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Newbie First Planted Aquarium


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Hello, 

Just setup my first planted aquarium, really first aquarium if you don't count the ones I had as a kid. This is a 30 gallon tank and I want to fertilize cycle the way Cory talks about, just need some help. I'm going to use easy green/root tabs but how much/often? Lights are on 5 to 6 hours a day for now, when do I increase? What water parameters should I have through this cycle period?  When do I do water changes? Sorry for so many questions, so much to learn. Any help would be appreciated. What did I miss. This has been fun looking forward to this next phase. Thanks 

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Well I’ve never heard Cory talk about fertiliser cycling, but now I’m interested! I would assume you pick the light back up to 8ish hours after a month or two. Two would be a better choice to avoid algae growth. Water parameters depend on the plant. There will be nitrates if you’re also cycling it for fish, or if you’re using a soil/active substrate, so you can’t really avoid that. Nitrates are good for some plants, but can be a pain with others (like species of rotala) that will present better colour with a lower nitrate content. I’m not sure how much you’re going into this all though. Generally pH is best when it’s just below neutral, but that’s also plant dependent. Same with temp.

Can’t really answer your other questions as I don’t know the whole fertiliser cycling concept. Good luck though!

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Fertilize cycle is simple don’t overthink it is key. Add a decent amount of easy green or liquid fertz as needed for plant growth. Once you get a decent amount of plant growth and some algae do a water change ad a small amount of fish test regularly when stable add more slowly.  There isn’t really a set amount of fertz etc. maybe that’s why when Cory talked about it he didn’t get specific. the plants and algae consume ammonia and nitrogen while beneficial bacteria establish. Test a lot until stable. I hope that helps. It is a good way to start I’ve done it that way for years when I have to cold start without an established tank to use. 

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p314a7n4ts;

Welcome to the forum.

You have asked some very good questions, I hope I can help you.

I don't use root tabs, I don't need to, my substrate is Eco Complete which has all of the micro and macro nutrients my plants need and has the ability to turn fish waste into plant fertilizer. Though my substrate contains iron, I dose with Seachem Iron after every water change. 

Put a timer on your light and set it to come on at 8 AM (Your time), off at 11:30 AM, on at 4:30 PM and off for the night at 8 PM. This schedule mimics the available light during the course of any day in the rainforests around the world, there is still available light from outside of your tank to keep your plants growing very well.

When you get everything right, you may be lucky to see one or more of your plants pearling, and that's pretty cool. I have a rather large Amazon sword that was pearling for four days straight last week, I was surprised because in the past, whenever one of my plants was pearling, the pearling only lasted one day.  

Set that timer, dose with iron, and good luck.

Sincerely

Gator

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I’m not real experienced with plants and cycling a tank in this way, but I’ve been wanting too and have done some research. Way I understand it get the light up to at least 8 hours now maybe even 10 set root tabs as needed in a 3”x3” grid pattern. Dose with easy green as instructions call for. Then wait for new growth on plants and algae (algae is a good thing) new growth and algae mean your cycling. Then add fish slowly just a couple to start with wait a week or two add couple more fish repeat as desired. After you start adding fish you can start doing algae control, not to much at a time tho it is helping, then when your tank is established 4-6 months you will be able to remove as much algae as you want. Like I said algae is a good thing, I don’t mind some in my tanks at all.

good luck!

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