When???

brian68

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When is the appropriate time to start stocking a new planted tank with some fish?

I am still in the process of setting it up, (i.e. just been running an empty tank for a few weeks to let the filter mature), am about to start planting (and introducing CO2), and was wondering how long I should leave it to settle down?

Thanks in advance...
 

Dan Crawford

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Once the nitrite and amonia have peaked and dropped back to 0 ish. The process will be shortened if the tank is heavily planted although if it's newly planted then i'd expect some initial die off whilst the plants adapt to their submerged conditions. Amonia will be leeched by the dying plants so keep on top of pruning dead or dying leaves. I'd not even think about adding fish for over two weeks and even longer would be better. Just keep and eye on the test kits. (we don't normally like test kits coz they are so inaccurate but in this instance it's really the only way)
 

Ed Seeley

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Honestly the only fauna I'd add before 4 weeks if possible are the algae eating crew. Stick some Otos, shrimp and snails in as soon as you see algae and the ammonia and nitrite are 0 which Dan's dead right is often about two weeks. The rest of the fish are best left until the tank is stable and everything's growing well. I reckon 4 weeks is often about the right time, but if in doubt leave it another week or two.
 

Superman

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It took me ages to do a fishless cycle about this time last year. Think about 2-3 months! But then it wasn't planted back then.

Might help if you can get a cut or a full mature filter sponge from a friend. That kick started mine and ammonia and nitrite was down to 0 in two days!

Hope your adding a source of ammonia to the water.
 

beeky

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Yes, you'll need to add some source of ammonia as the filter bacteria will only grow if they have something to feed on.

There's a school of thought that says that a heavily planted tank can be lightly stocked straight away, the idea being that the plants will contain the ammonia spike from harming the fish. Different people have different opinions on this though.
 

brian68

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19 Jun 2008
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Thanks for all your advice chaps.

I've put in a decent selection of plants (of the beginners variety) and will leave it for a few weeks.

Ta.
 

JamesC

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Either plant heavily from the start and add fish slowly with plenty of water changes or fishless cycle first in the dark and then add the plants and fish once the fishless cycle has completed. A fishless cycle done correctly shoudn't take more than 2 to 3 weeks. Just adding plants and leaving the tank won't mature the filters, you need an ammonia source.

Never fishless cycle a planted tank or you risk big algae problems later.

James
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Lincoln UK
Cat amongst the piceons etc.. I heavily stock from the start!!!. Heavily planted of course and with a good filter. I do have mature media in though each time I redo the tank and seed the substrate with mulm.

Andy
 
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