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RE: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #78

   I work at a LFs around here and what they are telling you is very common
for a new tank.  Exactly like you said you are waiting for the bacteria to
build up in the gravel and on the filter sponge and also on everything in
your tank as well.  The little bacteria live all over in the tank and need a
normal(no water changes or diatoming)environment for a few weeks to get to a
level where they can take care of the fish.  Having the live plants in there
will help make it easier onthe fish cause the plants will take up some of
the toxic things in the water and also clean the water for the fish.
  I know it all sounds like a lot of BS but it works, and if there are
saying it in Illinois where I am and where ever you are than maybe there is
some truth behind it.  Drop me a line if you have any more new tank
questions and I will try to help answer them.

Matt W.

> Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 14:15:32 -0400
> From: "Kinney, Travis" <kinney at pdtarchs_com>
> Subject: Right or wrong?.......
> I went to my local LFS to rent a diatom filter because my tank is greening
> up fast. I also brought in some water from the tank for them to
> test. I have
> had the tank running for 4-months now. We started with Goldfish, switched
> over to small fish (neon's zebra striped danios etc) and plants (goldfish
> were ripping them up so I gave the fish away). LFS told me I
> didn't allow my
> tank to cycle through. I had been doing weekly water changes, but
> they said
> I needed to leave the tank without touching it for 6-8wks for the
> ammonia to
> spike and the nitrate to spike then the bacteria will have had
> time to form
> and the level with drop and the cycling will be complete. I didn't realize
> that making water changes would eliminate all formation of biological
> build-up. I did move the tank once right before giving away the
> goldfish and
> drained about 95% of the water out, moved the tank and then filled it up
> with new well water. I have (2) 40w compact fluorescents. Plants
> were doing
> great before the algae bloom, lots of pearling etc.
> SO, they are telling me not to touch the tank for 2-1/2 wks. No water
> changes, no diatom filtering. Keep feeding the fish, use lights for only
> 4-hrs a day, don't clean trickle filter pads etc. Bring in new
> water sample
> in 2-1/2 weeks for them to retest, then they will tell me what to do.
> What do ya-all think? If you think this might be the right approach then
> I'll do it. I just don't want all my fish and plants to die in the next
> 2-1/2wks. I think she is basically telling me I need to allow for bacteria
> to grow in the substrate.
> Thanks