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Initial Planting?

1104 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  strizzi16
Ok maybe this is a dumb question..
But I am giong to be starting up my 55 gal shortly
and i am purchasing some HC for the foreground

My question I need other plants besides the HC to help aid in the growth or whatever..or can I simply just start with the HC and add plants later on

Tank specs..
Size: 55 gal.
Substrate: sms
Lighting 2x150 watt MH, 2x96 watt CF
Filtration: fluval 305, xp2
DIY Reactor
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
WHOA if you are going to be starting this tank up IE from nothing you wil need LOTS of plants in thier to combat the algea. Get some cheap stems and dump them in for a while till your tank balances itself out. If you only start your tank with the HC it may not be what you want once the algea sets in.
ok so like what would you recomend?
did i read that right... 492 watts? over a 55 gallon? thats 9wpg...

thats ... a lot.
ok so like what would you recomend?
for right now i would go to the sawp and show and ask people for any fast growers that they have that they are goig to be trashing that you could use for your new tank. Lots of people have plants that grow like weeds and will help you
did i read that right... 492 watts? over a 55 gallon? thats 9wpg...

thats ... a lot.
Wow I missed that too. Drop the lighting down also. On my 55g all I have is 2x55 and one 95w and its plenty for me to grow most plants
Hornwort, wisteria, watersprite to name a few...even duckweed (but that may bite yer ass
Dude, back off on that light! That's more than I have on my high tech 125 and if you're running DIY CO2 with that mugh light you're gonna have trouble. Keep your photo period short to star, and don't run all of that light. The general consensus is pack a new tank full of quick growing stems, but

If you want to run with just the HC take a look at this post:

I know you are using an innert substrate not AS, but it may be worth it to try this way on a new tank. Of course you will have to dose ferts to get it to grow since SMS does not contain any nutirents for the plants...
Wow I missed that too. Drop the lighting down also. On my 55g all I have is 2x55 and one 95w and its plenty for me to grow most plants
Agreed that this amount of lighting is way too much. Why do you feel that you need almost 9wpg? Your 2 x 96 watt CF would be more than adequate on its own. If you run high light you will need to watch the photoperiod, dose balanced ferts and most likely DIY CO2 is not going to cut it for a tank that size either. Plenty of good info about all of these subjects can be found on the various forums.
sorry I guess I should have clarified...I was going to run the 2x95 CF from 10-12 in the morning..then switch those off and go with the MH bulbs from 12-4, then switch those off and run the CFs for the remaining 6 hrs..

Does that seem alright as far as lighting goes?

And as far as the CO2 systems... it is NOT a DIY.. I have a 20lb tank with an Azoo regulator with a seleniod

The regulator is the only DIY item in the system.. oh and the buble counter :)

what do you guys think!?
No matter what, you're going to want to fill up your tank with fast growers...floating plants are really great for that but, like jinx said, you'll regret it later. Try red root floaters or something similar or grab a ton of cheap stem plants that will soak up all the nutrients during your cycle. :thumbsup:
Sorry for misreading the specs on your CO2 system. Still think that you will regret using so much light unless you really know ahead of time that you can make it work. You may want to at least start with a 10 hour photo period. Work slowly up to your 12 hour target after you feel that you have a stable tank at 10. The more light/longer photo period the harder it becomes to balance it with the nutrients and CO2. You haven't mentioned any fertilization routine. You will definitely need to add macro and micro nutrients. It is not that you can't use that much light and get it to work but it may be a difficult and frustrating path. Agree that you should pack the tank with fast going stem plants to get it going no matter what amount of lighting you settle on. Good luck!
Yes, load it up with lots of cheap fast growing stems.
IMHO, still way too much light. Also you are talking about running them for 12 hours!
Right now I'm running 4 X 96 on my 125 for 6 hours.
Start slow, and low, build it up slowly.
ok ya now that all you guys are mentioning it, I am kinda regreting buying the fixture...
The freakin guy at the store talked me into it..
Oh well, guess I'll just have to make it work some how..
See the thing is, the only reason why I was going to have it on for that long and bought this HQI fixture is becuase I have discus and I thought it would bring out their color a little more..
But I also want to have really nice looking plants..
so I'm just going to have to find a middle ground..
And as far as ferts go, I just purchased Rex's combo pack and am going to use the dosing regiments found on here in the water parameters forum..?

More advice Welcomed!! :)
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