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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I am a beginner fresh water aquarium hobbyist with a limited amount of reef tank experience. I recently bought a fresh water aquarium setup, and I have decided to start a tank journal because I have several noob questions and I would like to track the progress of my tank.

Here is the equipment I bought:


Ohko rocks from AFA:


Bare tank on stand:



More updates and questions to follow. I have to get back to work.
Cheers. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have no idea.

Which plant species are best for a beginner cycling a tank?

From my understanding it is best to plant a solid amount of plants the first day you pour water in the tank to help with the cycling. Is this correct?

And should I start dosing CO2 the first day? What should the photo period be during cycling?
 

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Pretty much any hardy stem plants I believe. Also mulm, filter gunk, etc from an already established tank will help reduce your cycle time. From the day I set my tank up I ran CO2 and a 10hr photo period. Also, I dosed EI for one week, stopped for one week to do water changes (high ammonia from AS) and then resumed EI dosing. Plant growth is A+ (HC carpet).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the responses guys.

The EI method is new to me but I was able to find an informative forum post online which helped me better understand how it works. Which dosing products do you recommend?

If I let a 5 gallon bucket of tap water sit for 48 hours will I be chlorine free? Unfortunately I do not have a power head available to disturb the surface of the water.
I am worried about having chloramine in my tap water but I was unable to find a tap water analysis online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Which water parameter test kits should I own for a beginner?

A bunch of my old reef tank test kits expired, but I still have a nitrate test kit.

I was thinking of buying an ammonia test kit so I know what stage my tank is at in the cycling process. Is it necessary to own a nitrite kit?
 

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As said....If you start out the tank with some fast growing plants like Hornwort then you can add fish as soon as the plants start growing. Gradually, mind you. Plants are pretty capable of taking in ammonia. I bought an ammonia test kit and I haven't used it for so long...

Also, at risk of being redundant, if you have a tank set up already, you can instantly cycle the tank by transplanting some filter media. Truth. ... Just do what freph said.

Cycling isn't so hard once you get the hang of it.

PS: It is probably worth getting some water conditioner. It doesn't cost that much. It certainly costs less than a test kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unfortunately I do not have an existing tank. I am going to have to go through the longer cycle time.

Seds, I am going to order a bottle of Caribsea water conditioner.

I put a couple of scoops of Bacter 100 down and the soil on top of it. I am currently figuring out how my filter works.

The rocks I have seem to be large relative to the size of the tank. The rock to the upper left of the photo I included is a gem piece which has a beautiful color. The rock in the upper right is a different color and is a bit of an odd job shape. I will post a photo tmrw showing the size of the rocks relative to the tank. I think I might try chiseling a couple of the rocks but I am not sure how well that will work with these stones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I decided not to chisel the rocks which were not to my liking. Here is the rock scape I came up with in about 20 minutes. It being my first tank I am not too worried about having a great rock scape. I want to learn how to grow the plants and have healthy fish. I bought a bottle of sea chem prime today, and I will be filling my tank tmrw.

Does any one have specific plant species they would recommend to me? I would prefer plants which look decent when they are cut lower than 3 inches. I love the desolate aqua scape style, and part of me wishes I bought a long style tank, but I figure my tank is great to learn.

 

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Hello, I am a beginner fresh water aquarium hobbyist with a limited amount of reef tank experience. I recently bought a fresh water aquarium setup, and I have decided to start a tank journal because I have several noob questions and I would like to track the progress of my tank.

Here is the equipment I bought:


Ohko rocks from AFA:


Bare tank on stand:



More updates and questions to follow. I have to get back to work.
Cheers. :smile:
1st off, welcome to the addiction.. I mean hobby.. lol and good job buying good products from that start, I couldn't tell you how much money I wasted buying pos equipment..


I have no idea.

Which plant species are best for a beginner cycling a tank?

From my understanding it is best to plant a solid amount of plants the first day you pour water in the tank to help with the cycling. Is this correct?

And should I start dosing CO2 the first day? What should the photo period be during cycling?
I don't believe there are specific species of plants that are designated for cycling a tank, rather ones that help with the filtration process i.e. in-taking excess "toxins" and what not... There are many low-light/low requirement plants, check out this thread: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/low-tech-forum/56042-excellent-list-low-light-plants.html

In order to solve your cycling issue you are probably best off going to your LFS and asking them for like a pound or so of gravel from one of their already established tanks, to make that even better see if you can get some media from one of their filters, like ceramic rings, sponges etc. By doing that you will more or less seed your new filter and tank and thus jump starting the process. From that point on you can add plants and a fish or two. Assuming you plan to add many plants, like 5+, you can probably up the fish load a little more and just stay on top of water changes and water parameters.

Do you want CO2? You don't necessarily need it, that link to the thread I posted are all plants that don't need it/could go without it. However if you are going the CO2 route what were you planing on doing? pressurized? DIY yeast? You can start CO2 on the first day, depending on your answer to my question you can start it off slow and then gradually increase as you add fish, plants and what not. Photo period, all depends on your lights, plant load, CO2, ferts etc.

Pretty much any hardy stem plants I believe. Also mulm, filter gunk, etc from an already established tank will help reduce your cycle time. From the day I set my tank up I ran CO2 and a 10hr photo period. Also, I dosed EI for one week, stopped for one week to do water changes (high ammonia from AS) and then resumed EI dosing. Plant growth is A+ (HC carpet).
^^ this too. :icon_smil


Thank you for the responses guys.

The EI method is new to me but I was able to find an informative forum post online which helped me better understand how it works. Which dosing products do you recommend?

If I let a 5 gallon bucket of tap water sit for 48 hours will I be chlorine free? Unfortunately I do not have a power head available to disturb the surface of the water.
I am worried about having chloramine in my tap water but I was unable to find a tap water analysis online.
I dose Excel daily in my 20H w/o CO2 at the moment. They have an entire line of liquid ferts, company: Seachem. There are also dry ferts, which I'm unfamiliar with however I've heard good things lol...

Just get a product like prime or stress coat, something that removes those chemicals from tap water, no need for the bucket to sit out... A 500ml bottle has lasted me for months.

Which water parameter test kits should I own for a beginner?

A bunch of my old reef tank test kits expired, but I still have a nitrate test kit.

I was thinking of buying an ammonia test kit so I know what stage my tank is at in the cycling process. Is it necessary to own a nitrite kit?
You'll want a test kit for: pH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia. And I myself need help with this one, KH and DH is it? idk lol

I decided not to chisel the rocks which were not to my liking. Here is the rock scape I came up with in about 20 minutes. It being my first tank I am not too worried about having a great rock scape. I want to learn how to grow the plants and have healthy fish. I bought a bottle of sea chem prime today, and I will be filling my tank tmrw.

Does any one have specific plant species they would recommend to me? I would prefer plants which look decent when they are cut lower than 3 inches. I love the desolate aqua scape style, and part of me wishes I bought a long style tank, but I figure my tank is great to learn.

Scape looks cool. Keep it goin..

--brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It seems I never updated my journal. Here we go.

November 9 - Not happy with the original scape I removed the smaller rock. The plant in the foreground sent out a new runner.


January 14 - After a two week long vacation I came back to this. I bought the piece of driftwood and the new stone from Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica.


January 17 - Pleco hanging out.


February 11 - Bought dwarf hair grass and dwarf baby tears. The hair grass is planted in the back right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The scape is a bit different today than you see in the the last photo. I will post a new update after I replant a couple of anubias plants which I have propagated. They have been growing especially fast the last 3-4 weeks. The leaves are a beautiful dark green today.
 
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