55 Gallon-UPDATE Apistos & Angelfish-03/10/19 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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55 Gallon-UPDATE Apistos & Angelfish-03/10/19

Hey all, I've been keeping fish in smaller tanks for the last 10 or so years, but last week I was able to pick up a 55 gallon tank, stand and filter for $100 (CAD). My previous tanks have been a 2.5 gallon Aqueon Mini-Bow with shrimp, an Aqueon 15 gallon column tank with a couple iterations of tetras, and goldfish before that.

I'm not sure how dedicated of a journal this will be, I tend to slack on this kind of thing, but I'll try to update it every once in a while anyways.

Currently set up low tech, here's the equipment so far:
Tank: 55 Gallon (48" L x 13" W x 21" H)
Stand: DIY by previous owner
Filter: Aqueon Quietflow 55/75 HOB
Lights: Standard All-Glass Aquarium/Aqueon hoods with 18" 15 watt T8 full spectrum lamps
Heater: Elite 200W submersible heater

Substrate: half pool filter sand, half organic potting soil with aquarium gravel cap

Current livestock:
(4) x Red Cherry Shrimp
Blue Ramshorn Snails

Planned stocking:
(16 to 20) x Harlequin Rasboras (5 are currently in the 15 column while my 55 finishes cycling)
(4) x Apistogramma Cacatuoides (1M/3F)
(1 or 2) x Angelfish (I'd like 2, but I know they can be mean to each other)

Plants:
Anubias nana
Anubias coffefolia
Java fern
hygrophila polysperma sunset
Unknown sword type thing
Unhappy "Scarlet temple plant" (Alternanthera reineckii)
Christmas moss

Now, as with every planted tank newbie, there are always questions, but I'll post them up in the appropriate subforums. I'd love to hear your feedback, if you've stuck it out this long...

Here are some pictures of the tank over the last week as I've been setting it up. The water is still pretty tannin stained, it should clear up over the next bit when I get some new carbon filters in it and change the water a couple more times...

Setup:


Filling:


Full, after a couple days to settle:


Tank lights only:


Left side:


Right side:
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Last edited by Dan Newman; 10-03-2019 at 03:33 PM. Reason: title update
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 04:18 AM
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Love the sand and your rock pillar! Can't wait for updates!

Interested in meeting Planted Tank/Fish enthusiasts in the Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay, WI, areas. Inspired by what others do, no matter how big/small/complicated/simple it is.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Tank was ready for fish last night, so I put my 5 harlequin rasboras in. Hopefully I can find another 11 or so to add this weekend.



My anubias are melting pretty hard but also sending up new leaves already, so they seem to be doing alright. Also, the snails are loving the decaying leaves. I added some pothos cuttings into some slots in my hood too, I really love the roots they put out...

Thanks for reading!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 04:31 PM
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That rock pile would make me nervous. Is it just rocks piled on top of each other and positioned against glass? Or?


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
That rock pile would make me nervous. Is it just rocks piled on top of each other and positioned against glass? Or?
Ha, I was wondering if someone would comment on that. It's siliconed and spray foamed together, it's solid.

Sent from my VOG-L04 using Tapatalk
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
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Ha, I was wondering if someone would comment on that. It's siliconed and spray foamed together, it's solid.

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Okay.
I think I would be remiss if I didnt comment. But, good thing, looks like you have it solid.



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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 05:14 PM
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Is that Limestone? Limestone will affect your Ph and KH very quickly.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gill_Bates View Post
Is that Limestone? Limestone will affect your Ph and KH very quickly.
It could be limestone, I just grabbed it out of a landscaping pile.

From what I understand about limestone, it only dissolves and affects water conditions in acidic water. My Ph out of the tap is 8+ and my KH is also very high. Either way, I had the stack in my other tank for a few months prior to it being in this tank, and everything seemed fine.

I appreciate the heads up though, I'll be sure to keep an eye on it.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Update: MO' FISH! Cleared Petland out of harlequin rasboras, now have 14 of them in the tank. Also bought some black poster paper and stuck it to the back of the tank. If you look close, you can see some new leaves on most of the anubias plants, I'm pretty happy with how well they're growing.



I also thought it might be fun to show off my other planted "tank", which houses my crested gecko, Java. It's custom built from plywood and painted with drylok to fit in a little nook in the house. The hardscape is made from styrofoam, again painted with drylok. For plants, it's got pothos, syngonium podophyllum, creeping fig, cryptanthus, gynura aurantiaca (purple passion), small sansevieria, a couple of neoregelia bromeliads and a boston fern.



Thanks for reading!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Minor update:
Found some jungle val and amazon frogbit. Looking for some apistos a little more seriously now.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 06:28 PM
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It looks nice! The contrast is cool.

I would recommend keeping your frogbit away from your moss, or they will stick together like velcro.

Style: Organic soil (dirt), sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, biofilm, mulm, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech: Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Eheim Skim 350, Neptune Apex EL
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 07:39 PM
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Very nice 55 gallon tank The seascape is awesome. Have you thought about attaching some plants in the nooks of your rock tower?

"The Sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has literal meaning: We are all in the same boat" -Jacques Yves Cousteau
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words guys, I appreciate it!

A couple of updates today:

-I'm having a VERY difficult time finding any apistos, it seems they're not common up here at all. I've called maybe a dozen places that sell fish, and no one can find them!

-It seems that my "harlequin" rasboras are actually 6 harlequin and 7 glowlight rasboras. No big deal, they still shoal together and I like the size difference. Also, they seem really happy, I had a fat (gravid?) female rubbing her belly on the underside of some of my plants last night, which I understand is a spawning behavior!

-The biggest update - Angelfish! Four total - 2 marble and 2 tiny blue angelfish. The marbles are about 1.5-2" long and the blues are about 1" or so. Everyone seems to be getting along well, and eating voraciously. I can't wait for the blues to grow up and start getting more color!






And a FTS:

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the double post, but I just got a call from the fish store:


They found me some Apistos! They'll be here on Wednesday, I'm so pumped!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Kinda feels like I'm talking to myself here, but you're only crazy if you answer yourself, right?!

Anyways, 4 healthy looking Apistogramma Cacatuoides found their way home last night! They're about 1" to 1 1/4" right now, still to little to sex and a little plain looking. A couple of them are showing red/orangeish patches on the tail, and one looks to have orange patches on the dorsal and anal fins!









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