Setting up a 55 gal, have a few questions :) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Setting up a 55 gal, have a few questions :)

I'm super excited to be back as it has been about 5 years since I had to break down my 29 gallon planted tank! (I had a house fire.)

A friend of mine gave me her old 55 gallon tank the other day. Luckily, I held on to a never-been-used Rena Filstar X4 (or XL, if you will.) I will be ordering 5 bags of Flourite next week along will a few other vital items.

On my old 29 gallon I used a Current USA HO light... can't remember the exact wattage or model, but it was a moderate-light tank with no CO2. I am trying to read as much as I can about lighting but I am getting a little frustrated, as I see WPG is no longer a thing and the LED lights I keep seeing are new to me. I am looking for any suggestions on products that will make this 55 gallon a moderate-light tank.

Also, the tank that was given to me has that wood grain trim which I am not a huge fan of. Any suggestions on paint products or is vinyl tape the cheapest/easiest option?

Thank you for any help you can provide!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-08-2014, 12:09 AM
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Krylon has a pain called Fusion which is specifically made to go on plastic without sanding it first. I don't know if it comes in black though. You might look it up on-line first as the site likely will tell you which colors it comes in.
Fairly near the top is the PAR level associated/w low/med/high range of light.
The last chart has LED light fixtures but I don't see any on there which give you
much in the way of color other than just white or a Marine light AND is in the range I think you want...about 38-45 PAR which is just above low range and actually into the med range.
Going on the more expensive end is BML lighting which will give you med level light in great color...but for nearly $300 each. The "Dutch" model would likely be best.
A good two bulb T5 will run about $100- $150.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-08-2014, 06:27 AM
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I've got a 55 gallon with flourite substrate, was my first planted tank, still going 10 years later. I bought an LED light for it about a year ago, and that is my favorite piece of equipment I've got for the tank, greatly improved the health of my plants...way brighter and cheaper than my old T8 fixture with the added bonus of not having to replace bulbs every year or two.

This is the light I got...

Its inexpensive, way cheaper than anything else I could find online. But its still good quality and very bright. Its a wide fixture, so you can't easily open the top to access the tank with the light on. I just feed through a hole in the cover, take the light off for water changes. I like the width, because it provides full coverage on the tank from front to back...

And as for painting the trim, Krylon Fusion is a good spray paint (and does come in black) the previous poster said, its for plastic and requires no prep or sanding, just clean the surface to be painted and tape off the edges, cover all the glass so you don't spray paint that! Krylon is also safe to use in the tank, non-toxic to fish after it dries. So you can use it to paint anything that's actually in the water, like plumbing for filters that you want to make less visible (unless its already black). I'd opt for the Satin finish over the gloss...its not as "flat" as a matte finish but won't be "shiny" like a gloss finish. I used it recently for painting plumbing for a new tank w/ a sump.

Originally Posted by Art by Stef* View Post
I did have a bluegill once that ate cooked pasta and bologna rinds as a treat.
Then again, that fish would probably bite on a cigarette butt.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-08-2014, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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That light looks pretty decent for the price! I guess I'll go ahead and give that a shot

As for the paint, that is pretty cool that I could paint my intake tubes, etc, since I was going to have a black background on the tank. That will help conceal it a bit.

Thank you both very much!
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