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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I have a couple of major questions. I have a Fluval Spec V, and I have NO idea if it's 'heavily planted' or just 'moderately' or 'lightly planted.' In my Spec, I have:
2 anubias, two swords, one crypt, water sprite, an onion, and ludwigia. I have miracle gro organic mix capped with gravel. I've included a pic below. They've actually grown in some since this pic. I'd like to add my betta and some cherry shrimp. I've had this tank up and planted for about two weeks now. There is SO much conflicting information on cycling planted tanks, and I have no idea of telling if it is ready for inhabitants or IS cycling or if I need to START the cycle...ARGH. Do I add? Leave alone for another few weeks? Buy ammonia? Does decaying plant matter produce ammonia? My head hurts from thinking about it. I want to do the right thing by the plants and animals but honestly trying to research all of this makes me want to give up and just keep underwater plants in a tank on my shelf. I can't find anyone who agrees with each other, and I want to do the right thing!!

 

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It looks heavy planted to me. =D

I have the same tank with many plants. =) But I am doing a fish in cycle. taking out 50% of the water everyday and using prime conditioner. there are many different ways to cycle. here is a thread that tells you the different ways:
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=111960
 

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I would consider that to be moderately to heavily planted. I think adding floaters would make it heavily planted, without a doubt.

Phage you tested the water? That's the best way to tell if it is safe for fish or not. Judging be the number of plants I would say that a betta will probably be fine in there with 2x weekly 50% water changes, even if you can't test. The tank has probably begun cycling on its own, as decaying plant matter and soil relese the ammonia the cycle needs.

I would feel comfortable with adding a betta, but would wait on the shrimp: they typically need fully established tanks to thrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks so much for the replies!! I had thought that a fully planted tank with a small bioload (one fish, several shrimp) would be fine pretty much immediately. I'm a little disappointed that planted tanks have to be cycled as well. :) I do have an API master test kit, and will use it. Maybe with straight ammonia for a fishless cycle. I'm really excited about adding the shrimp but I'm trying to be patient.

I also have a whitish algae growing on the substrate in places. I've been suctioning it out with a turkey baster, and it's pretty stinky. Normal for a new tank?
 

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+1 Matt.

I RCS, Vampire, Amano, Bamboo and Blue Velvet shrimp. I would not add shrimp to any tank that hasn't been fully cycled and stable for at least two to three months. They are extremely sensitive and the slightest spike in ammonia will kill them.

However, once your tank is ready they are fun little critters. Three of my Bettas are fine with them; one wasn't so he lives alone.
 
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