Just about to cycle planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Just about to cycle planted tank

I'm in the process of starting to cycle my first planted tank (setup post coming soon hopefully), now I've read Rex's guide and a few others so I know what I need to do. What I don't know is what to expect algae wise, will I get green water, diatom or other forms of algae growing on everything and what should I do if this happens?

It will be a fishless cycle with aquarium water and bits and bobs from another tank, an aquabasis 2cm substrate with 3cm's of 1-2mm black quartz gravel planted with a few bunches of HYGRO. SALICIFOLIA, HYGROPHILA DIFFORMIS, ALTERNATHERA ROSAEFOLIA, CALAMUS SPECIES, CEROPTERIS SILIQUOSA. Lights will be on for 11 hours per day in the form of a 120w overtank luminaire, the tank is a 40 UK-G (46 US-G) Rio 180 tank.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 06:48 PM
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Here's what's worked for me in the past: toss in as many fast growing plants as you can, add quick and dirty DIY CO2 for the first week or so if possible (long term if desired), don't be surprised if you see a little alage, but don't panic either, just keep up on the water changes and your plants (if they're happy) should keep the water column nice and clean.

Also, I use tough fish like White Clouds, since you may still see odd water chems and possible spikes until your tank gets settled.

Also also, if some of the plants do well and others struggle, be ruthless in yanking the struggling plants. In other words, shoot the wounded.

Also also also, I didn't see anything in your post about ferts. Will you be dosing? If not, fish (and their food) might help...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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For the first few weeks, don't dose ferts. Plants get stunted when transplanted, so they won't be soaking up nutrients very quickly at first.

Water from another fish tank isn't helpful..the bacteria for the nitrogen cycle live on surfaces...not free-floating in the water. So decorations, gravel, filter sponges, etc...from an existing tank will help speed your cycle.

If you cram a lot of plants in from the beginning, and get CO2 in there, its very likely you'll 'skip' the normal cycle. Plants will soak up excess ammonia, and the bacteria transferred from your existing gravel/decorations will further help. However, you do still have to treat it like a normal cycle, and test ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. If nitrates appear and start climbing every time you test, you can feel confident that the tank is 'ready'.

I'd set it up without fish, but add fish food like you were normally feeding. After a week, if you have some nitrates, I'd start adding fish, slowly.

And with a 120watt fixture over a 40g UK tank, you'll definitely want CO2 injection...pressurized is preferred, but DIY is possible.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
I'd set it up without fish,
Certainly if you do so, you can add a lot of CO2 (40-50 ppm) during the first few days/ weeks to really give the plants a head start. Then you can start backing it off a bit before you add your fish.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info guy's.

Ferts will be on the way after a month or so although I'm undecided about what I'm going to use, being in the UK limits some of the products as used on this forum plus the lfs's in my area are not the best for plant products.

Pressurised CO2 will be on the way within the next couple of weeks. Would it be better to wait till the CO2 arrives before I start cycling?

I used some fish pooh (don't know why) mixed with a tad of sand from one of my fish only tanks along with an old piece of bogwood, however by the time I got the wood in it had dried out quite a bit - will that make a difference to the bacteria?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baby2boy
I'm undecided about what I'm going to use, being in the UK limits some of the products as used on this forum
Which products did you want? I have chemical ferts for dosing macros, and flourish for dosing micros.
Just because you can't buy brand "x" fert that the majority use overseas, that doesn't stop you from obtaining all the ferts you'll need for a planted tank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by baby2boy
I used some fish pooh (don't know why) mixed with a tad of sand from one of my fish only tanks along with an old piece of bogwood, however by the time I got the wood in it had dried out quite a bit - will that make a difference to the bacteria?
Mulm from an existing tank is beneficial for starting a new tank. Bogwood would have a large natural surface area for which bacteria could populate, but unfortunately, yes; if it's been out of water for longer than a few minutes, the bacteria will perish.


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