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Cycling tank with plants/ferts

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I'm just about to set up a 30inch tank to move my 8 Pristella Tetras into. I plan to cycle it heavily planted, using a mix of plants, including a lot of fast growing stem plants that I won't be keeping after the cycling is complete. I'll also be using Seachem Prime and Stability.

Firstly, will it cycle ok if I use API Leaf Zone during the cycling process and also, could it effect my API test kit readings?

Secondly, my 3ft was cycled heavily planted with 6 small pristellas (and no dramas/high spikes at all, was very seamless), but as I now have 8 and they are fully grown, will it be very different this time round with a) larger fish and bio-load B) slightly smaller tank. I'm not sure if splitting the school in half and doing 4 until it cycles, then adding the other 4 at maybe 2(?) at a time, would be any better? Or would splitting them up be more stressful for them?

All ideas appreciated,


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Are you still running the 3' tank? Simply using some of the media from that filter for the new tank would certainly speed things up.

Leaf Zone should not affect the cycling process, but I would hold off on the tbs until plants are established.

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I can't seed from 3ft's canister filter or the tank because I'm having an algae problem which I don't want in new tank :( I'm moving the Pristella's out the 3ft so I can move some Oto's in (to hopefully control the algae) .. AND my excuse for a new tank ;) Thanks for the heads up on the tabs.

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so that we don't have to do research for you while helping you out. why don't you post the ingredient list and dose percentage of each product.

Dexxl, this is everything I can find on the API Leaf Zone:


potassium sulfate 7778-80-5 6.2

EDTA iron sodium salt 15708-41-5 1.2

Guaranteed Analysis 0-0-3

Soluble Potash (K2O) 3.00%

Iron (Fe) .10%

0.10% Chelated Iron (Fe)

Derived from: Potassium Sulfate and Iron EDTA.

The dosage is 5ml per 38ltr, once per week.

My query is whether anyone knows if these ingredients can effect the cycling process or any of the Ammonia, Ph, Nitrite or Nitrate test readings throughout it. My google research has turned up nothing to answer this, hence my post to the forum. I'm "assuming" that fertilising the plants as I go would assist the cycle.. but as I'm still learning, I'm not sure if it will be a help or hindrance .. or possibly neither?

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looks like mainly trace minerals to me. Someone else might have have a chem opinion but I don't think it's impact your cycling process negatively or positively. If you got a lot of plants in there 'cycling' the tank can become a redundant effort. The advice I was given by Darryl from Mappin aquarium and has worked everytime is: "add fish slowly". I doubt your 8 Pristella Tetras is going to alter the water conditions in a 3 foot tank. If in doubt, put duck weed and time the growth. Look for algae on the sides of the tank. These visual indicators maybe more helpful to understand your tank's ecosystem than depending on calculated dosing rates of chemicals.

If you got duckweed and algae growing slowly. Add more fish (if you want). If duckweed is covering your surface in a fortnight and your tank sides are going furry, do more frequent water changes and wait til your plants grow. Add liquid carbon for improved growth.

hope that helps.

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