THE best way of cycling a planted tank?

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by NeilW, 14 Sep 2009.

  1. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    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?!

  2. bugs

    bugs Member

    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.
  3. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Aston, Oxfordshire
    If you're using ADA AS then you dont need to add anything else, the AS leaches HN3 anyway which will be more than enough to cycle the filter.

  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    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?

  5. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    So no addition of anything! :D

    Thanks everyone.
  6. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Surrey UK
    Yeah, loads of plants :lol:
    Sorry, couldn't resist :oops:


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