Setting up big tank 1 - sense check please :)

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Wills

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Right the time has finally come I'm putting water in my first of two 300-litre tanks and I just want to sense-check my set up plans - would you do anything different?

The first stage I want to get to is to add 5 Synodontis Petricola or similar which will be there to start to get the tank ready for the Mbuna Cichlids coming down the line. I want to avoid a fish in cycle so I am planning to add a handful of media and a decent amount of Limnophilla Sessiflora from one of my other tanks, I'm also going to add quite a few Peace Lillys to the back of the tank (I think... I'd quite like an African house plant but struggling to find something).

I want to get the water in and the plants all added this weekend, but I'm not sure when to seed the filter and how best to keep the bacteria alive (just add some flakes? or doses of ammonia? drop in a frozen shrimp?) and how soon after I should add the juvenile Synodontis?

Long term the Mbuna will destroy the Limnophilla so it is just temporary, equally the Peace Lillys will take a good few weeks/months to start their roots in water - but when they do thats my signal that it is time for the Mbuna :)

What do you reckon how would you handle this process?

Wills
 
I want to get the water in and the plants all added this weekend, but I'm not sure when to seed the filter and how best to keep the bacteria alive (just add some flakes? or doses of ammonia? drop in a frozen shrimp?) and how soon after I should add the juvenile Synodontis?
Chemical/pure ammonia as it is just so easy to control and manipulate the levels you want/need.
 
Love your 1st choice of fish… I have a couple dwarf petricola’s in my shopping cart, for when my water gets straightened out
 
Sense check...
Subject (Wills) has lost all common sense due to suffering from MTS. Subject has completely lost the plot and has gone gaga goo goo and no longer responds to normal sensible statements. Instead they are into nonsensical mumbo jumbo caused by the delusional thoughts they have about not having MTS.
 
I agree with AlexT. With ammonia, you can accurately dose your tank and you can accurately measure the amount of ammonia. You can repeat this process a couple times or use ammonia to maintain your bacteria colonies until you start stocking the tank.

My planned 75 gallon Mbuna tank will use a sump filter. I hope to have the filter running while I work on the tank (resealing, aquascaping) , just keep adding ammonia. The filter should be ready for a large initial stocking of the tank.
 
What I may do...
Put my bio-media and some substrate in a 5 gallon bucket with a heater and air stone, I will dose it with ammonia to establish my bacteria colonies. This way, I can get my filter conditioned while I am working on my tank.

I plan on ordering my Mbuna online. I prefer to get them before it get too cold ie: during the fall.
 

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