Has anyone here tried silent cycling?

Discussion in 'Advanced Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by Pikachu13131, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Pikachu13131

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    I'm not sure where to put this thread,but has anyone tried silent cycling?I read a article on it and was going to try it and wanted to know what the turn out was for other people.
  2. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, guess I'm doing that right now. Didn't know it had a name though. I have a 5 gallon 10x10 footprint and started off with some dwarf baby tears as a low light/ high tech carpet, but grew impatient. I added some frogbit, and stems of a house plant I can't remember the name of that have since grown roots. I gave it a few weeks to stabilize, and once it did I've added 7 RcS, about a soft balls sized wad of Java moss I replaced baby tears with with dwarf penny wort mixed in. It's a small bioload - haven't seen anything unusual. Plants are fed by 1/2 dirt with 6 osmocote plus capsules spread on the bottom and capped with black sand. Using a stingray clip on and natural sun to grow it.

    So far it's been just fine.

    It's got a Fluval chi stock filter on the tank, which... Isn't great, but it wasn't cycled by any means.
  3. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    How have your water parameters been so far,also have you tried garden soil for your aquarium plants.i was tninking of doing a thin layer of potting soil under sand so I won't have to supplement my plants with fertilizer,what are your thoughts on that?

  4. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Well, the dwarf baby tears when first introduce went through a melting where the ammonia got as high as 2-3 on the API kit. At that point the tank was just in the window getting light. No algae. Tossed enough frogbit to effectively cover most of the surface water to get rid excess nutrients I assume my soil was leaching. Ammonia dropped and I cleaned some of the die off from the substrate.
    Baby tears doing ok, but didn't like the look with it, and needed a home for RCS, so I redid carpet with probably 100x previous plant load. Small amount of ammonia as moss adapted. Added dwarf penny wort. Removed some frogbit so I could use my stingray and add about five large Phelidendrum(?) stems to soak nutrients. I checked levels and it was good so I added 3 shrimp. Waited a week and 0 / 0 / 5ppm nitrates for some reason. Added 4 more and spiked ammonia .25-1 an did a gradual water change for the next two or three days until I couldn't detect anything.
    Been going for three weeks like that. Haven't checked the water. All I used for substrate was some miracle grow organic soil, put a layer of small river rocks in back to build height and capped with black sand. Osmocote went down first.

    Please don't follow anything I did as insight for you to do the same. Loll! I might have gotten lucky, or it's because I was injecting co2 through the this process.

    The real test will be if the shrimp bread.

    Oh yeah, there's about 8 pals of lava rock as hardscape too. And I mineralized the soil first by rinsing it all out and picking huge chunks of wood- not all! That wood will become your Co2.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  5. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    I'm planning on starting out with alot more plants like 10-20,then wait a week see how my parameters are then I was going to add 3 Otto's then watch my parameters for a week or two then add 2 more Otto's,and just keep doing it like that Intill I'm stocked.id like to hear updates on how your cycle is going and if you prefer the nitrogen cycle or the silent cycle.

  6. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, no problem. I'll try to remember.

    10-20 of what exactly. I know in my case, despite the amount of plants I added, there's no doubt the floating plants and the house plant I've grown out of it were a bigger help with the waste than say the massive wad of Java Moss, or anything.

    You should be alright as long as they're fast growing. 3 ottos isn't all that much of a bioload either though. Haha! I'd just remember to give soil like miracle gro or the likes a solid rinse. I used the miracle gro organic soil this time and it's working pretty well. Last time I used soil I walked out to the garage and dumped in - miracle gro moisture control and it has higher NPK ratio vs Organic -and seemed "better". Dunno if that's the right word, but that mixture also has additives that were said to be potentially harmful.

    I never knew this was called "silent cycling". That's new to me, and cool to learn. the ideas probably been around longer, but first time I read you could add a bunch of fast growing stem plants and drop fish in was while looking into the Walstad Method.
  7. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    I was going to add 10-20 fast growing stem plants and Java moss and once the tank was ready I was going to add more like Java ferns,anubis,etc.once I had 5 Otto's in the tank I was going to add something with a higher bioload like a large school tetras and a school of corys and just leave it for a month or two to let the BB grow.
  8. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    This is just basically fish-in cycling with a lot of plants :)

    Either way your nitrogen cycle has to complete and you have to have a lot of fast growing plants ideally and as mentioned floating plants and land plants with roots in. You have to start slowly and a super low bio-load of course with 1 fish per 10-20g. I think if you add in 3 ottos at once that will be too much ammonia for this setup. I would start with only one at a time and maybe a week in between.

    You can always test your water parameters to see how it's going and to see if the cycle can handle another fish.
  9. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Well, basically, you're right...

    Only difference is that if you had enough plants you could essentially forgo any need for filtration at all. With a small load and lots of plants the ammonia would be used up before processing through the nitrification cycle. You'd just need a means to circulate water in larger tanks. But... I'd never be able to leave it at that and have a clear conscious.

    Here's a different one I just made. Dunno about the aquascape yet. The Fluval chi's small, square footprint is something I have a multitude of troubles with.

    Sorry for bad pic. Waiting for water to clear up. The filter I ordered should be here today: SunSun 602b.

    Only difference I made on this one is after the layer of Miracle Gro I laid down some green, knitting mesh to keep chunks of wood down at the bottom layer.

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1467202855.184139.jpg
  10. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Thats really beautiful. What kind of plant is the bonsai looking one?

    Have you read through Diane Walstads book? Pretty sure she had filters running for water circulation (maybe).

    My only problem with not having a filter is based on how dirty mine is every week when I rinse it out. I'd have a hard time knowing all of that wasn't being picked up. Seems like the water would be pretty cloudy. idk :;dk
  11. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Nah... Not cover to cover, so I can't say whether I'm wrong or not about the filtration with any certainty. Been meaning to buy it for kicks and giggles.

    That "Bonsai looking one?" Is a piece of branch from a tree growing out of the ditch - don't know what kind. Walked outside my in laws place and cut that from a sapling. It's actually two pieces tied together with fishing line and hot glued to lava rock. Lol! The bushy foliage is that course, black filter media super glued to the ends with Christmas moss super glued to that. I'll snap a close up pic when I can. Parts of the moss looks white from super glue. Definitely needs some time to grow in.

    There's a YouTube video from Dennis Wong that's absolutely awesome at showing you how to do it, except he uses Bonsai Driftwood, which looks amazing. Just search "how to make a tree for aquarium" or along those lines.
  12. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I like it. The Christmas moss will look really cool on there as it grows long strands! I have it on (fake) driftwood in my tanks.
  13. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Definitely! I decided do that one just to see how it holds up and looks over time so I didn't waste a whole lot of Christmas Moss on that one. That cloudy picture makes to look like it's covered for than it is.

    Up close:

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1467253403.605865.jpg
  14. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I'll have to look into that, I have lots of Christmas moss right now and I like how that looks. Thanks :)
  15. LJC6780

    LJC6780Well Known MemberMember

    I'm pretty sure that is what I did but not intentionally. I started out with live plants when I set up my 38 gal. I waited about 3-4 days before adding 4 juvenile swordtails. I added some glo tetras a couple days later ... then guppies ... then platys and more guppies.

    I also used the floramax bio gravel with live BB included along with the API Quick Start conditioner ... I'm not sure if this is why it worked out so well or not but I've always had great levels.

    When I set up my 20 gal I used the same gravel, added plants and a few pitchers of water from the 38 gal as well as swishing one of the filters in the new water before topping off with filtered house water and adding AQS.
  16. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    i covered the top of my tank with floating plants and put the plants in and i have 5 neon tetras in the tank its been about a month and i've had no problems yet.
  17. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Have you been testing your parameters? (ammonia and nitrites)

    What plants did you end up floating?
  18. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Wow! That's actually... Pretty remarkable.

    I guess I've also never had much luck adding neons to a tank that hasn't been running for a few months, and is well established. It's impressive to me at least.


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