How to Cycle a Planted Aquarium – Fishless Method

by May 2, 202016 comments

Now that we have a good understanding of one of the most important cycles in Nature, the Nitrogen Cycle, we will now be discussing the many ways of how to cycle a planted aquarium.

From the previous article, we touched on the significance of having live plants when cycling our aquariums, how plants consume otherwise lethal substances to our faunas (fish/es, snails, and shrimps), and how they can help finish the cycling of our aquarium faster.

Table of Contents

The Fishless Method
Ammonia Sources
Emergent and Submerge Plants
Step by Step
Aerate Your Water Always!
Via Fish Food
Via Ammonia Rich Aquasoil
Via Ammonium Chloride
Let Nature Take Its Course
Conclusion
Closing Remarks

The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle for Beginners

It starts with a gas and ends with a gas. Basically, the Nitrogen Cycle is processes that convert the atmospheric Nitrogen gas (inorganic) into other forms of organic Nitrogen and then back to gas again. Those processes are carried out naturally by microbes for energy-harvesting or food.

This is the closest you can get with Mother Nature, not your Nature aquascape or your Walstad tank. One of the most important cycles in Nature is happening in your aquarium, and it is carried out by micro-organisms that you cannot even see. We often neglect how important they are.

The Fastest Method

The Fastest Method of Cycling our Planted Aquariums involves using your old substrate, gravel, hardscape, filter, filter media, part of the old water from your old aquarium to our new planted aquarium.

But this needs careful planning and execution for this to be successful. In this article, we will tackle step by step how to carry out this method.

My 3rd Re-scape Lemuel Sacop Philippines

Traditional and Modified Traditional Method

The Traditional Method of Tank Cycling is the oldest method used by our grandparents when technology was not as advanced as we do now and involves cycling our planted tank with fish in it to jumpstart the Nitrogen Cycle.

Many consider this method as inhumane, sacrificing our fish. Still, nowadays, there are live-nitrifying bacteria products that can help and speed-up this process and make this method safe for our fish. You might be the type that cannot afford to wait before adding your fish to your planted aquarium, so this method is for you.

Fishless Method (You Are Here)

For those willing to wait and love to watch their plants grow and become lush before adding the fish, this method is for you.

It is called the Fishless Method of Tank Cycling, which is self-explanatory. We will cycle our planted aquariums with no fish. We don’t have to be worried about any of our faunas anymore if they will survive the fish-in cycling we discussed in the previous article.

Fissidens Moss Grown Emersed Fishless Aquascaped by Charles Edward David

The Fishless Method

The previous methods that we discussed in cycling our planted tanks involved re-using items from an established tank or doing a fish-in cycle that can be safe and accomplished faster by using nitrifying bacteria starter products, but for those who are willing to wait and loves to watch their plants grow and become lush before adding the fish, this method is for you.

It is called the Fishless Method of Tank Cycling, which is self-explanatory. We will cycle our planted aquariums with no fish. We don’t have to be worried about any of our faunas anymore if they will survive the fish-in cycling we discussed in the previous article.

Fissidens Moss Grown Emersed Aquascaped by Charles Edward David

Fishless Cycling Fissidens Moss Grown Emersed First Aquascaped by Charles Edward David Philippines

But where will the Ammonia be coming from (if there are no fish) for the Nitrogen Cycle to start?

We can introduce Ammonia in many ways:

  • By putting fish food, even if we don’t have fish – We will have to wait though for the fish food to decay and then produce Ammonia. This is inconsistent, and you may have a long road ahead, even with a planted aquarium.
  • By using an aquasoil that is known to release Ammonia in the first few weeks like the ADA Amazonia Aquasoil – my good friend used this aquasoil, and we will outline what he did later below.
  • By using a pure ammonia source – pure 100% NH3, clear, unscented, no additives. Some aquarium stores, alternatively, are selling a bottle of Ammonium Chloride for this purpose. The convenience that this Ammonium Chloride brings is accurately dispensing by drops.
  • By having a planted aquarium in the first place – albeit slow, too like the fish food method above. Let me discuss in detail below how your plants can add to ammonia.
Fishless Cycling Aquascaped Pitch Gerald Gingco Loyola

Fishless Cycling Aquascaped Pitch Gerald Gingco Loyola Philippines

Emergent and Submerge Plants

Most often than not, the plants that you bought online were grown emergent, meaning the plants were grown partially in and out of water. In the case of our aquatic plants (they are actually semi-aquatic in nature), the roots and substrate are flooded with water (in some, just moist soil), the plant’s stem and leaves grow fully exposed to air.

Waterfall Epiphyte Plants

These semi-aquatic plants in nature grow in shorelines of a river or stream where they can adapt to fully submerged in water, or half-submerged, or even above the water where the soil is always moist (think about when it is a rainy season, these plants will be submerged and when the dry season comes, they will be out of the water). Or they can be epiphyte plants rooted into rocks and always moist by the mist created by a waterfall.

But there are true aquatic plants that are not adapted to grow above the water like Cabomba, Blyxa Japonica, Jungle Vallisneria, Egeria, etc. to name a few.

Blyxa Japonica Grown by Aldrin Solano Gacos Phillippines

Blyxa Japonica Grown by Aldrin Solano Gacos Phillippines

My Limnophila Hippuridoides Transitioning

My Limnophila Hippuridoides Transitioning

My Limnophila Hippuridoides After Transitioning

And It Transitioned Beautifully Into This

You might be wondering why these plants that you bought look very different from the pictures. Because what you have in you is the emergent form, and you are looking at the submerged form on the internet.

When you plant them in your aquarium, completely submerged in water, they will undergo a transitioning process depending on the species. In some plants, this may be a difficult process and will stress them for a while because they need to adapt/reprogram their enzymes to suddenly being submerged:

  • may cause to shed leaves – but will re-grow new ones adapted to being submerged because they don’t need the thick cuticle coat surrounding their leaves and stems preventing stored water from evaporating. They are now surrounded by water due to being submerged. Their new thin leaves are all open on both sides to readily absorb nutrients and dissolved CO2. These shed leaves will soon decay and produce Ammonia.
  • Some may melt – could be due to the plant is just too demanding, or needs precise water parameters, or fast-growing plants are shading the plant. Again, decaying dead plant matter will add to the Ammonia in your tank.
  • From thick, ovate/round leaves shrinking into thin dissected blades/leaves – this provides a higher surface area to volume for CO2 diffusion, which is limited underwater compared to before where they can get all the CO2 they want when grown emerged/exposed in the air.
  • From sturdy stems and roots to thin and limpy – they don’t need sturdy stems and roots to anchor them upright anymore because the water will support them.

And for some plants, it is fairly easy to transition. You will hardly notice any difference at all in their appearance. Don’t worry. This is a natural process that plants undertake even in nature, and don’t frown if you can’t grow this plant or that plant for now. As you continue in your journey with this hobby, you will learn a lot about the intricacies of a planted aquarium, and as you gain more experience, gain valuable insights. With the help of our website, you will be able to triumph in every single obstacle that you might face along the way.

Let me give you an example of a very different plant from emerged to submerged form after transitioning. This is the Hygrophila Difformis plant. The one on the left is the emerged from, and the one on the right is the submerged form after transitioning well.

Hygrophila Difformis Emerged Form

Hygrophila Difformis Emerged Form

Hygrophila Difformis Submerged

Hygrophila Difformis Submerged

So where did all those mass go?

Those unneeded mass are released in the water as enzymes, organic proteins that will soon decay and turn into Ammonia. This is why having a planted aquarium will provide a source of Ammonia for your Fishless Method of Tank Cycling. 

Fishless Cycling Aquascaped by Davy De Borja in the Philippines

Fishless Cycling Aquascaped by Davy De Borja Philippines

Just in case you were wondering, why do these nurseries grow them emerged before selling the plants to you? It is due to economic reasons, and it really makes sense:

  • Since they are not submerged, it means to reduce the cost for water, no additional equipment needed, just natural lighting if outdoors, no need for CO2 tanks as CO2 is readily available in the air, less maintenance, etc. No water change, just moist or flood the soil only.
  • Plants that are grown emerged ship better and can survive the long journey. They have sturdy stems and a thick cuticle coat on their leaves that prevent excessive water evaporation, which means they will not easily wither and dry out. They were grown exposed to air and is shipped exposed to air. These plants are robust and healthy in appearance, albeit very differently looking sometimes
  • no algae for the most part

As I was repeatedly saying, please always use chlorine-free water, not only during tank cycling but every time. Use a dechlorinator or a water conditioner products like the API Tap Water Conditioner or Seachem’s Prime and follow the instructions (if you will use water from your tap that is known to be treated with chlorine or chloramine to disinfect the water before coming into your faucet). Safe water sources are thoroughly discussed here.

Hardscape Diorama Style Fishless Cycling Aquascaped by Francis Neil Carriaga Philippines

Hardscape Diorama Style Fishless Cycling Aquascaped by Francis Neil Carriaga Philippines

Step by Step:

1. Plan your planted aquarium’s setup ahead by using the steps below. Start early. Make sure that you already have all that is needed to set up your tank.

2. Position the new aquarium stand, then the aquarium, and your equipment (filter, lighting, electrical outlet, and extensions, etc.). Make sure that you have ample light to work on your aquarium, or if you already have your lighting fixture position it on the top-rear part of your tank so you can work freely at the front and sides of your aquarium.

3. This is also a good opportunity to set up your chosen filter’s intake and outtake tubes’ position in your tank.

4. Begin placing your substrate.

5. Once the substrate is in place, position your rock and driftwood placement according to the design/aquascaping style you have in mind. Pour chlorine free-water just enough to wet the substrate. You can use a plate or plastic sheet to disperse the water so as not to disturb your substrate and ruin your design.

Landscaped by Fritz Rabaya Philippines

Landscaped by Fritz Rabaya Philippines

6. Have your aquascaping tweezer ready and begin planting now. Have a water sprinkler bottle ready, with chlorine-free water as always. This is to make sure you can wet your carpet plants, stem plants, epiphyte plants on hardscapes to keep them from drying out.

7. Once you are done with your aquascaping, fill the tank with chlorine-free water. You can use a plate or plastic sheet to disperse the water so as not to disturb your substrate and ruin your design.

After Flooding Aquascaped by Pitch Gerald Gingco Loyola

Nature Style After Flooding Aquascaped by Pitch Gerald Gingco Loyola Philippines

8. Start the filter. Correct the position of the light to the middle at the top of the tank.

Aerate your Water Always!

So always provide lots of surface water agitation in your aquarium, not just during tank cycling, but every time, and even when injecting CO2 (balancing your CO2 injection and providing water surface agitation is discussed here). This can be achieved by the out-take tube of your filter or using wave-makers, or using an aquarium/computer fans directed towards your water surface. Your beneficial bacteria always need oxygen to break down the toxins in our aquariums. Your faunas need oxygen, and your plants can give off oxygen when they respire during lights on, but our plants need oxygen during lights off too. Aerating your water via aquarium fans will cool your water temperature and improves the nutrient intake of your plants plus mosquitoes hate laying their eggs in moving water. And even if they manage to do that, your faunas can take care of the larvae.

Fish Food

9. Add fish food amount appropriate for the number of fish you plan to keep twice a day, every day. Depending on the type of fish food, it may take 5-7 days before it decays. You need to continue adding fish food twice a day, every day until your cycle has finished, and until you add your first number of fish. Don’t be tempted to overfeed (because you don’t have fish yet) in the hopes of speeding up the cycle.

10. After 7 days, have your API Freshwater Master Test Kit ready and test your water for Ammonia. You should be detecting some (0.25 to 0.5 ppm), which means your cycle has started. Depending on the plant species you have, you should see noticeable growths in some of them, and your plants also help to cycle your tank (if your plants came with roots already, those roots have the beneficial bacteria already too). Do this Ammonia test every other day.

If you detected high Ammonia levels (+ 1 ppm), perform a 50 % water change (WC) every other day for a week. Depending on the species, your plants may suffer ammonia burns or even melt if it reaches +3 ppm.

11. After a week or two, you will notice that your Ammonia level will start to go up and down and eventually becomes zero. You should test now for Nitrite, and you should detect rising Nitrite levels. Monitor the Nitrite levels in the next coming days and perform a 50 % water change if it gets too high. After some more days, you will notice your Nitrite levels go down and become zero.

Ammonia Test

Ammonia Test

Nitrite Test

Nitrite Test

12. Test now for Nitrates. You should now be able to detect rising Nitrate levels.

Nitrate Test

Nitrate Test

13. Perform Ammonia and Nitrite tests in the next coming days. If you are getting zero levels for both even after you added fish food a week ago and continuous rising of Nitrate levels, your tank cycling is complete.  Perform a 50 % water change if your Nitrate levels reach + 40 ppm. Now, weekly/regular 25 to 50 % water change should be able to remove your accumulating Nitrates, and your plants can help too by up-taking some of the Nitrates in your water column.

14. You can now start gradually adding fish to your tank. Just add 1-2 fish per week, then monitor. And as I always said, do not overstock and don’t be tempted to add too many fish at once.

Using Ammonia Rich Aquasoil – ADA Amazonia

9. Using the ADA Amazonia aquasoil, which is known to release Ammonia in the first couple of weeks, you need to perform 50 % water change every day or 80 % water change every other day to dilute the excessive Ammonia for the first week. Thrice 50 % water change on the 2nd week and twice water change on the succeeding weeks.

10. Have your API Freshwater Master Test Kit ready and test your water for Ammonia. You should be detecting high levels of Ammonia for the first couple of weeks, even with the routine water change, which means your cycle has started. Depending on the plant species you have, you should see noticeable growths, and your plants also help to cycle your tank (if your plants came with roots already, those roots have the beneficial bacteria already too). Do this Ammonia test every other day. The low pH of your water due to the Amazonia soil lowering your KH means you have a lot of Ammonium in your water column and can be used by your plants immediately.

11. After a week or two, you will notice that your Ammonia level will start to go up and down and eventually becomes zero. You should test now for Nitrite, and you should detect rising Nitrite levels. Monitor the Nitrite levels in the next coming days and perform a 50 % water change if it gets too high. After some more days or a week, you will notice your Nitrite levels go down and become zero.

Ammonia Test

Ammonia Test

ADA Amazonia Aquasoil

ADA Amazonia Aquasoil

Nitrite Test

Nitrite Test

12. Test now for Nitrates. You should now be able to detect rising Nitrate levels.

Nitrate Test

Nitrate Test

13. Due to Ammonia’s amount released by this Aquasoil, it is still possible to detect high amounts of Ammonia in the 4th week and beyond. Twice to thrice a week, 50 % water changes are still recommended.

14. Continue to perform Ammonia and Nitrite tests, and if you are getting consistent zero levels for both, and continuous rising of Nitrate levels, your tank cycling is complete.  Perform a 50 % water change if your Nitrate levels reach + 40 ppm. Now, weekly/regular 25 to 50 % water change should be able to remove your accumulating Nitrates, and your plants can help too by up-taking some of the Nitrates in your water column.

15. You can now start gradually adding fish to your tank. Just add 1-2 fish per week, then monitor. And as I always said, do not overstock and don’t be tempted to add too many fish at once.

Ammonium Chloride

9. Dose 2 ppm of Ammonium Chloride to your planted aquarium (follow the instructions in the bottle on how to achieve the 2 ppm Ammonia level depending on the volume of your tank).

10. It could take about 3-4 days before you detect changing Ammonia levels using your API Freshwater Master Test Kit. 

11. When Ammonia levels start to decrease, dose more Ammonia to bring it up to 2 ppm again to continue to feed the bacteria. You should test now for Nitrite, and you should detect rising Nitrite levels. Monitor the Nitrite levels in the next coming days and perform a 50 % water change if it gets too high. After some more days or a week, you will notice your Nitrite levels go down and become zero.

Ammonia Test

Ammonia Test

Nitrite Test

Nitrite Test

12. Continue to dose Ammonium Chloride to feed the bacteria and bring it up to 2 ppm. Test now for Nitrates. You should now be able to detect rising Nitrate levels.

Nitrate Test

Nitrate Test

13. Perform Ammonia and Nitrite tests in the next coming days. If you are still getting zero levels for both after adding 2 ppm of Ammonia 6 hours ago and continuously rising Nitrate levels, your tank cycling is complete.  Perform a 50 % water change if your Nitrate levels reach + 40 ppm. Now, weekly/regular 25 to 50 % water change should be able to remove your accumulating Nitrates, and your plants can help too by up-taking some of the Nitrates in your water column.

15. You can now start gradually adding fish to your tank. Just add 1-2 fish per week, then monitor. And as I always said, do not overstock and don’t be tempted to add too many fish at once.

Let Nature Take Its Course (by just having a Planted Tank)

9. You can cycle your tank just by having a planted aquarium by letting your plants transition into their final submerged form, most especially if you started heavily planted. All those shed and melting leaves, released enzymes/organic proteins by the plants, and other decaying dead plant matters will add to the Ammonia. However, it could take 1-2 weeks before those can decompose and release Ammonia. If your plants transitioned fast and growing lush already, you don’t have any consistent source of Ammonia, so you can supplement this method with the first two methods above (Fish Food or Ammonium Chloride).

10. After 7 days, have your API Freshwater Master Test Kit ready and test your water for Ammonia. You should be detecting some (0.25 to 0.5 ppm), which means your cycle has started. Depending on the plant species you have, you should see noticeable growths in some of them, and your plants also help to cycle your tank (if your plants came with roots already, those roots have the beneficial bacteria already too). Do this Ammonia test every other day.

If you detected high Ammonia levels (+ 1 ppm), perform a 50 % water change (WC) every other day for a week. Depending on the species, your plants may suffer ammonia burns or even melt if it reaches +3 ppm.

11. After a week or two, you will notice that your Ammonia level will start to go up and down and eventually becomes zero. You should test now for Nitrite, and you should detect rising Nitrite levels. Monitor the Nitrite levels in the next coming days and perform a 50 % water change if it gets too high. After some more days, you will notice your Nitrite levels go down and become zero.

Ammonia Test

Ammonia Test

Nitrite Test

Nitrite Test

12. Test now for Nitrates. You should now be able to detect rising Nitrate levels.

Nitrate Test

Nitrate Test

13. Perform Ammonia and Nitrite tests in the next coming days. If you are getting zero levels for both even after you added fish food a week ago and continuous rising of Nitrate levels, your tank cycling is complete.  Perform a 50 % water change if your Nitrate levels reach + 40 ppm. Now, weekly/regular 25 to 50 % water change should be able to remove your accumulating Nitrates, and your plants can help too by up-taking some of the Nitrates in your water column.

14. You can now start gradually adding fish to your tank. Just add 1-2 fish per week, then monitor. And as I always said, do not overstock and don’t be tempted to add too many fish at once.

Again, please only use chlorine-free water for your aquarium unless you have a deep-well (it still depends on your deep-well water quality, test the water first). Depending on your location, your tap water is treated with chlorine to disinfect the water before it arrives in your faucet.

Chlorine can instantly kill your beneficial bacteria and can even kill your faunas right away or slowly. Our deep-well water is safe for consumption, but I still want to test it first. It turns out it is hard water and added 20 ppm of Nitrates already to my aquarium, but it is chlorine-free zero ammonia and nitrites. I used it for a while but later changed it to purified water (I couldn’t stand the watermarks in my aquarium glass) from a water refilling station nearby.

Water Sources

If you don’t have a chlorine-free water source, you can use your tap water. Still, you definitely need to use a dechlorinator or a water conditioner product like the API Tap Water Conditioner or Seachem’s Prime and follow the instructions. Treat the water in a bucket or basin first before putting it in your tank.

Do not pour your tap water directly into your tank, fish on it, and then treat it, like when you are performing your weekly water change. That is a big no-no.

Dutch Style Fishless Cycling Aquascaped by Dennis Sancio Philippines

Dutch Style Fishless Cycling Aquascaped by Dennis Sancio Philippines

Conclusion

The Fishless Method of Tank Cycling offers peace of mind that none of your would-be faunas will be at risk and allows you to enjoy your plants growing lush before adding your fish.

There are four other sources of Ammonia that you can use for this method, and the duration of your tank cycling depends on the source of Ammonia of your choosing.

Closing Remarks

I hope you enjoyed this and if ever you have additional questions or want to share your experiences with the Fishless Method of Tank Cycling, please leave a comment below.

Next, we will be discussing all about Water Parameters for our Planted Aquariums.

16 Comments

  1. Greg

    Another great post with plenty of reference pictures!! I am learning so much from following your blog, thank you.🤗

    I can’t believe that some plants may melt😯

    Please keep on teaching me😎
    Greg

    Reply
    • Lemuel Sacop

      Thank you Greg for coming back!

      Yes it happened to me before, melting plants because they are just too demanding (on lights and co2) or being shaded by fast growers. I can add more light, add more CO2 but I don’t want to trim everyday or every other day and requires re-balancing to avoid algae. I’m more than content on enjoying my minimal to no visible algae planted tank and trimming only once a week.

      More light means, more CO2, more fertz, and a slew of new problems that you have to re-balance again.

      Reply
  2. Mo

    Thanks for a very in depth and detailed article and step by step instructions. Great reference for the Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrate tests too. Nitrate turns inti Nitrite am I correct ?
    All the best.

    Reply
    • Lemuel Sacop

      Hello Mo,

      Thanks for coming back! Ammonia>Nitrite>then Nitrates.

      Reply
  3. Juan

    wow what a great post, this is a such a great amount of info, since my wife force me to by a fish about a year ago, it started to grew and grew on me an interest for this subject and I really want to create a really good and nice aquarium fro my fishes. Again, thanks for the info. I’ll definitely will save it, and be back and forth a bit to make sure I do things the right way.
    Again, great post, all the best and keep up the amazing work.

    Reply
    • Lemuel Sacop

      Thank you Juan for appreciating my article. Please come back for more articles coming soon.

      Reply
  4. Ola

    Hi, this is a topic I do not know anything about. So, to read and learn so much was interesting. The start of the article really drew me in to learn about planted aquariums and how to set them up. I now appreciate the level of work it takes to get it right from the start.

    Thank you for a very detailed article.

    Reply
    • Lemuel Sacop

      Hello Ola,

      Thank you for the appreciation about this article. It might seem a bit overwhelming at first but I believe everyone can do it as long as you have the motivation and determination to succeed in planted aquariums.

      Reply
  5. Antonio

    Hi

    You have provided a great source of information on using the fishless method. I can imagine that this is the safest way to do it as you want the fauna to be right and the condition right so that the fish are not harmed or killed. I find it amazing on the intrinsic nature of getting the plants right as I can imagine this is difficult as getting the conditions right for the fish. 

    I really like how you have into great depth to get the conditions right, what to do, what to test before adding your precious fish.  I know now know how to cycle a planted aquarium. if the plants are not doing to well in the aquarium, does it necessarily mean that the fish will not do as well?

    Thanks

    Antonio

    Reply
    • Lemuel Sacop

      Hello Antonio,

      Thank you for checking back! If the plants are not doing well in the aquarium (there are numerous factors), they will melt, shed leaves and release organics in the water that will soon add to Ammonia levels in your tank and will affect your fish. It will come to a point that your beneficial bacteria will not be able to handle this spike in Ammonia and they too will be affected, and worst, die too. So your fish will suffer without your beneficial bacteria. This usually will happen gradually, not abruptly, but if you are really skipping in maintenance this will happen faster.

      Reply
  6. Jomata

    Hello, thank you so much for this very informative and educating article, this is exactly what I have been looking for in the internet all day, I didn’t just get answer I enjoyed reading through because of the simple terms you used in your explanation, I’m trying this out immediately. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Lemuel Sacop

      Hello Jomata,

      Thank you that you find this article very helpful for you. Please watch out for more articles coming soon.

      Reply
  7. edahnewton1

    Hey nice article you have there. I prefer using the fishless method of planting an aquarium because it  enables me have proper control of ammonia and nitrate level on the water before I put in my fish. This method of done appreciately, you will see yourself having a healthy fish. It is convenient for me to use.

    Reply
    • Lemuel Sacop

      Thanks Edahnewton1 that you find the fishless method of tank cycling convenient for you and worry free. Indeed, it is the most safest method before adding your faunas.

      Reply
  8. Roberth Riggs Rondilla

    Hi thank you for this very informative website.

    How long does it take to the nitrogen cycle to be completed and okay when using or dosing with ammonium chloride?
    thanks

    Reply
    • Lemuel Sacop

      Hello Roberth,

      Thank you for visiting my site and appreciating it. How fast the tank cycling is using Ammonium Chloride depends on how heavily planted your tank is. It may still take you 2-4 weeks to over a month, but definitely a planted tank is faster to cycle than non-planted one that’s for sure. It will be much faster if you use starter nitrifying bacteria products which we discuss previously on another article “With fish cycling” along with Ammonium Chloride.

      https://allaboutplantedaquariums.com/how-to-cycle-a-planted-aquarium-traditional-method/

      I personally used the API Quickstart alone (no Ammonium Chloride though) in my friends 15 gallons planted tank and it only took us over 2 weeks to cycle with no casualties.

      Reply

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