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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening Planted Tank readers :)

My main question is do I need to start a nitrogen cycle with a sandy bottom tank, if so how?

I have always wanted a large fish tank and every time we go to town my 4 year old has to stop at Petsmart or Petco. So I went on Craigslist and found a complete 55 tank setup with stand for $100... So I figure why not. I have always had 10 or 20 gallon aquariums since I was 5. I have had goldfish, community and cichlid tanks.

I want Discus, but everything I have read is they are more work, time and money than I want to invest. So I figure a community tank with some Angelfish for crowd control. I am thinking Tetras, Guppies, Gouramis, Cory Cats, a Pleco and Koi Angels.

I have always had bear bottom tanks or gravel. I love the look of planted sand with driftwood. I have read a lot and I kept reading that sand should have a base of flourite to help plants. I went into petsmart and they had some FloraMax (2x15 lbs) and Sand (30lbs). It was less than $25. I rinsed it and ran a vacuum syphon as I was filling the tank. It is a bit cloudy but I can see the driftwood. So all in all it's going fairly well.

I need to buy plants and Petsmart wants way to much money per plant $9. So I will be going to Meijer or Walmart tomorrow to see if I can get some plants. Any suggestions on plants or other retailers?

I have started tanks in the past with chemicals to start cycles and to help the fish. Any suggestions on what to do to start cycles? I am at a loss for sandy bottom tanks and how to start them. I found articles on how to do just about everything else.
 
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