Should my nitrate be higher


Staff member
Global Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
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Teesside, UK
It's not that the water lettuce will slow the cycle as do a different type of cycle - a silent cycle. When there are enough plants to remove all the ammonia made by the fish there is no need for the bacteria. They will grow but in nothing like the amount of a plantless tank.

I have probably mentioned this before so my apolgies if I'm repeating myself.
In my main tank I have mainly slow growing plants but I also have floating plants covering the surface. Late last year I saw some fish I wanted and set up my 25 litre quarantine tank using media from the filter in the main tank. To be safe, I also added some ammonia to test the media, and the following day discovered the same level of ammonia that I added. It took 7 weeks to grow enough bacteria, by which time all the fish I wanted had gone so i ended up with #2 on my want list.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I set up the QT again, but this time using no mature media, just a small filter to circulate the water. I bought 12 kuhli loaches and 2 bunches of eldoea and put them in the QT and also transferred 2 large water sprite (floating) plants from my main tank. I checked for ammonia and nitrite every day and never saw a trace of either.

The elodea and water sprite removed all the ammonia made by the 12 kuhli loaches. I did an instant silent cycle on the tank.