I'm currently setting up my first planted tank and this forum has been enormously helpful! I'm not new to keeping fish, but this is my first planted tank, so I have a few questions.
My tank had been set up for 3 days now. I have a 25 gallon tank (24L, 13w, 19h) with the Aqueon T-5 24" fixture (has the 6700 and colormax bulbs, 14 watts I believe). My tank has Floramax mixed with a little plain gravel as the substrate and I have a nice piece of mopani wood. I have it planted with water wisteria (1), anubius (1), crypts (2), java fern (2) and a big clump of hornwort. I'm planning on adding some corkscrew vals, and either some moneywort or anacharis, depending on what I find at the store tonight.
My first question is how long should my lights be on? Right now I have them on from 7am to 7pm and the room the tank is in gets a good bit of ambient sunlight throughout the day. Is this too much? I want to make sure I give my plants enough light, but I don't want an algae outbreak!
My second question is about silent cycling. I've read several places that if your tank is planted heavily enough, there is no need to go through the fishless cycling song and dance as the plants will use up all of the ammonia. If that's the case, I should be okay to add a few fish now, right?
Thanks for all your help. If anyone has any other advice, I'd love to hear it! I feel like I've read just enough info to be dangerous