I had no idea you could put plants in an uncycled tank! How did you do it?
I've never heard anything about not putting plants in an uncycled tank. I thought I read somewhere it helps speed things up.
The tank is
uncycled, however it does contain a lot of decor that came with bacteria culture. There are 3 pieces of driftwood that all came from tanks, plus my previous tank's filter and gravel. Also for the first five days there was a cup of bacteria heavy sand kept next to the filter and I've added Microb-Lift live bacteria as well to help expedite things.
It's done! Beyond maybe a black background, I just finished. Excuse the bit of cloudiness, I kicked up some dust planting and rearranging everything and it's still settling.
Our List Of Goodies-
4 Ghost Shrimp
4 Large river rocks
3 Amazon Swords
3 Lace Java Ferns
2 Java ferns
2 Pieces of driftwood wrapped with Riccia Flautains
1 Anubias Nana
1 Piece of driftwood wrapped in Java Moss
Lots of loose and floating Riccia
And I think the Nutmeg gravel mix from Pecto, mixed with my old Swift Creek gravel.
Also, one happy betta.
I know it's not cycled, but I figure I have enough bacteria cultures inside to get it cycled fairly quickly, as well as enough plants to help with ammonia and nitrates. So far the water reads a nice 0 on ammonia and 7 on pH, and I seeded it this Tuesday with some brine shrimp next to the filter.
That's one of the four ghost shrimp (on the leaf, kind of a ghosty silhouette, no pun intended). Again, I know they fair better in a cycled tank, however, at 50 cents I'm willing to replace them, and I'm more so interested in how Gyarados acts around them and whether or not these will become snacks (these ones are pretty hardy too, they've been living a fairly long while in a petco tank with some bamboo shrimp). I introduced them to the water via the drip method, then turned off the aquarium light and let them settle and find a hiding spot for a few hours before letting G-Man in. So far I see one occasionally, and Gyarados doesn't seem to care that they're around. I originally thought he had eaten the two I had in the 2.5, but I found out that one jumped when I was pouring them back into the tank (he was found on the carpet a few days later) and I think the other just died of shock from the ammonia spike that night.
Lots of hiding spots! I picked up the vertical blur in the back today. It's a piece of pre-soaked, bacteria cultered driftwood. What I like about it is what you can't see, it's standing on a fork where branches used to meet and has a hollow chunk on the inside, so it is a natural cave (That Gyarados already loves). Also it's wrapped in java moss. The rocks were also stacked for a small nook space, since I knew I was going to put in shrimp I wanted to make sure there were lots of spots for everyone to chill.
On the other side is a retaining wall made from an arced piece of driftwood wrapped in Riccia. There's a nice nook between the larger river rock and the wall, as well as some spots between the rock and the big Amazon Sword.
I really didn't do anything to the large piece of Riccia covered driftwood I already had other than prop it up against the retaining wall to give the hollow underside a little more space. The shrimps tend to pow-wow underneath. Gyarados likes to still hide under the leaves of the nana.
The reason I added Gyarados so soon was because while the tank seemed to stabilize quickly, he also didn't have a heater in his hospital tank because his old one broke. For the past couple of days he's been living in ice water, and this morning it really showed with how slow he was. It worried me. Meanwhile his while it was cycling was tank set at 82.
I turned down the temp to 79 this morning, since I decided I'd finish aquascaping and then get him in there. When I floated him in the tank to get him acclimated, he got very excited, then sulky when he charged and his face hit the plastic of the bag he was in. He's been going non-stop since I let him out, and seemed to love all of his space and plants.
So yeah, YAY! It's done. Like everyone said, Roomy is awesome, and will be getting a very nice Christmas gift herself.