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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default cycling with plants.


    0 Not allowed!
    I haven't had an aquarium running for years, the last one I had was larger (55 gallon) and was already established so this is the first time I have ever cycled an aquarium. I set up my new 16 gallon aquarium, everything in it is new. I added 2 small low light grassy plants and a piece of driftwood (13 inches long 6 inches wide) with a Java plant that was already anchored to the wood. I bought a small 3 inch koi to add to my outdoor pond the same day I bought the aquarium and so I added him to the tank for a couple of days just to watch him- I just put him in my pond today because I wasn't really planning to do a cycle with fish but I figured the water was safe enough for 2 days and figured his dirtying the tank a little might be good for it. Now that he is out of the tank I am planning on adding ammonia daily but wasn't thinking about my plants. Will they burn? I am assuming the driftwood might have brought some beneficial bacteria with it, I bought it at petsmart and it was in a plant tank that had a couple of fish swimming in it so I will guess it was in somewhat of an established tank (but who knows since it was petsmart so I won't make assumptions) The employee said the wood had been in the tank for over a week and had come in a wet bag.

    My big question. Should I take the plants back out while I cycle? I want to cycle as fast as possible. I am not as concerned about the grassy plants, I can put them in a bucket but the java is planted nicely a hole in the driftwood and I would like to keep the driftwood in the tank if possible.

    Side note- the 3 inch koi did a great job of dirtying up my tank in the 48 hours he was there, He also nibbled on my grassy plants.

    I tested the water right after I removed the koi and there were no nitrates yet after 48 hours so the cycle hasn't done much yet.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Living in Victoria, Canada; Born in Mexico City
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    My neons and other fishies thank you for your help!! - fishymommy   For the good health of your plants and their strong growth! - W_Oz   have a guppy, lol, we have about 60 fry - labnjab   ahh you need more gifts!! - The Red Severum   Why have I never gave you a gift?! - Tolley   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Where did the plants come from? Did you disinfect them before putting them in the tank? If they were kept with fish, and you didn't disinfect them, they probably have some bacteria on them already, so you have seeded your tank. As long as you don't add too many fish too quickly, the colonies will grow to handle the bioload. Intant cycle!

    Otherwise, smaller concentrations of ammonia will not harm them (as long as it is not too concentrated!). In fact, they will use the ammonia for their own growth. Try keeping about 2 or 3 ppm of ammonia in the tank and monitor frequently. I believe you'll see nitrates pretty soon. Good luck!
    By Alfredo Franco-Cea
    30 gallon tank -- low light -- tannin stained water
    FAUNA: 7 zebra danios; 5 neon tetras; one male green swordtail; 2 female adult platies (plus fry); 6 bleeding heart tetras; 6 false rummy nose tetras
    FLORA: Anubias, Java Moss, Ceratophyllum, Java Fern, WindelÝv's Fern

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I meant to say no nitrites (not nitrates) yet when I tested. I am assuming the driftwood also seeded my tank more than the plants... I have heard that wood is a good media for that. I did not disinfect the wood or the plants for that reason (the wood and plants were in a plant aquarium but there were fish in it as well and I am guessing it was to keep a good bacteria balance. I would have held off on adding the plants, it just never occurred to me that they might interfere with cycling by slowing it down or that they might burn. I knew enough that it was best to not add fish until my tank was established but plants never crossed my mind.

  4. #4

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    Feb 2009
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    LadyHobbs - Lady Hobbs   Happy Easter! - Northernguy   For your great pieces of advice! - Alfcea   Flounder! - jaysee   Thank you for the help on the plants! - angc84   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Plants are quite hardy and the normal levels you fishless cycle at, ~5ppm, are harmless to the plants. If you cycle with fish, the fish will be dead before the plants are affected by ammonia. Plants are good for cycling since they suck up nitrates and some nitrites and ammonia.
    55g: Future home of a green terror and 2 convicts
    29g: Convicts, tiger barbs, corys, snails
    29g: 3 fancy goldfish
    5g: Betta

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Savannah, GA
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    hooray for a finished cycle and fish! - wolf_eyes   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by PostalPenguin
    Plants are quite hardy and the normal levels you fishless cycle at, ~5ppm, are harmless to the plants. If you cycle with fish, the fish will be dead before the plants are affected by ammonia. Plants are good for cycling since they suck up nitrates and some nitrites and ammonia.
    Well, if you cycle with fish, then yes, plants are great of mediating something that could be disasterous.

    If you're fishless cycling, plants would probably slow down the cycle since they end up sucking up some of the ammonia that the bacteria need. In this case, since you are not concerned about the health of the fish (there are none), the bacteria's needs should be greater than the plants. Therefore, you want as much of the ammonia/nitrite going towards feeding the growing colonies of bacteria.

  6. #6

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    Apr 2009
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hmmm... maybe I'll at least remove the grassy plants and leave the java since it's already anchored in the driftwood. One Plant can't make that much difference can it? It's not a big plant by any stretch. I can put the grassy plants in a bucket while I wait for the cycle to complete.

  7. #7

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    Dec 2008
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    Good posts! Welcome to the AC - Gemini   You need another gift! - Northernguy   :) - SamAnthrax   :D - SamAnthrax   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Most of the bacteria from an established tank is in the filter. Not the driftwood, or the gravel, or the water. A piece of established driftwood would only really matter if there were fish in there.

    The bacteria you want isn't in the water, it's on the surfaces, so putting a piece of established driftwood on the bottom of your tank shouldn't make much, if any difference in how long it takes your filter to cycle. If anything it might even increase the time it takes your filter to cycle, and will decrease the amount of bacteria you end up growing in your filter at the end of the cycle.

    I think you'd have more luck speeding up your cycle if you broke a small piece off the driftwood and wedged it in with your filter media. Can anyone back this up?
    "If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate"

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Glub
    Most of the bacteria from an established tank is in the filter. Not the driftwood, or the gravel, or the water. A piece of established driftwood would only really matter if there were fish in there.

    The bacteria you want isn't in the water, it's on the surfaces, so putting a piece of established driftwood on the bottom of your tank shouldn't make much, if any difference in how long it takes your filter to cycle. If anything it might even increase the time it takes your filter to cycle, and will decrease the amount of bacteria you end up growing in your filter at the end of the cycle.

    I think you'd have more luck speeding up your cycle if you broke a small piece off the driftwood and wedged it in with your filter media. Can anyone back this up?
    I completely disagree, sorry! Established bacteria from ANY source is a good thing for a new tank. Any hitchiker diseases or fungus, however.... that's a different story.

  9. #9

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    Dec 2008
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    Good posts! Welcome to the AC - Gemini   You need another gift! - Northernguy   :) - SamAnthrax   :D - SamAnthrax   

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    0 Not allowed!
    But they've got no fish in the tank, what's the bacteria on the driftwood helping if there's nothing to keep alive, and it's not traveling through the water to the filter, and it's competing with the bacteria trying to grow in the filter for ammonia?
    "If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate"

  10. #10

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    Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - bushwhacker   

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    0 Not allowed!
    the wood is not going to hurt anything neither will the plants... go ahead and do your fishless cycle if thats what you want or get a few hardy fish and get the cycle started
    The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
    RIP Roscoe. We will meet again Bug.

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