My 55 Gallons Journey - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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My 55 Gallons Journey

It has been around a year now since I set up my 55 gallon dirted planted tank. I have lost a few fish and plants and made a few changes. This is my favorite tank to be around and so far my biggest accomplishment. Seeing as 2011 I was keeping beta fish in bowls and in 2013 I started a 20 gallon up leading into my first planted tank that was a 10 gallon. Now I have this beautiful 55 gallon with Discus, Angle fish and a beautiful electric blue Acara. Equipment wise I have a air stone, a water circulator, a heater set at 80 F, 2 aqua clear 50 filters, a glass cover and an Aquatic life 48" T5 HO light fixture with 2 6700k bulbs. I have allways struggled to keep plants alive in all my tanks because of my tap water having a high ph of 8 and very high in gh and kh so it is not good to use since alot of my tanks require ph of 6.5 to 7.0 and the 55 gallon needs a low gh and kh. So I use a 4 stage aqua fx rodi unit to make all my water and do water changes. So I usualy treat the rodi water with seachem products like neutral regulator acid and alkaline buffer, replenish and equilibrium to make sure the water is beneficial to the fish and plants. I do water changes every two weeks wich works well for me and the fish are ok. I only keep easy plants to keep like ludwgia, rotala, jungle val, swords, wisteria, and cambomba. The swords and jungle val do great, but the stem palnts like ludwgia never root well and don't grow very well. I use seachems full line of fertilizers and I change the light fixtures bulbs. Nothing really works. When I dirted the tank back in early July I made sure there was an inch of dirt and evenly placed dried clay balls and capped it with and inch of have sand and half small grain light tan gravel. I know I should do co2 but I don't really want to at the moment. recently I lost a 2 full grown angles since the glass thermometer broke and they seem to have eat the iron or lead ball weights. the mercury tube did not break and the other fish were fine. Now I have 3 discus, 1 angle, 2 Bolivian rams, 1 acara, 2 plecos, 3 cory cats, 5 cardinal tetras, and 2 otto cats. As of now i still enjoy my tank but it is not going the way I planed and wanted. I don't really know what I am doing wrong with the plants and would appreciate the help. Also when I do water changes I do 25-30% changes and when I do that in the past jungle val died off never really coming back tall and strong, it only is small and just sits there. My swords get cover at the tips with dark alge and recently the whole tank has broken out with bright green slimy alge which has been a pain to get rid of. I also keep the lights on for 10 hours and feed the fish 1-2 times a day with algae pelets and frozen blood worms and frozen brine shrimp
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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any suggestions?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 04:26 PM
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Not that it's far from being "right" but perhaps a couple of questions in the fish section on Discus might get you some info that should be used.
I don't have Discus so just relating info that I've read. People who have them should be glad to share info.
That fixture produces very high light. Not that under the right conditions you could even
use more. But not without many more plants and the injected CO2.
The hrs are too long for that amount of plants. Splitting the hrs. will give you viewing when you get up and then later in the evening. But I'd start/w 7.5 hrs total. Something
like 3.5am/4pm. Or 3am/4.5pm for extended pm viewing.
The sub is a little thin on the left but if not planted with larger plants should be OK.
Pictures 4/5/6 look pretty good. You just need some easy grow plant to get you
going well. Good plant growth is the best defense against algae.
With that much light Bacopa C. will get some color on it. You might try e-bay on that.
Or check the for sale section on here. Placed like where the vals were.
Plant any stems individually. 1.5-2" apart.
Compromizing the tank temp to try and please different fish may be working against you. I realize the equilibrium is necessary/w the RO, but sounds like chemical warfare going on/w all the other ones being added.
I'd start by changing the light hrs and then slowly changing other things after some of the algae goes away. A new batch of plant that are fairly faster growing type would help, but after a few weeks of lower light hrs. 2-3 at least.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I already changed the time and I am going to purchase a UV sterilizer. I was a little confused on the first part of what you said about the fish and discus and the part about the temp.
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