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brion0 01-29-2009 06:01 AM

55 g. low tech
This is a 55 g. that has been running for about seven months. It housed an oscar up until a few days ago, so it was a bare tank for the most part.
He was a gift, an the first fish that I had ever kept. Due to my ignorance in having such a large fish, he developed a terminal case of HITH, an passed away. My family will miss him, as he was a very good pet. So Id like to dedicate this thread to the memory of Captin Jack.

Here is the hard scape, its made up of lava rocks I collected an a couple of pieces of drift wood.

This is the first hard scape Ive ever tried. If you see anything that you might change, let me know. Im going to look at it for a couple days, then maby make a change or two. One of the new firemouths has two spots that im pretty sure are ick, bumped the temp up into the mid 80s an put about 6 TBS of salt in. If hes not better in a few days Ill add more salt. Im holding off adding plants til this clears up. Its a bit cloudy, should clear up by morning.

Heres a few specs,
substrate is TMS, with egg crate below,
eqip. Penguin Bio wheel 200, an 350. in tank heater.
Lighting is a stock 32 watt lamp.
Plants to be:
Im going to use anubias b. an nana, also some Java fern, maby java moss, for now. I may add other plant, the fish in the tank are a limiting factor, as far as plants that can be used.
Livestock currently in tank,1 chochlate pleco, 1 red hook, 2 firemouth cichlids, 4 sisortail rosabora, 4 peppered corys, 5 glowlight tetras, an 6 blacklight tetras.

I plan to retro fit the hood with a 54w T5 lamp, using a Workhorse ballist, so I can add lamps latter if I want. An if I realy get bored, Ill make a canister filter. Also get rid of the backround.

Ive kept both the red hook, an pleco in my planted tank at one time or another. They both love swords, The red hook did a little nibbling here an their but never realy chewed up a whole plant. The firemouths are ony about 2" now, but may reach 6", an from what I read will do some digging. I may be asking for a headach trying to keep plants in this tank, hoping that things go well tough.

If anyone has any sugestions please share them. I only have about 6 months experience keeping plants so Im learning more all the time. An I value the help that everyone here gives so freely.

Can anyone make a sugestion on attaching plants to large rocks. Im thinking of trying epoxy, I can mix it, stick to the plant an to the rock. An it will harden under water. Has anyone done this?

Thanks for checking this out, hope you enjoy this thread.

GHudston 01-29-2009 01:23 PM

Sorry to hear about your oscar, I can sympathise as I love my pair of oscars shortly before I got into planted tanks; it was what gave me the push to start a community aquarium, like I used to keep before I got into breeding fish and keeping monsters!

The hardscape looks good to me, except that it's a little bit empty on the left. If it was me, I'd have a smaller pile of rocks or wood on that side to balance it; not too much so as to take focus away from what you already have but just enough so that it doesn't look so empty.

Good luck! I look forward to seeing what you come up with and I hope you're enjoying it as much as I have been since I started a few weeks ago!

brion0 01-29-2009 09:09 PM

GHudston I never would have gotten a planted tank if it wasnt for him. Someday Id like to get another oscar when I can have a 100g+ tank to keep him in.

Ill get another peice of wood an add a couple more rocks on the left.

Yes, planted tanks are fun, welcome to the hobby.

Trallen44 01-31-2009 05:11 AM

Hey Brion, I would probebly use some fiber twine for tying up plants in the garden. I got some at lowes or wally world for a buck. And still have tons left. I used it to old my anubias in place on the driftwood untill the roots could really take hold. After a month or so the twine roted in two and by that time the roots had taken hold. My concern with epoxy would be that it could damage the plant. But I have no experience trying it that way.


brion0 02-01-2009 08:12 AM

Hi Tim, I have some twine, like using it better than thread cause its easy to tie. A coulpe of the rocks are big, an would take a buch of string. An when I get them where I want them , dont wanna move them. Started a thread on it, people said to use super gel, it will bond under water.

Orderd the ballast an ends, picked up a 54w 6700k T5, so Im waiting for the Ballast to show up. Orderd it from Natural Also got a 48"x9.5" sheet of Miro 4 for my 29g. Hope they get here sometime next week.

The Ick spots on the Firemouth are fading, did bump the salt up to 2 Tablespoons per 5 gallons, temp is at 84. This much salt pry wouldent be good in a panted tank. The catfish dont seem to be bothered by it. My experince, this is the cheapest shurefire way to beat Ick. I started the treatment as soon as I saw the spots on one fish, five days ago. It hasnt spread to any other fish. Ill do a large water change on the 8th or 9th day, to bring the salt down, an drop the temp down to 79. Then I can add plants!

The pleco is arranging the sand where he wants it, exposing the eggcrate, think Ill add another bag. Thinking about a bag of black epoxy gravel, Maby that will make it harder for him to move.

Heres pic of a couple fish.
Firemouth has alot of color, common but I like him so far.

Redhook, wont see these guys in planted tanks much.

Peppered cory, one of 6.

Trallen44 02-01-2009 08:21 PM

Hey Brion, I never would have thought to use superglue gel. Let us know how it works out for you. Glad the ick is going away. Cool looking fish.

brion0 02-03-2009 10:13 AM

Hello trallen, Tried super glue under water, seems like water makes it harden instantly. Ill get some gel in the morning. The ick is gone, but the male Firemouth got wounded some how. At first I thought it was a infection or something, so netted him an it looks more like a flesh wound. I cant figure how it happend, it should heal fast I hope.

I realy hoped my ballast would show up today, but it didnt. Stopped by the lfs, asked them if they wanted the pleco, said they did. So the problem fish will be getting a new home. Ill take red hooh with him. Thought about it an decided that I didnt want to worry about the two of them destroying the time an money Im putting in this. Id rather put it together an enjoy it, than wonder if the red hook is eat the anubias when Im sleeping.

Worked over the hard scape, made it taller, think its looking better. Put a few rocks on the other end of the tank, need a piece of wood to go with them. Ill get this an a couple plants to go with the ones I have an dress it up a little in the next couple days.

Here's the new scape, wow, figured out how to crop a pic!

Trallen44 02-04-2009 02:40 AM

Hey Brion,

It is looking good. I just realised that it is your pleco in the background. He is huge! I don't blame you for getting them a new home. When you work hard on something you want it to stay nice. I hope your male heals up soon. I am going to attemt to start a thread in the low tech tonight for my 55. I am sure yours will be done long before mine. Keep up the great work and let us know how the gel works.


brion0 02-04-2009 07:21 AM

The male was near dead today, I took him back an got another one. He looks okay, does have a blemish on his dorsal fin, I asume is ick. So I cant change the water, that sucks. I got plants, glue, wood, an more sand. Owell, maby the ballast will get here an Ill be able to do the whole deal in one day. Took the pleco to the lfs, they were happy to have him. Didnt offer me anything for him, but they did take him off my hands. Im sure they will sell him for $25-$30, the place is a bit of a dive, most likely needs the money. Was able to move my brislenose in so Im happy.

Trallen44 02-05-2009 02:28 AM

Sorry to hear about the male. Glad you got another one. Hopefully your ballest will get in soon. I got a few plants in today. I know what you mean. The owner of the one I deal with, wants great rare fish but doesn't want to pay for them. I am looking forward to seeing how this one comes together.


chase127 02-05-2009 02:33 AM

HOLY PLECO!!! nice fish man

sewingalot 02-05-2009 03:54 AM

I didn't realize plecos could get that size. Wow. Like the formation on the right side. How is that put together?

brion0 02-05-2009 05:01 AM


Originally Posted by Trallen44 (Post 779858)
Sorry to hear about the male. Glad you got another one. Hopefully your ballest will get in soon.

Trallen44, The worst part is I have to leave the salt in a couple more days, strange the female is doing great. Putting the run on the new male. Ive ordered things before from other places, always seemed to show up promtly. Maby cause I cant wait to have it, seems its taking for ever get here.

brion0 02-05-2009 05:16 AM


Originally Posted by chris127 (Post 779861)
HOLY PLECO!!! nice fish man

He was a nice fish, gettig close to 10", got him 9 months ago at around 3".


Originally Posted by sewingalot (Post 779954)
I didn't realize plecos could get that size. Wow. Like the formation on the right side. How is that put together?

They can get very big, Ive seen them over a foot long in 55 gallon tanks. Can grow bigger in a large tank. I replaced him with this guy, max size, 6". The formation is two large rocks, 3 smaller ones, an two large peices of drift wood. I wanted to make more caves, but couldent stop myself from fitting it all together like a puzzle. Its placed together tight an the wood is the only thing that is stacked off the ground. Didnt want any rocks to fall an hit the glass.

Young bristlenose now 3", letting the corys know he dont like to share.

Trallen44 02-05-2009 05:29 AM


Originally Posted by brion0 (Post 780017)
Trallen44, The worst part is I have to leave the salt in a couple more days, strange the female is doing great. Putting the run on the new male. Ive ordered things before from other places, always seemed to show up promtly. Maby cause I cant wait to have it, seems its taking for ever get here.

LOL I know that feeling. I wish I had everything I wanted for mine here now too. And I haven't even ordered it yet!! I think the BN will fit in a little better in this tank.

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