Fishless cycling and fish brainstorming

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As you have already planted and they are doing well, just go for a planted cycle and forget ammonia. Try to get the floaters to propagate (a bit of liquid fertiliser will help - Flourish Comprehensive or TNC Lite). Maybe add some temporary eloeda densa, then add a few fish.
 
Agree. Keep it simple, and nothing could be simpler. Fertilize the plants appropriately, in a new tank there are scarce nutrients, and they need food. Once they show signs of growing, you're done. Floating plants are highly advisable because they are fast growers. A comprehensive liquid fertilizer (either of the two Naughts mentioned) and for the two swords in the back on each side, Flourish Tab or the TNC tab, one for each. Floating plants will be the first to show good growth. I would wait a few days, and when you see this, in go the fish. As this is your first plant method, go slow, but always add the entire intended number of a shoaling fish you intend.
 
Agree. Keep it simple, and nothing could be simpler. Fertilize the plants appropriately, in a new tank there are scarce nutrients, and they need food. Once they show signs of growing, you're done. Floating plants are highly advisable because they are fast growers. A comprehensive liquid fertilizer (either of the two Naughts mentioned) and for the two swords in the back on each side, Flourish Tab or the TNC tab, one for each. Floating plants will be the first to show good growth. I would wait a few days, and when you see this, in go the fish. As this is your first plant method, go slow, but always add the entire intended number of a shoaling fish you intend.
So, basically a silent cycle? Nice. I use TNC Lite, it might have been you that recommended it @Byron we went for "light" because at the time i was going to have a 100% London tap water set up, and my tap water already has 30 ppm Nitrate. My plants are all new and going great guns with the TNC Lite it would appear.
 
So, basically a silent cycle? Nice. I use TNC Lite, it might have been you that recommended it @Byron we went for "light" because at the time i was going to have a 100% London tap water set up, and my tap water already has 30 ppm Nitrate. My plants are all new and going great guns with the TNC Lite it would appear.

There is no value in adding nitrate to a fish tank as the plants assimilate ammonia/ammonium and will not take up nitrate unless the ammonia/ammonium is inadequate, but this means that everything else is available including sufficient light intensity. In a low-tech method or natural planted tank this is frankly never going to happen, ammonia/ammonium is not the nutrient that will first become exhausted. And if plants were forced to take up nitrate, they would have to "switch gears" which takes 24 hours, and then take up the nitrate and change it back to ammonium--all of which is wasted energy so they basically don't go down this road. TNC Lite also has no phosphorus, and no one should ever be adding that, there is more than sufficient for plants in the fish foods.
 
Which plant food would you recommend? This is one of the few stores that deliver to my area, I don't have a tonne of options. I have listed what seem to be some of the obvious choices but I have the budget to order a couple or anything else on the website. I was thinking maybe Flourish Excel and Flourish tabs for the swords (as suggested)?

The links are for:
  1. Seachem Flourish
  2. Seachem Flourish Tabs
  3. Seachem Flourish Excel
  4. Esha Cryptoplus Plant Growth Booster
  5. Esha Pro-Phyll Aquatic Plantfood
  6. Fluval Plant Micro Nutrients

(Seachem Flourish Advance is on the website but not available for delivery)






 
As you have already planted and they are doing well, just go for a planted cycle and forget ammonia. Try to get the floaters to propagate (a bit of liquid fertiliser will help - Flourish Comprehensive or TNC Lite). Maybe add some temporary eloeda densa, then add a few fish.
How long should I wait to add fish with this method? I really want to be cautious because of my first tank
 
Don't buy Flourish Excel until someone here has advised you on it. I heard it can cause some problems. Can't remember what problems exactly, @Byron might know.
 
Don't buy Flourish Excel until someone here has advised you on it. I heard it can cause some problems. Can't remember what problems exactly, @Byron might know.
Thanks for the heads up! I'll wait and see if anyone else knows
 
Yes, get flourish comprehensive and flourish root tabs.

Flourish excel is liquid CO2 for plants but is not going to be advantageous for fish due to the hazardous ingredients (polycycloglutaracetal). It is sometimes used to control algae, if it is capable of this it will also kill micro-organisms that support a balanced healthy ecosystem.

The first two products combined with frequent (de-chlorinated) water changes, a light with around 5000-6500 kelvin, and surface disturbance from the filter is all you need for a low-tech planted fish tank.
 
Yes, get flourish comprehensive and flourish root tabs.

Flourish excel is liquid CO2 for plants but is not going to be advantageous for fish due to the hazardous ingredients (polycycloglutaracetal). It is sometimes used to control algae, if it is capable of this it will also kill micro-organisms that support a balanced healthy ecosystem.

The first two products combined with frequent (de-chlorinated) water changes, a light with around 5000-6500 kelvin, and surface disturbance from the filter is all you need for a low-tech planted fish tank.
Thanks Naughts! Just to be 100% sure, these two products are the best from whats available to me?



With the tabs, would I remove the amazon swords first or can I bury the tab in the substrate next to them?
 
Thanks Naughts! Just to be 100% sure, these two products are the best from whats available to me?



With the tabs, would I remove the amazon swords first or can I bury the tab in the substrate next to them?
Yes, these two.
Push the tab into the substrate by the sword. Add tabs every 3 months for the swords, other plants will cope with it being a bit less frequently.
 
Yes, these two.
Push the tab into the substrate by the sword. Add tabs every 3 months for the swords, other plants will cope with it being a bit less frequently.
Thanks for the confirmation!
How long would you recommend that I wait before adding fish? I'm a little confused about that. My aquarium is planted so that means it won't cycle like a regular fishless cycle? I thought I would need to wait 6 weeks but now I think it's recommended to add fish pretty much straight away. Which I am nervous about since fish-in cycling was a nightmare for me before and even though planted cycling is different. Though I will be doing whatever is recommended. There's a lot of information out there, and a lot of contradictions. I think I'll trust what the people here have to say over blogs and Youtube videos.
 
Wait until you are certain that the plants are growing and not about to die - taking a photo as soon as possible after planting will give you something to compare the plants to. Floating plants are easy to tell as they'll cover more and more of the surface.
Once there is definite growth, add the fish a batch at a time - with shoaling fish, add the whole shoal. Then for a newcomer to planted tanks I would test every day for ammonia and nitrite just to make sure the plants are taking up all the ammonia. Wait a couple of weeks and add the next batch, again testing afterwards, and so on till you have all the fish you want. If at any time, either ammonia or nitrite do show up, water changes till they stay at zero and wait a bit longer before getting the next batch.
Once you are familiar with planted tanks, if you ever set up another tank you'll know what you are doing so it can be quicker.


Bacteria will grow but in far fewer numbers than a non-planted tank.
 
How long would you recommend that I wait before adding fish? I'm a little confused about that. My aquarium is planted so that means it won't cycle like a regular fishless cycle? I thought I would need to wait 6 weeks but now I think it's recommended to add fish pretty much straight away.
A rough guide would be two weeks. Follow Essjay's advice above. You need the floaters to have spread, and if you intend ember tetra who are somewhat light phobic they need the cover. You could also put in a cheap fast grower like eloeda which can be removed in a couple of months when no longer required.
 
Agree with the advice from Naughts and Essjay.
 

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