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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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My first Planted Tank

This is my 55 gallon tank. It houses one senegal bichir and a few Platies and 2 cory cats (all the small fish are only being housed here due to an emergency).

The plants are Java Fern, Wendtii Crypt, a dwarf anubia, another anubia of some sort, Hygrophila corymbosa, and a dwarf tiger lily. This photo was taken yesterday but the lily seems to have grown a shoot about 7 inches tall that seems to be trying to reach up to the top of the tank.

I would love any and all suggestions on what I can do to to improve my tanks.

Any suggests on a color for tank my background? I was thinking that it might be cool to make it black as it would make the plants pop.

Oh, and I am waiting for the wood at the top to sink just so you know what's up with that.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Any suggestions? I truly love this hobby and would welcome any comments/suggestions/whatever as I would someday like to have many beautifully planted tanks.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 04:36 AM
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I think you are well on your way with this. Black background would be good too.
Maybe another dwarf lilly or 2 to add a bit more color, 1 more on the right side and one on the left. I've heard that if you cut the lilly stems that are going to the surface it will train the plant to stay low. I'm really new to all this so what do I know? LOL!
Your Java ferns look real healthy! It'll help with other plant selections when your wood sinks and you get it placed where you want it although it looks like you already have a spot clear.
I know you will get lots of good suggestions/tips from the experienced people here!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.

I was going to try to let the lily form lily pads on the top. My Bichir seems to really like hiding in the floating driftwood while hunting. So, I assume that the lilly pads would be nice for him/her . I am a bit hesitant though as this will block a significant portion of light...though I can't be honest that I am sure this will matter as I mostly have lowlight plants.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 12:45 PM
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what power lights do you have on the tank? I'm new to this hobby as well but I've been doing a lot of reading and researching. The amount of light the Lily Pads would take away wouldn't be a significant amount to hurt many Low Light plants (someone please confirm). The other plants may not grow as quickly but that'll help with less pruning too so its give and take. The lily pads will also allow you to keep some shyer fish that don't like bright lights.

It looks like you have a fantastic start! I hope all goes well and please keep us updated


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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what power lights do you have on the tank? I'm new to this hobby as well but I've been doing a lot of reading and researching. The amount of light the Lily Pads would take away wouldn't be a significant amount to hurt many Low Light plants (someone please confirm). The other plants may not grow as quickly but that'll help with less pruning too so its give and take. The lily pads will also allow you to keep some shyer fish that don't like bright lights.

It looks like you have a fantastic start! I hope all goes well and please keep us updated
I still just have a T8 Bulb. I have been told many times that this is not enough but I see semi constant new growth in the plants (the lily alone seems to double in size daily. I think it works with my tank because it gets a healthy percentage of natural sunlight from the east via my bedroom window.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 01:47 PM
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I still just have a T8 Bulb. I have been told many times that this is not enough but I see semi constant new growth in the plants (the lily alone seems to double in size daily. I think it works with my tank because it gets a healthy percentage of natural sunlight from the east via my bedroom window.
ok that may work. Depending on its location you'll also need to worry about temperature fluctuations. Have you been monitoring your temperature throughout the day? Temperature flucuations can be stressful and even deadly to fish. It's just something to keep in mind.

As for lighting and everything goes you'll just have to experiment and see what works for you. If your current lighting is working great then don't change it. Remember, this is your tank so you're the boss.

Then again it looks like this tank is well established and you've had these fish for awhile. If that's true then you probably aren't experiencing any significant temperature changes.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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ok that may work. Depending on its location you'll also need to worry about temperature fluctuations. Have you been monitoring your temperature throughout the day? Temperature flucuations can be stressful and even deadly to fish. It's just something to keep in mind.

As for lighting and everything goes you'll just have to experiment and see what works for you. If your current lighting is working great then don't change it. Remember, this is your tank so you're the boss.

Then again it looks like this tank is well established and you've had these fish for awhile. If that's true then you probably aren't experiencing any significant temperature changes.
I keep the tank at a pretty constant 82F and have had the Bichir for about 5 months. He is healthy excluding the fact that he hurt his third fin back a couple of months ago and it is still at a slightly off angle but then again I am sure that injury was not caused by temp fluctuations.

I am still quite worried about the hygrophila corymbosa compact being a suitable foreground plant.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 10:41 PM
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I think Hygro requires medium lighting so may not work out here in the long term, or it may end up growing tall and lanky.
But, like AquaStudent said - It's your tank, if you like it and your fish like it then that is all that matters! Play around with ideas and have fun with it! Ask questions when you need to!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 10:43 PM
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Oh yea - keep us updated on your work, would love to see your progression!
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