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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 10:19 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 358
I will do my best to answer your questions, though I am far from being an expert.

Light: I have a really difficult time judging whether light will not enough or too much just based on wattage. I haven't used that particular light, and the quality of the fixture will have a big impact on the PAR at your substrate. It depends on how high your light is too. If you grow algea, it's probably too much. You can play with length of photo-period or height of light at that point. If, after some time, it doesn't seem to be enough, I am sure there are many options for lighting a 5.5.

There are many ways to cycle a tank. I have never dosed ammonia to cycle a tank. I have introduced plants first and done dry-start method, both of which introduce bacteria to the tank. I have also used filter media or substrate from existing tanks to introduce bacteria. You could run the tank for a few days with just plants if you don't want to mess with dosing ammonia. Partial and frequent water changes can help keep the ammonia down while cycling.

Where I am located in CA, I only need to heat my tanks during the winter months. Whether your tank needs a heater depends on where it will be kept and your local weather conditions.

Hope this provides some help.
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