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[AGA Member] Re: Aquarium Planning

>> "My plan is to cycle the tank with fast growing plants only, no fish."

Cycling refers to the period of time when the bacteria which convert ammonia
to nitrite & nitrite to nitrate colonize the tank. See
http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html for a very nice explanation of the
nitrogen cycle.

Since plants are nitrogen consumers, not producers, you cannot cycle a tank
using plants only, unless you were planning to add ammonia as a nitrogen
source in the tank. But, since plants us ammonia and ammonium directly, even
if you did that you might not see the NH3-N02-NO3 progression that you would
see in a non-planted tank.<<

I agree, but the benefit to starting a tank with fast growing plants is not
so much to "cycle" the tank, better term would be to "break in " a new tank.
Fast growing plants in bulk will help to prevent an algae bloom during the
first 90 days when the tank is most unstable. A reason to perhaps wait 3 or
4 weeks before addiing fish is to give the plants a chance to fully
acclimate.  Many plants suffer transplant shock and will not begin to grow
for a few weeks. If the plants are not growing, nitrogen and other nutrients
are not going to be used up and an algae bloom may follow. The plants that
seem to react to light and grow almost immediately are species of
Myriophyllum, Hygrophila,and Hornwort to name a few. Others may take a
couple weeks or more.

>>CO2 diffusers are good. A lot of people like the Eheim which
includes a bubble counter. And you can hide a diffuser in the back
rather than have the CO2 fed through a powerhead. You should be able
to easily fit a 10# bottle in the stand. I like the Fabco needle
valve and don't use a solenoid. Unnecessary expense, like the
heating cables, imho.<<

Personaly, I think diffusors are a waste of money compared to the
efficiencey of a reactor, but everyone has their own preference.

Robert Hudson

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