BeeNote's 55G Planted Community Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Monica
Posts: 8
Cool BeeNote's 55G Planted Community Tank


I've been lurking for ideas and advice for the past 4 weeks while getting my first planted tank up and running, figured I would finally get my **** together and make an account. I had a very successful 55 gallon Malawi cichlid tank about 6 years ago when I was in high school and I'm finally back at it again.

I'll start with a few crappy iPhone pictures to get you up to speed on where I'm sitting now.

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It's a 55 gallon tank I've been cycling it since 2/5/13 with a power filter. PH is at ~6.6

The substrate is ADA Aquasoil, mostly big pieces and one small bag of powder on the left corner to help my dwarf baby tears grip. I honestly couldn't really tell you the names of the other plants, but I've had the guy from my LFS helping me with my selection.

I also have a 200 watt light (only have 2 of the 4 bulbs on for now), DIY CO2 keeping me at about 3 bubbles/sec and a heater struggling to keep me at 77.7 F.

I wanted to ask your opinions as to what I need to upgrade first, as I can only really spend $100 a month on this baby because I just moved out here to Santa Monica and still have lots of moving expenses ahead.

I am going to pick up a Fluval 405 for $50 from someone on craigslist tonight, which will cover my filtration needs. However, with the type of stand I have (you can kind of see it in the picture), I'm worried I wont be able to house it under my tank. Which brings me to question #1. Has anyone done or seen a clean external compartment for a canister filter (as well as the CO2 tank when I get to that) that can go beside the tank.

For CO2, because I cant afford a pressurized system yet unless a good deal pops up, I have been using a 1 gallon DIY mix every 2 weeks. This seems to have kept the plants happy, but definitely not long term. I am looking to pick up a Milwaukee MA957 when I get a chance. I have a ceramic diffuser already, but recently have thought about going with an atomic inline diffuser for the Fluval. Any differing thoughts on this?

I also am hoping to get a new more reliable heater at some point, but as long as this one doesn't stop working, it'll work for now.

I finally hit all zeros with my tests on Monday so I went and picked up 10 cardinal tetras and 10 ghost shrimp. A few of the shrimp died over the past few days, which I heard is common as they are kept and sold at fish stores as live food. The cardinals seem ok, however, they all bunch and hide in the corner behind the plants when anyone goes near the tank. I would assume this is normal, but its been a few days and they are still extremely shy. I've been approaching slowly when I feed them to try to get them comfortable with me, I have no idea if its working...

I'm going to go pick up more plants this afternoon to get some taller stuff throughout the tank to help them have more protection. Any suggestions on more good midground/background plants? Also thinking about adding 10 more cardinals today as well, maybe some cherry shrimp as well?

Lastly, Id like to eventually add some apisto cichlids or other new world cichlids. Any suggestions on which ones will go well in a community as well as what other fish might be good companions as well?

Thanks in advance, I'm so excited to have fish again!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 12:42 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canton, Ga
Posts: 1,436
thats a very nice start. its looking good.

if i may..i would move the stem plants to the left side if it was my tank. i think that once they take off and filling out they will obscure the view and take away from that beautiful moss/DW tree that yoy have started there. Maybe move some of the lower growin plants around the base of the tree.

good luck

There are 2 types of people on this forum. Those that have algae, and those that lie and say they don't.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Monica
Posts: 8
Alright! I'm back.

Unfortunately, right when I finally got it going, a friend came to town and took up all my time. Wasn't able to give them the attention they deserved right off the bat. But, with 0 fatalities so far (knock on wood), it's looking like a nice community. Here is a list of what I've got in there and some pictures to follow.

10 x Cardinal Tetras
10 x Rummy Nose Tetras
6 x Balloon Angel Rams
3 x Bolivian Rams
5 x Cory Cats
4 x Dwarf Frogs
5 x Amino Shrimp
3 x Ghost Shrimp
1 x Bristlenose Pleco






Here are some full tank shots. On Friday, I'll be rearranging the plants now that I have an idea for how each ones grow. I also plan to add some rocks in the back right corner once I move those plants over. Suggestions on this would also be appreciated.

I know my tank has an algae problem. Its partly because I wasn't around much to wipe it down every once in a while, but also because my tank gets WAY more direct sunlight than I expected. Interested in hearing your solutions.

Thanks for looking!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 04:48 AM
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Location: Tampa, FL
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Lookin good!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Monica
Posts: 8
Here are a few update pictures. Tank is now full with ~30 fish and some shrimp. So far only 1 casualty for an unknown reason. Feeding twice a day, once with flakes and once with bloodworms.

I hung the light a couple days ago.

Month by month progress since February


Last edited by BeeNote; 05-03-2013 at 10:49 PM. Reason: pictures work now!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 10:26 PM
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cant see the new pics =(
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: Santa Monica
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by zoo minsi View Post
cant see the new pics =(
Should be fixed now. Thanks for the heads up
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Monica
Posts: 8
WTF kind of worm is this? I've seen a few in my tank, I assume they are good for the soil, but they look nasty.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 05:51 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 138
Never seen one of those in my tanks, almost looks like a saltwater critter
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 05:52 PM
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Location: big swamp, NC
Posts: 269
Wow that worm is gross! IDK, but hopefully someone will ID it and let you know.

Love the tank though! Looks Great!
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 06:28 PM
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That worm is definitely different.

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

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 06:36 PM
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ok my best guess is its a freshwater bristle worm. never seen or even heard of them till our picture. from what i read they arent harmful.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Santa Monica
Posts: 8
The one in this picture is about 4" long, and it disappeared after about 5 minutes on the glass. I saw two more last night that were about 1" long and gone before I knew it. Next time I see one, I'll try to get some better pictures.

Might try to tweeze one out for scientific discovery.
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55 gallon, apisto, cichlid, community, planted

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