Jeff's 55 gallon newbie to plants
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:34 PM   #1
jeff721
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Jeff's 55 gallon newbie to plants


Update 12/11/11 - see post #10 for details




Update 11/7/11 - see post #8 for details



So this is my second venture into the planted tank world. My office nano is going well, it's not exploding with life, but it's healthy.

This is my living room tank.
Specs:
FloraMax substrate
Locally collected driftwood and an old plastic driftwood replica
Marineland 350B mechanical filter
1x Phillips 48" 65000K t8
No Co2 yet (feel free to recommend)
No Ferts yet (feel free to recommend)

Plants:
Ludwigia palustris
2 different Cryptocoryne sp.
Anubuis sp.
Water Sprite
Java fern

Here is the first FTS:


Just planted today, it's been running since last week, cycling since Friday.
No fauna yet. I am planning it as a community tank, though maybe discus.

I'll be adding mosses, maybe as simple as java, might steal the fissidens out of my office tank.

Last edited by jeff721; 12-12-2011 at 08:01 PM..
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:48 PM   #2
2in10
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Very nice start, you will want more light to run CO2. I believe that your tank falls under low light so choose your plants carefully. Your Ludwigia may not do well with your current lighting.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:42 PM   #3
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Any type of fertilizers you guys and gals would recommend for this? Would Flourish do the trick?



BTW: Cycling sucks, but I understand that it is a necessary evil.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:07 PM   #4
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Closeup of the right side plants. Crypt and watersprite:




Rearranged and added driftwood, tried to make more of a focal point:




Stole some Fissidens Fontanus from my office tank; hopefully it will grow better here:



New FTS:

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Old 07-06-2011, 07:33 PM   #5
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Looking good. My 55 gal has been running great with adding nothing. I do have some trace elements and such if I ever needed. I seem to be to lazy to use them since everything grows great.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:44 PM   #6
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Hello Jeff,

Excellent choice of a 55 G. They're my favs, I have a few. Your Cryptocoryne and Java fern will do best in low light.

Your Water Sprite will do much better if it's floated close to the light source. This plant prefers to get the bulk of it's nutrients from the water. It sends out very long roots, so floating works best. I have the Java fern planted under the Water Sprite.

I dose a couple of liquid ferts two to three times per week when I top off my tanks. Don't dose SeaChem's Flourish Excel. There's a carbon nutrient in it that's toxic to ferns, mosses and types of Vallisneria.

To me, CO2 is pricey and results in a lot of "brain damage". I have less than a watt of lighting per gallon of tank size and my low light plants do very well.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to send them to me. I'm never too busy to talk about low tech, planted tanks.

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Old 10-31-2011, 03:33 PM   #7
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New pic, lots done since the last update. I guess this is no longer low-tech either.



Added:
retrofitted 2 bulb t5no lights
co2 - which I can't seem to get to work right
water wisteria
ludwigia repens
salvinia minima
black diamond blasting sand

Removed the driftwood in the middle as I think it may have been poisoning my fish
Rmoved most of the initial plants because they didn't grow or melted. What a learning process.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:10 PM   #8
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Update.

Equipment:
2x t5no retrofit, 1x 6700k bulb, 1x 10,000k bulb
5lbs co2 tank, shrimplab atomic diffuser, single stage regulator, solenoid, jbj counter, etc.
Penguin 350b power filter
Not sure what my powerhead is, I'll check later

Flora:
Ludwigia Repens
Water Wisteria
Needle Leaf Java Fern
Crypt Nurii
Crypt Cordata hybrid
Crypt ??
Salvinia Minima
Chain Sword
Fissidens Fontanus
And a plant that I'm not sure of...

Fertilization:
Right now only Rootmedic tabs and Flourish - see the end of the post before pics.

Fauna:
8x glass catfish
2x german blue rams
15x cherry barbs (12f 3m)
4x guppies

Soon to be relocated - 1x longfin zebra danio, 1x red dwarf gourami, 1x lonely krib who lost his mate.


Since I've installed the CO2, it has not run properly. First i had a leak at the check valve. Then the second check valve separated. Next, I couldn't more than 1 bubble per minute through. Finally, I realized that my solenoid wasn't "clicking on" consistently due to bad wiring on my part. Hopefully that and refilling my tank fixes the problem, we'll see when the canister gets up to room temp. I should soon have a drop checker in the mail.

I also just got in fertilizers from GLA. The ferts I ordered were their NPK/CSM B dry package. I am trying to decide how to best dose this column. Others have confirmed that I am not a good candidate for the full EI course, so I am going to try half the recommended amount.




Updated pics:

FTS:


New Rams:




Can Anyone ID these plants? I know the one on the right is a crypt of some sort, but what kind?
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:10 PM   #9
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Good job!
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:06 PM   #10
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Lost some plants - gained some plants. Lost some fish - did not gain any new ones...yet.

Added crypts all over, anubias onto the driftwood. Added tiger lotus, rotala indica, nesaea "golden", ludwigia arcuata, and a flower pot to make my cychlids happy.

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