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THE best way of cycling a planted tank?

NeilW

Member
Joined
25 Jun 2009
Messages
1,113
Location
Basingstoke, Hampshire
My previous tank was cycled using flake food which was messy, took a long time despite using some old filter media, and resulted in unwanted algae (that I'm sure could have been avoided). I want to learn from this!

I was thinking of using household ammonia from Homebase keeping at 5ppm and changing 50% water everyday to keep down organic waste. However I was going to use Aquasoil again in my tank, would this be a good enough ammonia source by itself during the first few weeks?

I hope I havn't double posted this question, I searched but couldn't find an exact 'guide'.

Does anyone have any tips for the best way of cycling the planted tank? Maybe we could make a guide/sticky of the best way?!

Thanks,
Neil
 

bugs

Member
Joined
7 Sep 2007
Messages
365
I've never been a fan of so called maturing additives, however, I was surprised how popular Tetra Safestart is. Have a rummage around Cichlid forums and you'll see what I mean.

BTW - Safestart contains the bacteria rather than the waste required to start a new family.
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
Staff member
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,076
Location
Chicago, USA
NeilW said:
I hope I havn't double posted this question, I searched but couldn't find an exact 'guide'.

Does anyone have any tips for the best way of cycling the planted tank? Maybe we could make a guide/sticky of the best way?!l
Hi Neil,
Here is a short version of a guide:
If you have a tank with plants in it why on Earth do you need anything else to cycle a tank? I mean, what do you think flake food is made out of? That's right, vegetable matter (that means plants). As the bits and pieces of plants decay they produce the ammonia that generates the cycle. If the plants are healthy then they produce oxygen which boosts the bacterial colonies in the sediment/filter as well as in the water column. Additionally, the carbohydrates that the plants release as a byproduct of their metabolism provides more food for the bacteria because bacteria need carbon. The carbon becomes accessible to them via the sugars releaed into the tank by the plants. Plants and bacteria have evolved a powerful symbiotic relationship, so put as many plants as you can afford in the tank, add CO2 plus nutrients, avoid adding too much light, change the water 2X to 3X a week for the first few weeks and get on with it :!:

Adding ammonia to a tank just invites algae, so why would you do this?

Cheers,
 
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