Hello! Newbie in the planted tank world and needing some cycling advice please!
Set-up & details to date:
Initial establishment on 10/18/2015
29 gallon tank w/ glass lid
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light (running on 24/7 cycle)
Substrate layers: Flourite (bottom), Ecocomplete (middle), CaribSea Super Naturals sand (top)
AquaClear50 filter- currently housing sponge, Purigen (trying to remove tannins), and BioMax media.
150w heater - temp @ 79-80
Two pieces Mopani wood
Not sure if it matters what I have planted in the tank at this time, but is an assortment of anubias, vesuvius sword, crypt spiralis, compact hygrophila corymbosa, blyxa aubertii, and moss.
Test readings taken last night: pH 7.6, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0
I have read or been given so many recommendations that the info is running together and I'm getting lost, so here's my question(s)
I would like to cycle relatively quickly, and after researching, see that that there are so MANY options!!
I bought a bottle of Stability, but have not used it yet. I have an established 10 gallon tank in my office at work, with a BioWheel filter and a filter cartridge that I KNOW has some nice juicy bacteria all over it. The work tank is super clear, with happy, healthy kids living in it. Should I pull the filter cartridge out of it and place in the AQ filter at home to help start the cycle? Or should I just use the Stability and ammonia dosing to start cycling the home tank? OR should I be using both??? Or should I do something else? And is it ok to keep the Purigen in place as I'm going through this initial cycling process?
Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!!
Were it me (and it ain't). I would use the seeded cartridge from work tank as you mention, and feed the 29 gal a pinch of fish food every other day (once), to provide food for the bacteria.
Would perform weekly water changes with good dechlorinator, and after three week's,,stock the tank slowly with a few fish at a time with ten day's between new addition's.
Choose healthy looking fishes whenever possible.
Without quarantine tank,the 29 gal will essentially become quarantine so time between new addition's of fish will hopefully allow for problem's that may appear between new fishes added.(need a lot of luck nowday's).
Ideally,,the time between new fishes would be closer to a month, but few are able to wait this long when they have a brand new tank running with no life therein.
Breeder's,fellow hobbyist's,online vendor's make little money peddling sick fishes as opposed to crowded store tank's where number's of fishes go through these tank's weekly, and all manner of disease ,parasitic pathogen's are possible so I might source fishes from afore mentioned .
Another option might be to purchase small 10 gal tank, and after the 29 gal has matured for a couple month's with just plant's,borrow some filter material from it right before placing a few small fish for the 29 gal in the small ten gal for quarantine of at least a month.
Few can imagine anything more intolerable than to patiently set up new planted tank and then stock it with fish only to have disease or parasites be introduced to the new system.
You are then left with in essence,a planted hospital tank and we have all done it.(sucks canal water).
I keep a small sponge filter going in mature tank so that when I am considering adding some fish to my planted tank,I can just move the sponge filter to a small ten gal tank and a small heater to place the few small fish in for a few week's before risking placing the new fish in my planted tanks where treating with med's is expensive, due to size of the tank, and where plant's may not respond well to the treatment's.
I can do this easily,,but I do not alway's practice this for reason's that are unclear to me givin previous disaster's.
Just sayin. (sheepishly)