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new tank


I'm new to this list. I have been searching the archives and the krib, 
since I'm going to tear down a 46 gal. "fish tank" and remodel it into 
a planted aquarium (my first one). The problem is that the tank has 
already a significant fish population (tropical) of mostly young individuals,
bought 2-3 months ago. Total fish load right now is close to 20" of fish, 
but may go eventually to 40". Due to space and money constraints, I cannot 
afford to set up a full-blown long-term separate tank to hold them while 
the new tank matures. They will sit in a 10 gal. plastic box during the 
weekend, but can't be kept there for long and have to be re-introduced 
in the aquarium as soon as possible.

I know this goes against all rules about setting up new tanks. I
understand that the sudden increase in fish waste before the bacteria
and plants had time to settle in could cause all sorts of problems. Thus 
I started the process by installing an external canister filter loaded with
lots of bio-media, to let the media populate with bacteria before I tear
the tank down. After reassembly, the biological action will be already
established (in the filter media at least) and would, I presume, take 
care of the ammonia and nitrite peaks, or at least help to subdue them. 
I would compound this with minimal fish feeding, but I wonder what else
should I do, besides water changes, to avoid algae blooms. Specifically, 
what strategy should I use to stimulate the quickest possible plant growth ? 
I could use nitrate and phosphate adsorbing media in the filter to try to 
starve the algae, but I wonder how it would affect plant growth in the 
initial phase.

I will use a coarse sand substrate enriched with Substrate Gold and perhaps 
Tetra Initial Sticks (1-0-25), coupled with some trace element mix in the
water. Should I use some N-P-rich substrate fertilizer instead ?

I have already yeast CO2 injection and 90 watts of light (one Hagen
Aqua-Glo and two Phillips Colortone 50s). The filter is a Fluval 303 with
under-water return. Tap water pH is 7.4, tank pH is 6.8 after CO2 injection. 
KH is 5.0, GH is 8.0.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

-Ivo Busko
 Baltimore, MD