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RE:Cycling a new planted aquarium -- or - Stew over this

>>I say, cycle shmycle, put mulm from an established tank
into your tank or filter right from the start -- if you
don't have a tank or a friend with a tank, the local fish
store must have loads of the stuff. <<

Common Scott! You are an experienced aquarist and plant grower, why would
you even bother doing that much? In the years I have kept planted tanks, I
have never been concerned with "Cycling". With fast growing plants and good
lighting, the plants consume any ammonium or nitrate spikes, and avoiding
spikes is the only reason anyone "cycles" is it not? It is nitrate spikes
that endanger fish. Hence the old adage of using "cycle" fish, (very hardy
species that are less likely to be affected by the spikes) and wait six
weeks before adding more fish. Take away the spike factor by having many
fast growing plants and cycling becomes a mute memory.

All the effort people work up about having bacteria and doing the "fishless
cycle", buying bacteria in a bottle, or bacteria in a substrate, adding
ammonia to the water, or borrowing old water, seems pointless to me. As long
as my fish are in no danger, I know bacteria will grow very rampant in its
own due course.

>>I also like to plant heavily right from the start, and lots
of fast growing easy plants like, say, water sprite and
amazon swords.  I might replace them with other plants once
the tank is going well.  Karen Randall suggested this (or
something like it but much more eloquent) and that's good
enough for me.<<

I would never think of sword plants as fast growers. Not compared to the
fastest growing stem plants: Hygrophila, Myriophyllum, Bacopa and the like.
But whatever plants you choose to start your tank, choose many and start
with a moderate number of fish, and you will not only have algae under
control, but you should never see any ammonium or nitrate spikes either.
Cycle smycle! I like that!

Now is it just me, or does it seem like the participation on this list is
the lowest its been in three years? And if Scott and Tom stopped posting,
there would be half as many messages again! Now whats up with that? Where is
everybody? :) Not that I don't enjoy reading what you have to say Scott...
you are very knowledgeable and quite the muse! Its just reading this list
the old Wendys commercial keeps coming to mind...

Robert Paul Hudson
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