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Acro

Non Planted Tank Cycle and such?

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'Ello all! 

 

So I've kept planted aquariums for about 9 years and I know how it works, completely.  However I'm thinking about setting up a NON planted tank (for guppies) and I'd like to know how things differ.  How does the cycle work with out plants, do I need to do more frequent water changes?  And just, what other info is important and/or different?

 

Thanks!

:D

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In a heavily planted tank, the plants will take up lots of ammonia, reducing the amount available for the ammonia-oxidizers.  As a result, the population of nitrifiers will be smaller than if you didn't have plants.  So for a couple of weeks after removing the plants you will have to increase water changes to avoid getting ammonia/nitrite while the nitrifier populations increase

 

As the nitrifier population grows, the nitrate level in the tank will increase.  You may need to maintain more frequent water changes to keep the nitrate down.  The substrate in a planted tank also contains denitrifiers  that reduce nitrate produced by the nitrifiers to N2 or N20, which gas off.   

 

Also plants take up a lot of substances that we don't measure, for example, heavy metals and some organics.  If you remove dead or dying plants/plant parts, these do not return to the water.  In a tank with no plants, you can only remove these with water changes.

 

Why do you want an unplanted tank for your guppies?  

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Thanks for that! 

I know I could of researched it online, but it's always nice getting info from experienced people I trust!  :D

As for wanting a non planted tank for guppies, I was thinking it might be easier to maintain.  However, just a few hours before I read this (and after setting up the aquarium) I decided it just looked too bland with out plants.  So I'll plant it up!  I've got 7 species of java fern (Common, Windelov, Thread leaf, Thor's hammer, Trident and Rooster tail) and 2 types of crypts that I'll be using.  Maybe I'll get some photos up later.  :D

Thanks again!

Edited by Acro

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