Update on planted tank.
If you remember my other questions, let me give an update on the state of my soon-to-be planted tank.
I got a new 75 gal, and already had a 125 gal mbuna tank. The mbuna tank was very pretty understocked so I moved the mbunas to the 75 (they are fine as ever) and am starting anew with the 125 and doing a lot of plants. I worked on it a lot over the weekend after buying from LFS or recieving from UPS a lot of the equipment. Anyway so far this is the state of the 125:
192w power compact lighting (2 x 96)
2 x Eheim 2217 cannisters
1 x Marineland magnum 350 w/water polishing media only in it
2 x 200w Inline heaters on Eheim outputs
3-4" of aquariumplants.com substrate
rocks-slate and green pebble (do not know what kind of rock this is, rocks are rounded and lightweight and light gray with a greenish tint, look very natural as if they had algae growing on them for a long time and it stained them[no algae growing on them now])
wood- Several pieces of malaysian driftwood cleaned in bleach solution then brine then high dose of stress coat then boiled until after 20 mins of boiling water came out clear, and a few "cocahuts" treated the same as the driftwood only without the bleach step.
Temp: 79 f
Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate: 0/0/0 (nothing in there yet)
GH: Registers 0 but I think this is wrong, getting a different brand test kit later today or tomorrow
KH: 9~10 dkh (tap water comes from a river that is mostly lined with limestone)
For the future:
I have another 130w of power compact lighting coming in the mail (2 x 65w)
pressurized CO2 using 24 oz cylinder. I have all the equipment, just havent had time to get the cylinder filled and set it all up.
Later on today i am going to put in two sad looking, but alive, crypts and 10 or 12 zebra danios, all of which are currently in a 10g to get the cycle going. Also going to shake out the floss cartrige from an established filter into the 125 it to get it going. Probably still wont have time to set up CO2 today.
Hopefully by next week will have some more plants in it and the CO2 going. Had the LFS owner order me some corkscrew vals, roundleaf anubias barteri, 4 leaf clover, and green cabomba.
The marineland magnum 350 i went out and bought after I rinsed the aquariumplants.com substrate (3 x 5 gallon buckets) and it still made the water completely opaque. The substrate is very dusty, and it says only rinse it once. I didnt want to over rinse it so thats all I did. Overnight the eheims got it pretty clear, but still not crystal clear, the magnum has cleared it up nicely and after another few days I will probably switch it to the 'regular' blue media.
As a side note if anyone else is thinking about the aquariumplants.com substrate, I cant yet comment on how it does with plants, but i will say it looks sorta like cat litter so a regular collinder isnt good to rinse it with, it will fall through the holes. I used a cut up bed sheet. Also I would suggest a well ventilated area, this stuff pretty well explodes with dust anytime you move it or just from water hitting it, by the end of the day, breathing it had given me a headache and made me very nauseous and I lost my dinner, and I feel like I have a pretty strong stomach, I rarely get sick. I felt fine the next day though, and I had done a large amount of it in a not well ventilated area.
Just thought I'd give an update, most of the equipment, etc. was at the suggestion of y'all on here.
Sounds like you're well on your way to a great planted tank!
Just a thought....have you read anything about the "silent cycle"? From what I've read, even with a substantial ammonia source in the tank (like your danios) a really heavily planted tank may actually go through the cycle "silently" - meaning that because of all of the plants present, you might not ever get readings for ammonia even though the tank is cycling. I'm not sure exactly how this works but you might want to read up on it. Not a bad thing per se, but if I hadn't already known about it I would be completely baffled by my test results while trying to cycle a tank like that.
I had not heard of that, thank you. You are right I would have been completely puzzled by the lack of readings, because I thought plants only used the nitrate. I am inferring from your post that they can directly use the ammonia. Good to know, thank you again, I would have been very confused indeed lol.
Here's a link about it:
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