with a couple of 10 watt flourescents. But I doubt the color temp is the right spectrum so I'm also going to use this lamp I have that seems really strong (unsure of the wattage, it doesn't say) and has a color temp of 6500k. Hopefully with all of that combined I'll end up with about 2-4 wpg. So depending on how well my swords and moss do, I will try to add more faster growing plants.