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Discussion Starter #1
I will repeat its been awhile since i have started a tank from scratch.. and i am just about certain i have most of the answers i am seeking, however i like to be sure. ;)

substrate is in the tank, a few plants, and now a very well boiled hunk of drift wood.

with in a few hours of the drift wood getting placed we started seeing a bit of cloudiness in the tank. not micro bubbles and not tannin.. kind of a white fog if you will ....

we also rinsed and placed in our filter cartridges (2 days running with out them)...

water dead on 80 F

this morning still a bit cloudy.


my thought is that with us having used the Eco Complete (trade mark) substrate for planted aquariums it has a lot of bacteria in it (the good ones) and we are seeing a natural part of the cycle where everything gets wonky for a few days.

at this time i am not 100% sure i have my old test kit (and not sure i would trust it) but the new one is on the shopping list for the end of the week.

thoughts?

oh and rather than create 9 million threads on my silly questions i will just find this thread and post here when things pop up.. (this also keeps our journal clear)..
 

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With dirt substraite is use a 1 inch gravel cap to keep down particulates. Not sure about the product your using but you might want to look into using a cap layer. Also plants and fish like the water temp a bit cooler, so unless your treating your tank with something I recomend going down to 77-78. This will allow for faster growing plants and happier fish (as far as I know photosynthesis slows way down around 84 degrees F)
 

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Yeah the cloudiness is most likely just a Bacterial Bloom so you can do a water change if you like to get rid of the look for now or just let it be; that's up to you ^_^ Either way, as I'm sure you may know, it's no harm to any fish if you were to put any in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
we have this capped with sand... a little is exposed should i cover it totally?

thanks on the temp advice. will bring it down a degree or two.. I ran 80 on my last tanks for years with out issue but we never had plants to contend with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
no fish are planned for yet.. just running things to get the cycle going.


i figured let it be but i always like to double check.

and look above - i learned something about my tank i was not aware of.. ;)
 

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80 is fine for short time usage if you want to help get your bacteria started (bacteria LOVE higher temps and lots of aeration so if you have a HOB filter and you lower the water level so it splashes down, the bacteria absolutely love that) but it does depend on the fish you're keeping down the road whether it will be higher or lowered. Fish like Discus (of course) and Ram's need higher temps like 82-84 while fish like danios need lowered to 70-74 ideally, just for example.

If you have a small section of dirt exposed, it will get kicked up so best to cover it and then when you eventually move plants around or objects, some more dirt could come up but it usually settles quickly and you can siphon it out if you don't like the look of it. But it's always easier to start out with a fully covered dirt layer.
 

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Make sure to do some poking around with a stick or straw to check for gas build up as well. If you do notice some its best to release it asap (right before a WC is the best time to check).
 

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+1 ^

Anaerobic soil is no fun to play with. I have that in my 20 gallon long when my substrate was piled too high >.< with soil based tanks, never go over 3 inches with substrate combined. Ideally you want like 1-1.5 inch of soil and then 1-1.5 sand cap so there is still some depth there for the plants to take hold but not enough so that gasses continuously get trapped and cause a sulfur bubbles and could accidentally gas your fish; I did that by accident but now that I poke it nearly weekly, it's been getting better but from what I remember; once your soil goes anaerobic I don't think it can ever return normal and you just have to deal with it.
 

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Not sure, in my 55 with gravel cap im slowly sucking the dirt back down to 1 inch or so... This will take a while but I seem to have less gas now
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for the input!! this substrate does not appear to be soil in the traditional sense of the word (more rock like).. we are right at about 1-1.5 inches and covered with about 0.5-1.5 inches (slopped) and as stated above some has been disturbed form planting.

the bloom has passed and now we are waiting until Friday for the test kit and if all reads well we will start to populate our little community.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
At this moment we are running 2 CFL's rates for 6500K in clip on fixtures. these are enough for the plants while we save up for this really nice LED light we are looking at...
 

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Yeah, I'm a sucker for my Finnex Planted+ on my 20 long and 29 and then I have a Fluval on my 45, not as good but it does the job since it's a tall tank ^_^ Which one were you guys looking at?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
we are looking at 3 different ones BUT i am trying to behave and save up instead of just grabbing the fastest cheapest option (like i normally do!!!)....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
sorry posted to fast.. we are looking at 2 from Marineland and another one.. i am at work and the wife has them book marked on her PC..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Fluval was the other brand!! thank you!

While i appreciate Aquatraders prices (oh yes i do!) when i had my salt tanks i had 2 of their fixtures and they were all sorts of problems.. one got so hot it melted its casing the first night (they did replace with out issue). we also noted that they tended to loose strength fairly quickly (2 months with 10 on 14 off cycles) requiring a few bulb replacements..

But then again these were T5's and a challenging salt tank (which ended up doing very well before i sold it off)..

has there quality improved over the last 4-5 years? and are the LED's just made better in general?
 

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To be honest with you, I've never ordered off AquaTraders but a few people around the Betta side like the LED's. I know LED's in general, in the last few years, have really become popular now that they're more affordable and they last longer/keep their brightness unlike CFLs/Fluorescent tubes that have to be replaced every six months. My only experience in LED's has been with Marineland (have the Single Brite and it works okay for smaller tanks but not for larger tanks), Finnex, and Fluval so far along with crappy Tetra LEDs lol; they're complete crap though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hmm . perhaps i will consider giving them a try again.. i mean after all the price is right and the customer service has always been good.
 
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