Need some opinions on this (Cycling, diana walstad quote)

DutchMuch

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So i was having a conversation on APC with diana walstad and a few other members....

and she said this;

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I immediately fell off my chair and began to roll around on the floor, laughing histarically at how incorrect this it.

It was so bad that i could not stand up for another 30 minutes.
But when i did i linked her to several sites and articles, including dustinsfishtanks, that have to disagree.

-
Anyway, whats your thoughts on this quote? i think we all know my opinion.
 

roadmaster

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With large plant mass from the outset,and assuming the hobbyist is providing what the plants need and they are doing well,,then I would agree with Her.
One could add a few small fish straight away to heavily planted tank,perform weekly water changes and tank would mature or "cycle" at it's own pace.
Too many fishes,too much food,too few plants in unmature tanks is where issues present themselves .
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I immediately fell off my chair and began to roll around on the floor, laughing histarically at how incorrect this it.
She is right, with the proviso's that @roadmaster mentions, but you have to be a brave person to post those sort of comments, because only heart-ache <"and ridicule"> come to those who question <"the orthodoxy of "cycling"">. Her's isn't an opinion that will bring you much popularity, but it is based on the available science and our personal experience.

If by "cycling" you mean adding ammonia? I can tell you (and any-one else who will listen) that, unless you intend to keep an entirely bare tank, it unequivocally serves no useful purpose what so ever, and is probably actively damaging. I have a lot of scientific literature, but the most relevant one is probably: Bagchi et al (2014) "Temporal and Spatial Stability of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria in Aquarium Biofilters" (open access (PLOS one)).

There is a more complete discussion in <"Oxygen level required">, but even the much quoted <"Dr Tim Hovanec"> has revised his products in light of the recent <"scientific advances in the study of nitrification">.

I advise a plant heavily (including plants with Diana Walstad's <"aerial advantage">) and then waiting at least six weeks before adding any fish. Six weeks is probably a bit conservative, but I like "belt and braces".

cheers Darrel
 

Oldguy

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mature or "cycle" at it's own pace.
If by "cycling" you mean adding ammonia?

What is meant by cycling, is it natural or the addition of small amounts of dilute ammonium hydroxide solution. Never tried the latter, never found a good ammonia test kit, including 'lab' grade kits. Colour based tests really require a spectrophotometer.

I thought a tank was cycled by preferably adding some 'dirt' from an established substrate/filter and plant up. Give the plants a chance to settle in & start growing. Make the odd change and then add a few hardy fish, preferably from a friend or from a lfs who will take them back when you purchase fish that you really wont. Slow and steady. Match bioload to capacity to mineralize metabolic wastes. Always try to have spare capacity.

However on Facebook some set ups do not appear to follow this route and appear to be uncyled. Assume some sort of filtration, possibly ammonia removed by ion exchange, and wall to wall large fish in a big bare glass box with 90% daily water changes. I do not comment on Facebook other than between 'friends' and then only positively or not at all.

Commercial practice for food fish production does not cycle but constantly flushes raceways with fresh water and drain to waste.
 

akwarium

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I stopped cycling tanks a long time ago. I do agree with her, but maybe I would say it the other way around: Under stocked tanks with plants do not need cycling.

My very simple reason behind it: ammonia and NO2 do not appear out of nothing, if there is nothing in your tank that can produce ammonia it can not cause any problems. The plants and bacteria should be able to deal with the little wastes that a few small fish produce. Besides how could a population of beneficial bacteria grow if there is nothing to grow on?

Unless you add big fish on a protein rich diet, or have a soil that releases ammonia, I don't expect any problems and never had them.
 

DutchMuch

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Hi all,She is right, with the proviso's that @roadmaster mentions, but you have to be a brave person to post those sort of comments, because only heart-ache <"and ridicule"> come to those who question <"the orthodoxy of "cycling"">. Her's isn't an opinion that will bring you much popularity, but it is based on the available science and our personal experience.

If by "cycling" you mean adding ammonia? I can tell you (and any-one else who will listen) that, unless you intend to keep an entirely bare tank, it unequivocally serves no useful purpose what so ever, and is probably actively damaging. I have a lot of scientific literature, but the most relevant one is probably: Bagchi et al (2014) "Temporal and Spatial Stability of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria in Aquarium Biofilters" (open access (PLOS one)).

There is a more complete discussion in <"Oxygen level required">, but even the much quoted <"Dr Tim Hovanec"> has revised his products in light of the recent <"scientific advances in the study of nitrification">.

I advise a plant heavily (including plants with Diana Walstad's <"aerial advantage">) and then waiting at least six weeks before adding any fish. Six weeks is probably a bit conservative, but I like "belt and braces".

cheers Darrel
Thanks dw for the thought out and well explained reply,

I was being more specific, as how a Cycling tank *must* have fish at all (if not, then specifically a large amount?) and have a gravel substrate....

I think i must be misunderstanding her comment, because this all is flying over my head? I have read her comment 5x now and i must be viewing it from one perspective or something.
 

DutchMuch

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upload_2019-1-18_15-54-46.png


I am now truly stumped and concerned, or maybe im just the lowest IQ human on the face of the earth that can still have thriving plants somehow.

I just want to Break Down what i am reading here, into what im translating it into.

"Tanks that require initial cycling"
Tanks that are not already cycled.

"are those with poor plant growth"
Tanks that are not cycled have unhealthy plant's

"gravel"
all uncycled tanks have gravel

"and large number of fish"
all uncycled tanks have a unhealthy amount of inhabitants.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Besides how could a population of beneficial bacteria grow if there is nothing to grow on?
The limiting factor in nitrification is really oxygen, not ammonia. If you can get enough oxygen into a system a relatively small volume of biological media will support a large bioload.

The traditional view of nitrification is that a relatively small range of bacteria are involved, that they require high ammonia levels and pH and that nitrification is a linear process where the bacteria that convert nitrite (NO2) can only build up in number after the bacteria that convert ammonia (NH3) to nitrite have multiplied etc.

It is also assumed that nitrification primarily occurs in the filter, and that substrate and plants are, at best, very minor contributors to nitrification, but none of this is true.

Actively growing plants produce a much larger area where nitrification can occur, they take up all forms of fixed nitrogen and they are massively net oxygen producers.

The other factor has been that the range of organisms involved in nitrification has increased exponentially once we were able to look for specific genes, and that has shown that they are infinitely more diverse and widespread than had been realised.

cheers Darrel
 
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