JD's 50 Gallon Journal (56K warning) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-15-2006, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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JD's 50 Gallon Journal (56K warning)

I have been wanting to start a journal thread for a while but have been busy with the start of the semester and quite frankly too lazy to do it. This tank is my second planted tank, but I consider it my first serious venture into keeping one. My first tank was just a shrimp and macranda factory.

This tank was set up as a gift for my mother around christmas so it is about a month and a half old now. I say gift but it turned into my own little toy.

She thought it would be nice to have a small tank for the living room and good for her feng-shei. Well, I went and bought a 50 gallon for her. Careful what you wish for!

Here are the specs:
4 x 55 Watt AH Supply Bright Kit
4.4 WPG (or 7.13 if you think their conversion is correct)
2 6700K bulbs in front
1 50/50 bulb on the back right
1 9325K bulb on the back left
20lb CO2 tank with JBJ Regulator
Filstar XP3 Canister Filter (works fine and is quiet)
Hagen Powerhead
Brown Turface as substrate

Dosing:
1/2 tsp KNO3 and 1/8 tsp KH2PO4 3 times a week
10 ml TMG 3 times a week
1/4 tsp Mg and Ca on weekly water changes

Hardscape:
Isn't much except a peice of wood my cousin gave to me which I don't really like that much to begin with. I would have never imagined I was too poor to buy some rocks. Oh well.


Here is what you really want to see, the pics:

This is the tank on the day I set it up:


Looking back, I do think I probably should have had more plants in it to start out but all I had on hand were plants I stocked up in my 30 gallon. There was definately plenty of macranda. Green dust algae formed on my glass pretty quickly after I set the thing up probably because I didn't have enough plants.


Here is a pic after I added in plants from the December SFBAAPS plant swap a few days later:


Most of the plants I got at this swap were grown to amounts which eventually filled in the tank. SFBAAPS is a wonderful resource. I eventually removed the dwarf lobelia since it didn't look good after a while of growing vertically. You can see my two pearl gouramis sparing off in the pic.


Here is another pic maybe 2 weeks after start up:


Most of this period was just waiting for plants to grow out plants. I got the algae problem somewhat under control at this point. A few plants were added and some were moved around. I put in a 1x1 sq of hc at this point. The macranda obviously is growing like nuts. I actually brought the stuff to two swaps and traded some away and it was still growing to the top periodically. I removed the sunset hygro shortly after this picture was taken.


I actually neglected the tank for a while since I was busy in school so not so many pictures in between, but here is the tank just a few days ago about 7 weeks in:


I removed the HC and just let the HM grow in. I wanted something that would give more cover to the cherry shrimp I have in the tank. I moved the macranda to the front which slowed the grow down to a manageable level.

I need to move the rest of the macranda to the front. The left side, the P. Stellatus doesn't look good after you move it or replant the tops, at least for me. It was look great prior to that though so I hope it looks better in the next shot when new stems grow to the surface and I leave them alone.

There is still some work to be done. Not sure what I will do with the hygro. It is absolutely crazy. It seems to look larger every few minutes I look at it. I have a few areas to clean up and wait to fill in.

There is some hair algae growing in the hairgrass on the side and HM in the middle but it is a problem I am not too worried about. I just remove clumps of it every few days.

I got this tank at a very low cost but I am regretting it now. The dimensions are 48" x 12" x 21". 12 inches of depth is really little to work with. There isn't really a foreground to this tank at all. I did the best I could with it though.

Comments would be appreciated.

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Last edited by jimmydrsv; 02-22-2006 at 12:41 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-15-2006, 12:22 PM
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I'd say your "foreground" is the center of the tank with HM! Tank looks great, and I feel your pain with 12" of depth. And OH MY, the colors. Your macranda really is top notch!
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-15-2006, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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I have seen many threads with people putting their macranda under 6700k bulbs getting the nice red color. Up until now, I have kept mine under 10,000k or 50/50 bulbs getting more pinkish or purple colors. I liked it because it looked different.

The first few weeks, I kept my usual 10000k in front and 50/50 in front. You can tell the colors are different from the initial photos.

I then went a bit nuts and bought 2 9325k bulbs and 2 6700k bulbs and some new 10,000k bulbs and started messing around with the colors. I now have an extra set of all my bulbs at least.

The 10,000Ks, now that I look back, were too blindingly white and it made a glaring effect on my plants when I looked at them or took a photo of my tank. I don't see that problem anymore with 6700k bulbs. I probably won't buy anymore of those bulbs now. Just look at the hygro in pic 3 and 4.

I tried 9325k bulbs in the back and the bulb made my macranda super odd looking red and it made the veins show up and the plant didn't take too well to it at all for some reason. I only kept one of them on the left side since I liked the effect on the P Stellatus at least. It also made my hygro orange looking. After a while, I either got used to the pink or it is less so now. too bad i didn't bother to take a full tank shot when I had these in to compare now. I guess I can still swap it out to take a look but I am too lazy and it would take a few days and some growth for the pigments to actually be altered by the light.

If you look in the back of the last photo, you can see the purple macranda in the last shot since it is still under 50/50 bulbs. Now that I have tried it under 6700k, I have to say it looks a lot better, at least in terms of the contrast it has with the rest of the colors in the tank. The purple never popped out as much. It would look good in shots were it was featured by itself but never drew my attention as much in the tank. The first day I moved the plants to the front where they 6700k bulbs were, the plant was just pink.

I might swap out the 50/50 in the back corner and put in another 6700k to see if it does anything.

As for the HM, I think it helps make a nice valley look to the tank. It hasn't actually grown all the way in yet. I actually started it out growing front to back. The whole back half hasn't filled in yet but you can't actually see it from the photo.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-15-2006, 01:03 PM
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Looking nice, I will keep this thread in mind when I have time to start planning out my 50g project that I always wanted for months!
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-15-2006, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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It helps a bunch to start with the plants you want to use already.

I had to grow the ones I wanted out and it led to initial algae problems. I had BGA after the 2 week mark which I didn't document. It died after 2 days of EM though.

Right now, I just have thread algae. Not too irritating a problem since I can reach in and pluck it out.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-15-2006, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Here are some other random shots of stuff in the tank:

Macranda under 50/50 light:


Macranda up close under 50/50 light:


Some Red Cabomba I got from the January SFBAAPS Open House:


One of the many Dwarf Gouramis in the tank:

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-15-2006, 10:08 PM
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Excellent looking tank .

On the first pic I didn't think that the valley theme would look well, but when it all filled in it gave a greater depth to the tank. My tank has been missing something and you have a couple of plants in there that my just do the trick (especially the Macranda).

If the ultimate compliment is inspiration, then you just received one . Nice job.

Jeremy

55 gal., DIY stand, hood, rex reactor, & bubble counter, XP2, Coralife 65 X 4 w/remote ballast, flourite
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2006, 12:23 AM
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That is great progress! I may lose the hygro. that plant is just a beast in itself. Maybe try a different long leaved stem plant. L. Aromatica or something like that would look good. Althought that may be to much red. Hygro balsamica would look good there as well


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2006, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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The hygro is bad mainly because of the growth but I don't think it looks too bad if I keep it under control. The shape of its leaves are unique where as I have a few plants that already look like limno in the tank. I almost think I would be over doing that one plant shape if I added a whole section of it in especially when the shape would be pretty clear after I get the P. Stellata full grown out. The hygro, as it is, bends over the wood in a way I like as well. I also think it is where all my shrimp are hiding currently.

The P. Stellata is already red in the corner. I want something brighter to contrast in the middle. It also won't look so bad once the growth on the left side gets denser.

There is also the problem of me growing some other plant out to replace it. I am heading to another SFBAAPS plant swap so it is like a candy shop where everything is free. Anything can happen after that.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2006, 01:37 AM
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So apart from the groundcover, that's basically all stem plants? Lots of tending!

It's look fantastic, especially with all that colour! I love the valley too and might try that myself.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2006, 03:14 AM
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I like the middle it looks like a baby lawn but it doesn't dominate the scene. Hygro is a beast. It is smart to start with it tho.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2006, 03:57 AM
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The transition is awesome! The right side is perfect, while the left side just needs replacing the easy growers with more stable plants. What is that green frilly plant infront of the P. stellata?
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2006, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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The plant in front of the P. Stellata is mermaid weed. I bought it emersed so it lost some leaves in the transition. It might have caused some algae because of this.

About 2 weeks has yielded about 5 inches in new submersed growth so it isn't too fast.

I am going to be trying out L. Cuba and Rotala magenta so I might replace something on that side.

The P. Stellata at the tips look like someone ambutated the leaves and left a stub there.

I will take some pics of the Mermaid weed tommorow.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2006, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmydrsv
The plant in front of the P. Stellata is mermaid weed. I bought it emersed so it lost some leaves in the transition. It might have caused some algae because of this.

About 2 weeks has yielded about 5 inches in new submersed growth so it isn't too fast.

I am going to be trying out L. Cuba and Rotala magenta so I might replace something on that side.

The P. Stellata at the tips look like someone ambutated the leaves and left a stub there.

I will take some pics of the Mermaid weed tommorow.
Do you know the scientific name of it? It looks like a perfect contrast for a lot of the red plants.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-16-2006, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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http://www.plantgeek.net/plant-213.htm

Here is a link of it. Mine looks completely different due to the light. The lower leaves however are the same.

The look varies quite a bit from so many different photos I have seen. Some are super dissected and green/yellow, others are very red, mine is very copperish yellow.

I am hoping it reddens as it approaches the surface.

Edit: Here is a pic of the plant taken by a SFBAAPS member:
http://webpages.charter.net/zezmo/Pr...tris_close.JPG
Looks a lot more like what I have but with the dissected leaves a bit shorter and mine is more yellow and only red in the middle. I think too much light is making it this yellow.

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