Planted 55 Gallon - Suggestions Needed! (56K warning) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Planted 55 Gallon - Suggestions Needed! (56K warning)

AT LAST! I got my shipment of plants in yesterday from AquariumPlants, and they are gorgeous. I spent all of yesterday planting and rescaping both the 55 and 29 gallons, and decided to make them into separate threads.

Breakdown:

Size - 55 gallon
Measurements - 48 x 12 x 21
Stand - solid wood dresser, hand built.

Lighting - GLO T5HO 36" 2x39W (6" above water)
Heating - Visi-Therm Deluxe 300W
Filtration - Marineland Penguin 350B
Substrate - AquariumPlant's Own
C02/Ferts - Seachem Flourish & root tabs

Flora:
Red/Green Jungle Vals - Vallisneria gigantea
Red Flame Sword - Echinodorus Red Flame
Amazon Sword - Echinodorus bleheri
Four Leaf Clover - Marsilea quadrifolia
Rotala Indica - Rotala rotundifolia
Crypt Walkerii - Cryptocoryne lutea
Dwarf Sag - Sagittaria subulata
Anubias Lanceolata - Anubias lanceolata
Crypt Wendtii - Cryptocoryne wendtii

Fauna: (to come)
6-8 dime-sized P. scalare
3-5 Otocinclus Catfish

Yes, some people would disagree, but the angelfish will be divided if/when the time comes. I've read that aggression is somewhat diffused among larger groups, and my filtration is good..so I'll be fine for a while until they grow larger and pair off.

I'm also going to put up a black background, don't worry!

Photos!

Empty:


Hardscape:


Filled & planted:


I'm hoping the vals will take off and fill that corner, and by growing along the surface they'll diffuse a little more of the intense light. The rotala is beautiful and I hope it fills in, as well as the swords. The red flame sword has the most awesome, richest red pattern on its new leaves.

I know I should have broken up the clover more..
But saying I'm small is an understatement. I'm the same size as most 15 year olds, even though I'm almost 21, so it's difficult to hang over the tank and plant...I had to stand on a rolling chair to do most of it. I hope the dwarf sag and clover will branch out and make a few nice, thick patches.

Filling was HELL, as well as trying to get the vals to stay put since the substrate is kind of light. I'm still sore! I hope the pictures are clear enough, I'll add a closer look of the crypts, dwarf sag and swords:



I'm happy with it, and just have to wait now. Thoughts and comments welcome!

Last edited by thewesterngate; 02-14-2010 at 08:49 PM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 09:34 PM
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Great start! I love how the wood comes out of the water. Invest in a python, you will love water changes when you do
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Great start! I love how the wood comes out of the water. Invest in a python, you will love water changes when you do
Thanks! I love the wood, I spent so long cutting the bark off of it and soaking it, and it was well worth it. Pythons worry me, don't they shoot straight tap water into the tank? I've never used one, instead I had to keep switching my hose pipe from the hot to the cold hook-ups where a washing machine should be..to keep the temperature even so I wouldn't freeze or cook the plants. It was a terribly planned fill! :P
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 09:55 PM
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Really like the piece of wood also. And I like that you've mixed up the red and green plants throughout the tank. A lot of people seem to keep the reds all together in one area, and the greens all in one area, which I think creates a really choppy look. Yours should look really nice once filled in. I love black substrate as well. Wishing now that I would have done a black substrate in my tank. Pythons are great...don't be scared of them! LOL I have a 55 gallon as well and struggled with a siphon and bucket for years before finally forking out the money for a python. It cuts you time down to practically nothing though and no more tippy buckets spilling water on the way to the sink! They do put tap water in your tank, but what you do is add water conditioner to your tank and then add the new water with the python. I always add a bit more conditioner than what is necessary, and I know some people will use enough conditioner as if they were filling the tank for the fist time. Never had any issues and I've had some sensitive fish over the years.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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That sounds excellent, I should give it a try. P: And yes! I love red plants mingled with greens, the trick was finding some that didn't require an intensive CO2 regimen since I don't use any and try to keep things low tech. The red flame sword's new shoots and overall patterns look stunning, I should snap a quick shot of them.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 10:03 PM
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I match the temp with tap water before i fill it. Then i dose the entire tank with Prime. 10 minutes max to change my 55g :P
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 10:07 PM
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Pythons are overpriced

5/8" drinking water hose costs about $20 for 50 feet; a python costs more than twice as much at the same length and is 1/2" diameter.

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I match the temp with tap water before i fill it. Then i dose the entire tank with Prime. 10 minutes max to change my 55g :P

how much water do you change at once?


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Gah! Why am I so impatient and high-strung? XD I'll definitely go that direction for the next water change. I'm planning on doing them every one or two weeks..hopefully I can stick to that.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
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Pythons are overpriced

5/8" drinking water hose costs about $20 for 50 feet; a python costs more than twice as much at the same length and is 1/2" diameter.




how much water do you change at once?
50%

Ya DIY are much cheaper.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 10:31 PM
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What kind of wood is that, looks like pine. I have some that i want to use but have read mixed reviews about using pine.

thanks
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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What kind of wood is that, looks like pine. I have some that i want to use but have read mixed reviews about using pine.

thanks
It's maple. I spent forever carving the bark off, and drying and soaking it to make sure sap wouldn't be an issue.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 02:08 AM
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how do you like the substrate?

I was thinking about going with that substrate but wasnt sure how sharp it was for my cories
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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how do you like the substrate?

I was thinking about going with that substrate but wasnt sure how sharp it was for my cories
It's quite light, so it's very hard to plant things like vals and stems, but other than that it's fairly soft and easily cleaned. Though it won't really run clear while rinsing, it doesn't seem to discolor/cloud the water for long at all. I'm happy with it. I'll be tracking the progress and growth of this tank for a while.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Week Update: February 12, 2010

I bought a Python! I think I bought one in the past, but gave up on it since I didn't have the proper adapter for my faucet...but this one works! It's only been one week, but it feels like forever. I guess that's how it goes when watching (aquatic) grass grow.

Picture time:

FTS:


Everything is growing steadily, my c. wendtii didn't even melt after moving it from my 29 to a cold bucket before transferring it over to this tank.


The clover's already going a little crazy and spreading:


And my branch has the fuzzies..


I'm updating my other journals too. Cheers!
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'm beginning to think I'm severely underplanted. I'm missing some bushy rosette plants, I think. Any suggestions? I want it to be a densely planted jungle to complement the angels when I put them in.

Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
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