Planted 55G Low Tech to High Tech Evolution - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Planted 55G Low Tech to High Tech Evolution

I recently bought a 55 gallon tank for pretty cheap. It has been a while since I've had a planted tank, so I decided this would be a fun project. I built my own stand out of oak and walnut, which I just finished a few weeks ago. I've setup the tank, cycled it (using donor filter media from my other tanks) and put everything in order to start planting. Right now I pretty much have a blank canvas, with just a couple of decorations and some driftwood. I plan to set this up initially as a low tank tank, and move closer to high tech with a few DIY projects. I am an electrical engineer, so a lot of what I have planned requires the use of a Raspberry Pi computer, and creating circuit boards to control various aspects of the tanks. I'll be dosing ferts and Flourish Excel in the mean time.

Current setup:
Buildmyled 48" Dutch Planted Light
Fluval 406 Canister Filter
Hydor 300W inline heater
Eco-complete substrate

Projects:
-Plant the thing...
-Configure Raspberry Pi computer to control light dimming and simulate sun cycle
-Configure Raspberry Pi to control three peristaltic pumps to auto-dose ferts
-Purchase/setup pressurized CO2 system
-Configure Raspberry Pi to control CO2 timer and monitor pH

Planned Stocking (Plants):
Amazon Sword
Dwarf Hairgrass
Dwarf Baby Tears
Java Moss
Anubis Barteri
Banana Plant
Moss Balls
Cabomba Purple

Planned Stocking (Fish):
6x Yoyo Loaches
10x Cardinal Tetra
Some TBD "show" fish

My plants should be here Thursday, so I'll have some updates then. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Well I finished late last night. Separating the dwarf hair grass and planting it took a lot longer than I thought. I actually overestimated how much could reasonably fit into a 55 gallon tank, so I ended up with extra plants for my other tanks =) Here's how it came out:



I am running my light at 50-60% right now, to keep the tank in the middle of the moderate light range until I get my automatic dosing system finished. Once I've done that, I will likely bump it up to the top end of moderate light until I can afford a full pressurized CO2 system. Until then I will be dosing according to PPS-PRO and adding Flourish Excel for carbon.

I can tell my loaches like the tank a lot more, as they've been more brave today exploring the new additions. I can't wait for the amazon sword and cabomba to grow up, I was really hoping to fill the back corners of the tank with them. The next thing I do will likely be adding a school of cardinal tetra, and then automatic dosing pumps once I get done programming my Raspberry pi and ordering all of the parts I need. Let me know what you think. Thanks!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 06:08 PM
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love the oversized stand. you will enjoy having that lip around the tank. Very nice start, this is one time I actually prefer your piece of wood centered. Normally I would say the wood needs to be off center but this looks really good the way it is. What fauna will you add other than cardinals??

-Jacklyn
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmf3460 View Post
love the oversized stand. you will enjoy having that lip around the tank. Very nice start, this is one time I actually prefer your piece of wood centered. Normally I would say the wood needs to be off center but this looks really good the way it is. What fauna will you add other than cardinals??
Haven't decided yet really. Right now either 3-4 rainbowfish or a gender pair of dwarf gourami. I may get more cardinals as well, but I want to see how 10 look once they've grown up a little.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got my automatic dosing pumps setup. I programmed my Raspberry Pi to dose 5mL one hour before the lights come on. They work great, and this is one less thing I have to remember to do each day. Depending on how this works out, I might build some more for my other tanks. Here's what they look like:



I ordered some electronics components so I can dim my BML fixture with the Raspberry Pi as well. Every thing in the tank is doing pretty well. I added some Salvinia Minima to get some surface cover. Here's the tank now, let me know what you think:

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Took a quick video of my tank today. Let me know what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=JVcKhQ092Mk
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