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Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading this site for months. I finally took the leap and filled my 150 gal. tank. I just havent figured out if I need to get plants first and fish later, or all together. I remember reading something about "dont fishless cycle your tank" but cant remember it all. Any suggestions will be helpful.
Thanks, Tina
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, got the plants today and set everything up! hopefully I got enough to slow any algae breakouts. We'll see in the next month. Tina
 

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Gerald the Mouse said:
I would fishless cycle, because it goes by quicker, and there is no chance of any deaths.
no don't do that....
My suggestion is to read Rex Grigg's guide...go to www.rexgrigg.com
That will help a lot. Makes no sense to do a fishless cycle when you are going heavily planted. I bought 10 otos from day one and I still have 10 otos.
 

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If it is planted, a fish cycle is the only way to go. I did so, on accident really, and had no deaths. Still have the same fish I cycled with too. 3 weeks after I started the ammonia levels were barely readable.

Even with plants make sure to stay on top of the readings and ready to do a water change. I had ammonia spike up to "uncomfortable" levels once.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, I am going tomorrow to buy some fish. Not sure if I can find ottos here.....I may have to order them. I know I will have to order the amanos because I have never seen them in any of the stores around here. I am having trouble finding a place to purchase a co2 tank. Any ideas? Tina
 

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I wouldn't cycle with Oto's (personal preference). People have enough trouble keeping them in established tanks. I'd wait a while until you go with those guys. You won't have much of an algae problem right off the bat.

Have you tried welding shops for the CO2 tank?
 

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Fire extinguisher stores are another good place to get CO2 and the tanks. Also, home brewing stores sell CO2 equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Havent tried a fire extinguisher place...good idea. I know where one is and I will try tomorrow. As for now I got 15 neons, I didnt see anything I wanted. I really want angels, but the neons will give me a flash of color for now. Tina
 

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Start cycling with hardier algae eating species. Try cheapo cherry shrimps as the first to arrive. They will establish them selves and colonize the tank within 2 months, start with 50 (these tiny shrimps are actually more hardy than some ottos). If you plan on big fish like angles and discus, dont use cherry shrimps. Instead try some baby SAE, around 6 will do the job (when they almost reach adult size, get rid of them because large SAE eat plants). Ottos are great choise, but tends to be a bit hard to keep alive especially if you have an unstable tank and happens to get not so good batch. For the long run, nothing can beat shrimp-otto combo, I guarantee that. You can also try CAE if the tank is a bit smaller, so several months later you can catch them and ask for a trade to LFS (the fish will can grow very big over time, but really effective at eating algae).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I do plan on Angels, but the neons I am getting are the jumbo ones. They are big, hopefully too big to eat. I will have to order any shrimp I need, so I will get on that. Thanks all..........Tina
 
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