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Using planted tank substrate to cycle?

Johnny D

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Hope you are all well. I wanted to see if anyone had any experience doing this?

I set up a tank and dont have any fish in it yet. It wont be a planted tank, but decided to throw in a saucer and a filter bag with some UNS Controsoil in it as a source of ammonia. I had some extra lying around. Not sure if this is going to work for a full cycle, but thought it may be a nice starter for now and I am already reading some ammonia spikes 24 hours later.

Has anyone done this before? 

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I've never done quite that before. UNS Controsoil is a product I've never come across before.

I did recently set up a 29 gal. with an Activ-Flora Substrate, set on top of an established bed of BDBS. I added a piece of wood from a cycled tank, two small cycled sponge filters, plants from established tanks, and set up with heavy circulation via powerhead + spray-bar. I was instantly cycled.



Hopefully, I'll get a batch of Saffron Shiners soon for this tank.

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On 6/12/2022 at 3:03 PM, SandSea said:

whats bdbs? whats the big sponge divider doing? interesting. to original poster i looked up that uns controsoil, it looks interesting. i wonder if it just gradually falls apart like reg soil?

Yes it is actually working rather well! I have two media bags with it inside the tank. I already have Ammonia and Nitrite spikes and the nitrates are slowly building up too. Cycle is def in process!

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On 6/8/2022 at 10:06 AM, Johnny D said:

I wanted to see if anyone had any experience doing this?

I've seen it been done, never done it myself.  There's a few videos on youtube for it as well. I believe King of DIY has one, but could be a few others that did the methodology as well.

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