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Re: [APD] Restarting a tank -- Starting a planted tank

Just a few quick and dirty replies:

--- Traci HalesVass <traci at tracihv_net> wrote:
> So I want to take this as an opportunity to start a
> planted tank.  

You won't regret it nor will your new fish.

> I took the compensation from the LFS to
> purchase a bio-wheel;

Not the best if you're going to inject CO2 but you probably
won't do that right off the bat -- so that's cool too.

> 1. I saved quite a bit of mulm and haven't washed the
> gravel. Should I use this mulm to start the new tank? (It
> has not been established what killed the other tank). 

I'd rather know first what killed the fish. or skip this
mulm. The same then, goes for the substrate.

> 2. If I can use the mulm, do I still need a peat
> substrate?


> 3. Can I put down a finer gravel and then use the old
> large gravel on top?

Sure, but the finer grains will gradually work their way
down between the gaps the larger grains. So you might not
get the effect you're looking for.

You can undo the stratification with agressive gravel
vacuuming but you still won't have just fine stuff on top.

If you can afford it on this project, use about 1/2
Flourite or Onyx Sand or Profile/Turface, some very porous
clay like that. It's not critical but the plants seem to
like it and it holds up well for thelong term.

> 4. How long should the new planted tank sit before I can
> start adding new fish?

About 5 or 6 minutes depending on how you set it up. In a
tank that size you can put a few fish in right off the bat,
no prob, provided you used SeaChem Prime or similar product
to remove any danger from ammonia or chlorine in the tap

Put in lots of plants, not a stick here a stem there, I
mean lots of plants, and you can put in a dozen or two
small fish (like tetras) no prob. You don't want to crowd
the fish. After they get used to the new home in a few
days, add some more. If you're interested in big fish like,
say, rainbows. Pace the fish additions a little slower. A
few more every few days. Don't try to fill the tank with
fish until the plnats have grown in. You might find out you
have more fish than you like when the tank looks fuller
with flourishing plants.

Check your lights. do you have roughly 2 watts per gallon?

Good luck, good fun,
Scott H.

S. Hieber
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