New plant order -- will this setup work?
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:29 PM   #1
ringram
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New plant order -- will this setup work?


Ok, note sure if this is the best section to post, but I figured I'd give it a try.
I just ordered the following plants & I will list them in "low light" / "medium/high light" plants(to my best of knowledge):

Low Light:
1)anubias coffeefolia
2)java fern
3)crypt wendtii
4)petite (anubias) nana

Medium/High light:
1)glossostigma
2)red foxtail
3)green cabomba
4)ludwigia repens
5)red temple
6)wisteria
7)didiplis diandre
8)red ozelot sword

My setup (20G) is:
**55Wx2 ahsupply "bright kit" (I can unplug one of the 55w bulbs if this proves to be too much light)
**Eheim Pro 2222 cannister filter (will provide excellent filtration for this size tank)
**Pressurized CO2, regulator, needle valve, bubble counter, DIY reactor(hooked inline to the Eheim outflow and injected into the tank through the Eheim diffuser, aimed about 45 degrees down to minimize surface agitation
**100% flourite substrate (I have "root tabs" for the heavy feeders, like the sword)
**dosing: PMDD using greg watson's CSM+B, K2SO4, KNO3 and some Epsom Salt(if Mg or S is needed), Fleet Enema(if Phosphates are needed). Not sure about dosing schedule yet -- I suppose I'll add *a little* and see how fast it is consumed.
**test kits: AP ---> pH, GH, KH, Ammonia, Nitite, Nitrate. I also plan on getting a Phosphate test kit.


Anyone have advice or feedback on these plants in this environment? I'm hoping they will all do well, but I'll just have to see. I orded the plants from aquabotanic and they should be here Wednesday(2/16) or Thursday(2/17). I also plan on stocking the tank with fish -- mostly small tetras(neons, cardinals), maybe a couple cories, 1 or 2 SAEs and possibly something else -- I was thinking of adding a couple Angels, or maybe 2-3 kribensis (I bred a couple in this tank once before). Any suggestions are appreciated. I'm just trying to get all my ducks in a row before the plants arrive.
Also, is it a bad idea to get the fish and maybe a couple stem plants(just to absorb excess ammonia) this weekend to at least get the tank cycle started as it is all setup and running(except the CO2) currently. Good idea? bad idea? Thanks for any and all input!
Regards,
Ryan Ingram
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:41 PM   #2
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Looks good

Lots of light, lots of plants, lots of CO2/nutrients.

I would be wary of the pair of angels in 20G. Fine for breeding but when they get big???
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringram
Also, is it a bad idea to get the fish and maybe a couple stem plants(just to absorb excess ammonia) this weekend to at least get the tank cycle started as it is all setup and running(except the CO2) currently. Good idea? bad idea? Thanks for any and all input!
Ryan,

Great start,

A few stems won't absorb enough ammonia for the fish to be safe. If you wanted, you could still set up your tank and place a few drops of ammonia from a house cleaner to start the cycling instead of a fish. But it seems to me, with that great start you have. You don't need to cycle the tank either.


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Old 02-11-2005, 10:17 PM   #4
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I was just planning on getting a few fish this weekend (6 or so neons or cardinals, maybe 2-3 cory catfish) simply to get things started. Just wondering if this is a bad idea. The plants will be going into the tank Wednesday or Thursday (whichever day they arrive). It may be jumping the gun a little, but I don't see it as a big problem, since the fish load will be light.
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:41 PM   #5
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Ryan:

As far as planted tank geeks go, you are in a special place of being able to make a tank completely from scratch. I would fight the temptation to fill-er-up and get fish now until after the plants arrive.

Reasons:
You will have to move them out when you drop the water level (~1" above substrate) to plant effectively.

You will be stressed about how cloudy the water is if you have the flourite in place (IMHO rinsing is counterproductive, just dump it in dry)

An unstable tank is stressful to fish (and cardinals can be really delicate anyways)

Adding water and getting the lights/filters going gives algae and bacteria a head start (bacteria convert ammonia to nitrate... when the plants then convert back to the usable form of ammonia...)

Planted tanks don't cycle. See rex.

You will be stressed about how cloudy the water is right after planting and will feel in a rush to get the fish back in.

So Ryan, let me add a big IMHO and YMMV to the above as it is your tank to do as you please but as you might have guessed, I think you should wait.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice and, yes, I'm thinking you're right.
As for the cloudiness, I just rinsed the flourite in a 5g bucket 2 or 3 times(didn't go too crazy). The filter has been running for a couple days now and (of course) there is still that "new tank cloudiness".
Thanks for your help -- I understand the ammonia --> nitrite --> nitrate breakdown by the beneficial bacteria. Like you were saying, since the plants consume NH3(ammonia), they can wipe out the need for cycling (that I fully understand). I'm sure that at the same time, its good to have *some* bacteria built up in the filter media and/or substrate for those oh-so-feared situations when the NH3 levels spike and the plants can't consume everything --- my idea was to get *that* started, and appease my wife at the same time -- it has to pass the "wife test" (some of you may know what I mean).
Yes, I also realize that neons and cardinals are a bad choice for a new tank now that I think about it --- I've always been advised to get the larger ones, unless you want to buy 10 juvenile ones and expect to lose several "just because". Maybe a better choice would be red-eye, serpae, zebra danio, something like that....then trade it back to the LFS later.

Pardon me, but what does YMMV stand for?
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:58 PM   #7
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ringram:

If it helps, the leaves of the plants will be colonized by bacteria anyways so I consider my filters to only have two functions: A) circulation and B) mechanical filtration to get the big chunkies out of the water. On every tank I have I run sponge only. I used to run double sponge in the place of carbon but I gave too many sponges away I guess (a good way to start a new tank/good way to protect intakes on fry tanks).

I am familiar with the wife test. I somehow tricked her in to buying a CO2 cylinder as a valentines day present. I did bring up the idea after ordering her an iPod clone though...

I have lost enough cardinals/neons in the past and now that I have a pair of angels I do not think I will get more but it sounds like a good list you have going. I kept zebras which are cool. I bred a few dozen a few years ago but they were a bit too active in my 60 gal. (They live to swim and play) White mountain clouds are fun. I had a school that was always flirting. An angel was nipping them at night though so they were given as a gift to some friends. I also love cherry barbs which I have in the sump. There are reports of them being plant eaters. There is always blue rams too. They are a bit sensitive and becoming a little too popular for my tastes but breeding pair in your 20H would look nice...
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:06 AM   #8
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IMHO: In My Humble Opinion

YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary

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