Fishless Cycling With Live-ish Plants


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Hi All! I have cycled a tank before, but it's been a couple of years and the live plants are new to me. It's a 5 gallon, heated (79ish degrees), filtered, led lit tank that has in the past (and will again once I get the water right!) housed one male betta.

When the last guy went on to his fishy reward, I went a little tank cleaning crazy (dumb) and cleaned here we are, cycling the tank. After the Great Tank Cleaning of 2018, I decided to try live plants instead of the silk we'd had in the past. So, right now the tank has a marimo moss ball, an anubias attached to a rock, some floating ludwigia, and some pretty junky looking java moss. When the guy sold me the java moss he told me it would get worse before it gets better...which is turning out to be true, and some of the tips are beginning to green up(but most of it is brown and yucky looking).

I've been adding Stability for about 3 weeks and as of today, ammonia is about 1ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 0 (API master test kit). Obviously, the tank is not cycled yet. Here's my question...should I take out the junky java moss? Is that messing anything up? Just wait it out? Since there are no fish, no water change correct? Any suggestions? I've been thinking the junky java moss would provide some organic matter to move things along, but am now wondering if it's too much?
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