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Re: Adding lots of plants from the start

> Ok, will do. I assume I should start out with some fast
> growing plants like water sprite or water wisteria. These are
> relatively inexpensive, and so I can get lots.

> How do you know when you can remove these starter plants and add
> some slower growing ones?

After your tank is stable and little algae is seen. Switch a few at a time.
I leave 50% fast growers in most tanks.

> I've vacuumed out my larger, marginally planted tank, and now
> have a bucket full of mulmy water with some muck on the bottom.
> Is the mulm for 
> - quickly cycling the tank so that I can add more fish
> - quickly cycling the tank so that the NO2 is converted to NO3
> - fertilizer for the plants?

Both. It will help start the NO2->NO3 bacteria which will help the
fish/reduce algae. I'd do a big water change to remove the NO2 and then add
some KNO3. NO2 is only going to be removed by bacterial uptake or water
changes. NO3 can be used by the plants. I add fish right away(1-2 days) then
the main fish after a month or so.
> Also, at this time I can't afford Onyx, and so I would like to
> use Turface (a 'poor man's' flourite?) mixed with gravel. Will
> what you've prescribed still work with this? I can afford peat
> but had read that stuff like that or soil would make a mess when
> I uproot plants. Is the peat necessary, or am I being overly
> concerned about the mess?

In small amounts on the bottom(like one handful over a 2 ft sq area) it
makes no mess. Turface works. I don't use it personally, but have for
others. I'm willing to spend the $ for good substrate, gas tank CO2, enough
plants and lighting. It pays in the long run to do something right.

Tom Barr