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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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last second advice on flora

This is my first planted tank and have bought a fluval flora. I have read conflicting advice on whether to cycle the tank first or to plant first and stock fish last. I am cycling first, with 3 danios, its only been a week but my plants are arriving in 3 days along with 6 Black forest, 6 amano, and 9 cherry shrimp, 3 otos, and some nerite snails. 7 neon tetras are the fish I will eventually stock. Sounds like overload? Iknow the cycling is not nearly complete and ordered some safestart, but here are h20 parameters after one week: PH went from 7.2 to 6.6 with tap water at 8.2 i assume because of the substrate included with flora and the mopani bogwood. Ammonia has not gone above0.3mg/L. Nitrite went from0.7 to 0 mg/L and nitrate went from 10ppm on day 3 to 1.5ppm. Tap water KH is 6deg and tank is 1-3 deg(good for neons). Tap GH is 179ppm and tank is 107.4ppm. I have read about carbon in filter adding phosphates to tank. should I use ammonia remover as a medium or is carbon not a big deal? Will the Kent Black Water Expert help to reduce addition of hard water at water changes? Is ther danger of getting too soft of water in this small tank? The substrate that came with the kit only added up to an inch of depth so I "built up" with turface which I use for bonsai soils and layered fluvall on top. Is this backward or should I mix the two? Can I get away with liquid CO2 instead of the injector? And should I plan on increasing the wattage of the 13W lamp that came with it. Plants are Sagitaria tall, anubias nana petite, acicularis, riccia, and Taiwan moss(taxiphylum) for the bogwood which will hopefully grow to shade the anubias at the base. Lots of questions and very excited! Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 02:47 AM
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Did you use tank water or any established media in your new set up. Getting a nitrate reading after three days seems very quick. If you see getting nitrates then your tank has partially cycled but as long as there is any nitrite our ammonia readings then it is not fully cycled. You included a whole lot about what your parameters are soo that's good but you forgot an important piece. How big is it?

As far as getting away with liquid co2 you will quickly realize that even an injected system will work out to be cheaper, but certainly a diy yeast mixture. Real co2 is more readily available carbon if I remember correctly, as well.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:05 AM
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Welcome to the site!

By liquid co2, I'm assuming you mean glutaraldehyde-based products such as SeaChem Excel, cidex plus, etc. For a small tank, these products will be ALOT cheaper compared to a pressurized system in the short term. I calculated that I would have to keep my nano tank for a couple of years before the pressurized system can pay for itself. Cheapest option for carbon source would be DIY yeast CO2; 5 dollars worth of this stuff should last you years.

Try not to use too much chemicals in your tank. If you want to soften your water, try using peat. Alot of users on this site who needs to soften their water uses peat. The downside to it is that it may discolor the water with tannins.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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No it is all brand new. I also was alittle surprised by elevated levels of everything that were already declining instead of rising. Is it safe to plant without the full cycling in addition to stocking heavier at the same time and does the safestart product work as well as it sounds. The fluvall Flora is 7.9 gallons by the way. I read here that the fluvall co2 cylinder will be expensive to keep going but will use it and the liquid while i research more on co2 systems, Will I need to use root tabs with the sagitaria and acicularis as they are the only rooted plants im using? Thanks
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Yes this Black water expert product is supposed to tint the water also and I believe contains humic substances. Sounds like it is as much for inducing spawning as recreating a similar environment. . I was considering it as a substitute for peat filtering but carbon evidently works against it. I bought ammonia remover partiles for a filter media, not sure how it reacts with the blasck water product. The included filter does not have a lot of space for media, could I just fill it with additional foam?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:31 PM
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I don't use carbon in my filter, takes up valuable space that I could use for bio-medias or foam. But if I do need to use carbon, I have a fine mesh filter bag where I can put Purigen in and just dump it in the tank. Also from what I've read online, carbon isn't necessary for everyday purpose. Check out SeaChem Purigen

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for responding. I have a bag that come with the ammonia remover particles. Have never heard of this purigen yet so Ill check that out. And the extra foam sounds like a good idea too. Thought the ammonia remover might be agood idea with a lot of shrimp, 3 otos, and 5-7 neons in addition to my water changes.
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