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essjay

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Also were do I go to get accurate information on what parameters and tank sizes certain species need.
The site that most of us use for information on fish species is https://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/

As you are in the UK, look at Argos play sand. Some of the sand other members have mentioned are only available in the US.

If you intend a planted tank, provided you have more than just the odd couple of plants, you can do a plant/silent cycle as plants take up ammonia as fertiliser. With this method, the tank is planted then we wait until the plants are showing definite signs of growth. The last thing you want to do is get fish then the plants die. Once you are sure they are growing, then fish can be added one species at a time. To be on the safe side, test for ammonia and nitrite every day after adding fish. If they stay at zero, the next species can be added after a week or two. If either show up a water change is needed to get them down to zero.
With this method ammonia is not added. Fish make ammonia in tiny amounts every minute of the day so the plants remove it as soon as it is made. Adding a dose of ammonia in one big dose can harm the plants you are trying to grow.
 
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Shiverz

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The site that most of us use for information on fish species is https://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/

As you are in the UK, look at Argos play sand. Some of the sand other members have mentioned are only available in the US.

If you intend a planted tank, provided you have more than just the odd couple of plants, you can do a plant/silent cycle as plants take up ammonia as fertiliser. With this method, the tank is planted then we wait until the plants are showing definite signs of growth. The last thing you want to do is get fish then the plants die. Once you are sure they are growing, then fish can be added one species at a time. To be on the safe side, test for ammonia and nitrite every day after adding fish. If they stay at zero, the next species can be added after a week or two. If either show up a water change is needed to get them down to zero.
With this method ammonia is not added. Fish make ammonia in tiny amounts every minute of the day so the plants remove it as soon as it is made. Adding a dose of ammonia in one big dose can harm the plants you are trying to grow.
I did notice the argos play sand, is there a huge difference between aquarium and play sand? ther difference in price is marginal considering travel costs as well. Whilst I'm at the LFS, I can also bag some plants whilst I'm there.

Would it be recommended for a silent tank? I'm not too bothered about the humm of filters, in fact I find it quite theraputic.
 

essjay

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The sand sold by aquarium shops is usually more expensive, this is the main reason people go for play sand. if you don't mind paying, yes you can get sand from the fish shop. Just make sure the grain size is small and it is smooth if you ever want bottom dwelling fish.

Any sand can be used for a silent cycle. The only thing you need to buy is fast growing plants, which I forgot to mention in my last post. Having nothing but java fern and anubias isn't suitable because being slow growing, they don't take up much ammonia. The best type of plants are floating plants. Besides ammonia, plants need carbon dioxide and light to grow well, and floating plants are near the lights and they can get carbon dioxide from the air so they are fast growers which take up a lot of ammonia. They are also good for fish as most of the fish we buy come from rivers with overhanging vegetation so these fish do appreciate shade. Look for water sprite or Amazon frogbit. If you can't find any in your local shops, look on Ebay.
 
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Shiverz

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The sand sold by aquarium shops is usually more expensive, this is the main reason people go for play sand. if you don't mind paying, yes you can get sand from the fish shop. Just make sure the grain size is small and it is smooth if you ever want bottom dwelling fish.

Any sand can be used for a silent cycle. The only thing you need to buy is fast growing plants, which I forgot to mention in my last post. Having nothing but java fern and anubias isn't suitable because being slow growing, they don't take up much ammonia. The best type of plants are floating plants. Besides ammonia, plants need carbon dioxide and light to grow well, and floating plants are near the lights and they can get carbon dioxide from the air so they are fast growers which take up a lot of ammonia. They are also good for fish as most of the fish we buy come from rivers with overhanging vegetation so these fish do appreciate shade. Look for water sprite or Amazon frogbit. If you can't find any in your local shops, look on Ebay.
The difference between the aquarium sand and Argos is £3, if I went to argos I'd only be going for that, where as if I go to the LFS, I'd be able to pick up more goodies :) I'lm also looking at bottom dwellers, so I'll make sure to get smooth sand.

I like the look of the plants on top, I've heard beautiful things about duckweek, and also horrible things (i.e it's near impossible to get rid of). Would I be able to run a filter as well? or is it best to just stick with one or the other?
 

JuiceBox52

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The difference between the aquarium sand and Argos is £3, if I went to argos I'd only be going for that, where as if I go to the LFS, I'd be able to pick up more goodies :)

I like the look of the plants on top, I've heard beautiful things about duckweek, and also horrible things (i.e it's near impossible to get rid of). Would I be able to run a filter as well? or is it best to just stick with one or the other?
A sponge filter would be good because it wouldnt suck up floating plants. You need some surface movement, whichever filter you choose
 

ClownLurch

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A sponge filter would be good because it wouldnt suck up floating plants. You need some surface movement, whichever filter you choose
Wish I’d read earlier. Just filled my first tank for over 20 yrs today. The three types of floacting plant mentioned on here the most when cycling etc. Turned everything on and a mad rush towards the filter occurred. Loose roots floating everywhere within seconds. Turned filter off ASAP. Looks like I’m gonna need it wrapping in black tights or something similar.
we live and learn.
 
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Shiverz

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A sponge filter would be good because it wouldnt suck up floating plants. You need some surface movement, whichever filter you choose
I was thinking a hang on the back one... would this be alright? The filter is traditionally underneath, so it wouldn't pull to much would it?
 

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The hang on the back will be fine as long as the intake is well below the surface so it does not draw in floating plants. Some of the best plants to do a planted cycle are, hornwort, pennywort, moneywort, anacharis, frog bit, and salvinia. Some you can "plant in the sand like Anacharis or just let float. These are all fast growing and fast absorbing plants that will take care of the ammonia. I have used planted cycles for all my tanks. If your filter intake does not go down far then you should look at making a barrier.
 

PheonixKingZ

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Does this sort of float on the surface to keep plants away?
Here is what I made, it was super easy:
5936CA01-7A39-453D-88FC-AD97000DC54E.jpeg

As you can see, if you put the fishing line right at the level of the water, the plants can’t get past it:
16B0F3AD-1DC8-472A-AD9E-3F1D87FB1C3E.jpeg

(kind of hard to see the fishing line, sorry.)
Here is the last picture:
000A19E9-5EBC-468A-96EE-71F7E22F6EDD.jpeg

Hope this helped. :)
 

ClownLurch

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Good idea. I used to work in shipbuilding and we had a rope floating on the river surface to stop stuff floating off downstream. Same principle.
Theres Salvinia all over the tank walls well below the waterline just splattered there. Loads of fine roots lying on the sand And others floating downwards. I’ll have a clean up tomorrow and get the salvageable plants out of the filter.
I only put them all in to get them out of tap water and into tap water + flourish because the maths involved in working out how much flourish was needed for eight 0.5L old yoghurt cartons didnt bare thinking about.
Aaaaarrrrggggh.:eek:
 

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