New 55 Gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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New 55 Gallon

Hello all,

I've been posting around on a few other forums, trying to find a common idea in what all aquatic keepers say about what I'm about to setup.

It's a 55 gallon tank that I want to be a very nice freshwater planted/community tank. I'm getting an Emperor 400 Filter and 300w heater. I know that the filter will be okay, but is that heater overkill or underkill for a 48" tank? I was thinking maybe two 150w, one on each side or even two 200w. What do ya think?

For lighting I wanted to get 2 18"-24" Double Bright LED lights from Marineland because they look just great. Now with these lights, can I grow plants? Does the moon cycle lighting it has actually do anything for the tank?

What kind of substrate should I use? I kind of like gravel, but I don't know how well plants can root in gravel. Also a few fish I were looking at like to burrow. Will gravel make burrowing a little difficult?

As for fish, the only thing I'm adamant on is that I want two schools of 10 fish each. I was thinking a school of Cardinal Tetra's and a school of Cherry Barbs. I also want at least 5 shrimp and two cleaner fish (catfish or plecos, which is better for a 55 gallon with a bunch of fish?).

Final question is about rocks. I don't really think it'd be a sweet idea to pay for rocks. Are there certain types of rocks I shouldn't put in my tank? There are a few real nice looking decorative rocks in the yards around my neighborhood I'm probably going to end up taking. If I cycle them in separate water, are they okay to drop in?

Sorry for all the questions, but I don't want this tank to flop. I want it to be a great accent to my place. I also appreciate all the help anyone can give.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 01:55 PM
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welcome to the site. I'll try to answer the questions.

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Originally Posted by mistawac View Post
planted/community tank. I'm getting an Emperor 400 Filter and 300w heater. I know that the filter will be okay, but is that heater overkill or underkill for a 48" tank? I was thinking maybe two 150w, one on each side or even two 200w. What do ya think?
300W total for the heater should be fine. I'd stick with one heater to make the wiring less complicated.


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Originally Posted by mistawac View Post
For lighting I wanted to get 2 18"-24" Double Bright LED lights from Marineland because they look just great. Now with these lights, can I grow plants? Does the moon cycle lighting it has actually do anything for the tank?
Give it a try. We don't have too much data on LEDs

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Originally Posted by mistawac View Post
What kind of substrate should I use? I kind of like gravel, but I don't know how well plants can root in gravel. Also a few fish I were looking at like to burrow. Will gravel make burrowing a little difficult?
If you plan to have plants, burrowing fish is a bad idea. Your plants are limited to java ferns, anubias, and moss (plants that you attach to rocks and driftwood. Choose the substrate that you can afford. They can get expensive for a 55 gallon tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistawac View Post
As for fish, the only thing I'm adamant on is that I want two schools of 10 fish each. I was thinking a school of Cardinal Tetra's and a school of Cherry Barbs. I also want at least 5 shrimp and two cleaner fish (catfish or plecos, which is better for a 55 gallon with a bunch of fish?).
Keep away from the regular pleco. They grow too large and will eat plants. Try bristle nose pleco and ottos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistawac View Post
Final question is about rocks. I don't really think it'd be a sweet idea to pay for rocks. Are there certain types of rocks I shouldn't put in my tank? There are a few real nice looking decorative rocks in the yards around my neighborhood I'm probably going to end up taking. If I cycle them in separate water, are they okay to drop in?
Keep away from limestones. Wash the rocks thoroughly to get any insecticides/pesticides off the rocks. Soak the rocks in a bucket of water for 1-2 weeks. Then test the PH on the water to see if it's too high. Stay away from those rocks if it's too high.


I'd recommend reading the plant guide for further details or do more research on the forums.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/PlantedTankGuide.html


enjoy.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help! Appreciate it. I just want to clarify though, are you saying I'm limited to those plants only if I have burrowing fish?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 02:01 PM
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yes.. the fish will up root any plants you plant in the substrate. What burrowing fish are you thinking of?


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Some of the loaches I was looking at burrow. The Kuhli and Horseface to be specific.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 02:37 PM
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Kuhlis are fine, I'd stay away from the horseface. They really like to burrow.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, update time. I got lucky and found a couple great deals on Craigslist. The first one was just a 55g tank for $50. So I snatched that up quickly. I then found some guy selling all of his old tank stuff after he cleaned out his garage. I now have a second 55g that just needs the moulding resealed to the bottom; a hood with 1x30w 48" bulb; a Marineland Penguin 300 filter; a 300w heater; 2in of gravel; about 6 medium to small rocks; and an air pump.

Now I have a few questions. Because all of this equipment is fairly dirty from sitting in the garage, how do I clean it properly? I already have all the filter parts a small scrubdown with hot water and a sponge, but it's still a little gross on some parts, how do I get that off? The rocks and gravel, how are those properly cleaned? I assume cleaning the inside of the tank is the same as the filter? Will one bulb be okay to grow plants? If so, what type of bulb?

Thanks everyone in advance!!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 05:03 AM
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A vinegar water mixture should clean the tank and equipments pretty well.

Hose off the gravel and let dry in the sun. The rocks can be cleaned with the vinegar too.

You have to decide if you want a low-tech tank or a high tech tank. The lights will determine that choice. You can read for further details by searching the forum or read up on the plant guide in the main menu.


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