New tank "down time" - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-12-2012, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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New tank "down time"

In a new tank, theoretically, how long can plants stay alive/healthy without fish to add ammonia? If i was to set my tank up and not add fish.... assuming all other paramaters are met i.e fertilizer, water temp, conditions etc.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-13-2012, 12:10 AM
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I dunno, I guess I would say they're not much different from any regular house plant. I think they should be ok, but I'm no expert.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-13-2012, 12:11 AM
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I'm under the impression that if it is a mature tank ( cycled with some good old fish waste) that most of the plants CO2 needs will be met by the breaking down of waste in the gravel so you dont even really need fish. If its a brand new tank and your dosing ferts then you might be able to pull off using florish excel for the CO2. As for the ammonia you can dose nitrate? nitrite? not sure which one, but most plants will use that instead of ammonia if they have to I'm betting someone else will go into more detail but you should be able to go quite some time without fish

That would make sense. Haven't you heard? We make yogurt, not sense.

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post #4 of 5 Old 06-13-2012, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thats the scenario. Brand new tank, not cycled. I wont be using Excel. Just curious in setting up the tank, how long i can go without adding fish immediately....would be a matter of days or something like that. Think that would be ok??
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-13-2012, 12:02 PM
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As was correctly mentioned by another member, breakdown of organics will add ammonia/ammonium even without fish, but in a new tank organics will not be much at first. I would use a complete fertilizer like Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or FlorinMulti, both of which do contain nitrogen (ammonium, nitrate) and this should maintain the plants for a time. Snails also help. I have had plant-only tanks with no fish run for months, and just added Flourish once weekly, plus a water change. The plants did not thrive like they do in my other tanks, but neither did they die.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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