**55g Planted Discus tank journal...** - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation **55g Planted Discus tank journal...**

I have a 55g Discus tank in the kitchen in need of a re-vamp. It currently looks more worthy of mbuna cichlids, large and small rocks and 2 fake plants. I have been wanting to try a planted tank for some time now but having bad experiences with live plants in the past I put it at the bottom of my to-do list (I have skipped a few to reach it sooner ).

The current occupants include 4 discus, 5 cardinal tetras, 2 clown loaches and one little brown tetra I can't believe is still alive.

I have set up my old 29g to house my fish while their pad is being renovated. I just bought two Amazon Swords for it to give them some shelter, which will then be transferred to the 55g when it's ready. Although I think I'm going to have to get a new bulb for the 29g otherwise they will die.

- For the 55g I am going to add a 2cm layer of seedlings and cuttings soil as the first layer then a 1.5cm layer or laterite on top of the soil and as the top layer I want a 4cm layer of pool sand to prevent any of the bottom layers clouding the water.

^^Is this plan going to be suitable as a planted tank substrate?^^

- For the lighting I'm not sure weather to buy a separate bulb that 'claims' it's suitable for aquarium plants or whether to buy a popper T5 two bulb strip light for the tank made especially for planted aquaria. (I'm still a bit fuzzy about correct lighting)

- Co2 , I have no clue whether to DIY it, pressurize it, or to liquefy it? Does the liquefied Co2 work? or is it completely different to what I think it is? I'd rather not fork-out for a pressurized system just yet, not until I'm sure planted aquaria is my 'thing'. Oh and does the carbon you put in the filter do anything for the Co2?

Any suggestions, tips or hints?

**Pictures of tank coming soon, once I get my cam back **

Last edited by sean117Ply; 07-05-2009 at 02:35 PM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 03:15 PM
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I would get a double bulb T5HO and use one of those plant light bulbs. For the soil, I think you have to use a special kind.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 03:24 PM
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From my experience, also newbish, you can go with the watts/gallon rule on a 55g no problem. if you grow in the 29 your watts/gallon will be higher in order to get the right amount of lumens. the 6700 kelvin lighting fixtures are suitable for planted tanks. others work but the results wont be the same. i don't understand the seedling/cuttings layer of substrate. usually people put a small amount of laterite on the bottom and then some quality stuff on top in bulk. finishing with a sand top layer works but will probably get mixed in because you'll be changing your layout a lot when you first start planting.

and then there is co2. if you've got the time and are okay messing with it, diy yeast recipes are good. i went that route and hated it, will be using pressurized before summer's end.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 04:46 PM
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To keep the sand and the bottom layers of your substrate separate I recommend putting a screen type material over the bottom layers before putting the sand on top. Otherwise your sand will just settle and the substrate will look awful.

CO2 go with pressurized if you can afford the initial outlay and plan on keeping plants for a while. This will minimize algae blooms caused by insufficient DIY CO2. You will be able to manage without too much of a problem with DIY CO2 and supplemental liquid carbon.

As for lights, I am using Giesmann Midday and Aquaflora bulbs and recommend them if you are going to have some red plants. If not, the Midday bulbs is all you will need.
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