Handlebar's Planted 55g! Locally Collected Hardscape! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Posts: 40
Handlebar's Planted 55g! Locally Collected Hardscape!

Well, first off I'll do the quick introduction. I've been in and out of aquariums, with many different fish, though moving through college, multiple multiple moves, from dorms, to shared spaces, I finally am a home owner, and don't plan on moving for a very long time.

So that was then, and this is now.
What I have:

Tank: 55g
Dimensions: 48 1/4 x12 3/4 x21 (I believe)
Heater: Jager 250w Heater
Filtration: Marineland Emperor 400
Lighting: Marineland T5HO 54wx2 8 Hours Daily
Substrate: Play Sand, rinsed of course

My current Plans are to go find some more safe rock from the local river, I prefer the more rugged jagged rock as opposed to the smooth bedrock, along with a much larger driftwood piece on the open area. I'm pondering what kind of flora to use to cover the bottom, I really like the look of HC but am doubting I can sustain it with just root tabs and other fertilizer, and dwarf hairgrass I'm not so sure how it will do in my substrate. I'm also looking for some sort of small lilly pad like plant at the top of the tank. Foreground I'm thinking some sort of Sword? I'm really fishing for ideas...budum tsss...erm anyways.

As far as fish I really enjoy the shoaling fish, and the peaceful community, so some sort of tetra I would imagine, along with a healthy community of shrimp, I love the look of CRS (but don't we all?) but I'm not sure how hardy they are compared to the RCS. I've had success with Ghost Shrimp and breeding them prior, and that is what I would like to have with the CRS/RCS.

Thoughts on some flora, ideas, thoughts, and what not. I will update this regularly.

February 8th 2013

February 10th 2013

February 12th 2013

February 17th 2013

February 20th 2013

February 28th 2013

Last edited by handlebar; 02-27-2013 at 08:53 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 12:57 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: big swamp, NC
Posts: 269
I really like the hardscape, but I think you could take a few rocks from the right and stretch them a little farther left.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Posts: 40
A small update.

Grabbed some rather cheap feeder goldfish to help cycle the tank, I figure if they do live they may go hang out in my next project this summer, a Koi Pond. Did I mention my cats love them.

I added some more stone, I'm not so sure how I feel about them, they are smooth, as compared to the right side of my scape, not really sure if they can blend, if I should mix/match the rocks, I will play around with it some more. I also got 2 rather large pieces of driftwood that are soaking right now.

And here are some pictures!

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Posts: 40
I was not really a fan of the new rocks, but I think I've managed to merge the two, well much better than it was. I also added another piece of DW that I'd had soaking.

I lost of one the feeder goldfish, atleast he got to enjoy his last day in a big open tank.

And here is a picture...

Anyone have any thoughts on foreground? I want to leave the upper right area bare, I was thinking a nice carpet, but I know with my set up, hairgrass and HC won't fair to well. What would you guys suggest? I'd also like to get some sort of lilly pad like plant for the top as cover for my top tank dwellers in the future, I like big leaves for that.

Until tomorrow.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 12:44 AM
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You should change out the fish.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 12:50 AM
Planted Tank Nation
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oak Park, IL
Posts: 889
HC will not work in a low tech tank without co2. Pygmy chain sword is one of the best low tech carpets i heard.... check out some crypt wendtii and stargrass for midground plants, then a nice big sword for one of the back corners. Also a stem plant such as ludwigia repens or rotala rotundifolia can be used for the background.

An amazon tetra tank sounds cool, maybe a couple varieties of tetra, a single angel centerpeice, and a pair of German blue rams? Don't keep crs or any type of shrimp because the babies will be devoured in a community tank.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Posts: 40
Originally Posted by assasin6547 View Post
You should change out the fish.
They are currently cycling my tank*, most certainly not permanent....my wife is already attached so she said she is getting a tank for them. I'm going to check out the pygmy chain.

Last edited by handlebar; 02-12-2013 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Grammar. Irony.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Posts: 40
Well. In a rather quick thought of regret I realized the LFS suggestion to use Goldfish to cycle my tank was a rather poor choice, though I was against it they stated it was my best option since they were dirty. They are dirty alright but the wrong kind of dirty. So I'm going to return them this weekend and hopefully get a more appropriate fish to cycle my tank.

Would anyone have any suggestions, I've always had good success with guppies & tetras.

As far as plants I'm hoping to order some Frogbit, Java Fern, pygmy chain (though I'm worried at how well it would hold in my substrate with corys)

I really love the way this tank
Jake's DBP 10gal For Cories & Shrimp
Has progressed, and I really enjoy the fauna/flora of it. I'd like to get some schooling fish that is readily easy to breed.

I'll have some more pictures up this weekend.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Posts: 40
Well, I've been busy, I've evicted the goldfish, did a 100% water change, and I planted an Amazon Sword, or at least I believe so that I got from a LFS. My NO2 spike is about over. I've been mulling it over and over in my head if non-CO2 will get me what I am going for, and I'm starting to think that CO2 may be my next step. I've read the majority of the DIY regulator builds, and I know many people on here build reliable regulators and sell them so I may go that route.

I've also been switching up what I want in this tank, at first it was live bearers and Inverts, now I may have gotten attached to a bush fish at the LFS. I've been looking for tank makes and am considering Rainbows, larger tetras, plecos. I think my wife gave me the go ahead on a 20l for the live bearers and inverts, or at least that's how I interpreted her.

Also, if anyone is doing any major trimming and would like to get rid of any plants, and is feeling generous I would gladly pay shipping to get a sampler. Main things I'm looking for are Frogbit, Java Fern, Pygmy chain, but I'd gladly try anything, someday down the road I'd like to help someone else like me.

Alright, here are some pictures, I've gotten really attached to the log in the center, its so weathered from being in the river it has great character, I know lots of people like to use branches and what not but this piece just looks so neat. (I do have a branched driftwood soaking right now.)

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 07:12 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 45
im digging the scape dude! not sure id be running the lights that long without any plants. i would try to plant fairly heavily from the start to avoid any algae issues.

Current Tanks:
20g low light planted since 09
45g softie reef NEW!
5g ecopico reef since '13
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Posts: 40
I'm running the lights 8 hours a day? Think it's no much? I've never had really any problem with algae before. I got a black background up, replaced the goldfish with some Zebra Danios. These guys are fun to watch, its like follow the leader in and around the rocks.

Background up!

I have no idea what they were attacking, but it was a frenzy.

Follow the leader round the rock. (They were doing circles.)

I finally had one stay still long enough to get a shot of his colors and was photo bombed. These guys have really striking colors.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 01:54 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Elkton, MD
Posts: 103
The amount of salvinia(the floaters) that I sent you should suck up a lot of nitrates. They also thrive under that light. I have the same one and I didn't tend to it and after 2 months it had covered the top of my tank. You taking it gave me some more space to work with. Again let me know if you want more please, I still have a lot. I can give you more of the actual plants to help with aesthetics if you want.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 01:54 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Elkton, MD
Posts: 103
Btw great tank!
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 02:01 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: MICHIGAN
Posts: 3,496
I like the simple but nice hardscape.

110g Tropical Community & Sakura Shrimp
55g BN Breeding Grounds, Peacock Gudgeons, Panda, Pygmies, & Smudge Spot Cories, Rili Shrimp
10g RCS and show guppies

MIAPG - Come join us - Plantedtank - MI - Greatlakesaquaria
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Martinsburg, WV
Posts: 40
Thanks Dub! I should hopefully have some new pictures up this afternoon. All six Danios are still kicking and zipping around with round bellies. I think they like all the space.

Thanks Yukonon, Its really my first attempt at hardscaping, I'm hoping the plants fill it out nicely.

I did notice a sprout coming off my Amazon Sword. Yay!
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