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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 29 gal. tank cycling at the moment. It's been seeded with gravel from my established tank, and with a rotting shrimp in a nylon. It's been going for 3 days now and the ammonia reading is up to 1.0ppm.

I'd like to add plants to the aquarium, but I was wondering if I should do that now or after the tank is cycled?
 

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Queen Platy
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It wouldnt cycle faster because the plants would consume the ammonia, making less readily available for the bacteria to break down and multiply.

However, if you are cycling WITH fish, plants would be a good idea because it would prevent the spikes from hitting the fish hard (Keep in mind that this would require a lot of fast growing plants, not just a few stems). And all 3 nitrogen levels must be low to prevent health problems to fish. Keep it low with water changes.

If you are doing fishless, its faster and I recommend adding plants afterwards and using liquid ammonia to cycle, its faster than fish food and rotting materials and plus, you can control the ammonia ppm whereas it will be harder to do with fish food and etc. Keep it at 5.0-6.0ppm. Looks cleaner too :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I'm doing a fishless cycle. I tried to find appropriate ammonia without surfactants, but I struck out and gave up and went with the shrimp after looking at 8 different stores. :(
 

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Well you added some gravel from an established tank so you did add some bacteria so that should help it go quicker. I would just let it finish the way its going.
 

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plants will prevent or eliminate the ammonia/nitrIte spikes with probably an initial nitrate spike.

Will it cycle the tank faster or slow? Who know and besides who cares.
Preventing the ammonia spike is all that matters and plants do that.

I cycle with a few live fish and don't add food for the first week. No ammonia spikes as all.


my .02
 

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I had plants in my tank when I was cycling it. I used pure ammonia (ACE hardware brand). I didn't exactly see a "spike" of ammonia. It stayed at about 5 ppm (with continual addition of new ammonia) until is abruptly dropped down to zero. It took about a month for the cycle to complete.
 
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