Plants To Speed Up Cycle

guppydreams

I'd like to add a live plant or 2 to my 20 gallon freshwater aquarium as I've heard it can help speed up the cycling process. I have to admit I'm a complete plant newbie and just want to make sure I add the proper plants to my tank. Something preferably completely low maintenance as I have just
a regular gravel substrate and my lighting is nothing special.

Also I've been adding pure ammonia for my fishless cycle if that makes any difference. What plants could I add? Should I get a liquid fertilizer? Will this mess with my water readings?
 

david1978

Plants will neither help or hurt the cycling process since a cycle is bacterial based and not plant based. Even the little bit of bio film is stripped off when you dip the plants to get of pests.
 

Repolie

You can turn up the heat in the tank because bacteria reproduce faster in warmer temperatures. This will help speed it up.
 

aniroc

Plants will not speed up or delay the cycle. Fast growing stem plants will compete with bacteria for the ammonia produced by fish (in a fish in cycle). That is safer for fish. Planted or not, all tanks cycle in about 6-8 weeks. If planted, bacteria population is smaller. However, it is important that both ammonia and nitrite oxidizing bacterial groups are present, capable of doubling in size within hours.

You can not cycle a tank if you add plants and can not un-cycle if you remove them.
 

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