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Old 02-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #1 
BetaBlaze
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About to cycle a 5 gallon, need a little advice!

Hey Kids,
I've got my halfmoon boy, "Lip" in a 2.5, and wanna give him more space. I have a 5 gallon tank, which is actually no small feat to find BTW, an AquaClear 20 filter, Aqueon heater, will be getting the finnex light tomorrow, and am planning on adding 2-3 live plants which I understand may help the cycling. I would also like to throw in some driftwood, or Mopani wood pending some investigation. I plan to use the fishless cycle by adding pure ammonia per instructions and using the API test kit. Today at Petco, I saw a filter element for the AquaClear that was labeled as "Ammonia remover" and an Alternate chemical stage, apparently replacing the carbon filter element in the 3 stage filtration. I have to ask, if I am going to properly cycle the tank, would it be wise to use this alternative filter element, or would I be actually cheating the cycle?

Regarding the plants, from what I've seen, I'm partial to the Amazon Sword, the peacock fern, and fluval makes a Moss Ball that is advertised as being "beneficial". Any advice regarding these plants for a beginner would be sooooo helpful!

Thanks in advance,

BetaBlaze
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #2 
Bombalurina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaBlaze View Post
Hey Kids,
I've got my halfmoon boy, "Lip" in a 2.5, and wanna give him more space. I have a 5 gallon tank, which is actually no small feat to find BTW, an AquaClear 20 filter, Aqueon heater, will be getting the finnex light tomorrow, and am planning on adding 2-3 live plants which I understand may help the cycling. Yes, they do. :) Faster growing ones like elodea, lacefern, hornwort and wisteria help more. Some other easy ones that grow more slowly are java fern, java moss and anubias. I would also like to throw in some driftwood, or Mopani wood pending some investigation. Go Malaysian driftwood if you can (the dark stuff). Mopani is a bit hit and miss - sometimes it is fine, other times it murders fish. I plan to use the fishless cycle by adding pure ammonia per instructions and using the API test kit. Good. :) Today at Petco, I saw a filter element for the AquaClear that was labeled as "Ammonia remover" and an Alternate chemical stage, apparently replacing the carbon filter element in the 3 stage filtration. I have to ask, if I am going to properly cycle the tank, would it be wise to use this alternative filter element, or would I be actually cheating the cycle? I wouldn't trust something that claims to remove ammonia. A cycled tank will convert the ammonia to a less harmful form anyway, and you definitely don't want something removing ammonia during a fishless cycle, if it does work. You need to ammonia to spike. However, if you want to remove the carbon anyway and replace it with filter wool or ceramic stuff, it wouldn't hurt. I'm not a massive fan of carbon in tanks - it eats fertiliser and medication and is expensive, because you have to change it all the time.

Regarding the plants, from what I've seen, I'm partial to the Amazon Sword, the peacock fern, and fluval makes a Moss Ball that is advertised as being "beneficial". Any advice regarding these plants for a beginner would be sooooo helpful! I don't know about Fluval's Moss Ball, but any Marimo Moss Ball, available in most pet shops in the US (from what I hear on here) will do the job. Is the Fluval one a real plant, or something odd? Amazon swords are nice plants, but can get huge. The java fern looks similar, stays smaller and is generally easier to care for. I'm not familiar with peacock fern, though. The plants I mentioned above are all super. :)

Thanks in advance,

BetaBlaze
I hope this helps! :)
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #3 
BetaBlaze
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Yes, your advice is of great help, and thanks so much! I was a bit skeptical about the Ammonia removal filter element, and thanks for the heads-up about the carbon element. I'll be avoiding the Mopani given the "it sometimes murders fish" statement. My Betta thanks you! I have heard good things about Java ferns in other posts, and like the look of the wisteria so I'll probably start there. As far as the Fluval goes, it is something odd as it comes in plastic off-the-shelf packaging!

Here is a link if you are interested in seeing it:

http://www.partsandmedia.com/flphandniabf.html

I'll be looking into the Marimo moss ball instead.

Thanks so much for your help, its really started to steer me closer to my goal of a good home for my little guy!

Steve
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #4 
JKhoi
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I recommend Tetra Safestart it basically cycles your tank in a day or two xD A bottle would be like 8 dollars but it's totally worth it. Would you wait 1-2 days to cycle or 8 weeks? :P
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:08 PM   #5 
Bombalurina
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That is a wierd creation. Ah, Fluval, doing your best to capitalise on what nature beat you to making.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:21 PM   #6 
BetaBlaze
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BombAlurina,
Think you got it right there. Since I'm new to the hobby, I think I got sucked in by Fluval's "elegance". The deeper I dig, can't help but think they are more about plastic furniture and photo spreads than fish and fish keepers!
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