My 55 - A work in bumbling - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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My 55 - A work in bumbling

I've had this tank running since mid June. This represents my second attempt at a planted tank, though my first attempt in earnest to actually build such thing. Originally I had no real clear concept of what I wanted or where I was going. The tank started with a pair of Java Ferns which have since become... well... a lot, and I just keep plunking them on the wood with the others when I find one floating around where it isn't supposed to be. Additionally there was a clump of Java Moss which has gone from being tied to the wood, to split up and made into a Moss Wall with some of the moss still on the wood, to being tied to a rock, etc. etc. etc.

A friend of mine had some extra crypts and unknown vals which he gave to me and I purchased a pair of Amazon Swords to give some shade and a place to hang out for my SAE/Oto cats. Some Duckweed was added to further subdue the lighting, however now I don't want it subdued and I end up spending 30 minutes every week with a net removing the stuff which becomes a very thick mat in that time.

Anyway, tank specifics -
Substrate is 50/50 flourite onyx sand/gravel and play sand
136Watts of light (56W T-5 Coralife strip and 80W T-12 Shop light) 10hr photo period
No CO2
Inhabitants - Giant Danios, Bala Sharks, SAEs, Oto Cats, a trio of Clown Loaches, and a smattering of Ghost Shrimp.


I really need to stop being lazy about trimming and get in there and remove those old leaves from the swords . Anyway, I hope you like it, or maybe have some ideas on how to improve it.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2008, 12:29 PM
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Ideas on how to improve it? What do you want to improve, it looks pretty good to me. I'm surprised your giant danio's don't eat the duckweed. I used to grow duckweed to feed to my Rainbowfish. I used to dump heaps in and they would eat every last spec of the stuff.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2008, 01:12 PM
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Would that we all bumbled so well! It's a lovely tank.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2008, 01:37 PM
Many plants...little time
 
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I second artemis...
55 gals tend to be difficult to plant because of a lack of depth but your tank looks great.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2008, 05:13 PM
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I agree, nice work for "bumbling"

I think you need something in the foreground. If not a carpet, at least some interesting wood or rocks, perhaps with some moss...

My only real criticism is that your Bala sharks and Clown loaches will outgrow this tank. Bala sharks especially get huge AND need to be kept in schools, plus they have been known to munch on plants, so this may limit your choices somewhat.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
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Pretty much everyone in the tank eats the Duckweed every now and again, just not fast enough to keep the stuff in check once it gets rolling.

The foreground is something that I've wrestled with, originally I had some micro swords but those didn't get enough light and so never really grew, just stayed the same. So I don't know what kind of carpet I could try, but I have been keeping my eyes open for some more wood or bigger rocks.

I am aware of the limitations of the tank in regards to the Sharks and the Loaches. I'd bought them a number of years ago when I was new to fish keeping and got some bad info from the guys at the Chain FS and a general lack of knowledge on my part. By the start of the new year I'll have a 6' tank to move the loaches and balas into.

Thanks for the compliments
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 08:40 PM
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I love it! Beautiful tank!

This is pretty close to exactly what my 55 was suppose to look like... If only I had the budget to have made it work.

I love the tank, I don't think I would change anything about it...
But if you do want to add something to it, I would suggest taking an onion plant and putting it in the back center. I had one in my 55 and the thing grew like a beast! It will stretch across to both ends of the tank if you plant it in the center. Truly a stunning plant imho...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 03:29 AM
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E. tenellus 'narrow' has always carpeted really well for me in low light. It's what I've got now in my 90gal. Stays nice and short, about 2-3" tall.

Marselia minuta (dwarf clover) also does pretty well in low light.

Takes a while for any carpet to fill in, especially in low lighting, but I"ve seen some really nice ones if you give them time.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 03:39 AM
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Nice and simple...I like it. I actually kinda like the absence of a foreground plant. Maybe try some small stones here and there. Its nice to see a tank without CO2. I set one up for a friend 3 months ago and its turning out nicely (Walstad Method).
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the compliments. I hadn't really considered smaller stones, I've been looking for something a little substantial to put in there but everything seems too big. Maybe on my next trip into the hills I'll find something that'll fit the bill.

Just out of curiosity, what is the "Walstad Method"??
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 12:31 PM
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Do a search on Diana Walstad's 'El Natural'. She has a book which is a great read.

Basically it's a gravel capped top soil. Check out the Mineraized soil thread

Walter
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--May the floor under your tank always be dry, and your glass clear!!!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 05:06 AM
I ♥ BBA!
 
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You have given me inspiration! I am moving my Amazon off center tomorrow evening. Thanks, and keep up the great work.
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