Thoughts On Cycling
I am in the process of getting my new 72g up and running. I have gotten pure ammonia and am ready to start the cycle. My plan for this tank is to be a planted tropical tank. After talking to a few people some say if you plant it right in the beginning that cycling is not necessary. So my question is should i still go ahead and cycle it using ammonia or should i just plan and add fish right away? any comments would be appreciated.
If you want a fast cycle make it a heavily planted tank and wait maybe a week for the plants to adjust to the tank and attach roots. Then you can add 1-3 fish depending on size. All plants really do is suppress the spike of ammonia and adding ammonia with the plants might just kill them. Just my thoughts... I owuldn't use chemicals in my tank besides to make tap water safe because I don't trust thing like that. And adding ammonia sounds more like faking a cycle to me... Instead of waiting for the cycle add ammonia then test for it and see you have a spike! lol .... But I don't know a ton on it so maybe wait for a more experienced member. And by heavily plant I mean ALOT of plants.
Planting a tank heavily from the first will allow you to add some fish from the first with no cycle to speak of. Plants prefer nitrogen in the form of ammonium, and the ammonia produced by fish and bacteria is taken up by the plants either as ammonium (in acidic water) or as ammonia and then changed to ammonium by the plants. Provided the tank is fairly heavily planted, a few fish will not have any issues. I would certainly never add any type of "ammonia" with live plants.
However, to ensure everything works (heater, filter, no leaks, etc) running the tank a couple days with plants can do no harm. Don't forget to add liquid fertilizer, plants need "food" in the form of nutrients, and there will be basically none in a new tank.
Ther is more info on this in the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of the Aquarium Plants section of the forum. Or you can ask questions...
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