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Please help! Complete noob.

713 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lauraleellbp
I have a couple of major questions. I have a Fluval Spec V, and I have NO idea if it's 'heavily planted' or just 'moderately' or 'lightly planted.' In my Spec, I have:
2 anubias, two swords, one crypt, water sprite, an onion, and ludwigia. I have miracle gro organic mix capped with gravel. Here's a pic:

They've actually grown in some since this pic. I'd like to add my betta and some cherry shrimp. I've had this tank up and planted for about two weeks now. There is SO much conflicting information on cycling planted tanks, and I have no idea of telling if it is ready for inhabitants or IS cycling or if I need to START the cycle...ARGH. Do I add? Leave alone for another few weeks? Buy ammonia? My head hurts from thinking about it. I want to do the right thing by the plants and animals but honestly trying to research all of this makes me want to give up and just keep underwater plants in a tank on my shelf. I can't find anyone who agrees with each other, and I want to do the right thing!! :(
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Post #24 is the best advice I've seen on fishless cycling. The best virtue (and least practiced) among planted tank keepers is PATIENCE. Depending on how far along the cycle you are it may be a month or so before adding livestock is 100% safe.

Do you have ammonia and nitrite test kits?
Welcome to TPT! :icon_smil

Could you perhaps get a closer picture of the plant in the back right corner, I think it's the one you're calling an onion plant? It may just be the angle, but to me it looks LIKE an actual onion, rather than Crinum thaianum...?
Thank you so much for the response!! I do have a master test kit and will use it during this process. The link you provided is awesome--I'm definitely going to try that method. I had thought maybe a 'heavily' planted tank would be pretty much okay from day one (Walstad says so, but I have no idea in practice if what I'm doing is any good, and know no one else who has any interest in the hobby). Getting anxious to add the fish (one betta) and shrimp. I'll try to have patience!!
Here's a picture of the onion: I'm sorry it appears to be sideways. I bought it fully submersed...I hope it's not a non-aquatic plant. I'll definitely pull it out if need be.
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That's definitely not Crinum thaianum... It *may* be an Eleocharis? Or a non-aquatic?

Does it have any sort of bulb?
I just googled that, and that's definitely not it. This one is hard to the touch. I bought it at Meijer (a local Walmart type store in the midwest) and it was labeled as a Dwarf Water Onion I believe.
No real bulb that I remember, just crazy strong, thick, white roots.
Ah, it's Zephyranthes candida. I've heard that it can survive for at least a while completely submerged, but I think most people use it as a bog/emersed plant in ponds.
You got me curious, so I dug it up, and this is what the roots look like:

Should I pull this thing out now? Digging it up made me so mad at the anubias that got pulled up along with is REFUSING to go back into the substrate. IT WILL NOT GO.
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Yeah, I'd pot that one, personally.

Are you burying the rhizome on your Anubais? The rhizome (thick green "stem" that the leaves grow out of) needs to be up over top of the substrate and exposed to light or it will rot. Anubias is one of the plants that don't have to be planted in substrate at all, they will grow fine tied down onto rocks or driftwood.
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