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Aquatic Plants Digest V6 #270

 >> Basically...when initially setting up a new tank....should I fill it,
 >> add some hardy 'cycling' fish and "Cycle"( or similar bacteria
 >> and wait for the "30 day cycle" to complete before I add
 >> plants....OR...do I plant right after I fill it...then add the hardy
 >> fish and bacteria additive?

Plant right away. If you plant heavily from the start, your tank is likely
to experience no cycle at all for two reasons: 1) the plants bring a
jillion nitrifying bacteria with them to populate the tank, and 2) plants
utilize ammonia directly as a food source. When you have a lot of plants,
they utilize a lot of ammonia.

I've set up heavily planted tanks with full fish loads many times, and
never been able to detect a trace of ammonia or nitrite in those tanks.
Note: the keyword here is "heavily" planted. If you set up with only a few
sparse sprigs of plant, it won't work.

Mike Wickham