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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, brand new to this forum, first time poster.

Got a few questions. had 10g tanks before, easy enough without problems.

Thought id kick it up a notch and step up to a 20 gallon planted tank.

I have the tank all set up, added the Active flora substrate earlier, as of right now the tank is really murky. Figured it would take a few hours to settle. its been about 3 to 4 hrs and i see no change.

I didn't have the filter running during that time as i though it would continue to stir up the sediment but ive gone ahead and started the filter up to see if that would be of any improvement.


Any-who, anyone else dealt with this substrate before?

should i just let the filter keep running?

any help would be wick-ed
 

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I use this stuff...I absolutely love it...

Ive tried many types and since theyre all basically the same price...I went with this one

with a DIY substrate...I had cloudy water...and a horrible rotten smell that never went away til I trashed the stuff...

with Seachem fluorite I had very cloudy water followed by a horrible bacteria bloom...until I trashed the stuff...

with Eco-complete I had limited success with growth but the water never cleared...

and then I decided to use the Activ Flora because I figured...since it is so macro porous...it would support good root development...and I wish that I found this stuff months ago...

works exactly how I expected and comes in a nice variety of colors...I chose the floralite color but wish I chose black now...either way...I would recommend this stuff to everyone...its excellent

just run your filter and add a few drops of water clarifier if you have any...let it run overnight and itll be clear in the morning...and then youll have to wait again for the tank to cycle before it turns crystal again...

hope this helps

so...out of all that Ive tried...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use this stuff...I absolutely love it...

Ive tried many types and since theyre all basically the same price...I went with this one

with a DIY substrate...I had cloudy water...and a horrible rotten smell that never went away til I trashed the stuff...

with Seachem fluorite I had very cloudy water followed by a horrible bacteria bloom...until I trashed the stuff...

with Eco-complete I had limited success with growth but the water never cleared...

and then I decided to use the Activ Flora because I figured...since it is so macro porous...it would support good root development...and I wish that I found this stuff months ago...

works exactly how I expected and comes in a nice variety of colors...I chose the floralite color but wish I chose black now...either way...I would recommend this stuff to everyone...its excellent

just run your filter and add a few drops of water clarifier if you have any...let it run overnight and itll be clear in the morning...and then youll have to wait again for the tank to cycle before it turns crystal again...

hope this helps

so...out of all that Ive tried...

Awesome! I'm quite relieved that you like it that much. Just added some water clarifier a few minuets ago, looks like in just the last few min that its helping.

I know that i should probably know this by now but when you say '' wait again for the tank to cycle'' . What completely entails cycling the tank?

Does that just involve new filter/water change?

Much appreashed
 

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The cycling process is the time it takes for bacteria to colonize within the filter and on everything else inside the aquarium which eats up amonia (caused by decomposing plants, left over fish food, fish waste, etc.). You DO NOT want to rush adding livestock to a new tank. Just let it be and do your param checks.
 

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^^what he said...

personally...cycling is the hardest part for me...you get a tank...you get some plants...you get REAL excited...and then you have to wait <_<...and wait....and wait a little bit more to be certain...:icon_conf

If you rush and add (too many) fish too soon...your water will go from clean and clear to a hazy mess...the coolest part about that though is that, after about a month or so of hazy water (after youve come to terms with it), you go to bed and the next time you see your tank youll do a double take :eek5:...itll go from hazy to crystal clear overnight...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The cycling process is the time it takes for bacteria to colonize within the filter and on everything else inside the aquarium which eats up amonia (caused by decomposing plants, left over fish food, fish waste, etc.). You DO NOT want to rush adding livestock to a new tank. Just let it be and do your param checks.
^^what he said...

personally...cycling is the hardest part for me...you get a tank...you get some plants...you get REAL excited...and then you have to wait <_<...and wait....and wait a little bit more to be certain...:icon_conf

If you rush and add (too many) fish too soon...your water will go from clean and clear to a hazy mess...the coolest part about that though is that, after about a month or so of hazy water (after youve come to terms with it), you go to bed and the next time you see your tank youll do a double take :eek5:...itll go from hazy to crystal clear overnight...
Got ya,

Ive done this with my smaller tank, just didn't know what the term "cycle tank" fully entailed.

Well awesome thanks guys. If you've got the time, I've got a few other questions.

The bag of substrate says that you can "Instant Cycle", now does that mean im ready to go after a few days? I'm assuming it just means that the tank is ready to start the cycling process without adding any other chemicals or minerals to the water. (besides de-chlorinator.)

My plan is:

-To cycle the tank until Sunday with just the substrate and filter running (48-60 Hrs).
-Begin to put my driftwood in on Sunday and perhaps a plant or two to get the involvement of plants in the cycling process.
-a week or two later add some fish.


And one last question,

Do either of you, or perhaps anyone else, know a good website with a chart or some sort of testing peramiters that should be your "goal" settings to reach for when starting a planted tank?

Ive also read some about CO2 reactors that can be a very very simple DIY project and will create a huge difference in plant growth. Suggestions?
 

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Got ya,
Ive done this with my smaller tank, just didn't know what the term "cycle tank" fully entailed.
Well awesome thanks guys. If you've got the time, I've got a few other questions.
1)The bag of substrate says that you can "Instant Cycle", now does that mean im ready to go after a few days? I'm assuming it just means that the tank is ready to start the cycling process without adding any other chemicals or minerals to the water. (besides de-chlorinator.)
My plan is:
2)-To cycle the tank until Sunday with just the substrate and filter running (48-60 Hrs).
-Begin to put my driftwood in on Sunday and perhaps a plant or two to get the involvement of plants in the cycling process.
3)
-a week or two later add some fish.
And one last question,
4)Do either of you, or perhaps anyone else, know a good website with a chart or some sort of testing peramiters that should be your "goal" settings to reach for when starting a planted tank?
5)Ive also read some about CO2 reactors that can be a very very simple DIY project and will create a huge difference in plant growth. Suggestions?
1. Dont believe their lies...basically they put the "good" bacteria in the liquid in the bag (which is good)...but since you have a new tank, you havent developed a slime coating of the surfaces in your tank. Without that slime coating, he bacteria cant colonize and will eventually die off. So, it takes time to cycle your tank regardless of what they say...or try to sell you.

2. Cycling a 20 gallon tank will take about a month give or take a few days. But to get a good start, wait a week then add some cycling "tank" fish (otos or danios usually) but adding plants/driftwood is good as long as you dechlorinate the water first. You want your plants to be established before you add your fish. Plants can use all forms of nitrogen in the cycle for nourishment, so no worries there. Weekly water changes will be a good idea during this time.

3. wait 2. and add otos (3-4 for that tank) you should have some film developing and a nice coating of algae that your otos will handle.

4. your "goal" will be for the big 3.
Ammonia 0ppm.
Nitrite 0ppm.
and Nitrate <5ppm. But once again...you wont get there for quite some time (patience and what not)

5. plants love CO2. and if you want FAST HEALTHY growth...you need to find the balance of light...nutrients (macros and micros)...and CO2. and either go DIY or buy one

http://cgi.ebay.com/Aquarium-CO2-Di...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item29fe45fde4

^ thats the one that I use in my 20 gal. anyway
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1. Dont believe their lies...basically they put the "good" bacteria in the liquid in the bag (which is good)...but since you have a new tank, you havent developed a slime coating of the surfaces in your tank. Without that slime coating, he bacteria cant colonize and will eventually die off. So, it takes time to cycle your tank regardless of what they say...or try to sell you.

2. Cycling a 20 gallon tank will take about a month give or take a few days. But to get a good start, wait a week then add some cycling "tank" fish (otos or danios usually) but adding plants/driftwood is good as long as you dechlorinate the water first. You want your plants to be established before you add your fish. Plants can use all forms of nitrogen in the cycle for nourishment, so no worries there. Weekly water changes will be a good idea during this time.

3. wait 2. and add otos (3-4 for that tank) you should have some film developing and a nice coating of algae that your otos will handle.

4. your "goal" will be for the big 3.
Ammonia 0ppm.
Nitrite 0ppm.
and Nitrate <5ppm. But once again...you wont get there for quite some time (patience and what not)

5. plants love CO2. and if you want FAST HEALTHY growth...you need to find the balance of light...nutrients (macros and micros)...and CO2. and either go DIY or buy one

http://cgi.ebay.com/Aquarium-CO2-Di...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item29fe45fde4

^ thats the one that I use in my 20 gal. anyway
You guys sure do know your stuff.

ok one last question. I've seen the reactor/diffuser that you posted, do you just hook up a power head to it and you are good to go? it looks simple but im unsure of how it works.

If you could post pics from your tank to clarify would be righteous:fish:
 

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