Include plants when cycling tank?
How about for unplanted tanks? Does cycling have a place in those?
A lot of people who post here asking questions about plants don't really
have planted tanks. They have standard fishtanks that they plan to put a
few live plants in. (Often choosing plants completely unsuited for their
light levels, if not for aquariums in general.) =A0 I suspect the
original poster might have been one of those, since his main concern was
not wanting to have the tank sitting there empty for weeks and weeks. A
true planted tank isn't empty, even if there's no fish in it. :-)
I think people make the cycle more difficult than it needs to be
regardless of planted or non planted tanks. I have never pre cycled a
tank just started out with a small fish load and some gravel to seed the
tank. Even without the gravel I have never had any trouble with the
process if I don't overload the tank to start out with. As far as
plants go I would have to think that some of the bacteria is clinging to
them when they are added to the tank so again the tank is seeded. This
is just my opinion tho.
On a personal note I think a planted tank is healthier for the fish. I
have kept fish in a non planted tank for a long time till this past
winter when I started adding live plants. Now I believe that there is
more of a balance and my plants are growing like weeds, also I have
noticed fish spawning that never did before.