55 Gallon planted build log - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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55 Gallon planted build log

New member here. This seemed to be the forum to join given my new affinity towards planted tanks. I'm also a member on aquariacentral and many other non-aquaria forums as well. Had some success with my 29 with getting plants to reproduce, but still trying to get back to that with my new tank. Started out on the wrong foot with under 1wpg worth of lighting which was really holding me back.

My tank is a 55 gallon planted and here are the basics.

Whisper 60 with 48" flexible bubble wand (on timer to run from 5pm to 9pm to keep the gf happy)
Top Fin and Theo 200w heaters - regulated to about 82 degrees
Penguin Biowheel 330, Penguin Biowheel 100, and Whisper 30 filters
DIY 40wx4 T8 lighting from Hagen & Sylvania in DIY cabinet - 2xaquasun, 1xaquaglo, and 1xpowerglo (can't find any t8 lifeglo's nearby)
Marina triple led moonlight hub and diy dual 12" cold cathode tubes
DIY Co2 injection 4 bottle with 2 glass diffusers placed on opposite ends of the tank using a yeast and sugar mixture (not sure of ppm measurements or anything)

As far as stock

14 Silver tip tetras
3 SAE's
3 yo-yo loaches
2 red tail sharks
2 three spot gourami's
2 red claw shrimp
1 zebra loach
1 batik botia
1 balloon molly
1 black skirted tetra
1 common pleco
1 golden gourami
1 clown loach (to have new home in my buddy's tank once it's large enough)

Still working on re-doing the base I got with this tank to match the custom hood I built for it. Not seeing any pearling on any of the plants. I follow seachem's dosing schedule for their Flourish, Excel, Trace, and other products along with some root tabs.

Pics: Sorry, my camera phone (2mp) is the only thing that can seem to get a good photo of the tank.

Right after finishing the hood


After adding latest new plants


Picking up some baby amazon swords tonight to add in the back corners.

Last edited by mavisky; 07-14-2008 at 10:19 PM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 08:20 PM
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tank looks nice, just needs a foreground; but the plants are healthy so its just aquascaping.

82? isnt that a bit high? i dont like my tanks above 80, but if it works for you...

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yea I just wish I had a little more depth to work with in regards to actual scaping. Right now it's a bit of a jungle. Just trying to get everything enough sunlight to get growing healthy as I just jumped from .72wpg to 2.9wpg last week.

82 seemed a bit warm to me but the tank seems to hover there no matter what I do. I should probably take a better reading as I'm a bit suspect of the number that the thermometer stuck to the outer glass but facing the sunlight from outdoors is showing me. Either way it's still in check with the tanks inhabitants and their tolerances.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 09:19 PM
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nice tank...mine's hot too (between 81-83.5, sometimes higher when both lights are on), although I don't have any livestock in there as of yet. I've got some fans that I'm going to be installing, and if they don't cut the heat back a few degrees, I'll have to invest in a chiller I'm afraid - my willow moss did not like the high temps one bit, but everything else seems to be doing well.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 12:30 AM
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welcome and nice tank looks good.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 12:36 AM
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Welcome, tank looks nice.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 04:29 AM
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Welcome to TPT!

Looks great- much bigger in the pics than a 55gal- nice job!





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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.

Just added 3 juvenile amazon swords into the tank to help combat any potential algae growth and picked up some fishing line to help keep some of the moss under control better as it is attempting to drift away from some of teh wood it's attached too and get tangled in the other plant.

Just got my Seachem Trace in today (only part of the seachem dosing plan I was missing) along with my new python which I still need to find an adapter fitting for so it fits my outlet.

Also going to try to double check the temperature as it certainly doesn't feel like it's in the 80's and I've actually got both heaters turned all the way as low as they'll go so they shouldn't even be kicking on. I do have 4x40 t8's sitting above the tank and the top is almost sealed off with the glass tops (enough I get condensationon the bottom of the glass) so that's definitely keeping temps up, but also keeps my fish and shrimp in.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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wow....your tank looks gorgeous.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 06:50 PM
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welcome and a nice looking tank you got there

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Many thanks guys, it's been alot of fun (and not very cheap) so it's good to hear nice things about it.

I'm still not getting any pearling from the plants, but I'm thinking with the HOB filters and running the air line for 4 hours all while trying to use diy co2. Going to start doing my best to keep the water up as high as possible to keep the hob's from bubbling too much. Also going to install an air valve to turn down the pressure in the oxygen bubble line. Hopefully that'll keep some more co2 in the water column. If not, I guess I'll have to cave in on this and go pressurized co2 or change to a big canister filter or two.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2008, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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For those of you saying it looks bigger than a 55, you can thank the homemade hood for that. It adds some extra height and width to it, and I think the black background and substrate add some depth as well. The lower edge of the new hood sits exactly where the black trim around the top goes within about 1/16th of an inch or so. so everything you're seeing is above the water level really. Works good as it gives me plenty of room to reach in and feed and replant without having to remove the top of the tank everytime. It looks alot smaller in these older pics with the old crappy single 40w bulb housing.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Found some old pics so here you can see the progression it's taken over the last few months.

First got the tank to my house


Letting the substrate settle and testing out the light and air pump


After a couple weeks I moved over the fish and plants from my 29 and added the black background. Also had the top layer of substrate in place at this point


New piece of driftwood and a truckload of wysteria from a local


Cleaned up the wysteria explosion, new plants, rocks, and more driftwood


Today

Last edited by mavisky; 07-14-2008 at 10:26 PM.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Can I have someone change the title of this thread to "55gallon planted build log". Thanks.





Did some work on the tank this week, slight and almost un-noticeable change in some of the rock. I finally removed my BN pleco and passed him onto forum member Polish along with 3 GAE's that had gotten to be agressive towards my gourami's in particular. Replaced the BN with a gorgeous young L134 Leopard Frog Pleco (thanks to 33 Aquarium who's a member of the Monster Fish Network) and 1 Otocinclus (to be joined by half a dozen more this week and an amano shrimp or two). I also removed my large green lotus as well as a sprouting red lotus from the front right of the tank as it was just getting too crowded their and the large leafs of the lotus were blocking out light to the other plants.

L134


When I built my lighting I'd followed the advice of the Hagen company who had me order up a couple different bulbs to give me "a vast array of spectrum coverage". Problem is that two of the bulbs they reccomended were 18,000K and were nearly useless when it comes to growing plants. I ran out today and picked up two 10,000K 32watt bulbs to go along with the two 5200k 40 watt bulbs I was running and the tank already looks brighter. **** near UV with those other bulbs. I ordered some Riccia from another website and it's in the tank floating (some has been anchored below) but it's not doing well right now, I believe partly because I really only had 80watts of light that it could use in a 55 gallon tank.

Floating Riccia


Just checked online and my new filter media has shown up for my Biowheel 330 and my whisper 30. I installed a pair of pantyhose to filter the intakes for both filters and will now be using these instead to filter the tank out.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...4&pcatid=13374

I'll make sure and let everyone know how they work. Hopefully I can get some design time in on re-covering the tank's stand. the core support is sturdy, but not pretty and we need to bring it up to par with the top of the tank. Going to be doing some measuring and plan it all out in cad first before putting pencil or saw to wood.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavisky View Post
Can I have someone change the title of this thread to "55gallon planted build log". Thanks.
You can do it yourself, actually. Just click the "edit" button underneath your first post, the one that started this thread, and then in the "subject" line, change to your new title. Then click save.
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