Just starting


Junior Poster
Jun 19, 2009
Hi everyone,

I'm just starting out on a planted tank. I've been reading everything I can about plants and ferts etc. ATM I'm 3 weeks into the "fishless cycle" of a 125g tank (72 x 18 x 22") and just waiting for the nitrites to go down. I assume the oily film on top is normal at this stage??

Light: 4 x 40 watt T-12 grow lights (two 4' ballast centered in tank) and 2 x 40 watt CPF twists (at the ends). 240 watts over 125 g = 1.92 watts/gallon. I assume this would be good for a mid to low light system?

Filter: 2 x Emperor 400's, Powerhead with carbon filter powering under gravel jets (not under gravel filter).

My three tiger lilys are going nuts already with a flower a piece and at least 3-4pads per plant. Other plants include 2 watersprite, 3 cryps, 1 anubias, anacharais stems, 3 giant hairgrass plants, 5 java ferns, and 3 Amazon swords.

Is this enough plants to start? Everyone says "pack it full" but how many is that?

Is this a low, mid low, or mid light setup?

I've read to add as much O2 to the system while cycling to help develop the nitrite spike. When the spike is over and I remove the aeration tube, will those bacteria die off and I;ll get another spike? Or if I add C02 to the tank? (I also assume I;ll need C02 when the tank is cycled, but I need to read more about that first)

Thanks in advance.