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Old 10-10-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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Exclamation Do you have to have live plants?

We are just setting up a 47 gallon tank; I really don't want live plants. All the cycling tips include adding live plants, does the cycling change if the tank doesnít have live plants?
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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There are very few setups where I would say you really need plants to be successful.

That said I do prefer them in every tank. Even with standard lighting you have many options and they will only be beneficial.

What are you wanting to put in the tank?
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
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I agree with fish guy. Unless you are housing landscaping fish like most cichlids or fancy goldfish that uproot everything, live plants are more pleasing to the eye. Its a personal preference though.

Some say adding certain plants during cycling can slow down the process, but I can't remember the scientific reason why.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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Some say adding certain plants during cycling can slow down the process, but I can't remember the scientific reason why.
The reason having too many plants can actually slow down the cycle is because if the plants are fast-growers, they will likely suck up almost all of the ammonia out of the water. You need to have ammonia in the water in order to get the ammonia-eating filter bacteria to grow & multiply.

There is no real big advantage to having plants in the tank when it comes to cycling. There are a couple of small ones. If the plants came from an already-established tank, then they likely have (at least a little) beneficial bacteria on them, that can help speed the cycle a tiny bit. And if one was cycling with fish (not recommended, but often done), then having some live plants to suck up some of the ammonia makes it less likely that ammonia would rise to harmful/toxic levels. But both of those are relatively minor concerns.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by AngelBaby02 View Post
We are just setting up a 47 gallon tank; I really don't want live plants. All the cycling tips include adding live plants, does the cycling change if the tank doesnít have live plants?
sadly most tanks dont have plants. there are many benefits for adding them though not a must by any means.
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I agree with fish guy. Unless you are housing landscaping fish like most cichlids or fancy goldfish that uproot everything, live plants are more pleasing to the eye. Its a personal preference though.

Some say adding certain plants during cycling can slow down the process, but I can't remember the scientific reason why.
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The reason having too many plants can actually slow down the cycle is because if the plants are fast-growers, they will likely suck up almost all of the ammonia out of the water. You need to have ammonia in the water in order to get the ammonia-eating filter bacteria to grow & multiply.

There is no real big advantage to having plants in the tank when it comes to cycling. There are a couple of small ones. If the plants came from an already-established tank, then they likely have (at least a little) beneficial bacteria on them, that can help speed the cycle a tiny bit. And if one was cycling with fish (not recommended, but often done), then having some live plants to suck up some of the ammonia makes it less likely that ammonia would rise to harmful/toxic levels. But both of those are relatively minor concerns.
if done right you can do a so called silent cycle where you add the fish right away. starting with a low bio load and a lot of plants the plants can use all the ammonia from the fish waste.

there are big advantages fishless cycling or fish cycling with plants.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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We are just setting up a 47 gallon tank; I really don't want live plants. All the cycling tips include adding live plants, does the cycling change if the tank doesnít have live plants?
No, you don't need to have them!
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:31 PM   #7
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The tank will hold angelfish a few gouramis and corys
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:34 AM   #8
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You don't need live plants. I've had tanks for years and only recently tried live plants, which my fish decided to tear up a bit but are still alive. If you want to cycle your tank faster what I usually do (having more than one tank) is take some water, about a cup or so, from an established tank and just dump it in. You could probly get some from your lfs if you wanted to.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:01 AM   #9
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It's your tank. If you don't want the added expense and responsibility (they really don't take much extra work) of live plants, you don't have to have them. You're setting the tank up for you, you know what kind of time you have to work on it, you know what amount of money you have to invest. It boils down to what you like.

Personally, I prefer live plants in all my tanks. I have one tank that I use fakes in only because it will be an african cichlid tank and they are known to destroy plants.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:15 AM   #10
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thanks everyone the tank is set up and cycling, and yes it's free of live plants only because it's so tall it was eaiser just to go with the extra tall fake plants and the real don't look that bad. I'll post pics of it as soon as i figure out how to get them on here.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:36 AM   #11
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I have mixed them 1 live to 3 plastic and it looks nice and is fictional and keeps working on cutting and trimming of live ones to a minimum.

Maybe use hardy live plants only that grow slow and get plastic ones to eliminate the problematic live ones that your LFS could tell you grow really fast or are difficult plants eliminate them.

You still have a natural look.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:20 AM   #12
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You don't need live plants. I've had tanks for years and only recently tried live plants, which my fish decided to tear up a bit but are still alive. If you want to cycle your tank faster what I usually do (having more than one tank) is take some water, about a cup or so, from an established tank and just dump it in. You could probly get some from your lfs if you wanted to.
water is not the best bet for speeding up the cycle. gravel, rocks driftwood, filter media, fake plants, all from an established tank.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:23 AM   #13
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thanks everyone the tank is set up and cycling, and yes it's free of live plants only because it's so tall it was eaiser just to go with the extra tall fake plants and the real don't look that bad. I'll post pics of it as soon as i figure out how to get them on here.
There are many varieties of live plants that grow tall, fyi.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:06 PM   #14
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There are many varieties of live plants that grow tall, fyi.
Yeah jungle val (or other vals) being one of those. They look great in the background imo
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:43 PM   #15
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Yeah jungle val (or other vals) being one of those. They look great in the background imo
lol those only reach 4 feet lol thats not too tall is it....
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:29 PM   #16
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Live plants - $100
Algae forever - priceless
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:53 PM   #17
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Live plants - $100
Algae forever - priceless
LOL!
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