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Old 10-22-2008, 04:32 PM   #1
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new 90g planted and cycling ?

Well it has been 2 weeks for my stand and hood order to arrive and still waiting. Been using the time to get my brain up to speed on all sorts of info about the setup I wish to acheive.

Brief History - Had a 66 and 130 gal about 5 years ago now. Both were Plain Jane setups.... wierd colored gravel and fake everything, mixed with all sorts of fish that probably should not go together.

New Setup - 90gal. Eheim 2028 filter. 216 watts of t5 lighting. Flourite substrate with a cable heater running undernear. CO2 system. Plans are to turn this into a medium-heavy planted community tank.

Well everything I need is here and sitting in my basement waiting for the stand and hood to arrive, which should be in next 2-3 days. Today is painting a backdrop onto the tank. Now I have a few questions that I either can't find a good answer or am maybe confused on the info I can find.

1 - Do I cycle the tank differently if I am going into a planted aqaurium? Do I get a different answer if I planted right away as opposed to later, and does the amount of plants I want to start with also affect this ? Do I run CO2 from day 1 ? Do I run full lights ? ( so much info out there on fishless cycle and silent cycle, do this or do that that. just can't find one specific routine for a planted CO2 tank )

2 - Where is the line on being drawn on being able to call your tank heavily planted? And about how many is that on a 90 gal? ( 48 x 18 x 24 )

3 - Should I plant everything all in one shot? Or is it better to plant some and wait a time period before adding more?

4 - Do Snails/Shrimp count as fish? IE... how soon can I start to add them into my tank given the above info..

5 - Whats the ideal amount of substrate for a heavy planted tank in inches? The bags are 7kgs each. I bought 6 and setting it out on my floor it doesn't really look like much.


Well thats probably twice as many questions as any one post really needs. Any info or links that may help me would be greatly appriecated and I send my thanks in advance. I can't believe the hours I have spent on this site within the last 2 weeks... really a testoment to the people within it, they make or break a forum community. You guys do a really good job here and I have seen zero talking down to anyone... really a treat and I look forward to being a part of it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
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1) Your tank will need to cycle, you'll just need to determine how to do it. Silent cycling is a more advanced technique, and does require the tank to be heavily planted with fast-growing plants to consume the waste that's going to be created. Run CO2 and lights full speed once you have plants, but you may need to adjust this as your cycle runs through if doing a silent cycle, as high amounts of ammonia can cause algae issues.

2) It's a very grey line, but in general your tank will need to be covered very heavily with plants to call it that.

3) if you're trying to do a silent cycle, plant everything before adding any inhabitants. if you cycle the tank first, you can plant as you go and it doesn't make any difference.

4) Snails and Shrimp are just as sensitive (some more so) than fish when it comes to needing a cycled tank. You'll want to make sure your ammonia and nitrite are 0 and stay that way before adding them.

5) Not sure what substrate you're using, but typically 2-4" is recommended to allow you enough depth to securely plant the roots and make sure your plants will hold and not get blown around or come loose.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:54 PM   #3
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I think if I am reading you right your suggesting I fishless cycle. Just to be sure I am right I basically go with no co2, lights, or fish till the cycle is done. Then can I basically turn on lights/co2 and drop 20 plants in and a few fish, say maybe 4-6 all at once ??

Buy the way Neilanh I really like your write up on your big tank.... I am hoping for a amature version of that within my tank. When I found that really really long post a few nights ago at 1 am I had to grab some chips and a cold one to tide me over.... Had to read it all.. From my stand point of knowing of very little it was a nice eye opener. Even just the little things with the pics of your power setup and such has already adjusted my plans within my setup. Thank for that ...
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:59 PM   #4
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off to a good start...hurry with pics..lots of plants and small bio load to start you might not even notice a cycle. i would try to get a few potted plants also they cost a bit more but are already rooted .good luck
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:05 PM   #5
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Thanks ksteady, I hope you found some info of use in there for you.

Yes, I would recommend, based on your experience, that you fishless cycle like you said. No anything, just your filter(s) running, water, a heater and an ammonia source. Then, once it's complete, plant it as heavily or as lightly as you want and go ahead and add fish. If you use the fishless cycle recommendations in the article in my signature, you can add quite a few fish without fear.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:14 PM   #6
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Yah just accually read that artical a few hours ago just after my first post there. Again some awesome information. The anger of not having my stand and hood in stock was a killer at first... So glad it happened now. Have adjusted a few things and changed in a few items and will be doing a different cycle system now. I don't even remember how I stubled onto this site but I am sure glad i did. And I will be taking photo's of my setup as well just as a personal thing. However I will post a slimmed down version on here once I get everything in..
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:19 PM   #7
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why you want to sit and look at a empty tank ?
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:25 PM   #8
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Just thinking it is probably smartest way to go being new to this. I am not even sure which plants I want, where I am getting them and such so the few weeks to cycle the tank won't bother me.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:30 PM   #9
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yep no prob taken it slow .planning and reading the way to go
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