New 55g low-tech tank (cycling) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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New 55g low-tech tank (cycling)

Hi everyone,

I am coming back to the hobby after a few years. I have set up a low-tech, 55 gallon (208 liters) fish tank. Here is the setup:

2217 Eheim canister filter
1 sponge filter
Hydor in-line heater
Marineland LED strip light
Pool filter sand and driftwood

All plants are low-light, hardy ones:

Anubias Nana
Anubias Nana Thick Leaf
Anubias Barteri Nana Long Wavy
Bucephalandra Rainbow Marble
Cryptocoryne Tropica
Cryptocoryne Mioya
Echinodorus Peruensis
Hades
Hygrophila Angustifolia
Mini Bolbitis
Water Wisteria

They were all planted 3 days ago. I am using Seachem fertilizer tabs. Will see how the plants will do with no CO2.

I have been doing a fishless cycling for 3 weeks and it is going well (getting a lot of nitrates and nitrites). Fish are coming soon. The stocking list will be a surprise, so no questions about them Here are a few pics:
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 09:45 AM
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Very nice, with decent growth it will look spectacular.
I don't think I'd be confident with the last 4 or so plants in a sand substrate with a marineland light. I'll be following to see how they do. Thinking of converting my 75 g to a low tech soil-less anubias/java fern tank.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Very nice, with decent growth it will look spectacular.
I don't think I'd be confident with the last 4 or so plants in a sand substrate with a marineland light. I'll be following to see how they do. Thinking of converting my 75 g to a low tech soil-less anubias/java fern tank.

Thanks. About the last 4 plants in the list:


Hades and Mini Bolbitis are not planted in the sand, but attached to the driftwood.


Water Wisteria is the only plant not doing well. It started to melt after I planted it in the sand. I am leaving the surviving leaves floating in the tank. Will see if they survive.



Hygrophila Angustifolia is the only of the four that remains planted. Let's see how it will do. Anybody else with experience with it?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 04:09 PM
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I actually think I have that in my 6g sand only. Pbly half the substrate is mulm though 😎
The sword plant is the one I was thinking needed soil, along with the hygro and wisteria.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 10:41 PM
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Tank looks good. Needs more plants though! I must be one of the only ones on here who actually likes 55 gallon tanks. Well, obviously you must like them too lol

Any plans for fish? I think something like a huge school of Bloodfin or Rummy Nose Tetras would look great in there.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2020, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I actually think I have that in my 6g sand only. Pbly half the substrate is mulm though 😎
The sword plant is the one I was thinking needed soil, along with the hygro and wisteria.
Attachment 902775

Yes, that looks like it. Thanks for sharing the pic. Nice tank! Let's see how the Echinodorus and the Hygro will do with a sand substrate.


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Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
Tank looks good. Needs more plants though!

Thanks. I like the concept of "island" aquascape, though. It leaves more room for fish to school and more sand surface for bottom dwellers. It also facilitates maintenance. I like to have an area where I can put a plate during water changes



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
I must be one of the only ones on here who actually likes 55 gallon tanks. Well, obviously you must like them too lol

Well, the tank size is related to my space and financial limitations right now


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
Any plans for fish? I think something like a huge school of Bloodfin or Rummy Nose Tetras would look great in there.

The water in New Orleans is very alkaline (PH 8.4) and hard (GH 14 - 251 ppm and KH 7 - 125 ppm). Those tetras most likely would not do well in this kind of water.


The fish I am planning will come mostly from Southeast Asia and Australia. It is a surprise for now, but if someone guesses what I have in mind I will will confirm Only the bottom dwellers might come from another region. The catfish from Asia that is small enough for a 55g and does well in hard water is very hard to find (any guesses about what I am talking about)?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2020, 05:55 PM
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My guess is Rainbowfish.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2020, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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My guess is Rainbowfish.

Good guess! But which one? Most grow too large for a 55g tank (you need to have at least 6 of them). After some research, I found a beautiful, smaller kind of rainbowfish. Anyone familiar?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 12:19 AM
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Good guess! But which one? Most grow too large for a 55g tank (you need to have at least 6 of them). After some research, I found a beautiful, smaller kind of rainbowfish. Anyone familiar?
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish

Honestly, as long as you keep your stocking to a certain to degree, regular sized Rainbowfish would probably be fine. I wouldn't keep them in anything smaller than a 4 foot tank. And certainly anything smaller than a 55. I have a 33 long which is the same dimensions as a 55 but half the height and I wouldn't even dream of keeping a fish of that size in my tank, but I have seen people do it. Personally I don't think that's a good choice for that kind of fish (the 33 long) unless it's the dwarf species.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish

Nope, not that one



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
Honestly, as long as you keep your stocking to a certain to degree, regular sized Rainbowfish would probably be fine. I wouldn't keep them in anything smaller than a 4 foot tank. And certainly anything smaller than a 55. I have a 33 long which is the same dimensions as a 55 but half the height and I wouldn't even dream of keeping a fish of that size in my tank, but I have seen people do it. Personally I don't think that's a good choice for that kind of fish (the 33 long) unless it's the dwarf species.

If the tank only had 6 regular size rainbowfish it could possibly work. However, besides the 6 rainbowfish, I am also planning to add a school of another species from Southeast Asia (SA). Hint: it has a beautiful red coloration.


Besides these, I plan to add a school of 10 fish form a small species and 4 algae eaters, both from SA.


Please keep the bets coming...
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 09:36 AM
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Hmmm! I don't know then. I didn't know there were other smaller sized species of Rainbows besides the Dwarf Neons :P
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm! I don't know then. I didn't know there were other smaller sized species of Rainbows besides the Dwarf Neons :P

It is the Macculloch's Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia maccullochi)! Does anyone have them?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 11:20 PM
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As for cycling, I did a dark start in my 75 gallon tank. Started with a thin layer of Mironekuton deep sea mineral powder, ADA Bacter, ADA Super Clear, ADA Tourmaline BC, crushed lava rock, thin layer of gravel, Gro-Pro soft belly aquatic plant soil, added in the hardscape of rocks and wood, hooked up the canister filter, and heater and let it run in the dark for four weeks while using Prime and Stability. No water changes, no nothing. Then I did a 100% water change, turned on the Kessils, added all the plants, Prime, Stability, Nerite snails, Amano shrimp, and blackwater extract. Then after another two weeks the fish, no big deal, no problems, other than the obligatory tiny bit ofnew tank brown algae, and some string algae on some bunch plants dying back that were easily removed. 50% weekly water changes, surface vacuuming, and all Nitrogen and other levels stay normal.

Bump: Forgot to mention I use a prefilter with sponge for my canister, then coarse and thin sponge pads, Sera Siporax sintered glass media, and some Purigen now and then, polishing pad on top.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spiritus-Ichthus View Post
As for cycling, I did a dark start in my 75 gallon tank. Started with a thin layer of Mironekuton deep sea mineral powder, ADA Bacter, ADA Super Clear, ADA Tourmaline BC, crushed lava rock, thin layer of gravel, Gro-Pro soft belly aquatic plant soil, added in the hardscape of rocks and wood, hooked up the canister filter, and heater and let it run in the dark for four weeks while using Prime and Stability. No water changes, no nothing. Then I did a 100% water change, turned on the Kessils, added all the plants, Prime, Stability, Nerite snails, Amano shrimp, and blackwater extract. Then after another two weeks the fish, no big deal, no problems, other than the obligatory tiny bit ofnew tank brown algae, and some string algae on some bunch plants dying back that were easily removed. 50% weekly water changes, surface vacuuming, and all Nitrogen and other levels stay normal.

Bump: Forgot to mention I use a prefilter with sponge for my canister, then coarse and thin sponge pads, Sera Siporax sintered glass media, and some Purigen now and then, polishing pad on top.

Thanks. I adopt a more simple approach. Put pure ammonia and wait No additives. It requires patience, but I am almost there. My nitrates levels finally started to decline.


I also use a prefilter with sponge for my canister. Keeps it clean!


I added a few rocks and moved a few plants today. I will try to make a video of the tank with my crappy camera...
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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So here is a short and low-quality video of the tank. I added some rocks and moved a few small plants around.

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