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Nano tank, planted, fishless cycle + Pics

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Octillery, Aug 12, 2019.

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  1. Octillery

    Octillery New Member

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    Hi guys. First post.

    Returning hobbyist after 15 years!

    I have ordered a 29L/6.4gal aquarium which I am going to set up for a single Betta. I've never kept a Betta before so what I'm hoping is for someone to give some general advice.

    I will be using fishless cycling and using fairly fine substrate as I want some java fern etc. in there. I believe the tank I have ordered comes with an external filter built into the hood. I am hoping this will be sufficient as it has a venturi tube under the gravel but I'll know more when it arrives. I'm going to buy a 50W heater.

    I understand the cycling procedure, that is not the issue however I believe the current scientific understanding is that once cycled a healthy tank should have a 20% water change weekly.

    What can I do about storing the 6litres of water weekly, dechlorinating it and heating it prior to the change when doing the weekly change? It's not something I have an easy solution for. I'm assuming the water in replacing the old with should also be heated?

    Thanks in advance. Looking forward to posting here a lot more.

    Oct
     
    #1 Octillery, Aug 12, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  2. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Hello, and welcome to the forum! :hi:

    The water doesn’t need to Be the exact temperature of the tank water, it just needs to be close.

    What other information do you need? Do you need a list of plants? A caresheet? :)
     
  3. Naughts

    Naughts Fish Fanatic

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    I put cold tap water in a bucket and add some boiled water to get the temperature similar to the tank (I just go by feel). I then add dechlorinator to the bucket and stir well before adding to the tank.
    I tend to change about 60% a week.
     
  4. Octillery

    Octillery New Member

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    How healthy is that for the microfauna?

    So I'm ok storing the water to change for a week or so with Aquasafe or similar?

    Just found out the water in my area is fairly soft, pH8.5.

    A list of plants would be helpful Phoenix :)
     
  5. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    I make up the new water as I need it, the way Naughts does except that I put the dechlorinator in the bucket first then run the water (cold and kettle) in afterwards.

    It is now recommended to do 50% water changes every week.


    Your comment about fairly fine substrate and java fern - do you intend planting the java fern in the substrate? This plant should be grown with the rhizome above the substrate and the usual way is to attach it to decor. The roots are OK growing into the substrate but the rhizome must be above.
     
  6. Octillery

    Octillery New Member

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    Ok, great. Never had java fern so I'll bear that in mind.

    I had an aquarium years ago and I could never get the plants to grow, I blamed the pea gravel I used as to me it didn't look like there was much for the roots to anchor in. Hence using something finer this time.

    I'll post a pic when the tank arrives anyway and keep you updated on the project :)
     
  7. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    I could never grow plants either. Then I decided to try again and used plants that are grown attached to decor. They thrived, and I now have a tank full of them. I also have water sprite as a floating plant.

    With a small tank (it's the same size as my betta's tank) a couple of pieces of wood with java fern or anubias or bolbitis attached would work :)
     
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  8. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Ok, here is a beginner list of plants....

    • Java Fern (Grows best attached to a piece of driftwood, or a rock)
    • Anacharis (Grows best floating, or planted in substrate)
    • Anubias (Same as Java Fern)
    • “Christmas moss” or Java Moss (Grows best attached to a piece of driftwood)
    • Amazon Sword (Grows best planted in substrate, in the center of the tank)
    • Water Sprite (Grows floating)
    I hope this list helped, and if you have any more questions, please ask!! :)
     
  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

    If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
    If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
    If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

    Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.

    Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Hygrophila polysperma, H. ruba/ rubra, Elodia (during summer, but don't buy it in winter because it falls apart), Hydrilla, common Amazon sword plant, narrow Vallis, Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).
    The Water Sprite normally floats on the surface but can also be planted in the substrate. The other plants should be planted in the gravel.

    If you add an iron based aquarium plant fertiliser, it will help most aquarium plants do well. The liquid iron based fertilisers tend to be better than the tablet forms, although you can push the tablets under the roots of plants and that works well.
    I use Sera Florena liquid plant fertiliser but there are other brands too.

    Do not bother adding carbon fertiliser to the tank because they are not necessary.

    ---------------------------
    You do water changes for 2 main reasons.
    1) to reduce nutrients like ammonia, nitrite & nitrate.
    2) to dilute disease organisms in the water.

    Fish live in a soup of microscopic organisms including bacteria, fungus, viruses, protozoans, worms, flukes and various other things that make your skin crawl. Doing a big water change and gravel cleaning the substrate on a regular basis will dilute these organisms and reduce their numbers in the water, thus making it a safer and healthier environment for the fish.

    If you do a 25% water change each week you leave behind 75% of the bad stuff in the water.
    If you do a 50% water change each week you leave behind 50% of the bad stuff in the water.
    If you do a 75% water change each week you leave behind 25% of the bad stuff in the water.

    Imagine living in your house with no windows, doors, toilet, bathroom or anything. You eat and poop in the environment and have no clean air. Eventually you end up living in your own filth, which would probably be made worse by you throwing up due to the smell. You would get sick very quickly and probably die unless someone came to clean up regularly and open the place up to let in fresh air.

    Fish live in their own waste. Their tank and filter is full of fish poop. The water they breath is filtered through fish poop. Cleaning filters, gravel and doing big regular water changes, removes a lot of this poop and makes the environment cleaner and healthier for the fish.
     
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  10. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    That my friends, is a good analysis. :big_boss:
     
  11. Octillery

    Octillery New Member

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    Any advice on testing kits? The ones in the shops seem... expensive. With few strips.

    Thanks
     
  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Which country are you in?
    Different countries have different brands of test kits. As a general rule, liquid test kits are a little more accurate than paper test kits.

    The API Mater Test Kit (see link below) is commonly used by members on this forum but there are other brands. I used Sera and Wardleys, but you need to look around and see what is available in your area.
    https://www.petbarn.com.au/api-freshwater-master-kit-5-in-1

    If you can't afford test kits, just take a glass full of tank water to your local pet shop and ask them to test it for you. Most shops charge a small fee for the tests but it can be cheaper than buying individual kits. When they test the water for you, write the results down in numbers. If they say the water is fine, ask them what the results are in numbers.
     
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  13. Octillery

    Octillery New Member

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    Hi Colin, before I even read your response I ordered the API kit (image attached - maybe).

    As a scientist by trade I distrust the strips. But knowing what those test reagents are, the kits are still way overpriced. Anyway, it's on order!
     

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  14. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Yes, the ships are crazy inaccurate. While they may be cheaper in the short run, in the long run you will want the API master test kit. It has over 800 individual tests. :)
     
  15. Octillery

    Octillery New Member

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    Ok. I can't find any ammonia anywhere. The one I did find has a small amount of surfactant in so I can't really use it.

    There are numerous starter bottles which claim to make a tank safe for new fish by adding the bacteria but frankly, without adding a known amount of ammonia you just have to take their word for it.

    Any ideas where to get ammonia, or are there viable alternatives? I don't want to do a fish based cycle.
     

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