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Cycling planted tanks
Interesting one seen a mixed bag on this one of die hard ammonia cycle vs the plant cycle fans.  So i am after some opinions main sources straight off hand if people want to read or watch are:

So the question is can you cycle a tank using plants and fertilizer to cycle a tank to hold fish stock?  yes this process is longer as it is depending on plant growth so could take up to 6 weeks.  My understanding is dosing high 4 ppm of ammonia can be harmful to plants and is not 100% required if planted heavily.  Would like to see people opinion on this and if anyone has experience with doing a plant cycle as spoken about above.
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This is an unending argument. Noone is right or wrong. There are many ways to cycle a tank. You will find that the planty people will tend to prefer planty cycling as that is what they tend to concentrate on, the shrimp/fish aren't their main priority. A few people mention in the thread that they will heavily plant then add shrimp. Well yes that will likely be successful due to the very low bioload the shrimp produce so they won't see high ammonia/nitrite peaks. They will then slowly add fish over a number of weeks. Therefore not adding a large bioload all at once so again much less likely to have any major issues.

If you heavily planted a large tank and then went and fully stocked with fish within a week you will have a fish in cycle going on and will need to do large daily water changes for however long it takes to be safe for fish. Using ammonia removes the need for exposing the fish to toxins that will harm then and the backbreaking work of all those changes.

So yes if you stock lightly (as planty people often do) and add the stock slowly in a heavily planted tank then yes that should work. If you want a fully stocked tank in a short space of time no it wont.

Depends on how you want to go as opposed to who is 'right' or 'wrong'

Plus you'd only dose ammonia to about 2ppm which won't hurt the plants. They would probably quite like it as they can use some of that ammonia as food.
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Cheltgirl's post:
  • Risk4reward
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I know its a contentious issue but for my planted tanks I don't cycle them in the way that is advised (e.g dosing ammonia). I do plant very heavy and use plant substrates (tropica) and I stock slowly.

It works for me.. but I understand that its not for everyone and I think the trick is lots of plants, not just two pots from Pets at Home.
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  • Cheltgirl, Mito, Risk4reward
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Sorry - one of your links made me shudder, so I haven't followed them up!

It's called a 'Silent Cycle", I believe. Are you familiar with the Walstad method?

Cycling at as much as 4mg/l is (IMO) quite unnecessary for all 'normally'-stocked fish tanks.

Submerged aquatic plants absorb ammonia ; and their stems and leaves provide surfaces for nitrifying micro-organisms to colonise, as do the walls of the aquarium and any decor.

The presence of plant fertilisers shouldn't pose a problem. High concentrations of nitrate don't (IME) inhibit cycling. I haven't played with high concentrations of potassium or phosphate.

Short answer : yes, so long as there's a lot of healthy and growing plant biomass, a very low density of fish stock and keen attention given to tank maintenance (water-changes etc.)

[Edit : to acknowledge S's interposed post]
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  • Cheltgirl, Mito, Risk4reward
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Yes have a few friends that have Walstad method tanks usually small tank with minimal bio load in them its an interesting process also read a few articles about it on larger scale aquariums.

I can kind of see both sides of the argument i have always run fishless cycles and have never really done much with plants (until the new project that inbound in a month of two) I can see the argument that in nature plants are part of the filter but at the same time apart from stagnant ponds/bogs rivers are effectively doing heavy water changes and diluting with volume that we cant do in an aquarium.

Handy to know that ferts shouldn't interfere with the cycle, it is probably what im going to do with the new setup as i am going to let the plants grow out for a while before adding stock to the tank.
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