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Old 23-08-2003, 07:12 PM
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Default Include plants when cycling tank?

"LeighMo" wrote in message

This hasn't been my experience, I'm afraid. Mulm speeds cycling, for

sure, and
I use it, but it doesn't eliminate ammonia and nitrite spikes if you're
stocking the tank fully all at once. And as I said, there are instances

stocking, even overstocking, all at once is necessary. African tanks are

overstocked, all at once, to minimize aggression and to keep any one fish

getting a "home tank advantage."

Thank you all for this very interesting discussion!

I am actually in the process of setting up my 45 long tank, and this issue
is extremely relevant to me. It's going to be a moderately (20 - 40%)
planted tank stocked with Mbuna cichlids (yes,I'm aware that they are
herbivores!). I plan on fully (over?)stocking my tank at once to avoid
aggression, which means I will be adding 4-5 yellow labs, 6-8
pseudotropheous demasonis, and one bristlenose pl*co all at once. Needless
to say, cycling is an issue.

Right now I'm leaning towards fishless cycling, as the last thing I want to
do is damage or kill all of my new fish to an ammonia or nitrite spike.
After reading some algae horror stories from those who have tried to
fishless cycle with plants, I'm thinking of doing the fishless cycle sans
plants in a dark tank. Once the cycle is complete, then I'll add the
plants, and the next day the fish. The only tank that I trust is safe
enough to use filter media from is my own, but it's a lightly stocked
heavily planted 10 gal, so I'm not sure how beneficial it will be as a seed.
Hopefully it helps somewhat.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? If I was going with a peaceful
community tank, I would most definitely use Chuck's method of cycling a
planted tank and add fish slowly. But I just can't see it working with
demasonis, which I understand can be mean little buggers. Especially since
I'm not going with a heavily planted tank, as it's primarily rock work.