Noob question about set-up. Please help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Noob question about set-up. Please help

OK, som I am setting up a coffee table aquarium. It will be about 22 gallons. 4' wx 4l' x 8"deep. I have 3 bags of eco-complete. My question is, can I put in the substrate, then add tap water after I de-clorinate it in a tub? The eco-complete says it has the good bacteria in it, so do I still need to cycle the tank with ammonia first?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so here is my idea. Let me know if this sounds good.
1. Add eco-complete substrate to empty tank.
2. Add tap-water to a separate 10 gallon bin and de-chlorinate . Twice for 20 gallons.
3.Add water from bin to tank into a bowl to not stir up substrate.
4. Turn filter on and let run.
5. Take daily, or weekly readings and record numbers as water cycles.
6.After about a month it should be fine to start planting plants and adding hardscape.
7. Check numbers again to make sure they are still fine after plants and hardscape.
8. Start to slowly add fish.

Does this sound about right?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 06:35 PM
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1- Rinse gravel. The instructions say not to. Trust me. Rinse it.
2- Add gravel to tank.
3- Add water and dechlorinator at similar rates. A couple gallons of water, a little bit of dechlor. Couple gallons of water, some more dechlor. Or you can just go crazy and add all of the water and all of the dechlor at the same time. It really doesn't make that much of a difference.
4- Turn everything on. Make sure it works.
5- Do the whole fishless cycle thing.
6- Add plants at the same time.
7- Gradually add fish.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 04:57 AM
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There is no reason not to add the plants the same day you add the substrate and water. This is assuming you already have the lighting you need, the fertilizers you need, a CO2 system if you need one, the filter you need, etc. In other words, delay adding the fish, but don't delay adding anything else. Growing plants make cycling go easy and fast.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 05:28 AM
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Like the others have said, add plants immediately upon initializing the tank. The plants will help cycle the tank by soaking up some of the excess nutrients that come out of the substrate.

I would refrain from adding any fauna (fish, pricey inverts, etc.) for at least a week.

I'd also be prepared to do water 50%+ water changes every day since you'll probably get a diatom explosion from the excess nutrients flooding the water column. Just get a small white bucket, fill it with some water from your tank, and look at the color. If it's not clear, then you'll want to do a water change.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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OK thanks y'all. I don't have my light system yet, but I am about to pull the trigger on ordering one. Good to know about the plants!
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