Can rotting plants help the cycling process? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-27-2009, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Can rotting plants help the cycling process?

Hello all!

I am finishing my cycle fishless after the original occupant died due in part to my lack of knowledge. :( I have ammonia at 4.0, and nitrates at 0.25 at this point, but upon return from vacation, I see that my plants have not sprouted and have grown some kind of white fungus on them. So....should I remove the rotting plants, or should I leave them until the tank finishes cycling? Will they help with the bacteria buildup at all?

Also, what do I do now in the cycling process? I want to do it right this time and not add fish until the tank is fully prepared, so any help is appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-27-2009, 06:54 PM
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First on the readings, did you really mean nitrate at .25, or nitrite? If it is actually nitrite, that is good, you are in the second stage (ammonia I assume is dropping and nitrite is now rising). As you are doing a fishless cycle, I assume you are adding ammonia whenever the readng drops below 5 (if that was your starting point)?

Second on the dying plants, any decaying vegetation produces ammonia. But that only lasts as long as the vegetation is still decaying. When it's fiished, the ammonia will not be there and the bacteria will die back accordingly; however, the tank will hopefully be cycled by then. If it were me, I would remove any dead plant material to be on the safe side and avoid complicating things, esp given the presence of fungus or something.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-28-2009, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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oh sorry I meant nitrites were at 0.25! Thanks for your help, I will remove the plants and continue to add ammonia. I did start at 5, and the ammonia was at 4, so I will add more here in a few minutes. Hopefully I will be cycled soon! Thanks again!

Last edited by trillian1973; 06-28-2009 at 01:21 PM.
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