04-20-2010, 12:18 PM
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Byron is spot-on, as always.
I sometimes encourage people who throw fish in their tank without knowing about cycling to just buy tons of plants...
not because it'll prevent all deaths, but it might save a few.
My only confusion on the subject, is that I've read you should introduce slow-growing plants early, then fast growing ones to fill the gaps.
I don't think that applies if you WANT them to use up ammonia... Sure, all plants use ammonia, but their growth rate increases their demand for it.
I would speculate, for example, that a couple bunches of a stem plant (something with a lot of surface area- water wisteria, hornwort,anarchis perhaps) would suck up as much ammonia as 5-6 similiarly sized plants of anubias or java fern since they grow so slow.
That only really applies if you want to skip the cycling process alltogether by heavily planting- any plant will speed up the process.