Cycling With Plants

  1. N

    Nubias Valued Member Member

    Ok quick question,

    I sort of understand the cycle process and am leaning towards fish less with the pure ammonia cycle. What brands/sources of ammonia are you all using?

    As I plan to somewhat aqua scape to the best of my abilities and have planted as much as possible from day one, how does pure ammonia affect the plants? And at what stage can I or should I start fertilization of plants? Low tech easy plants no CO2

    Also with water changes should I be doing any in the first 2-3 weeks or just waiting for ammonia and nitrite levels to settle and then water change to reduce nitrates?

    Thanks

    Also anyone use the Dr Tim’s products?

    Also looking at seachem stability to help things out
     
  2. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    I haven't use Dr. Tim's products but the general consensus seems to be that they are pretty good :)

    Excellent on planting heavily from day 1, great for algae prevention. Plants will use pure ammonia as a nitrogen source, so no problem for them. Dose ferts from day 1 too, unless you have a soil substrate.

    The iffy sort of thing about doing a brand new cycle with plants is newly planted tanks ideally get daily water changes the first week, every other day the second, every three days the third, etc as a way of algae prevention. As you can imagine this is disastrous for any bacterial starter. However, plants should start to grow nicely after a couple of weeks, and can deal with a slow introduction of bioload on their own. Then the filter can finish up cycling. At least, that's what I would do.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    N

    Nubias Valued Member Member

    Thanks, tank will be mainly aqua soil for planted areas with sand towards the front. Although will be using Java fern and Anubias on driftwood/rock also, Should I hold off on ferts for a while?

    Was also planning on using seachem stability or the dr Tim’s equivalent to help establish good bacteria in the filter media. Should I be looking at small water changes during this period?
     


  4. Hunter1

    Hunter1 Well Known Member Member

    The plants you mentioned feed from the water column so ferts would help.

    I’ve heard the advice Mak posted in the past but I have never done it.
     
  5. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    If you have aqua soil (the ADA brand) you won’t need pure ammonia then, it leeches a lot of ammonia on its own, which is another reason for water changes. The leeching will feed the Java fern and anubias should be good for a few weeks.
    I think unlike TSS (and maybe Dr. Tim’s?) Stability works with prime, so water changes aren’t too bad, I’d just be concerned about removing the bacteria from the water before enough makes its way to the filter. Maybe someone more knowledgable about Stability can help there
     
  6. OP
    OP
    N

    Nubias Valued Member Member

    Thanks guys,

    Anyone else have experience with aqua soil during the cycling process and did you add an additional ammonia source?
     
  7. Hunter1

    Hunter1 Well Known Member Member

    I’m not.

    But I would test your water. If it’s not to 2ppm, you should add pure ammonia to get it to 2ppm.

    I’ve started 2 dirty tanks, with 2 different potting mixes.

    One leeched ammonia to 8ppm. I had added 2 seasoned double sponge filters but they couldn’t keep up with the ammonia. I added a third, dosed with TetraSafeStart directly into the sponge and was cycled in 8 days.