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Old 05-14-2011, 03:00 AM   #1
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silent cycle

So.. in the past few months I've set up whitewashed few different tanks. Thus time I decided to go with the silent cycle being that I've done fish in and fishless already and I wanted a planted tank. I've started out with wisteria, anacharis, ludwigia, moneywort, anubaid of a few varieties, corkscrew a few crypts and some bog wood. I'm pretty sure I've met the required stem plants quota .. but when I add a few fish in a week or two, I'm not sure what to start with.. I was thinking of some otos for algae and rams to keep the snail population down. Already noticed 10-15 small snails hit the glass and its only been a day. Any suggestions to keep moving forward? Setup is as follows. 55 gallon. 130 watts at 10000k have room for more if I plan on doing co2 which I dont at this time. Cascade 700 cannister filter with a secondary aqueon 40gal hob. 200 watt heater. My local water is 8.2 Ph but with the mopani wood it drops down to about 7.8 or Little less. Also keep. the tank between 78-80 also, what's the best reccomended fertilizer routine with no co2. Any oreffered brands and dosing?
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:53 AM   #2
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Fluorish Excel is a good one, though depending on the type of anacharis you have, it could melt it. I have mostly the narrow leaf variety (egeria najas) and the doses of Excel that would melt egeria densa don't do anyhing to it except make it grow like crazy.

When doing a silent cycle, I usually start out with a small school of small-ish fish. Praecox rainbows are fun and stay pretty small (just my preference talking here). The best thing to keep in mind, in my experience, isn't so much the fish but how fast you add them. The first time I ever did the silent cycle, I added a few too many too quick, and started showing .25-.5 ammonia until the bio-filter caught up.

Algae control is definitely a good place to start though, and if you're concerned about snails, then that's a good way to go too. This is just personal choice talking again, but I prefer Siamese Algae Eaters to Otos. They'll even take on the types of algae that others won't, if you end up having that problem.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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Otos and rams should really only be added to a mature stable tank. They're sensitive fish and you risk killing them with even a small cycle.

I'm partial to Flourish for my low-light tanks. The crypts in my 29g really seem to like it.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:56 AM   #4
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Few more questions also being this is my first planted tank.. as far as the lighting goes, how long should I keep the lights on.. I've heard ten hours in a timer.. but again I'm not doing co2 and want to make sure the plants are doing the best without it. I had the outflow from the canister pointing down and to the back of the tank to minimize tossing the plants around but it didn't seem to be moving the water enough to get a nice flow. I moved it straight across.. is there a preferred direction? I'm using the bar not the directional. I put in leaf zone but don't think it has all that I need. My substrate is a mix of eco complete and fine grain rock and sand. Also, I've seen standard flourish but I've seen a few different types of flourish advertised. The one at my local lfs is just flourish not excel or any of the others I've seen.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:37 AM   #5
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Not everyone all at once now. :-p
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:51 AM   #6
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I would start with a hardy schooler. I assume you want some type of fish like that so add the one your were planning on. I would wait on the rams and ottos as well, until things get going.

As far as fert go I would not add any until it looks like you need them. Excel will help with plant growth but as already mention it could effect the anacharis.

I would set your lights on a timer for 10 hours and see how it goes. If you get excessive algae then you can reduce the photo-period. Longer lighting time does not make up for lack of CO2 it just gives algae more light to work with.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:33 AM   #7
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After the fist week, and no fish, I tested the parameters and got no ammo. .25 nitrite and 10-20 nitrate. Seems as though the hundreds of pond snails started my cycle. Yesterday I added 4 assassin snails, 2 candy stripe plecos and 5 black skirt tetras. The tetras weren't shoaling properly and were piccking on eachother non stop so today I added 4 more gold skirt tetras. Seems to have mellowed them out. Just hope it isn't too much of a load. Will do tests tomorrow after giving them a 24 hour period on the Bio load.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:29 PM   #8
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Tested a few minutes ago.. ammo; 0, nitrites; 0, nitrates; 10 I'm thinking this silent cycle stuff actually works. With ten fish, and hundreds of snails ishoukd have some spikes showing by now if the plants didn't do their job. I'm impressed. But its only two days with fish so.. crossing my fingers.
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