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Old 09-26-2007, 04:03 PM   #1
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Starting over - Community 65gal - planted - needs help

Well I had a well established planted tank, but I had to move across town. Fish didn't make it, the plants didn't either, I was pretty disappointed. I ended up saving 30 something gallons of tank water, but the tank was too cloudy disturbed. I now have 3 ghost shrimp, and one energetic Cory Cat.

65gal tank (long)
I have a solid 3 inches of Flora Base, with 1/4 - 1/2 an inch of filter substraight, but that's all mixed together now.
Double Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights 120w of day light bulbs.
Eheim Pro II Filter -2026 something . . . supposed to be rated for 65-70gal?
Turbo CO2 Bio-System - with a small power head.
200w heater
Plants - Anacharis, Tiger Lotus, Micro Sword, some others but I can't remember the names.
Fish - 15-20, Petsmart

I have a thin layer of funk/hair algae on the surface of the substraight and the tank is full of water. I've got a siphon, and easy access to the garden hose. I know with Flora Base, that there's no pre-washing it. I'd like to get the funk off the surface, start cycling the tank, get some more plants, and start getting some fish.
I've never used any ferts before of any kind except for the CO2. Even when I did water changes, I didn't use any chemicals to treat the water.

So how do I start over, and what steps do I need to do to clear up the tank.

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Old 09-26-2007, 07:59 PM   #2
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I would use a substrate cleaner that will suck up all that gunk thats on the bottom and not the substrate. That will get rid of most of the stuff and also will work as a water change as well. I would do that several times and hopefully that will take care of the problem. The water changes will also keep your toxins low until the tank is cycling on its own

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Old 09-30-2007, 11:29 PM   #3
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how or when will I know when the tank is cycling on it's own?
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Old 09-30-2007, 11:59 PM   #4
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I think you are saying that you have no fish or plants in this tank, which is a good thing.

You said the fish and plants did not make it, I assume that they are all cleaned out of the tank so we are basically dealing with a stirred up substrate. It's likely that there will be a substantial amount of organic material floating around the tank. This will tend to cause an ammonia spike. if you are still running the lights algae will be your new best friend

At this point I would get yourself a good liquid test kit, run the filter, turn off the lights and co2, and let nature take it's course. Read the article on the Nitrogen cycle in this forum and watch for the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate spike. You could run filter floss in the filter to help clear things up too.

Another option is to go get the plants you intend to keep and get the tank planted now. The plants will help to consume the ammonia and shorten the time needed to cycle.

You are right at or slightly above the sacred 2 wpg point and may benefit from added nutrients. With the co2, a little added nutrients, and good light, your plants will be back in shape in no time.

Which ever way you choose, I would not put fish in this tank before the tank can handle the ammonia and safely convert it to nitrate.

Hope this helps.
"...but the guy at the LFS said I needed it!"
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:10 PM   #5
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There's no plants in the tank yet, but I did get 10 tetras, and 15 ghost shrimp. My army of tornado snails weren't even phased at all, but some hang out at the surface.

The tank is crystal clear. After I made the first post I started siphoned about 40gal out of the tank, topped it off, and did the same again. I bought some chlorine/heavy metal remover. and used that after each water change.

I'd like to keep the algae out, but there's a ton of ambient light.
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