My 10 gal, 20gal to 55 gal low light tank progression! 56K 10/9/11 LOTS of new pics - Page 3
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:49 AM   #31
sewingalot
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I was just thinking of you the other day. I am setting up a non-tradition planted tank and as I was preparing it, I was wondering if you were still in the hobby. And here your tank pops up. How cool is that?

I would suggest crypts next. Look up tanks from Karackle and Lauraleelbp for some low light inspiration. I know Kara has like the minimum of light and grows crypts very well. She has some other plants, too.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:35 AM   #32
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OMG So good to hear from you! Yep we're back! lol Was so glad when a friend of mine gave me his fish cause that meant we had to get the tank really going again. Just been so broke.

Can't wait to see the tank your talking about doing!

I like the ones from Lauraleebp ALOT! I'll have to check out Karackle for sure too.

Right now the light bulb in this is 55 gal is a 40w. I would love to have at least one more type pf plant other that the kinds I already have. So i'll read up on crypts! Thank you!

Wonder how much a new bulb with a little bit higher of a light that we currently have would cost. We just have one really long 40w bulb. 48in I think? I don't wanna have to do daily fertilizing and Co2 and stuff but root tabs don't sound too bad to do.

Really wanting to find a new substrate and I don't really want to do sand but I want a neutral tan/ brown colors if I can get it for a VERY inexpensive price. Maybe some small gravel from a home improvement store would be cheaper than from a pet store?

And I wonder how much i'll need. Guess I should measure the tank.

I kinda cringe at changing the substrate cause I really don't want to see all the crap flying around afterwards. lol But I figure if i'm gonna pull out all the plants and old decor it'd be easier to do the gravel at the same time than to have to pull out all the plants and stuff again to change the gravel too.

Was able to get most of the bark off the oak and it's back in the tub soaking again. Need to find something to scrub it with tomorrow. And i'll have to work on getting the rest of the bark off but finding it hard not to carve into the wood a little in my attempt to get that bark off.

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Old 08-07-2011, 01:37 AM   #33
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Oh and i'm gonna have to find something heavy to weight this down with in the tank as that glass lid from the skillet barely holds it down. lmao
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:06 AM   #34
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OMG So good to hear from you! Yep we're back! lol Was so glad when a friend of mine gave me his fish cause that meant we had to get the tank really going again. Just been so broke.
It's great to hear from you, too! I was glad to see you are still around in the hobby. And trust me, I understand broke. We are down to a one income household and it's been challenging in this hobby.

Cryptocorynes is the full name of the plant if you are looking for it, but everyone understands crypts. Sagittaria plants might work for you as well (dwarf sag is one I am thinking of) and also vals (Vallisneria).

40 watts is definitely doable, that's what I started out with. I just left my lights on longer. I wouldn't get a T5HO bulb at all if you are wanting to stay low tech, stick with T8s (what you have) or regular T5 (just not High Outputs!). I shopped around on auction sights and even craigslist and found some great lights. Also, since you have a 55, you can get two 24 inch lights to save money. And look at homedepot. Karackle just rewired her light with a light fixture from there and saved a bunch of money. I am sure when she gets back from vacation, she'd be glad to help out.

Slate tile from lowes, a stainless steel screw and you are in business (countersink the screw a bit). Put it under the gravel. You should look into something called "Turface" and do a search on kitty litter (Special Kitty unscented brand). Yes, I just said kitty litter. Both are great substrates on a budget. I've personally used turface and love it, others hate it, just like every other substrate/gravel. Kitty litter is similar to turface. A little lightweight, but I like that.

Learned this from Frank on ADA - a quick way to remove gravel is to use a shop vac (if you have one or can borrow one). Makes it easier (remove fish and water first, ha!)

Love the golden gourami, by the way! Very adorable.

And welcome back. You've been missed.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:59 AM   #35
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I actually don't mind just taking some water out and using my fish net to get the gravel out. lol Is the special kitty a tan color? Was thinking I could get that if it's tan and mix with a bag of just a natural color of aquarium gravel to give it a few neutral colors?

If the kitty litter doesn't work I can always dry it out and let my two persian cats use it. I micht buy a small bag of it and see what it looks like in water. Can also use it in the winter to put on the ice on the porch too.

As far as lighting i'm hoping that maybe just keep this 1 bulb or just change that one bulb to something a little better but if the 40w is good than i'll be happy to just stick with it. But I have a T8? And if so then I have the highest T8 then right?

As far as rewiring I really wanna stay away from having to do that. Trust me I can screw up anything. lol And I usually do!

Sadly I just don't get to town very often. I try to do the monthly shopping at the beginning of the month so I don't have to go back intown much during the rest of the month. I hate shopping.

We usually leave the lights on from around 10am till midnight. Is that too long? Or not long enough? Guess I should know more about that?

I was surprised that my friend Michaels fish were so big actually. Hadn't seen his tank in a year and a half. We love them but would love to add something with a little more color. Wonder if there's room for a school of neons someday? That gourami is my favorite too.

Thanks for all the help missed you too!
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:59 AM   #36
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If you try kitty litter it is the Red Bag at Wal-mart that many use. Just check for any chemical on the label. It is a white gray color. River sand is brown. I love it for it doesn't get dirty like other sand.

Here is a 10 G tank by Rhaethe with river sand


Here is the substrate calculator

What brand is the bulb and what is the kelvin rating?
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:10 AM   #37
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Not sure about the bulb. Bought the tank at a garage sale. I'll have to go look.

Love that tank of yours Hilde!

Well I guess the kitty litter is out. I'm still just so not sure about sand. Would rather have gravel still. I'll probably end up pulling the plants out and and adding the wood and then eventually changing the sutstrate as it'll be next month before I could afford to anyway or maybe just have to wait till fall when I go back to work. I love having a seasonal job but sometimes it's a pain.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:21 AM   #38
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Not sure about the bulb. Bought the tank at a garage sale. I'll have to go look.

Love that tank of yours Hilde!

Changing the substrate next month
Thanks but not my tank.

Try Sand-Stone supply company.

For substrate could put 1.5 in of Scott's top soil ($2) then .5 in of sand ($3) and then gravel from a hardware store.

When you change the substrate is good to leave the mulm in the tank. Something I heard from lauraleellbp.

Seems you got the bug, for went from 10g to 55 g. Looks like you found a good stand. That is the hardest thing to find for bigger tanks.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:37 AM   #39
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Went from a 10 gal to a 20 gal and added a 1.5 and then found the 55gal at a garage sale and the filter still worked and have ver sturdy hood and even the light still worked. Gotta have a sturdy hood as Blackberry one of my persians likes to go fishing. Bad girl! Thankfully she's never been able to catch one!

Oh I should have plenty of mulm in my tank. lol

That stand is an old wooden desk that we've had since I was little. The desk is too tall to really use and the gal asked if I wanted the stand too and I said no cause I didn't need it and it was ugly, not well taken care of.

Just fed the fish and turned off their lights but took some pics. I'll load those to photobucked and post after I tuck my son into bed.

Thanks Hilde!
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:03 AM   #40
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Hey- I remember these tanks!

Welcome back!
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:20 AM   #41
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Default 55 gal lowlight

Thanks Lauraleebp! Good to be back!

Got lots of pics to post!

There's what my light bulb says on it. It's what came with the tank.


Here's the tank as it is now. I removed a little more java moss from around the ship is all.

Sorry for all the crap sitting in front of the tank. The tank is right after you walk in the hour\se and catches the keys and crap.


Left side


Right side:


Some of the inhabatants!

These next to pics are of a fish that i'm not sure what it is so if you know let me know.



Let me know if I don't have what they are correctly.

Albino cory


Another cory of some sort?


Blood fin tetra


Buenos Aries tetra


Rainbows


Golden gourami


My little otto
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:29 AM   #42
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Man you can really see how badly this tank is scratched up in that pic of the buenos aries tetras.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:42 AM   #43
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Oh and what ever kind of loach i've only seen once since adding him to the tank and haven't seen the big pleco in a few days. i'm sure their fine and somewhere in the java forrest.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:49 AM   #44
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Your loach sounds like my betta. It just lurks 99.9% in the background. Yeah, kitty litter is gray and the turface is a tanish brown.

I am really loving the golden gourami even more now. I love gouramis, I don't know why I never bought any.

For that type of bulb, there is no need not to leave it on longer, it helps in my experience. Looks like a T8 bulb. It's basically just the size of the bulb in circumference. With many crypts, and lower light plants you can keep the one bulb and don't even need to upgrade. I see plenty of great examples out there on TPT with just that light.

I'm much like you, other than the monthly trips to the store and visits to my mom's, I don't get out much lately.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #45
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For that type of bulb, there is no need not to leave it on longer, it helps in my experience. Looks like a T8 bulb. It's basically just the size of the bulb in circumference. With many crypts, and lower light plants you can keep the one bulb and don't even need to upgrade. I see plenty of great examples out there on TPT with just that light.

I'm much like you, other than the monthly trips to the store and visits to my mom's, I don't get out much lately.
I believe that is a 4' fixture? and a T12 bulb would be 40 watt at 4'.
I can get away with 10-12hrs on those on a 55g without too much trouble.
Box stores like Home Depot or Lowes carry several types if needing to change it. Ours here (Lowes) even carry the GE plant bulbs. Long time no update and welcome back

This tank would be big enough for several moss columns doing that rope trick.

That golden gourami looks like a tiger (very cool looking fish)
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