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Re: New Plant Tank

>>>>> Henry Hatch <hhatch at sprynet_com> (here: "HH"),
>>>>> on Sun, 12 Jul 1998 12:49:38 -0400,
>>>>> pondered the meaning of life, then wrote down:

  HH> I've been keeping fish only tanks for many years and have decided 
  HH> to try plants. My question is whether it would be better to cycle 
  HH> the tank initially with fish and no plants to stabilize the system, 
  HH> or should I plant right away.


It's been my experience that you'll have an easier time if you first plant 
the tank and wait for the plants to settle in (a couple of weeks) before
adding your fish a few at a time.  The plants will "polish" (in a sense)
your water for your fish. Once the plants have settled in and there are
enough of them for your target fish load, they will be able to absorb most 
of the ammonia spike you'll notice soon after adding your fish, which means 
that you won't have to worry so much about them.  If you're confident, you
could even start with more fish or more sensitive fish this way.  Either 
way, by the time the two-month mark comes around, your tank will definitely 
look better and be more stable than if you started with the fish only.

Someone on this list mentioned a while back that they couldn't measure the
ammonia spike on his/her well-planted tank when they added fish.  Search 
the archives is you're interested.  I'd recommend at least reading through
the Krib website before you start...get acquainted with one of the methods 
of taking care of your plants' nutrient needs and stick to that method. I
who's successful at that method and see if they'll help you figure out
your specific needs or send to this list for help. 

If you take care of your plants, they'll take care of your fish.

Carlos E. Munoz 
<cmunoz at crystal_cirrus.com>