Stocking planted tank all at once? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Stocking planted tank all at once?

My 75g has been established for a few weeks now with no ammonia and it's getting pretty filled in with plants. I have a bunch of fast growing plants to deal with any ammonia/nitrites. I have dosed micros and NPK to keep the plants going until I have stock to keep the water fertilized. (My tap water actually contains .5ppm ammonia, and is quickly eliminated even after large water changes) nitrate is very low on the test

I'm planning on getting the following:

20 Cardinal tetras
25 Pygmy cory's
3 apistogramma cacatuoides
6 F1 petricola catfish (2 1/2" - 3" fairly young)



I figure this is the perfect amount to add to my tank without overloading the plant mass but would like opinions


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 03:07 PM
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general rule of thumb is to not fully stock at once. For one you dont want to overload the bio filtration (especially if its a brand new tank/filters) but also say you get all the fish and one of the fish comes in sick and infects all the others, I would say its best to start out with the cats / corys have them in for a week or so then add some of the rest.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Diana walstad stocks her tanks as soon as she sets them up so I do not see a problem doing this. In a planted tank, the biofiltratin coming from filters is minimal, and is the whole purpose of our plants. In a planted tank, filters are mainly for mechanical purposes


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 05:30 PM
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You can fully stock a tank at once, you just need to do daily wc's ;-)


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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These are pretty little fish in a large tank, you think it will cause that much of a disruption?

A bunch of hornwort or duckweed could easily mop up any excess ammonia and I may just go down that route, opinions? This is a natural planted tank and my plants require an ammonia load for a nitrogen source, the biofiltration is not part of the filter

All of these fish have been wild caught or are F1 generation from the same supplier apart from the tetras, but are still from the same supplier and have all been held for an extended period an acclimated so risk of disease should be minimal.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 09:15 PM
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You are planning to add 50 fish at once. I agree with Rickz. If you put that many fish in, do daily WC for the first couple weeks. The bacteria population in the tank is no where near dense enough to handle the bioload. Plants may uptake alot of it, but is it really worth chancing? If things do go south, you'll be forcing your pets to pay the penalty with their health. I'm the first guy to defend using fish for cycling, but I use one or two little fish.

It's been awhile since I read up on the Walstad method, but I don't think bioloads are supposed to be that high in a natural tank. They definately aren't in the natural world. I may be confusing something here. I was under the impression natural tanks generally didn't have filters either except for perhaps a powerhead.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Walstad method tends to overstock and overfeed a bit and now Diana actually recommends the use of a filter of some sort.

Say I were going the route of no filter, bam where's my biofiltration? Plants plus I will be adding more shortly. Not only this, but using non sterilized organic soil can instantly cycle a tank, or the opposite, creating massive amounts of ammonia. Considering this tank has been running for a while, and very very quickly deals with the high (.5ppm) levels of ammonia in my tap water, I figure I'm on the right track

How about starting the addition of daily ammonia to get the bacteria going? Say .25ppm worth a day and see if the plants keep up? Then up the dose?

I don't see a problem with that other than ammonia being a trigger for algae


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 11:48 AM
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Not to be a jerk, but you keep asking for opinions and then shooting down the ones you get. It sounds like you have your mind made up and are looking for assurances, which I don't think you are going to get. It's a large bioload to add all at once.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 04:18 PM
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You haven't mentioned how much light you are using. With higher light the plants grow faster, using up ammonia and other nutrients faster. With typical "natural tank" low light, the plants grow very slowly, so don't use nearly as much nutrients, including ammonia. If that is what you have, I would add a few fish every week until I reached my stocking level. Unless you plan to quarantine each batch of fish before adding them, the problem of one sick fish infecting the whole tank is the same however you do it.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks hoppy. I'm running 2x 54W T5HO putting me at high light 20" over the substrate, so not so typical :p

I don't mean to shoot opinions down but if my thoery is right it's possible, just not the smartest thing to do


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 05:13 PM
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Don't bother with adding ammonia; throw a raw uncooked (clean) shrimp (the kind you eat) in there. It will immediately begin to give-off ammonia to get you cycle going. Once the ammonia is up there, remove the nasty piece of shrimp. Once the ammonia then returns to zero, begin adding fish.

Or -

Take the other folks advice and just add a few fish at a time :-)
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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I have a bottle of ammonia already, and don't have shrimp :p couldn't I just add enough to raise the ammonia like a normal fishless cycle?


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 05:53 PM
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You have obviously spent alot of time/money planning, setting up, and cycling this tank. Why not go the safe route and stock each group of fish 1 weeks apart?

In my limited aquarium experience I would tend to think you would be fine. But if theres one thing this hobby has taught me, it is to be patient, it pays off. Its not worth the risk to the fish (and the money all those fish cost), for just a few weeks time of partial stocking.


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridethespiral View Post
I have a bottle of ammonia already, and don't have shrimp :p couldn't I just add enough to raise the ammonia like a normal fishless cycle?
Yes, you can.

Anthony


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid View Post
You have obviously spent alot of time/money planning, setting up, and cycling this tank. Why not go the safe route and stock each group of fish 1 weeks apart?

In my limited aquarium experience I would tend to think you have a would be fine. But if theres one thing this hobby has taught me, it is to be patient, it pays off. Its not worth the risk to the fish (and the money all those fish cost), for just a few weeks time of partial stocking.
The thing is I'm getting an outrageous deal on some hard to find fish, I'm thinking of leaving the tetras out of the order, that's almost half the bioload. I wont get another chance at these fish for atleast 3 months.


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