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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to LFS today and my guy up there advised that adding a live plant may help in lowering ammonia and help with the general cycle process. Anyone have opinion or info to add to this? Anything to help my fish through the cycle process.

(read about fishless cycle AFTER i added my fish...that will be preferred method from now on)

Tank:
6gal fluval edge
1 Serpae tetra
Week 4 of cycle

ammonia is back and forth between .5 and 1 ppm depending on day

feed the fish every other day now (started that one week ago from twice daily)
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum :wave:

Your LFS person is right. Live plants are beneficial any time but especially to help with cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello and welcome to the forum :wave:

Your LFS person is right. Live plants are beneficial any time but especially to help with cycling.
Thanks for the quick response. I was looking at a Java Fern bc they had them on sale at the LFS. Do you have any recommendations for which plants are easiest for a first timer. Or any over all keys to keeping a healthy plant in the aquarium?
 

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Thanks for the quick response. I was looking at a Java Fern bc they had them on sale at the LFS. Do you have any recommendations for which plants are easiest for a first timer. Or any over all keys to keeping a healthy plant in the aquarium?
Would buy three or four of the java fern and attach to rock or wood with fishing line or sewing thread.
Perhap's that which you see at fish store is already attached to wood /rock?
Would look for fertilizer such as flourish Comprehensive to add each week as per instruction's.
Java fern does not need much light but does need at least eight hours of light and period of darkness.
Not familiar with type of lighting the tank came with? but one or two full spectrum T8 bulb's with 5000 to 6700 K rating which should be stamped on the bulb somewhere, would suffice.
Anubia is another plant that does well in low light, and should also be attached to wood /rock.
Watersprite is another low light plant that does well either rooted in substrate ,or left to float on surface.
Hope some of this help's.
 

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Welcome to TFK!

+1 - Plants (even floating) will assimilate ammonia so little to no nitrites and nitrates are produced. In some respects, this makes cycling a moot point. Oh cycling happens, but there are few if any dangerous spikes as seen with non planted tanks.
 

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The plants mentioned are great; however, you might think about adding a few stems of fast growing stem / floating plants also. They are especially helpful in keeping your ammonia level safe and stable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The fern they have in stock is wrapped in coconut husk with the rhizome exposed at the top (where the stem enters the husk wrap). There are maybe 10 - 15 separate plants per husk.


If i am around 1ppm ammonia, how long after introduction of plant life should i see a reduction of ammonia on my tests?
 

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I put Anubias Nana, Vallisneria Spiralis, Java Moss, and Java Ferns right from the get go. I saw my ammonia and nitrates go up to .5 max during cycling, and even that was for a very short time. I couldn't recommend plants enough. :) I don't know how long it would take to make make a noticeable difference, as I had mine in right from the beginning. But, get them! They would do nothing but help. Until the plants take care of your ammonia problem, you could do more frequent water changes and maybe dose with some Seachem Prime. The Prime will make the ammonia and nitrites less toxic for a short period of time.

Edit: It may be hard to find Prime locally. I had to order mine off of Amazon.
 

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Ideally,,we would not place fish in the tank until biological filter has been established but for various reason's,,folk's end up with fish or fishes in uncycled aquarium's.
In this instance,,the more plant's the better.
One or two plant's will not be as helpful as many.:cool:
 

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Also what's gotta be mentioned are that java fern and anubias are slow growing plants, as in they won't take up ammonia/nitrite as fast as other plants, like say wisteria, water sprite, anacharis, even duckweed.

Do you know what lighting you have on your tank?
 

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Low light fastest growing stem - dwarf hygrophila You could be cutting them and planting the stems once every week or two. Absolute best bang for the buck. I bought a bunch for $5 and got nine stems.

Floating - duckweed (as much as I didn't want it I got it for this purpose when adding a bunch of new fish) I understand that they are also great nitrate sinks too.

I went low light and tried 14 species of plants and those two are the best of the lot. If you want to see the whole list, it's in my aquarium tab in my name box (what's that called again?)

Quantity of plants to avoid the worst of a cycle, or to suck up the ammonia spike in a current cycle, would be 1 medium plant for every gallon of water and you could mix up faster growing with slower growing. Duckweed is so small that it would be a handful to a gallon... although I am not certain how they measure up in ammonia suckage.

Oh, I'll put a link in my signature to my shotgun approach I used in my planted tank.

I used about that quantity and put fish in (12 barbs) within a couple of days of filling and saw a very short nitrite spike about two weeks into the quiet cycle.

Jeff.
 

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JDM - I'm so jealous of your dwarf hygro. Wish I could get my hands on some! That stuff grows like a weed in your tank.
I'm looking forward to getting home and seeing it growing across the top of the water as I cut it back before I left... two weeks and it will be out of the water again.

If I had known... I have a single node floating in my tank starting to grow roots... I'm sure that I could have got it past customs in a wad of damp papertowel...:roll:

I was at Cindy's Pet and Aquarium today, not as much as we have at home, particularly in the plant department. One tank of bunches and pots. Big Al's has a plant section that is four feet by at least 10' of cascading plant only tanks plus plants in other thanks that don't like the flow and light (crypts and stuff).

Hey, but this isn't my thread :shock:.... sorry.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Also what's gotta be mentioned are that java fern and anubias are slow growing plants, as in they won't take up ammonia/nitrite as fast as other plants, like say wisteria, water sprite, anacharis, even duckweed.

Do you know what lighting you have on your tank?
its the stock fluval edge halogen lights. 2 x 10watt. not sure the k rating. i will google and see if i can find that. I picked up the fern today i will also add a pic momentarily. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, i updated my aquarium log, if you go over there i have a pic with the fern in it. Its got about 12 or 13 separate plants. Its wrapped in coconut husk. The husk is buried but the rhizome is not, which was one thing the guy at LFS said would hurt it, if i buried them. I did not separate them at this time since i am still getting used to the live plant idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
update:

I added anacharis also, not sure if i stated that in this thread yet. They were turning brown and didn't seem to be growing as fast as people made them seem. I think i was blasting my plants with a little too much light earlier. I was basically lights on for 16 hours and off the 8 hours of the day i was at work. The last couple of days, bc i don't have a timer yet, i have been getting my girlfriend to chip in on light duty. I turn them on at 8am when i get home from work and she turns them off at 6pm (while im sleeping). My anacharis seems to be EXPLODING! I will have to trim more often but thats fine. The tallest one has grown almost an inch in two days! And ammonia levels have drop DRASTICALLY over the last 2 days also. From between 1 and 2 ppm to .25-.5 ppm maybe my cycle is almost complete?

My question about the anacharis growth rate, is that normal? Also, is anacharis like corn, in the sense that it takes in nutrients during the light hours and uses them to grow during the dark hours?
 

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Yes, that is normal growth rate for Anacharis. Some of my stems are a couple feet long. Guess it's time to trim it but I kind of like the look. Lol i have mine both rooted and floating.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks! my ammonia has been dropping like crazy the last couple days, it spiked at almost 2.0 pp two days ago and was closer to .25 ppm than .5 pp this morning. If this keeps up i will update with new fish pics soon.
 
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