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A couple of daft questions...
Hi all,

I’ll be setting up a 200L tank soon and plan to do a fishless cycle. 

A couple of daft questions first though!

1, I plan on having a natural looking aquascape with bogwood and plants. Should I add the plants after the cycle or is it ok to add them at the start? I’ve read that it’s easier to plant them with the tank 1/3-1/2 full, which makes sense, but this would mean a large water change after the cycle if done in that order. 

2, How about the bogwood, could this be added at the beginning?

3, How long would a cycle take (roughly)?

4, What kind of vessel could I use for water changes? An average bucket holds around 10l which is only a 5% water change. Was thinking of a 25l fermenting tub?

5, Should fish be left in the tank or put in a ‘holding tank’ during large water changes?

Think that’s it for now - I’m sure there are more daft questions to come!
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No such thing as a daft question Smile

1) During the cycle is the best time to sort your 'scape out. Plenty of time to get the plants established and be happy with how it looks. It is easier to add plants etc with a lower water level but keep the filter inlet/outlets below the water line and you can leave it running or just switch it off for short periods while planting. You'll need to do a large water change at the end of the cycle anyway before you add fish.

2) Bogwood can be added whenever but it can take time to sink if not pre soaked. It can also release tannins into the water that will stain it. This does no harm at all but you might not like the look so again can be pre soaked. Your weekly water changes after adding fish will remove any that do get into the tank.

3) Average is 6-8 weeks or so, bit more, bit less all depends.

4)You'd be looking to do at least 25% water changes each week. You can use the same bucket over and over, get lots of buckets, bigger buckets (bear in mind how heavy they will be when lifting) or setup a hosepipe empty refill system (many of us do this for ease)

5) Fish can stay in unless you need to do major changes. A normal 25-50% water change/clean they don't need to go anywhere.

Hope that helps Smile
500L Sooperhooge Goldfish tank Smile
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Thank god you can leave fish in during water changes Wink
Bikini Bottom - 168l - community
The Kremlin - 58l - planted WIP
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  • Cheltgirl, CrashEd, Jota
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I agree with everything Cheltgirl said! Planting from the start is fine. Just to add - I routinely do 75%+ water changes and as long as the new water is the same as the old water (in terms of temperature, pH etc) it's absolutely fine. I've never lost a fish or had one struggle as a result - in fact they seem to love the clean fresh water and often start spawning afterwards...

I use a hosepipe to drain and refill. I measured the distance from my tank to the nearest outside drain, and bought a drinking water safe hosepipe of this length. Put one end in the tank, give the other end a quick suck (if you're squeamish you can fill the hose with water instead), then put in on the drain, and away you go. When it's drained enough, I attach the drain end to my kitchen tap via a Hozelock tap connector, dose Seachem Prime (dechlorinator) for the full volume of the tank (straight into the tank), and refill.

I don't gravel vac because my tank is so heavily planted.

IMO it is much more stressful for fish to be netted out or otherwise removed than it is for them to avoid a bit of messing around in the tank, and would only do it if absolutely necessary. If you have a planted tank you'll probably find it almost impossible to get them out without destroying your tank anyway...
240 litre Fluval Roma - South American theme
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Many thanks for the help folks - told you they were daft questions but just wanted to check!

With regards to plants and substrate, should I put a layer of fertiliser (Tropica or similar) under the substrate to aid plant growth, or should I just keep it simple and use liquid fertiliser/root fertiliser?
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I just used a very fine gravel, just a bit bigger than sand grain size, then added a few root tabs where rooted plants will go. You don't need many.
[Image: 2Tsph5y]
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(14-04-2019, 06:25 PM)Jota Wrote: I just used a very fine gravel, just a bit bigger than sand grain size, then added a few root tabs where rooted plants will go.  You don't need many.

Great, I’ll do something similar. I’m all for keeping it simple.
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I bought the Seachem root tabs and they're fairly chunky so I just cut them in half, they go further.
[Image: 2Tsph5y]
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Thumbs Up 
(14-04-2019, 06:35 PM)Jota Wrote: I bought the Seachem root tabs and they're fairly chunky so I just cut them in half, they go further.

Good tip.
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(14-04-2019, 06:23 PM)CrashEd Wrote: Many thanks for the help folks - told you they were daft questions but just wanted to check!

No such thing as daft questions. Always better to ask and be sure, which means you actually care about what you're doing.

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
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