New to Cycling with Plants

FishayFishay

Member
So I plan on adding some live plants to a new Rainbow Fish Only 36 Gallon Bowfront. Some plants I've considered are Water Wisteria and Anacharis. If you've seen another thread of mine titled "Tetra Safestart Plus" in Freshwater Beginners, that contains all the info about my cycling plans. I plan on using a bottle of TSS Plus and I am unsure of when to add live plants in the whole process. Since both WW and Anacharis are nitrate hogs, I'm afraid they'll die off if I put them in too early without any fish, but what do I know? Info for this would be greatly appreciated!

Also: Any type of VERY EASY, "idiot proof", impossible to kill off, etc. plant that I could attach to a big underwater log? Let me explain in more detail: I have a very big underwater log I got from Petsmart made by Top Fin. I think it would look really cool to recreate sort of a tree root running underwater by attaching a short in height plant to the upper part of this FAKE decoration. I will not be adding a CO2 Pump, or extra fertilizers. Any plant fit this category?
 

Nikita

Member
You could add some plants, but I would start off with a few first and not a whole lot. Plants consume ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (the stuff required to establish colonies of beneficial bacteria). With a moderately to fully planted tank, you could see the cycle begin to slow as the plants will start to consume the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate before the beneficial bacteria can. If you are planning to have a lightly planted tank, I wouldn't worry about your plants affecting your cycle at all. The plants should be fine as well.

I've actually seen many plant enthusiast never cycle their fully planted tanks. The mass consumption of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (by the plants) does now allow the establishment of a bacterial colony (as they are dependent on these following compounds). There will be a small bacteria colony in the tank, yes, but the colony itself barely survives on the leftovers the plants do not consume.

Definitely take a look at Java Fern and Anbias. These rhizome plants are able to be tied to objects (driftwood, rocks, decorations) with fishing line or rubber bands. The should grow just as well as being rooted, IME.
 

Ant

Member
Yeah mine took a very long time to cycle but the fish seem really happy. I just have a filter to keep the water moving I guess.
 
  • Thread Starter

FishayFishay

Member
Nikita said:
You could add some plants, but I would start off with a few first and not a whole lot. Plants consume ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (the stuff required to establish colonies of beneficial bacteria). With a moderately to fully planted tank, you could see the cycle begin to slow as the plants will start to consume the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate before the beneficial bacteria can. If you are planning to have a lightly planted tank, I wouldn't worry about your plants affecting your cycle at all. The plants should be fine as well.

I've actually seen many plant enthusiast never cycle their fully planted tanks. The mass consumption of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (by the plants) does now allow the establishment of a bacterial colony (as they are dependent on these following compounds). There will be a small bacteria colony in the tank, yes, but the colony itself barely survives on the leftovers the plants do not consume.

Definitely take a look at Java Fern and Anbias. These rhizome plants are able to be tied to objects (driftwood, rocks, decorations) with fishing line or rubber bands. The should grow just as well as being rooted, IME.
Ant said:
Yeah mine took a very long time to cycle but the fish seem really happy. I just have a filter to keep the water moving I guess.
Wow, I really do like the way Anubias looks, does it spread out any? I've actually never used TSS either so I really don't want there to be much risk. Do you think I would be fine with just adding a couple Anubias to the big log, and adding the Water Wisteria and Anacharis after the cycle has finished? Should I put the Anubias in when I add all the other decor? How much would Anubias affect TSS?
 

Jake98

Member
Anubias is a very nice looking plant, in my experience they spread a bit but are very slow growing, I'm sure you will be just fine adding them with your TSS. Anubias are very slow growing adding a couple of those to 36 gallon tank should have little effect on the time it takes to cycle your tank.
 
  • Thread Starter

FishayFishay

Member
Jake98 said:
Anubias is a very nice looking plant, in my experience they spread a bit but are very slow growing, I'm sure you will be just fine adding them with your TSS. Anubias are very slow growing adding a couple of those to 36 gallon tank should have little effect on the time it takes to cycle your tank.
Ok thanks! Although, when should I put the Anubias (during TSS) in the tank and when should I put the other plants?
 

Fish Fan

Member
I would give water sprite a try it is a very fast grower and my fish love it!

This was its size when I put it in 3 weeks ago. I tied it to the ornament


This is it today!
 
  • Thread Starter

FishayFishay

Member
Fish Fan said:
I would give water sprite a try it is a very fast grower and my fish love it!

This was its size when I put it in 3 weeks ago. I tied it to the ornament


This is it today!
Looks neat! How tall does it get (I'm looking for more of a short plant), do you add any CO2 or fertilizers ( I won't be), and other basic info would be appreciated! Also, would it mess up the cycle much?
 

Fish Fan

Member
I haven't added any CO2 or fertilizers .....I imagine you could prune it back to any size that would work for you. It hasn't affected my cycle yet.
 

Ant

Member
I'd throw in all the plants in off the bat. The plants help to clean the water and help provide oxygen to the water. You can probably add fish with TSS almost immediately. Just know the plants will throw off your tests a bit. My planted 10 gallon didn't read nitrates for near 2 months. But I haven't lost a single fish.... But I bought an ammonia test kit to make sure it didn't get toxic, and it was completely fine. And this was with a seeded filter as we'll.
 
  • Thread Starter

FishayFishay

Member
Ant said:
I'd throw in all the plants in off the bat. The plants help to clean the water and help provide oxygen to the water. You can probably add fish with TSS almost immediately. Just know the plants will throw off your tests a bit. My planted 10 gallon didn't read nitrates for near 2 months. But I haven't lost a single fish.... But I bought an ammonia test kit to make sure it didn't get toxic, and it was completely fine. And this was with a seeded filter as we'll.
Really, sounds a little risky...What exactly is a seeded filter? I have an Aqueon Quietflow 55/75 for the 36 Gal., 400 gph.
 

Ant

Member
  • Thread Starter

FishayFishay

Member
Ant said:
It means I used a filter from a prior tank that already had beneficial bActeria
Ok cool. Mine is not seeded then. So about adding all the plants and TSS at the same time...Will all those plants affect TSS, will no nitrates for a day affect all these plants? What is your experience with it?
 

Ant

Member
TSS is just bacteria to help convert ammonia to nitrates. Put in plants, water, TSS, and fish. Enjoy!
 
  • Thread Starter

FishayFishay

Member
Ant said:
TSS is just bacteria to help convert ammonia to nitrates. Put in plants, water, TSS, and fish. Enjoy!
Alright thanks!
 

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