Octopus44's 55 gallon (Update 6/2/08) (56k!)
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:34 AM   #1
octopus44
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Octopus44's 55 gallon (Update 6/2/08) (56k!)


Here is my first shot at an aquarium (2 days old):


-55g
-4x65W light fixture (currently only using a total of 130W)
-aquariumplants.com substrate
-filstar xp3
-1/15 HP chiller (currently not in use do to cooler weather)
-DIY CO2 fed through pump (works great!)

(updated 10/26/07)
Plants:
Narrow Leaf Java Fern
Java Moss
weeping moss
flame moss
marselia minuta
Amazon Sword
hygrophilia sp. tiger
Val Nana
Hm


Fauna:
Ghost shrimp
Amano shrimp
4 otos
15 cardinal tetras
5 black skirt tetras
1 lone hitch hiking harlequin rasbora

The tank is a little bare at the moment but will look much better once the HC creates a nice carpet and the java moss fills in. I also plan on getting some vallisneria nana for the left hand corner and some dwarf hair grass here and there.

Any comments or criticism is gladly welcomed.



left side


angle


lengthwise (from left side)


Thanks for looking!

Last edited by octopus44; 06-02-2008 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:10 AM   #2
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Nice start alot of available lights. Your right it does look bare. But those swords will fill it in over time. I love how the wood is set up. I would add some a more variety of plants, maybe with some different colors. It will probably take awhile to fill in. Keep posted I like where its heading.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:32 AM   #3
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Thanks knuggs. That wood was a lucky find. I found a dead tree with its roots growing over some rocks on the edge of lake Pontchartrain. I don't want to do to many species. I think I like the look of just a few species. Seems more natural to me. We will see though. I am still new at this and am experimenting.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:37 AM   #4
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I hear ya. I started the same way. Do you know what kind of tree that is?
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:57 AM   #5
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Yeah I was going to say I like the wood you got for that tank as well. The tank almost seems to have some nice depth to it which from what I've heard is hard to acheive in a 55g!
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:11 AM   #6
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I'm not sure what kind of wood it is I am going to go take a look at it again and see if I can ID it. I was so excited about finding the wood that I forgot to take a good look at the tree.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:32 AM   #7
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I can already see this tank become a thing of beauty. Love the wood aswell.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:16 AM   #8
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My DIY CO2 just starting spitting its first bubble out of the diffuser!! Sorry I know you all have been doing CO2 for a while, but this is so exciting! I have practically been staring at my bottles 24/7 for the last 2 days just waiting for a single bubble.

Thanks for the compliments everyone.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:55 PM   #9
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I have a really dim question.....I don't seem to be able to get my swords to grow....is there something I should be looking at? My fish are quite happily munching on the other plants which is good, but swords just go brown and die within a week. I guess this may be wrongly posted, and maybe there's a 'plants' section, so apologies in advance Bruce
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceb View Post
I have a really dim question.....I don't seem to be able to get my swords to grow....is there something I should be looking at? My fish are quite happily munching on the other plants which is good, but swords just go brown and die within a week. I guess this may be wrongly posted, and maybe there's a 'plants' section, so apologies in advance Bruce
I cant help you there. I am still new at this myself and I just put the swords in my tank so I dont have much experience yet.

There is a plant section on here which would probably be a better place to post this question.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:07 PM   #11
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octo very good start. How do you like the substrate? Ive been thinking of getting some, but Amazonia is easy to get here. Can I suggest that you start with only two lights on instead of all four for now. Juss turn on the one in the front to help the HC. With low co2, low plant mass, and high lighting you may be asking for the algae monster to creep into your tank.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:15 PM   #12
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LOL I didnt read the part where you stated your only using two lights Is this your first tank ever? cuz most beginers start with goldfish and plastic neon color plants and neon gravel LOL. I wish I started the way you did.
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:12 PM   #13
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octo very good start. How do you like the substrate? Ive been thinking of getting some, but Amazonia is easy to get here. .
I like the substrate so far, though I havn't had it long enought to give you a proper opinion. The color is good, it was easy to plant in, and after a very good rinse it didn't cloud up the water at all (filled it extremely slowly). When planting a little dust stirs up but settles back down very quickly. If you do get it when rinsing I suggest to churn the subrate as little as possible because it pretty easily breaks up and this just makes it dustier. I did just notice however that they raised the price by like $6

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARIMOBALL
Is this your first tank ever? cuz most beginers start with goldfish and plastic neon color plants and neon gravel LOL. I wish I started the way you did.
I can't technically say this is my first tank ever. I do have a tank for my turtle who has some tiger barbs as companions, this is my first tank specifically for plants and fish, and one that gives me the ability to scape(can only scape to a small degree in a turtle tank).
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:31 PM   #14
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I have to say that your tank looks great! Love the wood and the simplicity of the arangement.
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Old 06-27-2007, 06:08 PM   #15
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For the hardscape you get a 10 , but I feel I got to give you a little heads up. If I were you there are a few things I would consider differently, most regarding your lighting.

I would have got a 2x65w, 48' fixture instead and use the extra money to get a good canister filter (I'm thinking an XP3). Here are the reasons why:

- 4X65w put you at almost 5 wpg, which is way too much for your size tank coupled with DIY co2 set up
- Even if you did have pressurised co2, it would still be too much light. However with pressurised you would be able to experiment with a 2-3 hours mid-day blast of all 4 bulbs.
- Although DIY co2 is doable on a 55g, you have to make sure you are on top things. By that I mean constanly making sure your co2 producing potion is blasting away, and avoiding any surface movement to prevent any co2 loss. With 2 HOB filters, you got your work cut out! So in the mean time make sure your tank is filled all the way to the top to minimize surface break. With a canister that would be much more manageable and will also give much more flow, which is a good tank for planted tanks.

Next is getting your tank cycled. Right now you only have slow growing plants and only 5 stems of fast growers. That is not enough. You need a lot of fast growing stem plant in the initial stages (first 2 months) in order to keep algae to a minumum.

Algae in a new set up is almost inevitable. But when you have only slow growers and lots of light (even at 2x65w = 130w ~ 2.4wpg), than you have and algae disaster just waiting to happen.

Right now you need to keep your light on for no more than 7-8 hours a day, perhaps even less. Check to swap/shop section and get your hands on a lot of fast growing starter plants. Learn how to dose your tank with dry ferts and traces, daily.

Welcome to the hobby!

It is fun and addictive. The initial algae battle and learning curve can *seem* steep. But once you learn how to balance your tank (ie lights, co2, ferts) than you are on cruise control and the real fun begins!

JP
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