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Old 09-26-2018, 02:02 PM   #1
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watercycle/ plants

hello all not new to the app but new to posting, i want to start by saying love the help everybody shares with tha said im in the process of setting up a 30g shrimp tank and plan on using stratum rocks drifwood plants etc but for set up should i cycle the water before i plant or is it ok to plant then cycle?
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:27 PM   #2
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You can plant then cycle. It will actually help it out a bit.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by D-rock View Post
hello all not new to the app but new to posting, i want to start by saying love the help everybody shares with tha said im in the process of setting up a 30g shrimp tank and plan on using stratum rocks drifwood plants etc but for set up should i cycle the water before i plant or is it ok to plant then cycle?
If you want, you can do a "silent cycle".

This is a good idea for your setup because shrimp need an established tank with a healthy supply of biofilm / algae and you are planting it, so you have some time to dial in good plant growth.

Stratum is a good substrate, just make sure to use 100% RO water (you want 0 degrees kH because the substrate acts as a buffer) and boost the RO water to whatever gH level you desire. You can use a homemade blend of K2SO4, CaSO4 and MgSO4, or you can buy some over the counter such as Salty Shrimp or Seachem Equilibrium.

Driftwood is a good idea. Try boiling it several times, swapping out for fresh water as the old water gets dirty. This will help reduce the amount of tannins in the water (if you don't want stained water) and will kill any bad organisms living on the wood. Use Seachem Purigen in your filter to remove tannins if you want.

As for plants, it really depends on your water source, light source, nutrient source and carbon source. What are your lights? What are the dimensions of your 30g tank? Do you plant on using CO2? What fertilizers would you like to dose? What plants do you like the look of? What water source are you using?

As for the silent cycle I mentioned, Plant the tank from day 1. The plants will shed some biomass which will decompose in your tank creating ammonia. Plants will utilize ammonia as a Nitrogen source, and they will bring beneficial bacteria into your system to help seed the tanks bio-filter. You can dose a small amount of ammonia (say 1ppm) but it is not 100% necessary. During the first few weeks, focus on getting the plants growing really well. During this time, the cycle will be taking place on it's own. By the time you've got the plants growing nicely, and the tank looking good, there should be enough algae / biofilm to support some shrimp, and enough of a biofilter to support the initial starting colony.

Which shrimp are you planning on keeping? Neocaridina probably will not like a buffering substrate such as Stratum.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:03 PM   #4
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im using malayasian driftwood its allready been boiled and soaked for couple months to waterlog it. using lava rock my light is a fluval sky(dont know if good enuff for plants) size 29g 30l x12w x18h plan on using anubias crypts java moss and fern. root tabs and some liquid fert and carbon to start dont want to do the co2 injection atm will probly use bottles ro water or possibly true spring water????? my tap is not worth messing with i dont even drink it
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:09 PM   #5
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btw was going to stack the rock to get more surface area vertically that way i dont crowd the floor i also got a few small pieces of cholla wood and getting indian almond leafs
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:13 PM   #6
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im using malayasian driftwood its allready been boiled and soaked for couple months to waterlog it. using lava rock my light is a fluval sky(dont know if good enuff for plants) size 29g 30l x12w x18h plan on using anubias crypts java moss and fern. root tabs and some liquid fert and carbon to start dont want to do the co2 injection atm will probly use bottles ro water or possibly true spring water????? my tap is not worth messing with i dont even drink it
Bottled RO is the way to go. Good thing about shrimp tanks is they require smaller water changes (shrimp are sensitive to changes) so that will work well with buying RO in bottles. I would avoid spring water, they carry lots of mineral we may or may not want in the tank. I would boost gH with some Salty Shrimp or Seachem Equilibrium.

Malaysian driftwood is good.

Fluval aquasky over a 29 gallon will be good for the plants you listed.

I would use DIY Osmocote+ tabs only for the crypts and some Flourish Comprehensive for the anubias / java fern / java moss, determine what the bottle recommends weekly and break that up into 3 or 4 smaller doses throughout the week.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:57 PM   #7
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im curious what type of filter system would u run cans out of my budget
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:02 PM   #8
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HOB's and airstones should be plenty
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:09 AM   #9
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Run 2 x aquaclear 30's, no air stone required for HOB's.

A single Eheim 2215 or 2217. Maybe 'Y" the return so you have 1 intake and 2 outputs. No air stone required if you have the output close to the surface / pointing slightly up to increase surface agitation.

Sunsun canister filters are decent and budget friendly, look for one with 5-10 x turn over of the tank volume per hour.
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