The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - 55 gallon Low Tech soil sub grow out tank (56K warning)
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Citrus County,Florida
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Originally Posted by sunfire99 View Post
Please be sure to keep us up on your approach with this one. Does this mean you'll be growing Angels anytime soon?? How are you cycling this tank? Be specific please. Thanks!!

It may mean something else as well but to me cycling is establishing nitrifying bacteria, good (non-sterilized) potting soil should have some. It just takes time for them to grow into the population you need in the tank. The soil I selected was mentioned several times on APC posts by Ms. Walstad.
It was well on its way to being fully mineralized. But still containing small organics it will be a source of minimal CO2 too. The dirt and plants will take a while to settle in and the ammonia that is produced is good food for nitrifying bacteria and the plants. I can accelerate the process by adding some and maintaining 5ppm as is recommended in a fishless cycle but haven’t decided too. If I leave it alone to do its thing it should be more stable. Doing a fishless cycle you add ammonia and maintain it at 5ppm until you read a nitrite indication and then drop back on the amount but continue to supply it.
It may take a few weeks or a month for the soil to settle in and convert to a submerged stable state of decay. During this time the nitrifying bacteria can grow and the plants are rooting and growing.
In this start up period the aquarium may not be a very good habitat for fish as it may not be stable.

To tell you all the whole truth,,,,,,, the reason I’ve decided to go this route is because having 5 or 6 tanks requiring nearly daily dosing and 50% weekly WC will burn me out. After a year keeping two (which isn’t bad) I know I don’t want to keep a ˝ dozen this way. Life has too many other interests for me.

The Fraternity of Dirt
If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it
2-75g planted, 5-55g planted, 5-20g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 8-10g, Refugium, doghouse/newbie
2012 update adding table top pleco pans & a 90g (Nutz)
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