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Re: [APD] Rotala indica

On 9/9/05, Howard Morse <howardcm1 at verizon_net> wrote: 
> Very new to aquariums and plants here. Have a 270L tank undergoing a 
> fishless break-in cycle. Purchased three bunches of rotala indica (among 
> others) and planted them one week ago. Most were survivors, or at least 
> appear to be. But three stalks have started to turn white. One almost 
> completely and another two, only the upper leaves have turned white so far. 
> All three plants are located in the same part of the tank. Nearest item is 
> the heater, about 5 cm away and set to 26C. Started initial dosing of 
> flourish and excel on the 5th.

 What do you have for lights? I recall something like that happening when I 
set up my first tank and didn't know what I was doing (despite a heck of a 
lot of research and advice from people).
 In my experience, fishless cycling is not all or even close to what it is 
supposed to be. Tom Barr helped me out a lot and I'll give you the same 
advice he gave me: do a 90 percent water change to get the ammonia out and 
fill your tank with plants.
 Get some mulm from a fish store or someone else if you can and add that to 
the tank. Your plants need a carbon source. You might also bury some chopped 
peat in the gravel -- wet it (not easy) then pack it into a woman's knee 
high stocking. Two of those stockings will stretch about 48 inches. Bury the 
stockings in the gravel. If floaties get loose in the tank during this 
process you can take a coat hanger and shape it to fit the width of the 
tank, put a piece of pantyhose on it and skim the tank in about 2 minutes. 
Best skimmer in the world.
 Get tons of cheap, fast growing plants -- as many as you can afford. Plant 
a jungle. If you are in the US you might check Aquabid or people you know 
with plants. You can build a collection of expensive plants later. I had 
success with ludwigia repens, rotala rotundiflora (indica), water sprite, 
common swords, sagittaria subulata, one of the short (21") valsneria, 
bacopa, water sprite, water wisteria and a couple of cryptocoryne wendti. 
Despite it's weedy growth and ability to take up ammonia, I don't recommend 
hornwort as it seems to prefer cooler temperatures. Other people can and 
will recommend other plants -- my list is far from exhaustive.

After you put all the plants in start adding some fish. If you put in enough 
plants you don't go through the whole tank cycling process -- the plants 
take care of the ammonia. I would still recommend that you add fish slowly 
and test for ammonia and nitrites. With a 270 L tank and lots of plants you 
should be able to put in a group of 6 schooling fish without problems.
 Hope this helps a bit. It was the people on this list that got me from 0 to 
60 in short order and I'm sure you'll hear from them.
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