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 Cycling with plants

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PostSubject: Cycling with plants   Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:09 am

Hi All. I tyhought I would pop in and give you a much needed update. You remember (dont you? :lol: ) how I bought a 180litre tank, and had read an article written by Diana about how you could stock your tank immediately (and safely) with fish if you put a load of plants in. Here's the link to it -

I also read other stuff online, amongst them, these articles -

and decided to give it a go. I did intend to keep vcoming on and giving a blow by blow account of how it went, but never got round to it.

Anyway, here's what I did in case anyone else is interested in doing it.

I decided to use Seachem Flourite as a gravel, as it contains all the nutrition plants need and helpt them root properly. I put enough in for about 3" at the back 2" at the front.

I filled the tank with water and let the filter and heater run for 24hrs just to make sure they were working ok, and let the water clear properly - it was a bit dusty from the gravel even though I had washed it. I then added all the plants I had bought. As I dont know anything about plants aquatic or normal ones, I went for a mix of plants from Greenline. Although some of them were ground cover ones, and the articles recommended big stemmy plants, I gigured that if I put enough plants in it would be ok, and I had more than twice the number of plants for a tank my size.

I put the plants in, and then waited for two weeks. During that time, I had the filter running, the heater on, and fed the plants with Excel Flourish. I did not get a CO2 kit, thinking that that the liqiuid equivalent might be ok. If things looked as if they were going wrong, I would get one then. The Flourite provides all the nutrition the plants need at this stage apparently.

After two weeks I began to add fish. Although one of the articles I read mentioned getting some algae eaters, I didnt like the thought of adding them at this stage so got 6 Harlequin Rasboras, and tested the water twice a day. A lot of the articles mentioned that there might be a build up of algae as the plants and nutrients start to balance each other out (dont really understand that bit really), and although I did get some algae, it was not a lot.

I waited a couple of weeks and added 6 Cherry Barbs, and then fortnight later 3 female Guppies. I also added a Bristlenose Plec as I was starting to have a bit of an algae outbreak and waited for the ammonia and nitrite to hit the roof.

I tested the water twice a day and on no day did the readings go above 0. I did routine weekly water changes, and fed the fish every other day, but only a bit - enough but not too much. I didnt want the ammonia to appear because of over feeding.

I have just begun to take out the odd plant, so that I can get the tank looking as I would like it too, but the fish seem happy enough with all the plants, and I am in no hurry. I dont want to upset everything at this stage.

So, at the moment, the experimernt seems to have been a success. Ammonia and Nitrite are 0, Nitrate 15, fish seem well, plants look healthy, and all is well in the aquatic world of brb98! :lol: I am not recommending this type of tank prep to anyone, or saying that it is better than fishless cycling, just letting you know that I gave it a go and it went ok (touch wood)
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PostSubject: Re: Cycling with plants   Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:43 am

Didnt you ever get any ammonia or nitrite at all then brb? This is an interesting way to do it I reckon
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PostSubject: Re: Cycling with plants   Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:46 am

Nice to hear ir work brb, just shows there is more than 1 way to skin a cat, so the saying goes Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Cycling with plants   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:16 pm

Thus sounds like it might be something worth looking at brb. No one wants to put fish at risk, but if this allows you to get fish quicker, and avoids the weeks of looking at an empty tank, then why not??
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PostSubject: Re: Cycling with plants   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:59 pm

Well done... sounds a really good way to do it & thanks for sharing.

Now you know we'd like pics don't you? scratch

MunŠhy ŠaŽŽot

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