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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a month ago, I finally acknowledged that I didn't want to wait any longer to start my second tank. I really like Apistos and I had a 55 gallon tank sitting in my garage, so I asked my son if he wants a tank in his room. So here we are. I did a fair amount of research and using what I have learned thus far with my 75 gallon, I designed this tank.

We bought a stand and placed it in his bedroom. We were originally going to put it along the wall, but I don't trust my floor to handle the weight. I have a 24" on center truss floor so we turned it 90 degrees so it sits across the trusses. Just like that, this turned into a peninsula tank. I have to say, I'm quite jealous of my son.

I found a piece of driftwood for the tank and set it inside to get a visual. I like it.

Last night I got the filter ready. I had bought a used Sun sun 704b and last night I packed it up and got it ready. I also filled the tank to check for leaks and while I was observing, I cleaned the sand that I'm using.

After much debate, I decided to give the dirted tank a go. I may hate it, I may love it. But I will know for sure over some time. I'm using lava rock to build up the substrate, using mesh bags full of dirt and capping the dirt with black blasting sand. I want this tank to be low maintenance so I'm going to be using mostly slow growers, that aren't high light dependent. I'm excited but I'm trying really hard to take this one slow.
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16g rimless cherry shrimp, 20g cube dwarf cichlid, 40g breeder nano community.
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Ahhhh yes. The beginning stages of Multiple Tank Syndrome! LOL. Just kidding. Looks like it be great! That should be fun to plant.
 

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MTS is a real thing. I had heard about it, but now I'm living it.
It's a daily struggle. Every time I see an empty tank I can't but help wondering at the possibilities, but then I paired down from 7 tanks to 4 (okay two of those 4 are bigger tanks, but...) for a reason.

I'm open to plant suggestions!
My appistos really seem to like to hide in my crypts. That tank would look nice with some leopard vallisneria OR if you want to go shorter a dwarf sag carpet with crypts and anubius and/or buce around the wood. Maybe some rotala stems between the wood and the wall. Just off the top of my head...

I'm the guy that stares at an empty tank for a month before I really know what I want to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's a daily struggle. Every time I see an empty tank I can't but help wondering at the possibilities, but then I paired down from 7 tanks to 4 (okay two of those 4 are bigger tanks, but...) for a reason.
I have a 40 gallon that is yelling at me to do a betta sorority... Still fighting myself on it. I also have a 3 gallon and a 6 gallon rimless. Decisions decisions.

My appistos really seem to like to hide in my crypts. That tank would look nice with some leopard vallisneria OR if you want to go shorter a dwarf sag carpet with crypts and anubius and/or buce around the wood. Maybe some rotala stems between the wood and the wall. Just off the top of my head...

I'm the guy that stares at an empty tank for a month before I really know what I want to do with it.
These are all on my plant list that I was thinking. I dont know if I want to go with a carpet though. What are your suggestions on that for a low light tank?
 

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I dont know if I want to go with a carpet though. What are your suggestions on that for a low light tank?
The only low tech carpet I've really seen work is either the dwarf sag or the narrow leaf chain sword. I've done both - the dwarf sag is still a work in progress, but it's working fine in my 16g shrimp tank. Check out the chain sword on the right in the image below... OR just go with the Val and cut it down.

This is one of my first planted tanks - 29g.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The only low tech carpet I've really seen work is either the dwarf sag or the narrow leaf chain sword. I've done both - the dwarf sag is still a work in progress, but it's working fine in my 16g shrimp tank. Check out the chain sword on the right in the image below... OR just go with the Val and cut it down.

This is one of my first planted tanks - 29g.

View attachment 1040539
That looks really nice! Is that Val on the left?
 

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That looks really nice! Is that Val on the left?
Thanks. I'm sorry, my bad. That grassy stuff on the left is the narrow leaf chain sword. In modest light it will only get about 4" tall. In high light it will stay more compact and spread faster. The stuff in the back is giant val - I'd stay away from that - it's a super slow grower prone to bba.

This is leopard val here on the left. It get's really tall, but you can trim it down. (This is the tank that split a seam in December at 6:30 in the morning before work)

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This is spiral val on the right of my newest tank it's only a few weeks old.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks. I'm sorry, my bad. That grassy stuff on the left is the narrow leaf chain sword. In modest light it will only get about 4" tall. In high light it will stay more compact and spread faster. The stuff in the back is giant val - I'd stay away from that - it's a super slow grower prone to bba.

This is leopard val here on the left. It get's really tall, but you can trim it down. (This is the tank that split a seam in December at 6:30 in the morning before work)

View attachment 1040550

This is spiral val on the right of my newest tank it's only a few weeks old.
View attachment 1040551
The chain sword looks nice. I will keep that into consideration. Its a carpet plant? The leopard Val looks nice. I really like the curly Val though. I have some in a quarantine tank right now.(I think)

Most of my emergencies have been before work. What caused it to split?
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The chain sword looks nice. I will keep that into consideration. Its a carpet plant? The leopard Val looks nice. I really like the curly Val though. I have some in a quarantine tank right now.(I think)

Most of my emergencies have been before work. What caused it to split?
A lot of these chain propagating plants are used to carpet to some degree. It's not the dense close carpet one would get with dwarf hair grass or monty carlo. Those that like a "jungle" look use them.

The split seam was caused by age and probably years of non-use. I got the tank from my sister it had been stored in her garage for years, she did a horrible reseal job on it and gave it to me. I pretty much used it for overflow plants and fish in my basement. It lasted just less than 2 years down there. There were no fish in it when it did go, but there were tons of plants I had to find a use for. I got the 1st 40g and put a lot of them in there and then took my 45 and all the leopard val and some big crypts and set that all up back at my sister's. She super thrilled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A lot of these chain propagating plants are used to carpet to some degree. It's not the dense close carpet one would get with dwarf hair grass or monty carlo. Those that like a "jungle" look use them.

The split seam was caused by age and probably years of non-use. I got the tank from my sister it had been stored in her garage for years, she did a horrible reseal job on it and gave it to me. I pretty much used it for overflow plants and fish in my basement. It lasted just less than 2 years down there. There were no fish in it when it did go, but there were tons of plants I had to find a use for. I got the 1st 40g and put a lot of them in there and then took my 45 and all the leopard val and some big crypts and set that all up back at my sister's. She super thrilled.
Thats funny. I appreciate your insight on the plants. I guess stay tuned to see what I end up doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jealous. I want a 55 gallon at the foot of my bed lol

Good start though. I love 55 gallon tanks. They are up there with my favorite sizes.
Me too! LOL. This will be my first 55. I originally bought this used and opted to go with the 75 gal for more depth. This one will be cool though.
 

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Depth and ratios aside, IMO the 55 gallon is a great size tank to have plenty of fish and for viewing space, and if your in a spot without tons of space, the narrow depth kind of helps the tank not stick out as much.
I am sure the tank will turn out great. I would do tons of tall Jungle Vals or Corkscrew Vals in the back to take up some of that height and lots of crypts in the front.

That's just me though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Depth and ratios aside, IMO the 55 gallon is a great size tank to have plenty of fish and for viewing space, and if your in a spot without tons of space, the narrow depth kind of helps the tank not stick out as much.
I am sure the tank will turn out great. I would do tons of tall Jungle Vals or Corkscrew Vals in the back to take up some of that height and lots of crypts in the front.

That's just me though!
This was my initial layout, but far from written in stone. I like the idea of something tall in the back for sure. Im hoping to have two pairs of appistos, one pair on either side of the tank. I need to break up line of site down the middle.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I finally got some progress made tonight. My patience is being tested on this one. No matter how badly I want to keep moving on it, I am determined to make sure my son keeps with me through and through.

Between 50% shared custody, work, school nights, house chores, and family/social obligations, this is slow going. But it is good for my patience.

Tonight we leveled the stand, cleaned the tank really well, applied the black background, and got the hoses and filter placed.

Next up is to bag the lava rock, bag the soil, prep to keep the wood down. It's been soaking but it's not ready. And lay all the substrate in place. Getting closer.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I decided to buy D'S STANDARD AQUARIUM PLANT COMBO PLANT PACK from Dustin's Fish Tank and this is what I am getting. What do you think?

pogo stelatta
ludwigia brevipes
ammania gracilis
ludwigia triple red
dwarf chain sword
ludwigia arcuata
hygro. compact
alt. reneickii
alt. lilacina
bacopa yellow flame
red arrow sword
java fern
anubias afzelli
red tiger lotus
crypt pnterderfolia
crypt lucens
crypt spiralis
 
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