Planting my 55g - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Planting my 55g

Hello

I was given a 55 gallon tank, decided to make it planted. I currently have a 29g tall with a couple angelfish, bristlenose pleco, and blue gourami. When the tank is ready for fish I'll move those and plan on adding a bunch of corys, maybe a couple more Angels. But first I'm setting up this tank, have some questions. I've been digging into the forums but I'm getting confused.

Substrate: A few days ago I added a few bags of ADA Amazonia aqua-soil. Right now it smells pretty earthy, but I think that goes away soon (my wife will like that). Should I add plants now, or wait a bit?

Lighting: I got a Current Satellite LED light, but while I like the effects, I don't think its strong enough. So I picked up a couple t-2 HO lights. I think that'll be enough. At least I hope so.

CO2: I believe I'll go with CO2. I want a variety of plants. I read the thread on pressurized CO2. Getting the rig together looks like a bit of work, but so it goes.

Filtration: I currently have an aqua clear 70g HOB on it. Until the other day I also had a 30g aqua leaf, but water started dripping out of the motor or its housing, so I took it off. I'm thinking of getting a canister (I have a fluvall 305 on my turtle tank). Do people use two smaller ones or one large one? And how does the CO2 get injected?

Plants: there are so many I get confused. Basically looking to make a carpet up front, so I'm thinking hair grass. I have some driftwood, so maybe Java moss on that. Then some taller plants in the back, still working that out.

Any advice or links to helpful threads welcome

Thanks
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 07:25 AM
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It is my understanding that as long as you are providing the appropriate nutrients and lighting you can plant as soon as the tank is up with no concern to cycling. You are correct that the Current Satellite LED is not strong enough, especially not for a high-tech tank running CO2. The Satellite Plus LED is a good choice for low tech though if that was your bag. I believe that those T-2 HOs will be strong enough to go high tech as they apparently outmatch the T-5s but I can't be certain as my knowledge of T-2s is limited. There is somewhat of a debate over whether or not to use single or double canisters or if the supposed benefits of doing so are valid but I have a 55 myself and I can't imagine a single intake located somewhere in a four foot long tank would be as effective as two intakes. Canisters are great for CO2 though as you can plumb a reactor into the output hose for the canister or just snake the CO2 hose into the canister intake.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Great thanks, very helpful. So what size canisters do you run on the 55g?

I got the T-2s from here: http://americanaquariumproducts.com/Aquariumbulb.html Some deets I copied and pasted

"73 LUMENS PER WATT; for example the 13 watt 6400 K produces 950 lumens (73 Lumens per Watt) which is 70% more lumens per watt than most bulbs, making this one of the best planted aquarium lamps available for its size (as well as an excellent complimentary Marine/Reef Light)!
Even a standard T5 Light does not have this output per watt, only LEDs are more efficient!
*Bluntly, the highest output of useful light energy for aquatic life of ANY fluorescent light!
A LOT of light from a very small lamp that takes up little space! In fact one 13 watt T2 produces as much light as two comparable 6400 K 15 watt CFLs (13 watts vs. 30 watts for the same light!)
Click on the picture to the left for a comparison.
As little as 1 to 1.25 watts per gallon for a planted aquarium is all that is needed from these T2 Lights!!"
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 03:51 PM
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I have a 55g, you might run into a lot of dead spot issues with just a 70g hob. These are long tall tanks and a bit of a pita to set up.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 05:10 PM
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I'm in the process of planning and putting together my own 55 gallon - 48 inch long (still waiting to receive the tank itself).

After doing plenty of reading and researching I decided on the Finnex Ray 2 for the lighting, and a Fluval 406 canister for the filtration.

A Fluval 306 seemed like it might be sufficient, but most people seem to insist that you can't have enough filtration or water circulation. I actually counted through the Amazon reviews using the search function, and most of the people with a 55 gallon went with the 406 over the 306.

I'm planning on carpeting Staurogyne Repens and Glossostigma elatinoides in the front. Haven't worked out what other plants I want yet.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 05:12 PM
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I run a 305 and 106 on mine


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2015, 08:00 AM
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I run an Eheim 2215 and a SunSun HW-302 and I use a Hydor ETH 300 inline heater plumbed into the 5/8 inch hose on the SunSun. You could look into the Hydors which remove another piece of equipment from the tank which is quite nice. Shame there are no other manufacturers that make inlines though. A canister and an AC70 would do just fine as a pair though. That's the setup I had for around four months until I got the Eheim to replace it purely for aesthetic reasons.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2015, 07:04 PM
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+1 on flow issues. I use an eheim 2217 and an AC50 powerhead with a sponge. Works ok and the sponge gets alot of the poop. I still have one corner that could use a little more flow. From experience, be sure to measure the width of any driftwood you pick up as the tank is narrower than you think.
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