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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm pretty new to having a planted tank and the aquascaping hobby in general. I have done a fair bit of research, but it always seems to get overwhelming pretty quickly, but I am pretty determined and will keep increasing my knowledge.

I decided to give it a go and bought a Juwel Rio 125 with the idea of starting a low tech planted tank. Long story short, after delays, wrong deliveries etc, I finally got my tank, equipment and hardscape. The problem is that I go away for 16 days early June, and I'm not sure whether I should go ahead with planting and filling my tank now, and take a gamble that it will still be manageable when I return, or whether I should spend the next few weeks staring at an empty tank until my return.

I was planning on a fishless cycle until all parameters are stable and ready to add some livestock in, but I guess another option could be that I just fill the tank, let it just cycle with no plants in it, cover it up to prevent light getting in so that when I get back I have some bio growth in my filter.

I appreciate any thoughts or helpful info, I'm eager to get my tank filled like the impatient man-child that I am, but I don't want to do it at the cost of the loss of a lot of plants or an algae growth that will be tough to get rid of.

Thanks in advance! :smile2:

Premium Member
684 Posts

Im a low tech fanatic... I have done a similar situation. I was moving country to country.... therefore this is what I did when I was going to leave a new tank for 14 days on pre-move trips:
Step 1) Test the water out of your tap.... Check KH/GH/PH... consider different substrate options, etc (lower than ph6 can cause a pause in bacteria growth).
Step 2) Set up my hardscape and my substrate (usually I use eco complete below, and a layer of amazonia on top) if you have low KH, then I add some crushed coral to the filter or cuddlebone.
Step 3) Set up filter.... preferably with seeded media
Step 4) Flood the tank (no plants, no lights)
Step 5) put something dead in.... and some positive bacteria.
Step 6) Turn filter on (no lights)
........when you get back plant your heart out with a tank that will be well on its way to being cycled. Then your cycle might tank another week while planted (you can add ammonia to ensure its good to go).
Step 7) Watch your parameters kh/gh/ph/amonia/nirtites/nitrates and start your ferts.
Step 8) Add fishhies
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