Brought home a 25H tank on the weekend and I am making some decisions on how to set it up... technically it's my daughter's tank for Christmas so she will have a large part in this but I want to have a cycle plan going in so we can start things right away.
Basics: Marineland single bright LED array, Aquaclear 30 filter, plants, sand substrate, rocks and drift wood as desired or needed.
Just looking for thoughts or suggestions. I won't change the plan unless there is a good reason to, saving a week or two is not an issue and intentionally stressing fish is not an option.
Here are a few questions that have not been answered in my reading thus far.
Our well water is not very hard, do I need to condition it at this point?
Using the old dead shrimp cycle method. I would like to see some plants in place but I read that plants change how the whole cycle works... so I think that I will skip them. We're not in any particular rush so I figured that, once the tank is ready, I will introduce fish and plants at the same time and gradually until everyone is happy.
I assume that I need to have the filter running right off the start. Should I remove the activated carbon part of the filter? Seeing as I don't expect to keep using it I thought I could remove it immediately unless there was a good reason to run with it in for the first while, perhaps it helps with the water initially?
Does the light make any difference at this point if there is nothing else in the tank?
Is there a better temperature to leave the tank at, hotter=faster cycle perhaps?
I can't think of anything else right now. The final fish composition is up in the air but I am thinking that we will lean toward a South American setup... not invariably but as a guide. I expect that we should have lots of time to research and select the fish mix.