In an article in Tropical Fish Hobbyist, the author stated that the tank should be cycled before adding live plants. While I can see where this certainly wouldn't hurt, it somewhat contradicts the theory of partially circumventing the traditional cycling with the use of plants, in my opinion. The author also promotes the use of surface agitation to increase CO2 in low tech set ups. Don't know if there is a connection within her approach. I'd be interested in hearing members' comments.