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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Pre cycled ?

I've been lurking here for the past week or two, takeing tons of notes [as well as on other sites] for my first planted tank.

But out of all the sites/forums i've visited, I find you guys more helpful and more active then some of the others, so I decided to join as I break into my new passion: Planted tanks.

Right now now I only have two tanks [ my one gallons don't count] one is a gourami tank, fake plants, etc.

But the other is one is a ten gallon that I had yet to do anything with [ I got it because it was 15$ with a cast iron stand and hood <3 ] and wanted to have a nice display and a school or two of fish.

I <3 Bettas, it's an addiction that I have my boyfriend help me keep in check [though sometimes when he comes home from work he'll bring me a boy if I have an open tank <3 ] so right now I have two of my boys, Jormungand and Leviathan occupying it [divided, of course] with four small live plants my father gave me [he had gotten them for his 20g but decided he didn't like how they looked with his decor before he even took them out of their containers, ha.], along with two fake plants.

I forget the names of them, I think it may have been amazon sword , but they don't look like any i've seen, so I'm probably wrong.

They're a sort of rich olive green with thick white outline all around the long leaves that branch off from it's stalk. It's small/short, maybe 3 inches in height total ?


Anyway, I put those in there with my boys, two on each side, which they seemed to adore, lofting around on them, pushing the leaves, etc.

Anyway, to get on with my question.

This tank has been set up like this for about a month and a half tops, no less then a month though, filter running for 3/4 the day at the least [ my boys have places to rest from the current, which isn't very strong anyway, but i turn it off at night occasionaly if they're looking a little worn out from it].

So i'd say this tank is moderatly cycled [ I can't test the water atm though because i keep forgeting to get a new kit when I'm out >< picking one up next week though with the next pay check].

What I was wondering is, should I ditch all the water/rinse the filter and gravel when I go to plant my tank and start anew? [ those two boys are going back to their old tanks]

Or would it be better to keep it?

And if I did keep it, how long would I have to cycle with the new plants [i'm only planting about 10-20% worth of the tank with maybe some Rotala, Java fern/moss, anubias and maybe giant hygro, depending on whats available locally, or if I can find cheap prices online] ?

Originally I had intented to let it cycle for 4-6 weeks with just a few cherry shrimp [MAYBE a few mollies, but the places around here don't have very good mollies, or any that I fancy, so I'd rather not get somthing I don't want to keep] and just let it go on naturally with maybe some DIY CO2 injector to help it along while it cycled if it needed it. [Though I would take it out once it cycled/the plants were nice and settled in, as I'm weary about it messing up the pH]

But then I remembered, Dur, I've had my two boys in there for over a month, and was curious how I should go about this.

Could I cycle less time before adding my stock? Or do the same 4-6 weeks as any other set up? Should I clean out my gravel and filter completely and start anew?Or would it be healthier for the tank/help it be ready for my stock faster, to keep the bacteria colony?

I apologize if this is in the wrong section, I scanned for a Help thread, but I may have missed it in my eagerness ^^;.


Thank you for even takeing the time to read this, and even more gratitude in advance if you respond. <3
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 10:48 PM
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I'd say your tank itself is cycled. The problem is that you turn the filter off regularly. Turning off the filter kills off the biological aspect of it (bacteria) that actually cycles the tank. It would be worth your while to check your parameters. Do not wash the gravel! I'd say drain the tank enough for you to plant but you don't need to change all of the water. a regular water change would suffice. If you can't get yuour water tested, add fish slowly over the next month or so and you'll be fine.


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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input!

I've been trying to use the fake plants to deter the outflow from the filter to create less of a harsh flow, since one of my boys in there has large fins for a VT and gets swept up in it at times, but since i'm planning to take them out and make it a community planted, I'm keeping the filter on full time.

So I could just put in the plants I want, and then treat it like a normal new-stock tank, adding 2-3 fish/week ?

That's great news :] I miss having schools of fish.

Also, I've read you can slightly over stock your tank if it's planted, but how much would be safe without risking the health of your tank?

I guess i'll push slowly towards 10in. of fish and keep a close eye on the water.

Thanks so much for your help :]
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 11:25 PM
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Check the swap and shop for your plants. Most of what you listed can be found there from time to time.

You said you were only going to plant about 10 to 20% of the tank. That won't do a whole lot to increase your bioload. I wouldn't push it past normal limits.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 11:29 PM
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i reccomend not shutting off the filter. bettas can handle current, they just need to adjust to it. i kept a betta for 3 years in an eclipse 6 with an eheim ecco canister filter IN ADDITION to the wet-dry filter that the eclipse comes with. the flow was immense, but the betta lived for a good 3 years, despite being from petco. current might actually make them live longer because it forces them to develop muscels. in nature this would be done by predators chasing them. since you dont have predators in the tank, flow would help keep them from fatty liver diseases that many bettas kept in no flow or low flow tanks develop.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugman View Post
Check the swap and shop for your plants. Most of what you listed can be found there from time to time.

You said you were only going to plant about 10 to 20% of the tank. That won't do a whole lot to increase your bioload. I wouldn't push it past normal limits.
Alright, thanks :]

Yeah i've been looking at the SNS today.

I'm gona check out some LFSs as well, but I don't think any sell cherry or blue pearl shrimp though :[ Which i'd love to have as a small clean up crew, plus they look like fun to have~

But either way I have to wait at least a week until We have the spare money to set it all up :]. Plus it'll give time for the bac. colony to build up ni ce. I might even put my CAE [Which I was misled to think it was a SAE >< ..I didn't know the dif. in looks at the time.] in there to do a bit of cleaning and help the cycle get stronger before I take my boys out when I plant it and put in 2 or so small fish.

Thanks a bunch for the info~
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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i reccomend not shutting off the filter. bettas can handle current, they just need to adjust to it. i kept a betta for 3 years in an eclipse 6 with an eheim ecco canister filter IN ADDITION to the wet-dry filter that the eclipse comes with. the flow was immense, but the betta lived for a good 3 years, despite being from petco. current might actually make them live longer because it forces them to develop muscels. in nature this would be done by predators chasing them. since you dont have predators in the tank, flow would help keep them from fatty liver diseases that many bettas kept in no flow or low flow tanks develop.

Yeah I used to have a VT in my community tank, which had a pretty strong current,w ith only a few "dead" zones, and he actually seemed to enjoy swimming through the bubble walls and through the outpour from the filter, haha.

The only reason I've eben cautious with my two boys in the 10g is because Jormy has amazeingly large finnage for a VT, and he gets caught up in the current a lot and would get pinned against stuff, and start gasping for air, so I've been slowly acclimateing him to filter life.

I like to excercise all my bettas, letting them chase toothpicks when I go to feed them, haveing them flare at mirrors, I draw on the outside of their tank with a dry erase occasionaly, which they follow the patterns, flare at it sometimes, swim around it for hours investigateing, etc.

My one boy, Levi, seems more into it then any of my others.

One of boys, Kho [a black bodied blue finned VT] is especially agressive, it's actually pretty silly, if I put anything new in his tank when I do WCs, he swims circles, flaring at it,a nd even nipping.

Hell sometimes he does it to his rocks that have been in there since before he was!

Bettas are so silly.

But thanks for your words all the same ^^

I have yet to put any floating moss in my tanks though, do you know if bettas particularly like any certain varity?

Only time I had floating plantage was when I had I think it was.. duck weed, or somthing like that, in a low filled tank with a DT betta who had some bad SBD :[ . He liked to sit on it near the surface <3
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 12:55 AM
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bettas are weird like that. i had a zebra danio nip a full grown betta and it died as a result (indirect though, it got fungal fin rot). a young betta just killed my GLO-fish (genetically modifified zebra danio). it chased it and it would have been fine since the danio was much faster, but the danio got stuck and the betta was beating it for hours until i found it. it died that night.

moss doesnt float. unless its not really moss. i have used duckweed, riccia, hornwort, and floating wisteria in my betta breeding tank; the betta didnt care. except it couldnt nest under the hornwort. actually, they seem to be fond of floating leaves of nymphae lillies. i had one that would always nest under the floating leaves of a banana plant.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by @[email protected] View Post
bettas are weird like that. i had a zebra danio nip a full grown betta and it died as a result (indirect though, it got fungal fin rot). a young betta just killed my GLO-fish (genetically modifified zebra danio). it chased it and it would have been fine since the danio was much faster, but the danio got stuck and the betta was beating it for hours until i found it. it died that night.

moss doesnt float. unless its not really moss. i have used duckweed, riccia, hornwort, and floating wisteria in my betta breeding tank; the betta didnt care. except it couldnt nest under the hornwort. actually, they seem to be fond of floating leaves of nymphae lillies. i had one that would always nest under the floating leaves of a banana plant.
That's sad :[

I had a reverse of that story, a while back when I was setting up a 10g small community tank [since it was all I had room for at the time] I had started with 4 zebras, i've never had problems with them in community tanks, nor my father, or any friends, so I like to start all my communities with them.

So a few weeks pass as I introduce more fish, some Neon Tetras, one of my female bettas, and then I took my fish out temp, moved stuff around, and put them back in, plus two other female bettas that had been acclimateing to the tank.

The females checked each other out a bti, shoaled some, and hung out mostly in a corner together for the first day.

Watched them for a few hours, they eventually claimed their own corners and that was that, everyone was happy.

Next morning I wake up to my zebras chaseing around my purple and black CT female, but I couldn't see my pink delta female, but that wasn't my biggest concern at the time.

By time I got my females out [which was only a few seconds, I had to find the net I knocked over in my rush] the female was dead.

I got my original female out, after finding her hiding inside one of my smaller plants, but she had a huge open sore on her head and her body was bloated, when I went to get her out of the plant she freaked and darted out, and the zebras cornered her and started biteing again, got her out in time [she died a few days later of internal bleeding].

Started hunting for my pink delta, in hopes she too was hideing someplace.

She was. Dead. :/

similiar wounds. All while I was hunting for her, the zebras were attacking my hand o.o

It was crazy. After I got the bodies out they seemed to calm down some, but were still very agressive towards anything alive.

I'm now thinking it was them that killed off my Neon T.s, too.

So I gave them to my father to help cycle his already cycling tank. They were eratic in swiming, and were all over the tank , rather then towards the top, even when they were with other fish.

When my father got three Angels for said 20g, the angels seemed to put the zebs in their place, and now they're placid again, skimming the top, and non-agressive against people/fish. Hell, I was surprised they weren't attacking the glass, let alone other fish.


I guess any fish can be a little nutso, lol.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:38 AM
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looks like you have already been given some good advice. but i feel it should be pointed out the plant you got from you father might not be aquatic. did it come from petco or the such, you mentond taking it out of something so thats why i ask. also the coloring sounds nothing like what i've seen in the aquarium but does sound like a plant that is sold as a aquatic plant but isn't

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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looks like you have already been given some good advice. but i feel it should be pointed out the plant you got from you father might not be aquatic. did it come from petco or the such, you mentond taking it out of something so thats why i ask. also the coloring sounds nothing like what i've seen in the aquarium but does sound like a plant that is sold as a aquatic plant but isn't

I'm starting to wonder that myself, as i've never seen them and can't find them online from going through catalogs, but I remember the container said it was good for aqautic planting and a terrarium, which confuses me.

How can it thrive in both? I'm not any smart when it comes to plants, but maybe there are kinds that can?

Anyway, it's been in there a few weeks and hasn't started to rot or anything, and it gets minimal lighting [since my hood broke >< so it only gets what dim filtered light peeks in from behind my computer desk from the window, and the gourami tank next to it [they're packed close together right now as we're moveing things, and had to stop mid-way through re-locating furniture due to a health problem]

It had this gel stuff the roots were packed in, it said to wash it off for planting in a tank, and to leave it on and in it's container if useing in a terrarium.

So, I duno.

I'll probably remove it when I plant the tank anyway, and the betta enjoy it for now with no problems [not that I can check my water right now .. ]


Edit: Also, My father said it got it from Pet agree, a LFS that stocks mostly fish, small mamals and birds, pet food a few toys, and pond supplies. Supposedly they only sell aqautic plants, but I duno. @[email protected]
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:54 AM
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defiantly one of those plant in a tube from pet(add what you want here) it probably isn't aquatic then. the big mega stores like that often sell plants that aren't aquatic as aquatic. probably a vary hard grass that can survive for a time in water but bill eventually die i think. if fact i think i may know what it is but for the life of me i cant remember the name

there are plants that can be grow in submerged and immersed forms but again i don't think this is one of them.

edit: don't take the first part of that posted it before i saw you edit lol

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 03:14 AM
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I'm 100% sure what you have is a Hosta- make great houseplants or shade plants outside, but get too big really for most terrariums, too. Not an aquatic plant. Can be kept emersed with its roots wet for a long time (not sure about indefinitely), but not submerged.





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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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I'm 100% sure what you have is a Hosta- make great houseplants or shade plants outside, but get too big really for most terrariums, too. Not an aquatic plant. Can be kept emersed with its roots wet for a long time (not sure about indefinitely), but not submerged.
Oooh nonono, defenitly not Hosta, at least, not like any i've sean, hosta is kinda fat and very leafy.

This is like.. a inch or so of the stalk, which is off-white-green tint, that opens up into tall, thin leaves that spread out a bit. [unless thats what hosta looks like young? I've only ever seen it in established gardens]

Also the other plant I noticed, starts off similiar, but with a very short, thin stalk, that off shoots into long thin "branches" with a single "leaf" at the end, it's dark green, the leave is kind of long [not as long as the stem leading to it] and thin- slender i'd say.

I've never seen either before, so i'll keep my eye on it more to make sure it's not dieing.

I wish I had a working camera, it'd be so much easier lol.

Next WC I'll pull them out and examine how their roots are doing.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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PS:

the plant kind of looks like java fern in the way it grows, but tighter. more slender leaves, and obviously the color difference, and the leaves are a bit stiff as well in comparison, if that helps at all ><;



Edited: because i'm dumb and put the wrong word in :P
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