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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I set up my first dirted tank last night for a betta fish (not bought yet). I want to go with a silent cycle but want to be sure that I have enough plants to realistically achieve that. Unfortunately I haven't done a water test yet since I didn't finish setting up the tank until 3am last night and had to rush to work this morning so I will do the water test when I get home from work today and update the information here (along with a picture). My apologies for the lack of water parameters in this first post but I wanted to get a general idea from everyone on whether the amount of plants I have as of now should be enough to achieve a silent cycle so that I can go buy some more on the way home if needed.. Here's information about my tank so far:


  • 2.5 gallon Aqueon rectangular tank
  • Finnex Planted+ clip-on light
  • ~3/4 inch MGOCPM
  • ~1 inch small diameter gravel
  • 11-12 stems of Cabomba [1 floating, half bunched and weighted, half planted in gravel (will probably end up floating too after all the work it took just to plant them in the gravel :roll: ) ]
  • 1 Anubias nanji glued to decor


I went to my LFS store yesterday to get Anacharis and Anubias nana but they didn't have any so I grabbed the Cabomba and Anubias nanji they had in stock instead. Of course I'll need to keep an eye out for any stems that might die in the next few days but as of right now, do I have enough stem plants in my tank to qualify as the "heavily planted" needed to achieve a silent cycle? If not, about how much more plants would I need? FYI I have an Azoo Palm filter and a mini heater too but I haven't placed them in the tank yet as I want to do a few more water changes to get the last of the debris out.


Appreciate any responses. Also, if anyone has other general, helpful information for this new start-up I'm all ears. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I read somewhere, you will need like 100 fast growing stem plants per gallon to do silent cycle.


Oh wow! If that's the case the internet is one fickle beast ☹ I had seen somewhere else online where the poster asked a similar question about their small tank setup and the replies were that a couple of bunches were enough for his tank. Back to the drawing board it seems.


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What I know is you'll need a lot of fast growing plants such as guppy grass, hornwort, anacharis, Water Wisteria, Water Sprite, Brazilian Pennywort. Anubias is slow growing.


Why don't you just do fish-in cycling? It's easy with a betta. You'll need a heater and a filter.
http://www.bettafish.com/30-betta-fish-care/507585-cycling-two-sentence-tutorial.html


I'm not familiar with the LED, but I think it might be too strong for your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What I know is you'll need a lot of fast growing plants such as guppy grass, hornwort, anacharis, Water Wisteria, Water Sprite, Brazilian Pennywort. Anubias is slow growing.


Why don't you just do fish-in cycling? It's easy with a betta. You'll need a heater and a filter.
http://www.bettafish.com/30-betta-fish-care/507585-cycling-two-sentence-tutorial.html


I'm not familiar with the LED, but I think it might be too strong for your tank.


Yeah the Anubias is just for decor and possibly a natural betta hammock if it can serve that role. My LFS gets a new plant shipment in on Thursday but 100-200 stems in my tank would just make it a bowl of leaves with no hope for a fish inside.

I was hoping to avoid putting a fish through fish-in but if the plants really aren't feasible then I have some TSS I can use before putting a betta in.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got my tests done.

Water Parameters:

pH: 7.4
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm





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You can do fishless cycling with pure ammonia. If you use a filter media from cycled tank, the process will be faster. Or you can get a product like Seachem Stability and Tetra Safestart. Setting heater at 84F would also help BB growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Found that original article stating the couple of bunches per 5 gallons of water that was referenced a bit in threads at PlantedTank: https://rotalabutterfly.com/rex-grigg/cycle.htm

Also found a different site stating their recommendation of 50% of the gravel surface having stem plants for a silent cycle: Silent Cycling in a Planted Aquarium - Article at The Age of Aquariums - Tropical Fish

I'll get my filter and heater running today, keep water testing, and stock up on some more stem plants at the LFS this week to at least have the view of the back of the tank blocked entirely by plants. Probably float some additional in case my light's too much for the size of my tank. Maybe by next week if I feel comfortable with how things are looking I'll get the betta (and add Tetra SafeStart if I'm still paranoid). Might go ahead and get Prime after reading up on your link. Sounds like a great product.
 

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Probably float some additional in case my light's too much for the size of my tank.
Hi,

I also have a 2.5 gallon Aqueon tank and use a 12" Finnex Fugeray Plants+. I also use an Azoo Palm filter. My light is the type which sits on the tank frame, rather than a clip-on. I don't find it too bright and it also gives a greater chance to grow plants which require more more intensity. Your clip-on gives you better ability to control excess heat.

I cycled my tank with a betta. He was added three days after the set-up and planting. I planted a bit more heavily than you, but only by about half again. I also used Fluval Cycle as a starter. I also started fertilizing the plants from day one using the Seachem products. After two weeks, I added a couple of nerites.

At no point did the Ammonia exceed .25 ppm so I didn't need to do heavy water changes. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with Nitrate or Nitrite spikes. Due to the heavy planting, I've never had a large Nitrite build up.

Here is the tank after about a month.

Have fun with your new tank!
 

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Hi,

I also have a 2.5 gallon Aqueon tank and use a 12" Finnex Fugeray Plants+. I also use an Azoo Palm filter. My light is the type which sits on the tank frame, rather than a clip-on. I don't find it too bright and it also gives a greater chance to grow plants which require more more intensity. Your clip-on gives you better ability to control excess heat.

I cycled my tank with a betta. He was added three days after the set-up and planting. I planted a bit more heavily than you, but only by about half again. I also used Fluval Cycle as a starter. I also started fertilizing the plants from day one using the Seachem products. After two weeks, I added a couple of nerites.

At no point did the Ammonia exceed .25 ppm so I didn't need to do heavy water changes. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with Nitrate or Nitrite spikes. Due to the heavy planting, I've never had a large Nitrite build up.

Here is the tank after about a month.

Have fun with your new tank!
Actually I'm kind of interested to get the light for my Spec V. Doesn't it grow algae? A Marineland LED I use has been growing diatoms and occasional cyanobacteria.
 

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ryry,

I think the biggest problem we all have is that any light grows algae. I'm sure we've all spent time banging our heads on a wall and voicing words to see if sailors can blush.

I have had the usual problems with algae and it seems to take some time to get everything balanced out. The Plants+ series has a spectrum which has proved successful for me in keeping the plants lush and the algae to a minimum. What grows on the glass and plant stems is kept in check by snails and shrimp.

Eons ago I started out with a hood which had two incandescent showcase lamps. Hi-Tech was a colored bulb. When I got into marine aquaria, fluorescent tube lights were the going thing. Algae has always been a challenge for the aquarist.

A few months ago, when I got back into the hobby, I decided to try the new-fangled LEDs. (I've always loved Pringles). I did a lot of research and decided to try the Finnex. I've been very satisfied with the light-bar.

All in all, I'm enjoying the advances in fish keeping. One of the big changes has been​ the ability to get aquatic plants to survive. Back in the sixties, that was a loosing proposition. Now it's fun!

I hope you'll give LEDs a try. That, and the excellent choice of fertilizers & additives which are now available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi,

I also have a 2.5 gallon Aqueon tank and use a 12" Finnex Fugeray Plants+. I also use an Azoo Palm filter. My light is the type which sits on the tank frame, rather than a clip-on. I don't find it too bright and it also gives a greater chance to grow plants which require more more intensity. Your clip-on gives you better ability to control excess heat.

I cycled my tank with a betta. He was added three days after the set-up and planting. I planted a bit more heavily than you, but only by about half again. I also used Fluval Cycle as a starter. I also started fertilizing the plants from day one using the Seachem products. After two weeks, I added a couple of nerites.

At no point did the Ammonia exceed .25 ppm so I didn't need to do heavy water changes. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with Nitrate or Nitrite spikes. Due to the heavy planting, I've never had a large Nitrite build up.

Here is the tank after about a month.

Have fun with your new tank!
So nice to hear you have an identical setup! I actually went back to my LFS and picked up some remnant stems of Cabomba, Hornwort and Anacharis; not much but just want to keep bulking up what I have so far until their proper shipment this week.

What specific fertilizer product did you use? Seachem has so many products in their line that it's hard to decipher which is which and what's needed. Knowing you have an almost exact setup is really helpful :)

I have my Planted+ gooseneck extended at it's highest in fear of algae but I might lower it some for the plants and to heat some more (I run the A/C hard).

Your tank looks great as does your betta!
 

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ryry,

I think the biggest problem we all have is that any light grows algae. I'm sure we've all spent time banging our heads on a wall and voicing words to see if sailors can blush.

I have had the usual problems with algae and it seems to take some time to get everything balanced out. The Plants+ series has a spectrum which has proved successful for me in keeping the plants lush and the algae to a minimum. What grows on the glass and plant stems is kept in check by snails and shrimp.

Eons ago I started out with a hood which had two incandescent showcase lamps. Hi-Tech was a colored bulb. When I got into marine aquaria, fluorescent tube lights were the going thing. Algae has always been a challenge for the aquarist.

A few months ago, when I got back into the hobby, I decided to try the new-fangled LEDs. (I've always loved Pringles). I did a lot of research and decided to try the Finnex. I've been very satisfied with the light-bar.

All in all, I'm enjoying the advances in fish keeping. One of the big changes has been​ the ability to get aquatic plants to survive. Back in the sixties, that was a loosing proposition. Now it's fun!

I hope you'll give LEDs a try. That, and the excellent choice of fertilizers & additives which are now available.
Thank you! Planted+ clip LED is now added to my Amazon wish list. I'm going to see if price drops and also look for a better price


Yes, algae is always a challenge in almost any setups. As I mentioned, I've never been able to get rid of diatoms in my Spec V. I've been running the tank for two years. It should be the LED. My other low tech tank has a regular Planted+. It's been six months since I started it. Somehow, a miracle happened and it's algae free now. I have to add - ramshorn snails are doing great job cleaning algae and decaying plants in my tank!
 

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What specific fertilizer product did you use? Seachem has so many products in their line that it's hard to decipher which is which and what's needed
I'd take a guess that since you referred to your filter as a "Palm" you must be familiar with Drs. Foster & Smith. For a small tank, these combos will have everything you need and will last for months. Since you use so little, I recommend using 3ml plastic pipettes for measurement and dosing.

Freshwater Aquatic Plants in Aquariums: Flourish Liquid Plant Packs
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's a look at the tank this morning. Would you suggest more plants? (I know it's not pretty but I just threw everything in to start doing their job)



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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Water Parameters this evening:

pH:6.6
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 40 or 80ppm? (the colors on the card are the same I swear!)

Big difference between tonight's pH and the first test though I admit I didn't know how to read the tests the first time and did not place the tube directly on the card when comparing colors. So perhaps that's user error? Or could my pH have really changed that much in two days? If so, why?

As for the nitrates... Is that a normal jump in two days? From 0 to 40? (or even possibly 80ppm, good heavens) I followed the directions for both bottles. I did about a 50% water change after the water test on 6/5, did a nearly 50% water change last night (no test yesterday), and have not done a water change today (unless it's needed)
 
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