Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Kelso 01-29-2010 04:52 PM

Is it true that...
Plants can pretty much reduce the need to cycle, thus allowing a larger stock to be introduced quickly, or something along those lines? Now don't fret, I haven't done anything yet. I'm not that rash. I have seeded my 75 gallon with old filter media from my established 28 and I have a snail and silver dollar in it...the lone silver dollar is another story entirely, so let's ignore that. I know it doesn't have nearly enough BB to handle the move of all my fish right now, but will plants allow me to move at least a majority of my fish over...namely my corydoras? If there's any link or article or explanation you guys can give me, that would be appreciatively accepted. These are the plants I am getting:
3 Amazon Swords
2 Kleiner Bar Swords
1 Rubin Sword
25 Dwarf Sigittaria
25 Narrow-leaf Chain Sword
3 Alternathera Reinckii
3 Bunches of Pennywort

I got 80 watts at 6500K

Byron 01-29-2010 05:26 PM

Yes...provided the plants are sufficient in number for the fish load.

Plants need nitrogen as a major macro-nutrient. In the aquarium, nitrogen occurs as ammonia/ammonium, nitrite and nitrate. Plants have a substantial preference for nitrogen in the form of ammonium.

Fish and other biological processes create ammonia which is highly toxic to plants and fish at quite low levels. In acidic water the ammonia changes to ammonium which is basically harmless to fish and plants. Ammonia de-toxifiers (as in Prime) usually detoxify ammonia by changing it to ammonium. Plants in the aquarium use the ammonium as their nitrogen, and they use a lot of it. In basic/alkaline water, plants use two methods of using ammonia, and one involves converting it in the cells into ammonium.

They are so good at doing this they out-compete the nitrosomonas bacteria. This is why in a well-planted aquarium the nitrification bacteria will be fewer in number than otherwise; the plants consume most of the ammonia/ammonium. That is why there is a low level of nitrate in a planted tank; the ammonia used by nitrosomonas bacteria to produce nitrite which is then used by nitrospira bacteria to produce nitrate is minimal. A high nitrate reading in a planted tank means either there is far too much biological nitrification occurring, or something has upset the natural biological balance.

So, if you plant an aquarium well at the beginning, you can add fish to the aquarium at the same time. Provided you do not overload the fish with too few plants, there will be no "cycle" occurring that will be detectable. Some ammonia will be used by nitrosomonas bacteria, but it will be so minimal the bacteria will easily establish themselves and no harm will occur to the fish from ammonia (or nitrite).

The number and type of plants you list will be quite adequate in a 75g aquarium to handle the lone SD [all right, I won't say anything about this as you've asked;-)] and a couple dozen small fish. Corydoras often do not fare well in new tanks, but that is largely due to the ammonia which they cannot tolerate. Corydoras travel badly, simply because of the high ammonia in their shipping containers. But in a well-planted tank, that is not going to be a problem. And using the filter media to seed the new tank is an insurance policy of sorts, and certainly won't hurt anything.

Last July I moved my tanks and re-set the 115g, 90g and 70g with tap-water washed or dry gravel, new unused filter media, and moved all the plants and fish in one day with no losses, no stress and zero ammonia and nitrite readings from day one. If you still are skeptical:shock: , I can give you links to articles by microbiologists and such.


Angel079 01-29-2010 05:32 PM

My vote goes for YES as well. When I set up new tanks I always seed them from old filters and plant heavy from the start, introduce stock (dep on my own schedule) anywhere from 3-5 days later.
I usually get 1-2 groups (dep on the overall set up) introduced, check water for few days and then get the rest over the next 2 weeks. That said however I always introduce the Cory LAST. They're very sensitive and can not handle the littlest of swings if they should happen after all.
That all said with this approach I never lost a single fish (up until I got ick infested anyway but that's another matter entirely)

stephanieleah 01-29-2010 06:12 PM

I think the combination of seeding and using plants will do the job. That's what I did in my last aquarium and it cycled in a week flat. And I didn't introduce the seeded bacteria (in the form of a jar of the old tank's gravel near the filter intake) until, like, day 5. You'll be fine. Doesn't hurt to test water daily, though. I'd listen to Angel about the cories as I've not had them and she has plenty.

Byron 01-29-2010 06:44 PM

I agree if the Corydoras were coming in new (from the store), but as Kelso has them in the other tank I don't think this is so critical, esp with the seeding. When I moved those tanks last July I had 30+ corydoras and some are quite rare wild caught fish, and they loved it. When they got in the new tanks, and once they recovered from having been netted and moved, they began exploring the new wood and plant leaves like crazy, nudging each other (pre-spawning activity) and all that. The water will be more stable between tanks Kelso has that store tanks and home. But normally, yes, I would certainly agree on Corydoras being one of the later fish introductions in newish tanks. B.

Angel079 01-29-2010 07:14 PM

I was worried as far as mini peaks regardless the seeding (which CAN happen) that's why I always approached the Cory's with caution (I'm rather safe then sorry with the fish that's just me thou lol)

Kelso 01-29-2010 07:22 PM

Wow! Thanks to all of you for your advice. Hmm...well as it stands, I'm moving my two puffers into the 75 and all the corydoras. I will be bumping the school of the peppers and pandas to 6 and as for the bronze cories...not sure because I got lots of eggs waiting to hatch here soon. I'm for sure getting a third puffer...and for anything else...not sure. I have my eyes set on a Satanoperca leucosticta or Satanoperca jurupari but as it stands just those guys. The silver dollar may not even stay because I don't want more and he needs some school mates. I just don't find them to be an attractive fish. with that said...move the puffers or corydoras first? Both are highly sensitive to I'm at a toss up here...

Angel079 01-29-2010 07:27 PM

Honestly, if I was in your shoes and this was my tank. I'd seed it & plant it; test for the next 3-4 days and then move them if all checks out.
PS I was wondering how your eggs were doing; mine fungus-ed up and that was the end :-(

Kelso 01-29-2010 07:55 PM

Mine all still look good. They're developing and I can see shapes taking place inside! That may be my best bet. Plant it, let it settle, then do the move.

Angel079 01-29-2010 09:58 PM

:-( Did you leave them in the tank or took them out? I'm so upset mine didn't.....

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