When I first set up my tank I had only meant to keep fish in it. I had no knowledge of keeping a planted tank thus no want to have one. If eventually turned it into a planted tank which in the end cost me alot more effort and time than if I had done it right in the beginning.
I hope this article will stop you from making the same mistakes I made. This is just the method of setting up your tank.
1. I am assuming the actual tank and stand are already set up. Thoroughly rinse the gravel and flourite. Evenly Spread the flourite along the bottom of the aquarium. Then spread the gravel on top of it.
2. Place your heater/s in your tank but do not plug them in.
3. Set up your filter according to the instructions but do not plug it in.
4. Set a plate (any normal household plate) on the gravel and start fillin up the tank with water pouring it on the plate to avoid disturbing the gravel. Add you water purifier according to the instructions on the bottle. You can now plug in the heaters and any filters.
5. Now place any artificial elements such as rocks and any other decorations (not the plants). You are going to have to let the tank sit for atleast 4 weeks to complete it's cycle.
6. Now if you read the article on what you need for a planted tank you know that you should have an ammonia and nitrite test kit. After 4-5 weeks check your ammonia and nitrite levels, if they are 0 or close to it you are now ready.
7. Make a plan either in your head or on paper. Believe me this saves you alot of re-arranging. Once you know how you want everything situated start plantin' away.
8. Get your CO2 set up, connect it all up and put on your tank hood.
9. Take a deep breath, look at your tank and marvel at it's beauty.
After step 6. when you have tested the water and everything is fine you can start adding fish. Just make sure that you add them slowly and let your tank become adjusted to them. Don't add them all at once.
Well I hope this article was of some use to you. I hope you have an enjoyable planted tank experience.
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