Is my plan practical?

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Is my plan practical?

Postby Jamie338 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:07 pm

Hello there.

Sorry if this is a really stupid set of questions, but I've been window and internet shopping for a tropical fish tank for some time now and I'm nearly ready (I think) to take the plunge. But I'm not really sure if what I'm planning on doing is practical or sensible?

What I'm planning on doing is getting hold of a tank and the various filters and heaters etc, and having a tank planted with real plants and some landscapeing wood or rocks to try and make the tank look reasonably natural habitat like. What I'm then planning on doing is spending the first few months I have the tank is not putting any fish in so that I can get practice at the water management and a routine going for keeping the water clean and the plants healthy, I really don't want to have fish die on me and it be because of my errors.

My question basically is, as most of the various fishless cycling methods I have read seem to suggest that the fish go in pretty much as soon as the water chemistry readings reach the levels you need. Is this simply because understandably most people want fish in ASAP? or is there some other reason for it? e.g. (and here comes the stupid question) can the tank 'over cycle', or 'un cycle' itself in some manner if you leave a gap between initial cycling and adding any fish?

Is there also a disadvantage for the fish in having a tank deliberatly 'understocked'? I like the idea of having a tank with very small species of fish in it, perhaps some manner of small tetra shoal maybe with something else that lives on the floor of the tank (depending on the tanks size), depending of course on what water conditions I end up with. So far, 'pretty soft' is all I know. So as with the above question, I don't want to overstock obviously, but is there danger in understocking? Is it possible that if I have the lower end of the potential stock for the size of tank I get that there won't be enough activity to maintain the ecosystem properly? My thinking would be for most fish, the more room the better. Is this flawed logic?

Sorry if these are daft questions, but the answers don't seem to be obvious to me from what I have read, though I may just be misunderstanding the whole thing.

Many thanks.

Jamie
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Re: Is my plan practical?

Postby Carylnz » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:48 am

My question basically is, as most of the various fishless cycling methods I have read seem to suggest that the fish go in pretty much as soon as the water chemistry readings reach the levels you need. Is this simply because understandably most people want fish in ASAP? or is there some other reason for it? e.g. (and here comes the stupid question) can the tank 'over cycle', or 'un cycle' itself in some manner if you leave a gap between initial cycling and adding any fish?
Partly because people want fish and they want lots NOW.
Also, plants need fertiliser. They will not survive if you do not provide any. Fish poo is good fertiliser.
To cycle without fish, you need an ammonia source. You must keep providing this source so the good bacteria have something to eat or they will die.

Is there also a disadvantage for the fish in having a tank deliberately 'understocked'?
No disadvantage except some thinks the tank looks empty. Many tend to overstock these days because of all the fancy filtration now available. I have my tank understocked and heavily planted. This means I do not have to do so many water changes or clean out my filter so often. Look up Dutch Tanks. These are planted aquaria where the plants are the focal point and only have a few, if any, fish in them.
My home forum is The NZ Fishroom http://www.fnzas.org.nz
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Re: Is my plan practical?

Postby Jamie338 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:54 pm

Ah, so obvious now you say it, I hadn't thought of it in those terms before.
So a little bit of a rethink is in order. And some further reading to do. I think slightly understocked but reasonably heavily planted, will be what I aim for, then theres potential to do other things as I get confidence.

Thats brilliant, thanks very much

Jamie
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Re: Is my plan practical?

Postby Carylnz » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:35 am

Stocking also varies with the fish size. Over stocking with lots of small fish will not be as bad as doing so with larger fish. The bigger the fish the more the waste output and load on the filtration.
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