Converting over 55g to plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Grants Pass Oregon
Posts: 6
Converting over 55g to plants

Hi everyone, wanted to add a request for help from a newbe on his first plant tank. I have a 55g tank that I have had set up as regular aquarium for about 4 years. I want to convert it over to plants so I started gathering parts. I have the Odyssea lights with two 54w t5s. One is 10,000 k the other is 4100k. Also bought the Odyssea 500 external filter. I have 45 pounds of Flora Max substrate to top 25 pounds of kitty litter for the base. I plan on making a homemade C02 bottle. I have lots of lace rock I would like to use just not sure how yet. Am I on the right track for a low tech tank? This is a picture of the tank now, but it all comes out.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 367
I'm no expert but it looks like you're off to a good start. I'm also learning about live plants and converted an older, previously running tank to plants and tropical fish about 5 weeks ago.

"Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 09:47 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posts: 111
Hey Cecil, I think you're going to be happy with the change. I converted a 55gl to a planted tank about a year ago. My first as well, so a huge learning curve. Heck, I'm still learning, lol.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt, as I stated, I'm still learning myself.

Two T5HO lights over a 55 gallon would be closer to high tech. I see you mention DIY CO2. I found that doesn't work well, if at all, once you get to 55g and larger tanks. If you want CO2 for a 55g it would be best to purchase a CO2 tank, regulator, etc. Otherwise you’re setting yourself up for algae issues.

If you want to stay low tech (no CO2) and still use the lights purchased, you can raise them higher and/or filter them with window screen or something similar.

The bulbs, I would lose the 4100k. Switch it out with something between 6000k-10,000k (I'd suggest a 6500k).

Sorry, I can't help you with the filter or substrate as I've never used an Odyssea filter or flora max substrate (I've only used sand so far).

Overall it sounds like your starting off better than I did
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Grants Pass Oregon
Posts: 6
Absntmind: You may have opened my eyes a little and I have changed my plans a little. Actually I didn't realize it but I think I did go overboard with the lights to have a low tech tank. I think I will buy some lower wattage 6500k lamps and forget about the C02. Thanks for posting your advise.
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