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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

I bought a 56 gallon tank this week after about 8 or 9 years out of the planted tank hobby. I am soooo thrilled to be back. I will be posting tons of details about this setup as time goes on.
My idea for this tank will be low-moderate lighting with low maintenance (well what I'd consider low maintenance anyway). I'm probably going to do a bunch of crypts and anubias and I'm considering vals and maybe a couple swords. This is a rather tall tank (24") so crypts would be a great foreground.
Based on all the info I've gathered from the lighting (distance, PAR, etc.) this will be a high/low-low/medium lighted setup. I am going to be DIY'ing a light hanger and suspending the Finnex 30" 24/7 planted fixture above the tank rather than resting it directing on the tank itself (which would give me higher PAR [which I don't particularly want]). I'm unsure of whether I'll need to be dosing or adding CO2 just yet, so stay tuned for that.
Substrate will be a mix of Flora Max (black [2 bags @ 20lbs.]) and Fluorite (red/brown [3 bags @15lbs.]).

I'll think of more specs and add more photos soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
This is the basic construction of the light hanger that I'm going to be DIY'ing. This is actually drawn to scale but I decided to spare you all with tons of dimensions that I'll be using to fabricate it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
UPDATE!

The Eheim filter I originally had for this tank was absolute crap. It was brand new but I've owned it for about 6 years and never opened it. No telling how long ago is was actually manufactured. So unfortunately today I had to pick up another filter. I decided to go with the Marineland C-220.

I also did a lot of DIY'ing this weekend and managed to get everything done to be able to hang the Finnex 24/7.











I bought 1/2" electrical conduit and bent them, added some hardware to be able to hang them, and did so as you see above. I also painted them black to match the stand and tank. I was extremely hesitant to drill into the light fixture because it's incredibly thin and I also couldn't get the LED strip to budge after removing the side plates. So, to prevent damage, I used command strips symmetrically placed and hung it with those instead of screws. The fixture is super light weight, so I don't believe this will be an issue what so ever. I mounted the small black box that comes with the light behind the stand, and the i.r. receiver on the side of the tank, which you can see (I may change the location of this as I'm not particularly pleased with it).

I will drain the tank again and plant asap! :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Marineland C220 is a joke. There is a constant rattle from the impeller. It's not air trapped inside, either. There are tons of folks complaining about the same issue online, so I've decided to bring it back this evening and get something different. Talk about drive someone crazy!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ahh, the 56 gallon column tank. So many memories. It was my first huge tank as well as my first planted. Very nice dimensions though wouldn't you say?

Looks like your off to a good start though!
Thanks! I really enjoy the shape of this tank and I feel I have a pretty good idea for it. I'm going to keep the layout pretty simple.

I like how you hung the light. Are you planning on zip tying the light cords straight back to the rack so you can't see them as easily?
Are you referring to the light cords coming out of the sides? I actually have since, zip tied them to the bars, but unfortunately the way the light is designed, the cords stick out of the sides instead of the rear and there's no way to avoid them being seen. I'm going to go to walmart this weekend and see if I can find a black foam board and stick behind the tank to hide all the hardware. If it doesn't work no biggie, I don't mind a completely see thru tank! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I brought back the Marineland C220 this past week and got a Fluval. I really should've gotten one from the beginning. I've used them before and have never had an issue. Got this one setup and no issues at all!
I also built a reactor this weekend and got it all piped up (pun intended). I also added some flora and fauna as well now that the tank has mostly cycled.
Flora includes crypt. wendtii 'tropica', crypt. undulata 'red', crypt. usteriana, crypt. nurii, crypt. affinis, and tiger vallisneria
Fauna includes angelfish, tiger barbs, opaline gourami, and an African leaf fish.







 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Looks nice so far, I run the Fluval 305, been pretty happy with it and I love how it is dead silent. May I ask what regulator you are using?
My very first fluval was a 304 and I was as happy then as I am now. The regulator I'm using is the same one from my planted tank 9 years ago. It's a JBJ regulator. I had to buy a new bubble counter though, since the old one was cracked from age. It hasn't ever let me down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Since my last post, I lost the 2 small angels. They just couldn't hang with the tiger barbs. I've decided to make this an "Asian inspired" tank as all but the leaf fish and the anubias (arriving this week) will be from various parts of southeast Asia.

I've also been wanting to experiment with another diffusion method out of sheer boredom. I pulled my ideas from both my current rex reactor as well as some various cerges reactors I've seen. My hypothesis is that it will work about the same, or possibly worse than my current reactor seeing as most cerges reactors have no media in them. I'm mostly worried about it restricting the flow too much. I've attached a sketch of my concept which is not much different from your common cerges reactor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So far the new reactor seems to be working flawlessly, aside from a constant trickling noise. I don't notice any fine bubbles as I did with the rex reactor. I suppose we'll continue to see how well it performs over time.
I'm starting to get diatoms or at least what I think are diatoms. My only other guess is that the brown "dust" on my leaves are from the fluorite. Pretty sure it's diatoms though, as I've read that all new tanks go through a diatom phase. This too, we'll see how it plays out. I bought an algae eater to take care of it should it actually be algae. The nurii and the undulata seem to be melting the most but there are tiny green sproutlets coming from the nurii, so I'm hoping it makes a strong comeback.

Here's the tank as it sits tonight. (I think) I'm going to move the circulation pump to the rear, under the outflow. The new reactor has significantly reduced the flow, and the circulation pump as it sits, causes the vals to be pushed toward the intake all the time. I'll see what happens when I place it there and report back.



and in case you want to know where/what everything is in the tank...

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll update with a few more photos soon but for now I just wanted to share this gorgeous new Usteriana leaf sprouting.



And of course everyone wanted to get in on the photo. :icon_smil



My weekly dosing schedule is 3.09g KNO3, 0.271g KH2PO4, & 0.58g Plantex CSM+B. The amounts have been very good to me so far. No algae; Only great growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Update:

Everything in the tank is doing amazing, minus the holes in many of my leaves, pictured below. Apparently this is likely due to a K deficiency, so I decided to start adding Seachem K, 3ml 3x a week to start. If I don't notice an improvement, I'll add the recommended 5ml 3x a week, but I didn't want to chance it as I'm already getting K from KNO3 and KH2PO4. From what I understand though, it's hard to o.d. on K? Anyone?





 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Are you sure that's a potassium deficiency? It looks like the leaves were chewed to me.
None of the fish in the tank chew on them though. And the holes are mainly on the Usteriana and a couple on the other crypts, which I've read are susceptible to pin holes due to a K deficiency. I'm totally open to hear opinions though!
 

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Do you have any snails or algae eaters? It looks like it might be snail damage to me.

Snails usually do not harm healthy leaves, but those leaves might be dying (because they were emersed grown, or because of the stress of transplant).

Your tank is still so new. Potassium deficiency seems unlikely to me, while the dieoff of emersed growth and/or melting due to transplant stress seem very likely. Crypts are notorious for "melting" if you look at them funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Do you have any snails or algae eaters? It looks like it might be snail damage to me.

Snails usually do not harm healthy leaves, but those leaves might be dying (because they were emersed grown, or because of the stress of transplant).

Your tank is still so new. Potassium deficiency seems unlikely to me, while the dieoff of emersed growth and/or melting due to transplant stress seem very likely. Crypts are notorious for "melting" if you look at them funny.
No snails what-so-ever. I have a CAE but it doesn't eat the plants. As a matter of fact, the holes in the Usteriana were there before ever purchasing the CAE. The crypts have all been in the tank for almost 2 months now. Most of them have already melted away and have sprouted new leaves. The Usteriana is actually doing so well that it sprouted a new leaf, which I don't believe it would have done if it were still under the stress/shock of being newly transplanted. The very new leaf that has opened up already has 2 holes in it. And again, none of the other plants look this way.
 
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