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-   -   Is this proper setup to begin cycle for 6G tank? (

gus6464 09-05-2007 09:29 PM

Is this proper setup to begin cycle for 6G tank?
I bought a small Eclipse 6G tank today to start out with a Betta and maybe some tiny tetras later on. All I did was buy the tank and the API test kit. So now I am a bit confused about some things.

I want to go with live plants so that I can get some full experience before going into a 30+G tank. I was reading around and you guys recommended to go with eco-complete substrate for plants so I will be going to an LFS tomorrow to pick up a bag. I am also going to get those 2 plants as well.
I guess my question is if I should fill up the tank with the eco-complete and also put in the plants before adding the water? And also should I use the tap water detoxifier that came with the tank kit? Is this the setup sequence that I should follow?

1. Fill tank bottom with eco-complete.
2. Add plants
3. Add top layer of gravel
4. Fill tank with water
5. Add detoxifier
6. Let tank cycle for a couple of days before adding the Betta

Thanks for the help everyone.

jim21 09-05-2007 09:59 PM

If it were me (and it's not) :)
The order would be:

1. Fill tank bottom with eco-complete.
2. Add top layer of gravel
3. Fill tank with water
-let sit/settle for a couple of hours
-start filters/heater, run over night
4. Add plants
5. Add detoxifier
6. Let tank cycle for a couple of days
7. Test water conditions
8. Add the Betta

You definetly want to have the water and substrate complete before you add the plants. Giving it a few hours (or more) to settle will definetly help on the cloudiness you may have. Don't forget to rinse everything before adding it to the tank (I even rinse my live plants before adding them to a tank).

Can't stess enough the importance of testing your water before adding any fish. Testers aren't that expensive and will save you lots of money in the long run on fish that don't die as soon as you get them.

Hope that helps,

gus6464 09-05-2007 10:18 PM

Yeah I bought the API fresh water master test kit which comes with pH, high range pH, Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite tests.

Also do you think that using eco-complete would be overkill for such a small tank? Also what bulb do you recommend for the plants? The tank didn't come with a heater so if I planning to add some tetras later on do I have to buy one?

jim21 09-05-2007 10:37 PM

This is just my personal opinion (and based on experience) - and I'm looking for one of the Pros like Lupin to jump in here....but....

I do think the eco-complete is overkill on a tank that small unless you plan doing a very heavily planted nano tank. Even then you could still have great plants using gravel and good plant food.

If your tank is small (like the 5g hex I have) then you probably have a incandescent light fixture, so you will be limited on bulb options. I found a Compaq Flourescent bulb that fits mine and that's what I'm using. Depending on your hood size you may have various options in wattage of the CF bulbs. If you have to use the smallest size, wattage option is very limited (as is the case with mine). Again, here I suppliment with a good plant food (Excel Flourish, etc.).

I do think you will need a heater for the tetras, they will like a temp at 78-80, and unless you can garentee that temp in your home 365 days a year, a heater will be needed. I have seen small heaters for 5 gallon tanks (get a 10 gallon heater if possible) that weren't very expensive.

Hope this helps,

gus6464 09-05-2007 10:52 PM

It is actually the System 6 which uses fluorescent bulbs. I am not looking for super heavy planting, just something that will look nice.

This is the tank:

jim21 09-05-2007 11:10 PM

Great tank! I've seen those in my LFS and have been tempted to get one.

Hard to say on the bulb - that link doesn't really say the size or wattage so if you have that info then finding replacements or alternatives will be easier. My guess is that whatever comes with it will be a pretty basic bulb and for the most part will do ok with low light plants (with the plant food), but upgrading will still be best case senario if possible.

If you have the bulb stats post them and we can suggest replacements.


gus6464 09-05-2007 11:17 PM

The bulb says Natural Light F8/T5 and it is 12 inches long and 1/2 in. wide.

jim21 09-05-2007 11:27 PM

Does the hood mention a maximum wattage?

If so, take that info, read this link:

Use the calculator to determine what light you need, then bounce that off of the max wattage your hood can handle. Chances are you need more wattage than the hood allows, in that case max the bulb to the hood.

I didn't see many places selling 12" T5 bulbs (in the US), but this place seemed to have a wide selection:

Hope that helps,

gus6464 09-05-2007 11:49 PM

Thanks a lot for all the help and great info Jim. All I can find on the hood is a sticker that reads the following: 120 VAC 60Hz .16AMP

So I am thinking if you convert the amps to watts that gives a max of 19.2 watts.

Falina 09-06-2007 04:59 AM


6. Let tank cycle for a couple of days before adding the Betta
I don't think a tank could ever cycle in a few days. A cycle can take anywhere between a few weeks and a few months.

Here is an excellent thread that explains everything you would need to know about cycling:


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