New 55G planted tank need advise - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston, MA
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New 55G planted tank need advise

Hi all,

Here is my first attempt in planted tank. This is a 55G tank with double T5 lights. I will be adding a couple of more sword plants and some foreground plants. Appreciate any feedback to make things better.

A few questions:

The tank is now three weeks old. So far I have only added about 1ml of Seachem Florish every 3-4 days. Since I donít have CO2 and only 2xT5 lights, I didnít want to overdo the fertilizer. Should I also add NPK? The plants look happy I think, with some yellow leaves on and black/brown spots on pennyworts. Are those algaes?

Also, I have been adding Seachem Stability at the recommended dosage for about a week, but I donít see any bacteria bloom. I am wondering if it is safe to add fish.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 02:52 AM
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From what i understand, Flourish Comprehensive is a basic blend of NPK and trace. I use Comprehensive, trace, and iron from Flourish. I don't use excel at all. With t5's you're definitely going to want to invest in co2, even DiY would help fight algae and help plants grow. It looks really good though. Are those Apon Ulvaceus in the center?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Originally Posted by ZLogic View Post
Are those Apon Ulvaceus in the center?
Thanks for your comments. Yes, the plant in the back is Ulvaceus, but I am not exactly sure about the verity. My LFS suggested it to me.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 10:33 AM
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Hi. Your tank looks very good, very pristine.

I started my 10 gal. tank in April. What people say is "plant heavy" and don't figure that a few plants will grow and populate the tank. So I did. I also planted with fast-growers that take up a lot of CO2 and create a lot of biomass. I planted Water Sprite, Cabomba, and Wisteria, plus an unidentified small sword. I've had to trim it all around. I have a T8 15W bulb Here's a pic: Oh, I would also agree about watching out for algae because of too much light. I would ask a lighting question with the wattage of your T5's and the dimensions of your tank. Oh btw I planted those crypts since taking this picture. Big gravel - too big.

Last edited by Django; 02-28-2013 at 11:27 AM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 11:05 PM
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I want to back off the tone of my previous post a litlle. I do think it's a good idea to calculate the light power you have and make sure it's ok.

Your tank is beautiful, and I can see the art in your plants. I see why you want it the way it is and not liike my tank. We're sort of coming from different directions, I think. I am giving my tank what I think it needs, and I think you are making your tank what you want it to be, and it's really beautiful. At four months I'm certainly not the source of information that I sounded like. So I apologize if I sounded like that in the previous post. You should really take most of my advice at where it's coming from.


BTW, the photography is great too!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 14
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I really appreciate it. Before I set up my tank, I have been researching for about six months, and based on the information that I gathered I thought 2x28W T5 (and not T5HO) would be right amount of light for the tank. May be I am wrong. Fortunately, I bought the Solarmax fixture that has independent switches for the two lights, so I can easily turn off one of the 28 watt lights. I will try that for a few days and see what happens. My immediate concern is that the two Swords in the back are getting yellow. Should I try Seachem root tabs?

Also, is this a good time to add a few otto cats to control algae?

As for the photos, one of my other hobbies is photography. Although these photos are nothing special, I have excellent equipments, which explains the quality of the pictures.

Thanks again for taking time to help.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 10:00 PM
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I think you are where you need to be lightwise, 2 NO bulbs are about right from what Hoppy writes.

The sword plant leaves look to be air leaves, long stems and short blades? Aquatic leaves are short stems with long blades. Air grown leaves don't last long underwater and newly established tanks often go through a complete leaf cycle before things start looking up. And root tabs are never a bad idea when it comes to heavy rooters like the Apon and Swords.

In a good sized tank like yours it is probably safe to introduce a few otos once some biofilm has started to grow. Run your finger over the inside of the tank, if you feel some slime then you have good oto food. Or if you see some yellow brown dust on the tank surfaces, that is likely diatoms which is another oto favorite.

Better is to invest in a water test kit so you know the ammonia and nitrite are zero before putting livestock in the tank. You won't develop a biological filter that will support livestock unless you either do a fishless cycle by putting in an ammonia source equivalent to the waste of the total fish load you are planning and waiting for ammonia and nitrite to go to zero or adding fish a little at a time hoping ammonia and nitrite stay low enough not to hurt your fish and waiting for ammonia and nitrite to bottom out before introducing the next batch of fish. Confused yet?
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