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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have started my first planted tank, 90 gal, and it has been up and running for a little over 2 months. I choose a heavily planted cycling method.
The fish population so far has consisted of my clean up crew followed by ten Rummey Nose tetras. All are doing fine.
In the beginning I placed 5 Bronze Cory Cats, and a week later 5 Skunk Cories. One of the Bronze is a real wave rider, spending a lot of time in the outflow current. And then he/she went missing and I presumed a casualty.
Two days ago I was doing a water change and noted that the pre-filter pad in my sump (I have a trickle filter in a 20 gal. sump) appeared to be draining poorly probably clogged with sediment. So I took off the sump top only to find a Cory swimming around in a 1/4 inch of water on the 12x12 filter pad, bathed by the overflow water from the tank. He/she had been in the top of the trickle filter for at least three weeks in total darkness.
Back in the tank I had a new very pale silver, apparently air breathing, Cory. (I know they are "gut breathers", but this was taking it to a new level.) Corydorus lazarus. BTW, I have no idea how he got into the sump top, given my filter configuration.
The C. lazarus is back to wave riding, has put on a little weight, and is bronzing up nicely in all that light.
I do a lot of nature photography, but good aquarium shots are harder than I thought. Need a lot of work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks,
New territory for me, always had reef tanks.
Starting to get some plant growth. From my limited experience, I would recommend the heavy planting to cycle a FW tank. I used Eco Complete and dose with Excel every other day. So far very little brown algae (four Gieseman T5 48" 54 watt bulbs, 2 daylight and 2 aguaflora on timers) and to date 0ppm Nitrites and Ammonia. So far just a trace of Nitrates, this past water change.
At some point I would like to add adult Discus.
We shall see...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I soaked that wood for a month. I like the tannins as well. The tank will clear up some with a water change, but by the end of the week it is pretty brown. The Rummy Nose red really pops. They are tough to photograph!
 

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Corys can be amazingly resiliant.

Last spring I had a 20g backwall blow out and spent the wee hours of the night rescuing fish/plants and getting them transferred into temp holding. Polished gravel substrate heavily planted quickly turns into a couple inches of pure mud. Pulled as many corys and ottos out as I could find, often burying them in gravel piles as I tried to corral 'em. Finally called it a night, leaving the "empty" tank with 2-4" piles of gravel and maybe 1/4" standing water between the piles.

The next morning I started shovelling the gravel out onto a screen to finish rinsing it--and turned up a cory! Plopped her immediately into my emergency tank and after a few hours sulk in the weeds she was back to swimming with the herd.
 
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