Turning a 55gal into a planted tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Smitty83's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 131
Send a message via AIM to Smitty83
Talking Turning a 55gal into a planted tank?

Ok so here is my tank

Click image for larger version

Name:	Tank #1.JPG
Views:	183
Size:	95.8 KB
ID:	10509

I have always done fish only tanks since I was a kid and I want to step it up. So I'm wanting to turn this into a heavy planted tank. I have bought the following items so far:

Catalina aquarium light fixture 48" 4x54 watts
Milwaukee SMS122 pH controller
Milwaukee MA957 regulator
5lb co2 Tank

I'm working on building my reactor and I have a 29gal tank that I can use to put my fish in until my tank is ready for there return.

Now for some question I have:
1. Do I have to use a completely new substrate to get the lush forest or can I just mix in some fluorite?

2. Is peat moss under the substrate a really good thing or is more problems then its worth?

3. What are some other major thing I need to get?

4. Should I invest in a RO or tap water just fine? (I have only done fish only and never had a problem)

5.I'm looking to have 2x54 during most of the time and doing a noon burst at 4x54 What are some problems I might run into or should I just stay at 2x54?

Any advice is welcome
Smitty83 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 10:32 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alberta, Edmonton
Posts: 206
Have you thought about trying laterite? Its like fluorite but you use it in smaller concentrations.. your suppost to mix it into your substrate or keep it underneath.

EPC # 330

5.5g nano - Fail.. Guppy mania.

18"cube vivarium - 4 x ventrimaculitus breeding pairs.

10g vert Azureus vivarium

34g Cadlight reef
dylanserbin is offline  
post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Smitty83's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 131
Send a message via AIM to Smitty83
Is it as affective as fluorite or eco-complete?
Smitty83 is offline  
 
post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 10:50 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alberta, Edmonton
Posts: 206
I have never used either of those.

EPC # 330

5.5g nano - Fail.. Guppy mania.

18"cube vivarium - 4 x ventrimaculitus breeding pairs.

10g vert Azureus vivarium

34g Cadlight reef
dylanserbin is offline  
post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 11:00 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
TheCryptKeeper's Avatar
 
PTrader: (104/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eaton, Ohio
Posts: 3,167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty83 View Post
Ok so here is my tank

Attachment 10509

I have always done fish only tanks since I was a kid and I want to step it up. So I'm wanting to turn this into a heavy planted tank. I have bought the following items so far:

Catalina aquarium light fixture 48" 4x54 watts
Milwaukee SMS122 pH controller
Milwaukee MA957 regulator
5lb co2 Tank

I'm working on building my reactor and I have a 29gal tank that I can use to put my fish in until my tank is ready for there return.

Now for some question I have:
1. Do I have to use a completely new substrate to get the lush forest or can I just mix in some fluorite?

2. Is peat moss under the substrate a really good thing or is more problems then its worth?

3. What are some other major thing I need to get?

4. Should I invest in a RO or tap water just fine? (I have only done fish only and never had a problem)

5.I'm looking to have 2x54 during most of the time and doing a noon burst at 4x54 What are some problems I might run into or should I just stay at 2x54?

Any advice is welcome
I am new to planted tanks as of this year.. actually I got my first aquarium this year in Jan. I will tell you from my experience is this. take your time and do it right.. so far it looks like it. the co2 regulator is the same one I have.. the regulator isn't a bad one.. but the needle valve is cheap. the lighting is awesome for the money. I went through 3 other ones before owning this same model. so as I said good job.

the biggest thing.. and I will say again.. biggest thing... substrate. there are lots out there. I happened to get suckered into aquariumplants.com (sms soil master select) and got basically ripped off for what I got. I paid 120.00 total shipped for it. it looks good but you can get the same thing at alot of places for 1/4 that price. I just recently switched over to Mineralized top soil substrate. read here. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/su...substrate.html

also read the linked thread too.

why I say this is the best method for a beginner.. dosing can be a tedious job.. and often confusing. expensive over the life of the aquarium depending on the method you decide to go with as well. I got tired of coming home and having to test the water and add accordingly. I started the EI method which works.. but you have to add ferts daily and a 50% water change weekly is required to get rid of the extra ferts. Don't let anyone tell you that going with topsoil substrate it too overwhelming. it will take about 2 weeks to get it ready. you can find the ingredients here by asking some of the other members who have done this if they can spare some for your tank.. which by the size of your tank isn't much.

If you choose this method.. you will not have to worry about fertilizers at all.. except an occasional phosphate dose.. which won't happen for quite a long time. you basically can just feed the fish and keep your plants trimmed

you will have to still add the co2. but no dosing of ferts. check out AaronT's or looking4roselines tank which can be found in this forum. I know I just said alot! if you need help.. just shoot me a pm and I will do what I can. I do believe that this will make it more enjoyable in the long run.

Ken

75 Gallon Planted Tank.

Filstar Pimp #136



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TheCryptKeeper is offline  
post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 11:02 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
TheCryptKeeper's Avatar
 
PTrader: (104/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eaton, Ohio
Posts: 3,167
the noon burst is a great way to do it.. with that amount of light.. an 8 hr period will be plenty. just remember to have the photo period happen when you can enjoy it!

75 Gallon Planted Tank.

Filstar Pimp #136



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TheCryptKeeper is offline  
post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 12:46 AM
Guest
 
PTrader: (2/75%)
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 300
Topsoil will be very messy EVERYTIME you touch a plant. I don't know if that is something you want to deal with. I think you might find it hard to anchor plants down in your current substrate. Adding flourite sand might be a good solution, and still look natural and offer a good alternative to anchoring down the plants.

I would replace that needle valve eventually. I haven't used it, but from all the stories i have heard i wouldn't trust it for too long, but then again you are using a ph controller, so you won't have the problems associated with that type of valve.

You are off to a great start! Good luck

Stevie D
Stevie D is offline  
post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Smitty83's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 131
Send a message via AIM to Smitty83
Thanks torpedobarb i read that article and that sounds like a lot of work but if it is as good as you say its worth a try only problem I foresee is that i live in chicago and it is starting to get very cold and the whole outside thing isn't going to work my soil will freeze not dry but that just means its time to clean the garage out
Smitty83 is offline  
post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 12:54 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
@marko@'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (61/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: livingston, nj
Posts: 5,700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty83 View Post
1. Do I have to use a completely new substrate to get the lush forest or can I just mix in some fluorite?
have to, no. but i highly reccomend it. your plants will simply do much better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty83 View Post
2. Is peat moss under the substrate a really good thing or is more problems then its worth?
i never used peat and never plan to. i have soft water already (kh 3), and now i have aquasoil bringing my kh to 1. and as for ph, CO2 will bring it down, and if you have a kh of 4, you can still safely lower you ph to 6.5. but kh and ph dont matter much for fish, and most plants do fine in high kh and ph.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty83 View Post
3. What are some other major thing I need to get?
fertz
dry fertz are good (cheap and work).
automating them is also a good option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty83 View Post
4. Should I invest in a RO or tap water just fine? (I have only done fish only and never had a problem)
tap SHOULD be fine. i would test its kh and gh. if the kh is too high, use AS. if the gh is low, use equilibrium. only if it has something freaky like a high NO3 [] or some NH4, would it be neccissary. it gives you more control, but you should be fine without it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty83 View Post
5.I'm looking to have 2x54 during most of the time and doing a noon burst at 4x54 What are some problems I might run into or should I just stay at 2x54?
for high tech (which you can easily do with pressurized CO2), id run all 4. 4wpg is nice light. and your CO2 can keep up, and you just have to dose enough and you will have good plant growth.

My Tanks:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Eheim Pimp #296
Canon Pimp #67
post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 01:48 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
TheCryptKeeper's Avatar
 
PTrader: (104/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eaton, Ohio
Posts: 3,167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
Topsoil will be very messy EVERYTIME you touch a plant.
I find this to not be as true as said. If you decide to get in there and start ripping plants out.. then yes.. messy. I don't know of very many substrates that don't create a slight mess when up rooting quickly. If you are careful when taking a plant out (which you should to not damage roots) you will be fine.


I live in NW Indiana.. yes it is cold out. I would recommend doing this indoors. the rinsing out isn't a problem if you have a laundry room.. you can also use a python water changer to do this part. drying can be easier than you think. if you have a couple of extra empty tupperware containers.. spread it thinly in them and it will be dry in a few days.. just stir it up every so often to make sure it dries. or you can use a tarp in a small area to dry it. it doesn't take up as much room as you would think when spread out to dry. you only have to repeat this process about 3 times.. you will know it is done when it feels like sand. here are some pics of the before and after effects of the topsoil substrate..


deficient towards the bottom from the first startup of topsoil switchover. the top is the effects of the topsoil kicking in. I haven't dosed any ferts at all.




same with the above pics.

look at the crowns. I would say you can't go wrong with this method.. yes more work at the beginning.. but worth it in the long run.

75 Gallon Planted Tank.

Filstar Pimp #136



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TheCryptKeeper is offline  
post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Smitty83's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 131
Send a message via AIM to Smitty83
thanks @[email protected] for the info
Quote:
Originally Posted by @[email protected] View Post
have to, no. but i highly reccomend it. your plants will simply do much better.
what do you recommend would you do the whole Mineralized top soil
Quote:
Originally Posted by @[email protected] View Post
automating them is also a good option.
Do you have any good links on how to

when you were talking about the tap water what did you mean by
Quote:
Originally Posted by @[email protected] View Post
if the kh is too high, use AS
Smitty83 is offline  
post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Smitty83's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 131
Send a message via AIM to Smitty83
Wow torpedobarb i see what you mean i do like the idea of not having to dose and they do look healthier at the top

and about the part about ripping it up and everything... i don't think ill do that much once i get it looking nice all i probably will do is just maintain it
Smitty83 is offline  
post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 02:56 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
TheCryptKeeper's Avatar
 
PTrader: (104/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eaton, Ohio
Posts: 3,167
even if you decide to move things around.. it isn't that big of a deal.. just do it slowly.


if you get a chance.. look at these pics of looking4roselines tank.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...ng-56k-12.html

check out the progress after 3 weeks with NO DOSING OF ANY FERTS!

the pink plant is pantanal.. insanely hard to grow.. just flourishes with topsoil substrate! see the pics below also. VVVV

if you think this will be too hard.. I can help you every step of the way.

75 Gallon Planted Tank.

Filstar Pimp #136



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TheCryptKeeper is offline  
post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 03:04 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
TheCryptKeeper's Avatar
 
PTrader: (104/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Eaton, Ohio
Posts: 3,167






these are pictures from looking4roselines tank. they are all the inspiration I needed to do it!

look at the last few pics.. they are a few days apart from the crowns of the cuba above it.. see how red they got. also the first few pics are after 3 weeks of progress

75 Gallon Planted Tank.

Filstar Pimp #136



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TheCryptKeeper is offline  
post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Smitty83's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 131
Send a message via AIM to Smitty83
I think you got me sold on the topsoil thing but where do I get Dolomite and Muriate of potash of which both of them I have never heard of is it a Home Depot thing or is it a special order?
Smitty83 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome