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What First.... Live Plants Or Fish?

This is a discussion on What First.... Live Plants Or Fish? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I would do the plants first, when I set up my 150 gallon I put plants in right away and my tank cycled a ...

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What First.... Live Plants Or Fish?
Old 03-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #11
 
live plants

I would do the plants first, when I set up my 150 gallon I put plants in right away and my tank cycled a lot faster.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
 
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But without an ammonia spike will your tank ever cycle?
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:02 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
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But without an ammonia spike will your tank ever cycle?
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I thought I'd answered this in another thread, but no matter; since it is asked here, I'll respond.

With live plants there should be no discernible rise in ammonia or nitrite. The plants grab the majority of ammonia and use it as ammonium, and nitrite is not a by-product.

However, some ammonia obviously gets past the plants, eventually if not initially, and nitrosomonas bacteria will naturally colonize accordingly, and from that Nitrospira to handle the minimal nitrite. This is your "cycle." But this is (or should be) so minimal you cannot detect it with our basic test kits, and no harm is done to the fish.

This is why in a natural planted tank nitrates are so low; many planted tanks have zero nitrates, mine run < 5ppm. The more fish you have and/or the higher the organics the more likely some nitrates may appear, if the ammonia is being produced from these sources beyond the capacity of the plants to take it up.
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