Jul 27

While Cycling Should I Add Live Plants?

will this help with the cycling process? what types should i get for a 20 gallon fresh water tank? what are the water conditions that the plants need to survive (ph levels, salts, will ammonia affect the plants?)? i know i shouldn’t add fish but plants would be nice especially if they can aid in cycling. also, i just started using nutrafin cycle today, what do you think about this product? thanks alot


  1. loupa_ca

    I’ve often had live plants in my tanks while cycling and never had an issue with the process. Though I usually start with hardier plants, and I’d really be careful cycling with delicate ones. What kind of lighting do you have? This determines what types of plants you can and can’t keep. Ph should be about neutral, though like many fish today, they can go a bit one direction or the other, but extremes on either end can cause problems. A little freshwater aquarium salt won’t hurt most plants, I use it occasionally in my planted tanks, but some delicate species can be more sensitive. The product cycle is pretty good, just don’t fall for the hype they print on the bottle. It helps aid the cycling process, and while it can help speed it up it’s not instantaneous. It’s definitely helpful, though not absolutely necessary for cycling and general care. I reguarlly use bacteria boosters after a microbacteriosis scare, and cycles a good though pricy brand, I usually use stresszyme. As for what kind of plants, the guppies won’t care too much. Bushy plants will help the fry hide better if you’re trying to keep the babies though. If your lighting is 3 watts per gallon or higher you could try things like red ludwigia, mondo grass and water wysteria. The better your lighting the redder the ludwigia, it makes a nice bright display were so many other plants are a plain green. If it’s lower than 3 watts per gallon, hardy low light plants like java fern, annubias, java moss, crypts, amazon swords, and mariomo moss would thrive. These would work well in higher light tanks as well and they’re all pretty readily available at your LFS. I have some windelov java fern in my 56 gallon, and I see fry hiding among it all the time! If you do decide to get broad leaf plants like annubias and swords I recomend otto cats for the algea. I had a 20 gallon years ago with some guppies and otto cats, and they did a great job of keeping the whole tank spotless. Broad leaf plants are prone to developing algea and being chocked out, the ottos are more voraciouse than a pleco and won’t harm your live plants. Best of Luck!

  2. Al

    First of all EWWWWWWWWWWW! I hate guppies and live bearers. Now that i’ve got that out, plants. My favourite is anubias. These don’t need to much light, fertilise with and liquid fertiliser and they will grow on wood or a rock so you can move them about. Yeah it probably will give you a stronger cycle as well. Goodluck

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