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Old 26-01-2008, 05:51 PM posted to rec.ponds.moderated
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Default Plant cycling a tank... or pond.

Aquarium Chemistry

I remember some time ago about plant cycling a tank, I assume one would
plant a tank heavily and as some pieces die and decompose a cycle can be
started? Thus when a fish is added the cycle picks up speed quickly to
compensate? Any comments or recollections on that? ~ jan
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Zone 7a, SE Washington State
Ponds: www.jjspond.us


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Old 26-01-2008, 09:39 PM posted to rec.ponds.moderated
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Default Plant cycling a tank... or pond.

~ jan wrote:
Aquarium Chemistry

I remember some time ago about plant cycling a tank, I assume one would
plant a tank heavily and as some pieces die and decompose a cycle can be
started? Thus when a fish is added the cycle picks up speed quickly to
compensate? Any comments or recollections on that? ~ jan
------------
Zone 7a, SE Washington State
Ponds: www.jjspond.us


The usual theory with adding plants to a cycling tank is that they will
help out - IIRC plants will take ammonia in first, then nitrites and
finally nitrates - something to do with it being more easily broken down
in its simpler forms. I would guess that rotting plant matter would work
in the same way as any other organic waste whether from fish or food etc
but very much doubt that anyone setting up an aquarium would have the
patience to cycle with dying plants......adding the fish adds to the
waste and so therefore the dinitrifying bacteria increases to cope with
it......too much waste, too quickly is what generally causes problems in
new aquaria......

Now, here is an interesting one. As some on this group know, I only
completed the pond in September and decided that it was way too late in
the season to add the fish. But I did add plants and started running the
filter, which is still running. I've allowed plant matter to die off in
the pond (although I'm now getting annoyed with the brown, rotting Water
Hyancinth). My thinking on this was that I had a good 8-9 months for the
dead plant matter to start the denitrifaction process.....and because I
had to wait that long anyway to get fish in there so any toxic ammonia
and nitrites from the rotting organic matter wouldn't be an issue. There
are certainly nutrients in the water as I have quite a steady growth of
green hair algae (which I am going to remove once it stops raining long
enough for me to do so).

Come April/May before adding some fish I'll do some tests on the water
and then again after. My guess is that by allowing some rotting plant
matter to remain in the pond over winter it should have started the
cycle. If I remember, I'll report back on the results

Gill



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