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Old 08-15-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
primo
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primo's 55g


55 gallon
2x32w T8s
Eheim 2213
Fauna: 2 kuhli loaches, 1 rainbow shark, 2 albino bn longfin plecos, 8 cardinal tetras, 5 dwarf guoramis, 6 twin bar golden platys, 1 blue guorami, 1 black fin tetra
Flora: rotala rotundifolia, wisteria, jungle val, chain sword, needle leaf java fern, dwarf sag, narrow leaf hygro, amazon swords, couple crypts

FTS 28/08/2013:



I've had this tank for about a year and a half and until last night it looked like this (grosssssss):



Last night I came home with 100lbs of Eco-Complete, 25' gravel vac (bye bye 5 gallon pale lifting, yeeeah!), and a saaaahweeet $60 plant deal from Kijiji. There must be $300 worth of plants. Was like freakin' Christmas! Except I had to pay for everything. Hah!

Hardscape in (yes the awful background will be leaving shortly):



HOLY dwarf sag:



4 4-5 foot clumps of rotala and a narrow leaf hygro like this:



Dwarf sag in! Took an hour to separate and plant, crikey!:



Started at 10pm...finished at 5am:



Left:



Right:



Questions left (which I foolishly started separate threads for and then realized I could do this, sorry!):

I planted the rotala and hygro in the big clumps they came as for time's sake (as it was quite late), will it be okay replanted like this? I may separate it further for aesthetic purposes.
A: Might grow better separated but should mostly be fine.

I have an Eheim 2213, but I've read a few threads recing a 2217 over it, why? Will Lily pipes affect this at all? Not looking to drop the dime unless it's a necessity.
A: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...38#post4067138

Lighting... will 2x32w T8s be enough to sustain this? All the plants are low light but there's a LOT of mass and I don't want my beauties to wither away for neglect. I can get a Current USA Nova 2x54w T5HO for $150. I know that's a lot, but could I do a ColorMax bulb as the second or something so that it's not plant food and just to make colours pop?
A: Lights should be fine because the plants are low light but have to do some trimming, growth will be slower, which is fine. Did locate a T5HO for $100 so will end up switching anyways in the near future. Might need the coverage back I am going to trim down.

Thanks for reading!

Any comments or suggestions are most welcome. This is my first tank ever so I'm positive more can be done to make it better starting with a trim of the rotala and hygro that are spanning not only the height but half the width of the tank.

Last edited by primo; 09-19-2013 at 05:42 AM.. Reason: stuff and things
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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FTS 16/08/2013:



I have too many types of plants for this tank but I'm not sure what to reduce/get rid of because I like everything!

On the right side I think the swords and crypts need to go. I am going to trim down the rotala and replant it infront of what is already there, would like to make a nicely trimmed rotala field back there. Or maybe just the swords cause they're huge and leave the crypts upfront?

In the middle I need to trim the dwarf sag after things have acclimated and hopefully the carpet fills quickly, I would like to keep that 3-4" high, and trim the hygro for now as it's background.

On the left there is short jungle val behind the driftwood but it had been growing well prior to these changes so I imagine it will continue. Thinking maybe to take the rotala in the back left and put it over into the rotala field on the right to help fill it faster and then the wisteria can take off for a while until the vals really pop up.

There's narrow leaf fern on the driftwood on the left too and I have no idea what to do with it, maybe it doesn't have a place?

Also just taking off the background picture made it took 10x better but now I'm really jonsing for lily pipes and clear tubing for the filter, such an eyesore!

I also have chain swords floating at the top of the tank because I was too tired to plant it again after it uprooted when putting in the wisteria. The roots are very small so sneezing in it's general direction seems to do this... maybe some plant weights on the runners for now to keep it down?

I notice overall since the renovation the tank is much more relaxed now. The fish are calmer and it has changed the look of the whole room for the better. I've seen a million pictures online but it was my first time getting home last night seeing an aquarium setup like this and not like a small child. I really am amazed at it's beauty and it's not even close to complete yet, it has so much more growing and filling to do.

Thanks TPT for being such an awesome resource! I'd been looking, reading, and researching for many weeks on how to make this switch properly and as smooth as possible.

Ryan
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primo View Post
  1. I planted the rotala and hygro in the big clumps will it be okay replanted like this?
  2. I have an Eheim 2213, but I've read a few threads recing a 2217 over it, why?
  3. Lighting... will 2x32w T8s be enough to sustain this?
  1. Some of the stems may die if the crowding prevents light from getting to them.
  2. As long as you do weekly water changes I think you can get by with the 2213.
  3. The rotala may not adjust to the light. I have it in a 29G with 2 T5NO bulbs and it seems the min for it.
The other plants are great low light plants which will probably do great in the Eco-Complete.


If you decide to get the 2217 filter check out no ebay links allowed I have got a new Eheim Ecco filter last year and Classic 2213 this year there less than $100 (each).
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:34 PM   #4
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Thanks Hilde I appreciate your input.

I am putting in liquid ferts and have root tabs. I know the rotala isn't much of a root feeder but the bunches have great roots so I'm sure they're getting a bit from there.

Going to keep the 2213 for now until I have a reason not to, thanks for the eBay tip, I always check there first but I actually have a friend who has one to sell me if I want.

Here's a pic of my Hygro poking out of the water which for me was pretty neat! Will it flower or something? I really need to trim down the rotala and hygro tonight because they're blocking other plants but I'm thinking about maybe leaving this stem of Hygro to see.:



There was at least one fry prior to the tank redo and last night I saw at least 3! Quite positive they are twin bar platys.:



Chances of them surviving without being separate from the tank? Right now they're hanging out at the top of the tank in the rotala forest together.

Planning to trim plants tonight so hopefully a new FTS to come later with a bit more organization to the plants.

Ryan
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:23 AM   #5
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FTS 20/08/2013



Moved all the rotala to the right, swords to the left, and wisteria up a bit. Trimmed and replanted the hygro as well to start filling out the back. Still not quite what I want but unsure what I want with what I have. Chain swords are still floating up top with no room to put them.

Bah!

The rotala is planted very densely, I may space it out a bit because I really don't want it dropping leaves for the sake of being too dense and not getting the flow or nutrients needed.

Saw at least two fry today despite all the changes. I had seen up to 6-7 at once so hopefully they're all safe and sound in the rotala forest, but the kuhli loaches have made this their new home as well.

Lily pipes and osmocote plus root tabs are on their way. I'm in Canada so the Plus is difficult to get but I am going to get my own + 00 gel caps but $17 shipping for 100 vs the $14 I paid for 10 Seachem ones is a great hold off until then. Inline heater, clear tubing, and aquarium scaping tools will be next in the near future.

Also saw this: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=23831

At Petsmart for $350CDN... so tempting to buy.

Ryan
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #6
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Update time!

Plants are starting to suffer a little bit. Still waiting on O+ tabs but they have cleared customs and should be here in a day or two I hope. Went to LFS to get Seachem N P K but they only had K in stock so again hopefully the N and P will be here by Friday.

Rescaped quite a bit but I'm posting from work so FTS to come later.

What I do need help with is IDing my deficiencies. Lots of ferts are on the way but I want to be sure I am covering my bases and looking for input.

Lower wisteria leaves dying and melting:



Holes and edges on hygro:



Yellowing and dying sword leaves:





Will my N P K liquid macros and O+ resolve these problems? I am also dosing Flourish and Excel currently.

Ryan
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:52 PM   #7
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FTS 28/08/2013:



Overall much happier with this layout. Thinned out and removed all the bare rotala stems... 100+ there. Looks much better and just as thick even though it isn't. Adds some color which isnt truly captured in crappy phone pics. Hopefully it stays and doesn't go back to green because of the lesser conditions of my tank vs. the CO2 one it came from.

The right side is pretty bare but between the swords and vals hopefully it will fill out. I also put the chain swords there in front in hopes that they'll root. Some are pretty sad looking but there's also some perky green ones. Holding down with plant weights right now.

I think the crypts on the far left looks out of place. Going to trim and replant wisteria there when it's tall enough to trim and split/replant the crypts elsewhere.

More deficiency pics :

Phosphate?:



Pinholes and tips going:





Melting, yellow, holes....everything!:



Arrrrgh

I put an algae disc in the tank because I don't have and visible algae at the moment and don't want my plecos to die. I put it in but they don't seem to find it... maybe it just takes some time for them to catch on? I also lost the first disc somewhere in the tank.... how bad is that?
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:57 PM   #8
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Two new additions to the tank, a pair of apisto cockatoos:





I really can't wait for the male to fully colour out!

And because my loach was being so photogenic:



I have some BBA on my hygro but only a few leaves, might have to pickup an SAE or two if it continues to grow.

My O+ root tabs were in the mail friday so I've planted a bunch of those around all of my plants which will hopefully begin bouncing back. It's been 3-4 days and I think they are beginning to improve.

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Seachem ferts should be here Friday this week and finally all of my fert bases will be covered.

I replanted my micro chain swords and they are bouncing back VERY well. They looked pretty pathetic and a few had had all leaves and roots but are shockingly coming back. I was ready to give up on them as I had no room to plant them for a while. Would like a carpet of these to replace my dwarf sag which is now growing a tad tall for a carpet plant and considering it can't be trimmed. But the chain swords are sloooow to propagate so I doubt that'll ever happen.

Should be getting T5 lights in a week or two and found a $90 setup on Kijiji for CO2... waiting to hear a bit more about what exact parts the person has but it potential is there!
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:56 PM   #9
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FTS 10/09/2013:



In need of a trim! Asked for pincettes and other aquarium scaping tools for my birthday which is in 3 weeks so will likely wait until then. Really want to trim the rotala so that it can double stem out from the trimmed spot and fill out the top well without suffocating the bottom parts and lose leaves.

Lilly pipes are also installed and I need to swap the intake and outflow but the tubing isn't long enough, haha. Going to prop the filter up on a box inside the stand for now to get that done but I put clear tubing on my list of birthday goods so I will do that when it's in my hands.

Have all my macro nutrients now. Have seen a bit of bounce back in my Wisteria but it really needs a trim as it's at the top of the tank so I think that will be the biggest help. Hygro is also at the top and needing some trim too.

Equipment and plant wise the tank is really coming to what I imagined. Scape wise... not at all, but unsure what to do with it right now to make it nice and to be honest my focus has been on the nanos I picked up. The 55g is in a bit of coast mode in a good way right now after weeks of redoing, planting, fertilizing, blah blah.

The dwarf sag has grown like mad since I got it. It's funny how we think growth is non-existent or so slow and then we look at pics from just a few weeks ago. My wisteria and sag have doubled in size and hygro and rotala are at the top of the tank again!

I don't have the most room but I picked up some crypt parva and needle leaf anarchis yesterday:





WOW parva what a great plant! Quickly becoming a favourite. I put some in my 2g nano I'll post below as well. The anarchis seems like the perfect nano plant... it's like mini rotala and will fit perfectly!

Speaking of nano I picked up 2x2g Fluval Spec II from Kijiji for $50! Going to keep one as a planted Betta tank and was going to make the other a shrimp tank but then I saw a Fluval Shrimp Ebi on sale for like $60 so I am getting that on Saturday with some cholla wood and will sell the second Spec II. MTS? What's that?

Planted with rotala trimmings, few dwarf sag, recovered micro chain sword, and some of the crypt parva I got yesterday:



Again, my scaping sucks, but I'm happy to have it and will hopefully get some scaping inspiration down the road.

Also really need to learn how to take better pics with my good camera instead of being lazy with my iPhone.

That's all for today!
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:40 AM   #10
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FTS 19/09/2013:



T5 lights sitting nice up top now! So begins the battle with algae I am sure but I've kept up my ferts and double dosing Excel now, have seen lots of growth already and the plant positioning is amazing even within a couple of days! Have actually seen some of the BBA turning bright red, die BBA die!!!

My wisteria and hygro have dropped lots of their lower leaves but seem to be recouping them already... I thought I'd have to trim and discard the bottom stems but maybe I am wrong! I am really amazed at how big the swords are by comparison from the last FTS.

Also think that the wait for birthday aquascape tools won't be possible, tank really really needs a trim now. With new lights will probably need another within 3 weeks anyways. Think overall I am going to replace my swords, just not sure with what yet. Rotala is showing much more red since new lights, I am going to trim them to maybe 4-6 inches from substrate and let them split, grow a bit, then trim again so I've got 4 stems pillowing out the top.

Going to start pruning the dwarf sag majorly as well. I really dislike that it's but a few inches from the top of the tank when it should be maybe 4 inches in height... I realize that's due to my previous low light but that's now changed and hoping I can reverse some of that.

Picked up a 7.9g Ebi this weekend so the lotus and Christmas Moss will finally be finding it's new home! Likely the same will be true for the chain swords on the right side and I may move my crypts around on the right and finally separate them all into individual plants. However... as soon as I decide what to do with my crypts my guorami DESTROYED one. It had probably 20 leaves on it and now it has...6. Errrrgh... I started feeding a bit more and keeping a close eye on overfeeding, I hope this stops the behaviour.

Here's a decent shot of the Spec II as well, the chain swords have really grown! I think I may pull them for my Ebi and move the parva up front instead of on the side:

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Old 09-19-2013, 02:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primo View Post
Plants are starting to suffer a little bit.

Lower wisteria leaves dying and melting:

Holes and edges on hygro:

Yellowing and dying sword leaves:

Will my N P K liquid macros and O+ resolve these problems?
I believe so for wisteria is a nitrate hog.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:23 AM   #12
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Wow look at that jungle. Looks great
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:27 PM   #13
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You have a beautiful tank!
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