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First Planted Tank..few newb questions.

431 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  PlantedRich
Hello All,

After being out of keeping fish for 15 years or so, I decided to come back and go for a 29 gallon planted tank after being inspired by seeing some of
Takashi Amano amazing tanks. In the past I've always done the standard tropical fish setup with no live plants, but now I'm more plant focused with creating a nice seascape. Though don't get me wrong, I'm very much looking foward to adding fish. Instead of listing the details my tank which I setup a few days ago, here is a link to my tank profile -

I'm trying to go for a Low Maintenance tank without CO2 injection (just some occasional Flourish Excel Carbon dosing a few times a week) especially cause I travel on occasion for work where I can be gone for a week at a time. I'd like to begin adding some foreground plants and being a complete newbie at planted tanks I'm wondering if there is any reason to wait to add some mid/foreground plants as I only have a few plants which I added during initial setup. I also just tested the PH and its high at >7.6. I also plan on waiting 3 weeks for the tank to cycle before adding first fish. Seems to be some differing opinions so let me know your guys thoughts on adding additional mid/foreground plants now or if its advisable to wait to see how the current plants acclimate to the tank and as if its necessary to wait 3 weeks before adding fish.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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On adding the plants, there are many differing ideas but for my choice, and I currently had the time/funds, I would go ahead and add them. My tanks are often changing and always under construction in some way. If plants are not doing well, I'm changing them in some way. If they are doing well and growing, they need trimmed or split. Part of the hobby?
For the PH, I would advise strongly against trying to change it. It would be a special burden for one who might be gone now and then. Leaving adjustments of that sort to others is especially scary as well as being constant work for you. I find no problems with 7.8 water with lots of liquid limestone!
On the cycle question, there are many ways to go depending on future plans. Just letting the plants and tank get going will allow you to more or less safely add a few fish. But if you need to order fish or plan to buy more than a few at a time, the tank will not be ready for a sudden increase in bio-load. A fishless cycle may seem tedious but it is the one way to deal with getting ready for a big increase. The good bacteria only grow to the amount they are needed in the tank at the time. It will "cycle" but not to an amount that will support what many of us would call a full load. Depends on your future plan which way you need to go.
But it is always super good to avoid trouble when you can. Keeping fish healthy is far, far , easier than helping them recover.
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