Inherited 55 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Post Inherited 55 gallon

I recently inherited a 55 gallon tank. It has a Aqua Clear 70 HOB. A Marine Land H.O.T canister filter. A heater and a very weak light in the hood. It has 3 pieces of driftwood and a natural color gravel for substrate. And plastic plants, lots of plastic plants.

I successfully moved the tank from the previous owner's home to mine with all the occupants surviving. I saved/moved over all the water and did not change the filters or anything else. It has 14 neons 4 gourami, a few other random tetras, and one bottom feeder type fish. It has been set up for over a month and I have done water changes and cleaned on filter but not the other. All is going well.

I used to keep a tank many years ago so I am not a complete newbie but moved on to other hobbies.

I have gotten the planted tank itch. I ordered a 48 inch Planted plus 27/7 which is coming this week. I also plan to dose Flourish Complete and Flourish excel. I have lots of questions.

I don't have a good substrate for plants. Can I mix in some good substrate or do I need to replace all the gravel? If I don't do this right away am I going to regret it later?

Here is the plant list I am looking at buying. Any thoughts or concerns. Is it enough? I am looking at buying from Planted Aquariums Central but would also be willing to piece together a tank from sellers here. Which is better?

Staurogyne repens
Anubias Barteri coffeefolia
Cabomba caroliniana
CHRISTMAS MOSS
Subwassertang
and a package that includes...
4 x Java Fern or Lace java fern
4 x rooted Cryptocoryne Wendtii "red" or Cardinal Plant
4 x Cryptocoryne Retrospiralis, or Spiralis
4 x Anacharis or Anacharis narrow leaf, or Bacopa Carolina
2 x Marimo Ball
2 medium Amazon Sword or Kleiner Prinz Sword

I also have some questions about adding a co2 system but will put those in a different thread.

Any thoughts or help for the new kid on the block?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 03:29 PM
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You could use root tabs. All you have to do is place them in the substrate and replace them every so often. If you were to add new substrate, IMO, it would be better to just replace all of it rather than mixing it. The low maintenaince plants you have like Anubias and Java Fern would be find without it, but when your adding plants like Crypts, Swords and S. Repens, they are generally much better off in a nutrient based substrate
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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So you are saying that using root tabs in gravel is fairly similar to having a substrate meant for plants?

If I switched to Florite how long does it take for the substrate to lose its nutrients? Does it ever "wear out" and need to be replaced?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 01:28 AM
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Congrats on the new spin in the hobby!
For the substrate question, there can be several answers and some depends on what you want. Do you want a pretty uniform look for the bottom? Or do you want it to look more natural? I rarely find a spot in a river or lake where the bottom is totally one type/color. At the beach , yes, but other places, no. So that leaves liking a mix of things on the bottom. I mix the stuff as I like it better and it is also easy to do. The plants don't seem to care as long as they get fed. Over the years, most of my tanks have a very assorted mix of Flourite, gravel and several types of sand. It all gets mixed and thrown around as the currents and fish see fit. To me, natural but to others really lame. Personal choice?
Part of the decision for me may be that I do not try to keep the tougher plants to grow. I go for the fish and then choose the plants that will work with the fish. Fish first, plants if they work. If not they are replaced with those that do.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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A few updates. I have the planted plus 24/7 installed. Is it wise to install the light over an open tank? I have a hood and it lays on top of the hood with the plexiglass windows just fine but I do like the cleaner look of no hood just the light. No water is splashing on it directly but I was just wondering what others do. I suppose I could get some glass cut for the top and have a cleaner look with some protection.

Also, this is an inherited tank. I did not buy any of this equipment but am simply using what the previous owner had set up and used. I have both a hang on back filter and canister filter running (see above for details). Do I really need to run both filters once I get the tank planted? Two seems like overkill. Again I like the cleaner/quieter approach of just one filter but don't want to do something bad.

I decided to order some plants from a member on this forum. Will post pictures once I have it planted.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 09:44 PM
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If the canister is the correct size for the amount of fish load, there is little need for a second filter. Many try to size filters by the number of gallons involved but then the amount of pollution is where I look. More water means a given amount of pollution is diluted more.
I like the quiet as well so if/when I feel I need more water circulation in the tank, I go for powerheads rather than more filters. They are cheaper, less noise and less maintenance in general.
If the can is the correct size, I would go that way until I really saw a need for more.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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The canister does 250 GPH. The HOB is rated for 70 gallons tanks. Both of these are in a 55.

Links to both are below.

http://www.amazon.com/Marineland-PC0250HSB-H-O-T-Filter-Magnum/dp/B000260FVQ
http://www.amazon.com/AquaClear-70-Power-Filter-Includes/dp/B000260FUW
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmartinluther View Post
A few updates. I have the planted plus 24/7 installed. Is it wise to install the light over an open tank? I have a hood and it lays on top of the hood with the plexiglass windows just fine but I do like the cleaner look of no hood just the light. No water is splashing on it directly but I was just wondering what others do. I suppose I could get some glass cut for the top and have a cleaner look with some protection.

Also, this is an inherited tank. I did not buy any of this equipment but am simply using what the previous owner had set up and used. I have both a hang on back filter and canister filter running (see above for details). Do I really need to run both filters once I get the tank planted? Two seems like overkill. Again I like the cleaner/quieter approach of just one filter but don't want to do something bad.

I decided to order some plants from a member on this forum. Will post pictures once I have it planted.
Personally i would just run the canister, i also am going to go lidless once I get all my plants, much easier to clean and looks better IMO. You may have issues with evaporation, but i just deal with it. Make sure you dont have any jumpers though just look online to see how many people report suicidal fish.
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