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3 week into cycling my tank.

_Maq_

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I believe you would not do that much harm as long as the substrate stays. The substrate is the place where a larger part of microbes live. Of course, their community develops faster if not disturbed.
 

PARAGUAY

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I would concentrate for now on get the plants growing getting the tank cycled etc. Many examples in the Journals thread showing making changes hardscape, new plants-- when the tank is settled. If you are considering substrate removal at 3 weeks it would be a restart
 

Lee iley

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Thanks for the replys guys. I was going to leave the soil in as it is. Just re do the hard scape and plants. I will leave it has it is for now until fully cycled. It will have been set up 4 weeks on Tuesday. Already had to replace most of my Anubias as they rotted within first 2 weeks. They was from horizon aquatics aswel.
 

_Maq_

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It will have been set up 4 weeks on Tuesday. Already had to replace most of my Anubias as they rotted within first 2 weeks.
That's the common mistake.
People care for nitrogenous compounds only, and these are not truly harmful to plants, so they plant the tank at once. That's wrong.
Plants do not contribute to cycling (or maturing) the tank. Plants are just as vulnerable as fish to initial "microbial storms". It's up to microbes solely and entirely to build up and settle in a harmonic community serving all necessary functions of the system. Only after that, plants should be introduced. In that way, you can avoid most of the initial loses in plants.
 

Lee iley

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That's the common mistake.
People care for nitrogenous compounds only, and these are not truly harmful to plants, so they plant the tank at once. That's wrong.
Plants do not contribute to cycling (or maturing) the tank. Plants are just as vulnerable as fish to initial "microbial storms". It's up to microbes solely and entirely to build up and settle in a harmonic community serving all necessary functions of the system. Only after that, plants should be introduced. In that way, you can avoid most of the initial loses in plants.
I never knew that about plants, as I have read on here to plant heavy from the off set to give My tank the best start.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Plants do not contribute to cycling (or maturing) the tank.
I never knew that about plants, as I have read on here to plant heavy from the off set to give My tank the best start.
If people want to <"cycle their tanks before adding plants"> that is fine, but I'm going to recommend adding plants near the start and then not adding any livestock (other than <"tank janitors">) until the plants are grown in and some form of stability has developed. This is partially so you don't have six weeks of looking at an empty tank.

If you have access to an inoculum, <"filter material from an established tank"> that is a good starting point as well.

Active plant growth is the thing that matters, plant based biofiltration is always synergistic plant / microbe biofiltration, there isn't any "plant only" biofiltration.
In that way, you can avoid most of the initial loses in plants.
You can mitigate for this to some degree by <"using plants that have been grown submerged"> (from another tank or <"obligate aquatic plants">) or by using a floating plant. I always have a floating plant.

cheers Darrel
 
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erwin123

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I am at week 3 in my new tank. aquasoil is completely new but I moved over my old canister filters, some of the old water, the fish, shrimp and all the plants. I've not encountered any issues.

I would say that not planting immediately applies more to delicate species (esp in vitro plants) that are known to melt easily. There are however many stem plants that are tough as weeds and have no problem surviving and thriving in a 'new' ' uncycled ' tank.
 

_Maq_

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I agree. Let's settle on a compromise: Six weeks without plants is a good precaution if you don't inject CO2 and intend to introduce sensitive plants.
 

LMuhlen

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As a reference, there is an article on the 2hr aquarist site that recommends cycling without plants for a few weeks to avoid plant melt for sensitive plants but also to avoid algae.
 

John q

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As a reference, there is an article on the 2hr aquarist site that recommends cycling without plants for a few weeks to avoid plant melt for sensitive plants but also to avoid algae.
I totally get the concept of doing the dark start method if you have ammonia rich substrate, and agree it may well have benefits.

It's up to microbes solely and entirely to build up and settle in a harmonic community serving all necessary functions of the system.
This bit I'm struggling with, although I'm always open minded.
I can't see how filling a tank with gravel and water then waiting 6~ 8 weeks is going prepare the harmonic community for fish, or is the suggestion here that after adding plants we then wait another 6 weeks until they start growing.

Maybe I've missed something and apologise if I have, I just can't see many folks buying into the idea of a 12 ~ 14 week "Maturity phase"

Cheers.
 

_Maq_

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Maybe I've missed something
My fault - my apology. I do what is called 'fishless cycling', if I can understand it correctly. I add some organic matter in the beginning of the above mentioned six to eight week long maturing period. I've also adopted one more measure - I cover the tank carefully to keep it in darkness, and to let bacteria, archaea & fungi develop without cyanobacteria and algae.
Organic matter: milk, flour, dietary powdered Chlorella, Spirulina, sugar, citric acid, ... always experimenting.:)
Most of the time I also add some commercial bacterial cultures.
 

John q

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I do what is called 'fishless cycling', if I can understand it correctly. I add some organic matter in the beginning of the above
Haha yeah now i understand it perfectly.

It's obviously working for you so I ain't going to knock it.
There's a guy on here that cycled his filter by running it in a bucket of water, and occasionally urinating in said bucket, it worked a charm apparently. Point is there's more than one way to skin a cat (British saying.)
 

sparkyweasel

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I cover the tank carefully to keep it in darkness,
Quite a few people do similar, calling it a 'dark start'.
Organic matter: milk, flour, dietary powdered Chlorella, Spirulina, sugar, citric acid, ... always experimenting
That sounds good; some people use ammonia, but I think a range of different organic matter would be better. It might give rise to a more varied population of micro-organisms.
 

_Maq_

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That sounds good; some people use ammonia, but I think a range of different organic matter would be better. It might give rise to a more varied population of micro-organisms.
Yes, ammonia helps initiate nitrifiers. I don't have to be particularly concerned about nitrification since I hardly ever keep any fish. But smooth and fast mineralization of organic matter is of great importance.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I totally get the concept of doing the dark start method if you have ammonia rich substrate, and agree it may well have benefits.
I think <"dark start"> is a good idea with an ammonia rich substrate, but that is mainly because I want to lower ammonia levels. The reasoning is in <"Planted aquarium: fishless cycle before planting or cycle with plants?">.
Yes, ammonia helps initiate nitrifiers.
It is down to level really, a small trace helps, but I'm going to get that via the plants and tank janitors I've added and / or a fertiliser containing urea (CO(NH2)2). Ideally I want the level of ammonia during tank establishment to be similar to the levels of ammonia that I'll have <"once the livestock are added">.

I've recently become aware that there are situations where you can't get a large enough plant mass into the tank <"with the fish to complete nitrification">, in which case you would need to try <"a slightly different approach">.

I don't have to be particularly concerned about nitrification since I hardly ever keep any fish.
In that case <"I don't see any problem"> with using a <"fertiliser containing ammonia (NH3)">, I'd just keep the <"levels fairly low">. I'm not that interested (or concerned) about ammonia, as long as you have <"plenty of oxygen">, and a large plant mass, you have a situation where spikes in ammonia level aren't <"likely to be disastrous">.

cheers Darrel
 

erwin123

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this is a nice series of shots of a newly setup tank where Dennis is not afraid of showing photos of plants with various sorts of algae.... the point being that you just need patience - just keep up the maintenance rather than rush to change water parameters or add magic potions....
 

Lee iley

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Just an update, 5 weeks today I set my new tank up, I have lost all my anubias to rot. Buce to melting. Now all the leaves on my limnophila hippuroides has melted will these grow back? I put 3 netrite snails in 2 weeks ago and 1 died today is this common? Still no live stock yet just got my self a pH pen and tds pen.
 
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