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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #194

> I'm going to set up a75 gal. fresh water tank,and I'm going withco2
> injection, heavy planting, under gravel heating cables. My question is, when
> I plant the tank, start Injecting co2, how long should it be before I add the
> fish? Should I keep an eye on all the parameters? Will the tank start cycling
> with out fish? I'm trying to do every thing right and I am open to any good
> advise that  any one has. Thank You -------Jack

You can check a few sites, Jared's and Chuck's come to mind. Basically
you'll never see any "cycling" in a properly set up plant tank. The process
is stopped at the gate.
Plants suck up the small amount of NH4 that's in the water from the start.
It simply doesn't ever get a chance to build up and turn into NO2 and NO3.
Some rotting plant/snail and various other critter waste etc will slowly
give rise to some filter bacteria but this not that much concern unless you
plan on a very high/too high fish load for this size tank.
Ideally, there should never be a NH4 reading. This is what the fish
population contributes to the tank for the plants, not NO3.

NO3 is better added through either the amount in tap water or through KNO3to
top off the plant's needs for nitrogen.

The best set up for a substrate I've used is onyx sand(3-4 inches worth) 1st
1/2 mixed with ground peat(say 4 handfuls for your sized tank), then the the
next 1 inch or so, add lots of rich fresh mulm from another mature healthy
FW tank(doesn't have to be planted etc) and mix this into the this layer and
then add some mulm to the filter intake after you fill the tank to cycle the
Add fish the next day(algae eaters). Pack the tank from very start with
plants, DO NOT WAIT FOR THEM TO GROW IN. Add them from the start.

After you need to prune the plants a couple of times, add the main fish,
about a month or so later.

Add KNO3 from the start as well. Plants will need some source of N besides
the trace NH4. I don't feed the fish for about 3-4 days, sometimes a week.
Cables are a waste of $ IMO but they do help a little. They will not make or
break any tank. Onyx or flourite is very easy, doesn't require a plug, does
better than cables/sand mix.

Tom Barr