"Dexter's Tank" - 55g - First Properly Planted Tank, Advice Welcomed - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 12-21-2013, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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"Dexter's Tank" - 55g - First Properly Planted Tank, Advice Welcomed

Hello everyone! I recently got a new 55 gallon tank, already all set up with plants and with all of the plants in it included. Got a great deal, especially since I was planning and buying all of those things for whatever tank I got. HERE is a picture of the tank when it was set up. This will be my first properly planted tank, though I do currently have a tank with plants in it. I will be upgrading that one soon as well, but currently itís just got gravel and the fluorescent light that came with the kit.

There were two main reasons why I decided to upgrade and get a new tank. One reason was to create a beautiful planted tank. The other was to provide a more suitable home for my favorite fish. THIS is Dexter, my Asian Bumblebee Catfish (Pseudomystus siamensis). I adore this fish. I know with a lot of aquascapers, or at least the professionals, the purpose of a planted tank is to create something beautiful to look at, and the fish are just an accessory to compliment the aquascape. For me, while I do want to create something beautiful that I will enjoy, the primary focus is creating a habitat that will make my fish happy.

Which leads me to the design of my tank. Itís gone through a couple of variations (first plan HERE, second HERE, second overhead view HERE), but the general idea has stayed the same. Lots of caves, driftwood, and plants to give my catfish plenty of room to hide and explore. HERE is the current version of the plan (With color!). This most recent one is what Iíll be going with, though there will be some change in the final product as I havenít built the slate cave structures yet. If you canít tell much about the design of those, HERE is a more detailed, technical sketch of the cave design - though it was made just after the original plan, so you'll notice some changes in the current plan sketch.

Right now Iíve got the plants that came with the tank in a big bin with the gravel and necessary equipment that came with the tank, as Iím not yet able to get it set up. I need to look into what equipment Iíve got exactly, but for now hereís what I know:
- I plan to use Seachem Flourite Original for the substrate (Unless I get any better suggestions?)
- I have a 2 bulb t5 fixture with ďwhite and blue full spectrum bulbsĒ
- I have a HOB filter, need to check the brand and model
- I have 4 pieces of driftwood to use in the tank (Iíll add pictures of those here later)
- I donít have a plan yet for dosing my tank, and have yet to get any ferts aside from seachem flourish.

Stocking:
- 1 Asian Bumblebee Catfish, Pseudomystus siamensis
- 1 Rosy Red Minnow, Pimephales promelas
- 1 Red Tail Black Shark, Epalzeorhynchos bicolor
- 2 Bristlenose Plecos, Ancistrus sp.
- 8 - 12 Tiger Barbs, Puntius tetrazona

Plant List (Will get some pictures up of the ones Iíve got)
- Amazon Sword (I think?), Echinodorus amazonicus - Already Have
- Anubias Nana (I think?), Anubias barteri 'Nana' - Already Have
- Anubias Nana Petite, Anubias barteri 'Petite' - Already Have
- Cryptocoryne Wendtii (I think?), Cryptocoryne wendtii - Already Have
- Lotus (of some sort, ??? - Already Have
- Melon Sword, Echinodorus osiris - Buying
- Brazilian Pennywort, Hydrocotyle leucocephala - Buying
- Dwarf Pennywort, Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides - Buying
- Java Moss, Taxiphyllum barbieri - Buying
- Amazon Frogbit, Limnobium laevigatum - Buying
- Downoi, Pogostemon helferi Ė (eventually) Buying

So thatís where Iím at. Iíd love any advice I can get. For the stocking, I asked both here and on planet catfish and feel pretty comfortable with the fish on my list. I am still very new at this, almost entirely new to planted tanks and still pretty new to keeping freshwater aquariums, and Iíd really like to minimize the amount of try-fail-fix learning that comes with trying something new. Iím trying to learn all I can so I can do this right the first time.
So give advice, or just add comments. Hopefully, if all goes well, Iíll get a pretty decent journal of the creation of my first real planted tank started here!
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