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Old 02-15-2012, 11:39 PM   #31
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thanks mum and fort!

i think i will try the fishless cycling first since i do not have a co2 system to do the silent. although i would like to try that in the future once i can afford a co2 sys.

also, fort: what did you mean by "If you are going with microrasboras a/o RCS, the bioload is so small that there won't be much of a cycle required anyway." ?
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #32
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FYI no need for a co2 if you want to do a silent cycle. As long as your plants are growing fast and well it will work. I didn't have co2 but I did have a 70g tank (more water to dilute toxins) to work with.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:50 PM   #33
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another reason i dont think i could go with silent this time is because i do not think i planted my plants very well. the fluval has a small opening from the top and i found it very difficult to get the roots deep in the substrate tightly. also its my first time planting so perhaps that is why they are not growing well? some of the plants even would come out and float to the top as i was planting -_-
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:34 AM   #34
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thanks for your post. I definitely enjoy the full look of a heavily planted tank like yours. It is something I was looking forward to...unfortunately during my cycling thats still going my plants arn't doing too well. I've done a little research and it could possibly be the plants not living up to the ammonia? although its only at .25 ppm.. or I heard it could be the lighting? and I havnt bought a timer yet but usually It's on for 10 hours. the plants that arnt holding up well are basically turning "see through" quite frustrating I cant figure out what it is, but my plan is to just wait till the cyclings all finished to add more plants.

I feel like the cycling process is taking forever as well...but i think i will try buying another bottle of good bacteria, what was the brands that you have used?

Also seems you have great success in keeping your tank occupied with many fish. I think its working out with the heavily planted tank you have. I also was interested in possibly getting some shrimp as well a school of Harlequin rasboras. I thought a betta would enjoy the 12g but I wasnt sure since I've read up alot on the fluvals having small openings and bettas enjoying a larger opening for air..hows your betta in the tank? do you leave some space for it to get air or have it filled completely to the top?

oh and thanks for the stocking tips

The bright LED lights seem to provide all the light my plants need. But they are on a timer, and they get 14 hours of light a day. When I had a 50 gallon several years ago, I found the timer to be the very best friend my plants could have. I never used Co2--didn't even know anything about it, and my plants grew so well and so fast I had to trim very often, and I would still wake up some mornings to find blooms inches out of the water. I think the consistent lighting is crucial, and the timer keeps you honest--you don't have to remember to turn the light on and off. I have also been using a liquid plant food by API called "Leaf Zone" which contains iron and potassium. That may be helping my plants, too. I continue to do 25% (sometimes 50%) water changes once a week. That's supposed to be crucial to providing necessary nutrients for your plants, as well.

I did a fish-in cycle, and my plants were in the whole time, and they didn't seem to suffer at all.

The bacteria solutions I used were Nutrafin and Seachem. I don't know which worked best, or if either actually contributed to the faster cycling. However, I think the Seachem may have been better. I was reading about another product by Microbe-Lift that sounds very good. I read a chat-room excerpt from one of the company reps, and the experienced chatroom guys drilled him pretty hard about the product, and he seemed to have all the right answers. I dunno. Some people don't think they work at all; some swear by them. All I know is that my cycle only took two weeks, but I did seed the tank, too.

As far as having a betta in a Fluval Edge, some folks were worried he wouldn't be able to find the surface opening for air. So when I put him in, I made sure to watch him really well for an hour or more. If he couldn't find the opening, I was going to lower the water level an inch or so to provide more surface area (but also ruining the whole effect of the Fluval). However, he had NO problem at all figuring out where to go for air, so I keep it filled all the way up. It's the same place he gets his food, so unless you get a betta that's just a total ding-bat, I don't think you'll have a problem, either. Bettas are very smart fish! And, of course, even though the Fluval opening seems small to US, it's still way bigger than most of the crappy bowls/cups, etc. that so many folks torture their bettas in.

The only problem I've had with my Fluval is getting everything IN it because the opening is so small. But I don't mind a few hours of frustration to get things set up when I get hours of enjoyment looking at my nice tank. The aesthetics outweigh the hassle for me. Although I did end up with huge bruises under my arms the day after I first set it up because I was having to stretch my arms so far in while pressing down on the lip. I'm a big guy with big arms, but it wasn't impossible, just tedious. I ended up getting that Fluval planting too--looks like a pair of long tweezers. It helps a little, but I usually just end up shoving my arm in. I made a mistake using the gravel, I think, because I've had some plants float back up--that's not a Fluval problem but a gravel problem. If I had it to do over again, I'd just use sand. But I'm not changing anything now! Once the roots got going, though, I haven't had any more problems.

Good luck! Keep us posted how the tank is coming. And I totally vote for getting a betta!
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:10 AM   #35
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I took some better pics of my Fluval. By the way, that big piece of driftwood outside my tank on the right in the third pic I bought when I got my tank because I just loved it and thought it would look awesome. Of course, I had no idea it was going to be too big to fit through the tiny opening! So now it's just a pretty piece of wood to make my dresser pretty, lol.

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Old 02-16-2012, 01:14 AM   #36
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Very nice!
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:22 AM   #37
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My marimo balls have been in since day one, and they still look great. I swish them around a little when I do a water change because they like to collect stuff. I've already planted one of my Amazon sword's babies, and I have 2 or three more baby shoots that I'll cut and plant during my next water change. And I'm going to need to take a chainsaw to my aponogetons next water change, too, so they don't shade out my other plants.

I totally vote for you getting shrimp. I got five cherries and five amano's last week just to add to my cleaning crew, and I have to say I'm quite fond of the cute little buggers. They're always so busy! They look like they're constantly knitting. I also got the nerites and the golden apples for cleaning, too, and they are just awesome--the goldens can really move!

I like having a lot of "worker" critters--they're cool to watch, and I love watching them munching and picking and thinking, "Hey, they're working for me." The shrimp, goldens, pleco, and cory clean up any leftover food; the nerites, shrimp, and pleco keep the algae clear; and the goldens munch away any dead or dying leaves. The critters give nourishment to the plants, and the plants provide oxygen and clean up toxins for the critters. I just love having a balanced, micro eco-system sitting on my dresser. So cool. I just love aquarium keeping. I can't believe I waited so many years before getting back into it.

And I adore the Fluval tanks. I'm trying to talk myself out of getting a 6 gallon so I can get another betta. I fear I'm a bit hooked!
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:24 AM   #38
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Please start a new thread if you would like to discuss your tank. Let's keep this thread on topic.

I have removed off topic posts.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:44 AM   #39
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Please start a new thread if you would like to discuss your tank. Let's keep this thread on topic.

I have removed off topic posts.
Sorry fort. Since you deleted some of my post i am assuming I was off topic so I am going back to the original post because I must have got confused what thread I was on!
Sorry miylee I though barleybear was the op! Yall both have the same tank lol.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:37 AM   #40
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Sorry fort. Since you deleted some of my post i am assuming I was off topic so I am going back to the original post because I must have got confused what thread I was on!
Sorry miylee I though barleybear was the op! Yall both have the same tank lol.
I'm guilty, here, too. Got caught up in the discussion.

Miylee, you said that your plants weren't doing well, but they look really good in the pic. What is it that's going wrong with them?

You mentioned you got a different light source, but the bright LED's that came with my Fluval have been fine for my plants, but they are on a timer for 14 hours each day. But I may have low-light plants.

You mentioned the pre-filter sponge by Fluval to cover up the intake valve. I've looked at it, too. Are you wanting it just for aesthetic purposes to cover up the plactic valve? I think that it will cut down on your filter flow, and it will keep large bits of detritus (like pieces of plants, etc.) from being filtered out. It does keep smaller critters like small shrimp and fish from being sucked into it, but I havn't had any issues with my amano or cherry shrimp. It would hide the intake valve if that's what you're aiming for, but some big plants in front of it would do that, too.

You mentioned dirty specks after using the bacteria solution. I never noticed that with mine. Did they go away?

Your tank looks really nice already. I think someone asked what kind of substrate you used, but I didn't catch the answer. Is it some kind of plant substrate? I've had some problems with plants floating up a little and exposing their roots with my gravel, but I push them back down and eventually they hold--I think the roots have to get established. I'd like to know what you used, though, because it looks really nice and clean.
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