Big-Kens first planted tank 55g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Big-Kens first planted tank 55g

This will be my first planted tank, i've been doing alot of reading and research to get me to this point. I wanted to lay my plan down for you all with more experience to see if there is anything im missing or screwing up

Tank: 55 gallon
Light: 48" ZooMed Aquasun dual T5HO hung 6" from top of tank (24" from sub)
Filter: Magnum HOT 250 pro
Sub: MTS capped with pool filter sand
Flora: Dwarf Sag, Java Fern, Anubias nana, Jungle val
Fauna: 2x Angelfish, 5x Plattys, 15-20x Cardinal tetras, 2x longfin BN, snails

I plan to dose Excel but im not sure how offten or how much

what do you all think??

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 08:26 PM
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I can't offer any suggestions, but I plan to watch this thread because I will soon be going through more or less the same thing...setting up a 55 gallon planted tank...mineralized top soil topped with gravel, stocked similarly to yours, but I'm leaning toward a single 54W T5HO rather than two. Hoping to avoid pressurized CO2 for a while and slip by with dosing Excel.

Good luck with it!

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 08:35 PM
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I guess I can welcome both of you to the forum! It looks like a good setup and with those lights it will be high light so without C02 your photo period might have to be short, if the fixture has 2 cords you may want to use one as a burst of midday light. I would only suggest taking your time and adding the fauna slowly to build some bacteria of course after you have cycled the tank, but it sound like a plan.

Make sure to add plenty of photos to your journal!

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 09:11 PM
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Don't use Excel with Vallisneria. They don't like it. Dose with Flourish Comprehensive (once weekly), Iron (twice weekly).

All the plants will benefit from CO2 in some form, and DIY CO2 is easy and works. A two-liter bottle 3/4 of the way full of water with a cup of sugar and a teaspoon of yeast will do it. An airline from the lid (the hole should be very snug) to an airstone in the tank works great.

The light should be at least 2 48'' T5HO 6,500 K bulbs turned on for 8-10 hours a day.

Water changes should be from 25 to 50% weekly, the more, the less algae will appear.

Java fern and anubias should be tied to wood or rocks. Their roots will rot if they are put in the substrate. Some plants to include would be Echinodorus bleheri and various Cryptocorynes. Ebay and Aquabid have great deals on plants, as does

I'd avoid snails as they can eat plants and/or breed to the extent that they take over the tank.
If you really like BN plecos, you can do them, but they have an enormous bioload (it could restrict what you put in there; they poop a TON). Rubberlip plecos are great algae eaters and they top out at 3-4 inches max (some people may say they get 7 inches, not true. Personal experience here). They need supplements, though, because the algae in one tank won't be enough. I use algae wafers.
Cardinal tetras like warm water (nothing under 80˚F), but are otherwise hardy once acclimated. Make sure you acclimate them slowly.
Get the angels small and they will be peaceful with everyone else (they ARE cichlids; some can be vile devils, some are totally laid back, but if they grow up alongside tankmates, the tankmates will remain tankmates).
I think you should do a few more platies. The tank could hold more and they will produce a nice source of live food for everyone else.
Another good addition would be a corydoras catfish of some sort. They are fun to watch and the scrounge around the substrate, eating things and keeping the substrate fresh and thus free of algae. They should be fed sinking pellets, though, because they can't survive on the stuff they find in the substrate alone. Bronze cories are the obvious option, being inexpensive and hardy.

A revised stock list (feel free to re-revise it; it's your tank!)

2 angels
8-10 platies
15-20 cardinal tetras
1 rubberlip pleco
8-10 bronze corydoras

This list should work fine in an established planted tank with 30% weekly water changes and an 8-10 hour photoperiod.

EDIT: Oh, and sorry for the short essay. I like to write!

"One day, this path will lead us to the White City, and the tower guard will take up the call: the Lords of Gondor have returned!"

–Boromir, The Lord Of The Rings
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