Starting the system
Fill your FishTank with water, to 10cm from the rim (about 315 Litres – for any later treatment we can approximate this to 300 Litres). With both valves fully open (in line with the pipe) switch the pump on. Water will start pouring into your PlantBed through the Inlet and the SplashGuard, and you should also notice circulation of water in the FishTank. Now close the return valve by about 45°.
There should still be flow directly into the FishTank but not as strongly. The PlantBed will fill and water will start flowing back into the FishTank through the AutoSiphon. Monitor it closely and if it does not start siphoning (the difference between overflow and siphon should be obvious) within a couple of minutes, close the return valve a fraction more – keep adjusting till you have it right.
You should always have some water flowing directly back to the FishTank through the return valve. Once you are satisfied the system is cycling properly it is advisable to check the pH of the water. Proceed to add the de-chlorinating solution from your FishPlant Starter kit and leave to run for 24 hours.
Follow the instructions with the FishPlant Starter kit to successfully colonise your system with the necessary bacteria – a pH above 7.0 (optimum 7.8) will help with this process, if it is above 8.0 it should be adjusted down slightly (use FishPlant pH Down for best results). Add the Live Filter Bacteria directly into the foam filter of the SplashGuard.
You should allow a week for this process. Keep an eye on the AutoSiphon to ensure it is cycling properly. If any remaining dust from the pebbles settles out in the tank, stir it up and it will get trapped in the PlantBed. It is advisable to check the pH again now.
When you are happy the bacteria are colonising the system you are ready to begin stocking and planting your FishPlant Family Unit.