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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am redoing my 55 gallon. I just purchased a large piece of driftwood last night and got it in there. Here's a picture of what it looks like:



I'm looking for advice on how I should plant this as far as what types of plants. I like the look of this tank:



This is a 180 gallon discus tank that is planted just with Java Moss and Java Fern. The theme of the tank that I am wanting to do is a river theme. I just don't know how well this log will look with just Java Fern attached. Another idea that I had was keeping the taller grass on the left side and using some rotala to make a bushy appearance on the right side. What do you think would be the best idea? The tank is mainly for my clown loaches until they get about 3-4 inches then I'll be upgrading to a 120+ gallon aquarium for them. I appreciate everyone's help with this! Thanks!
 

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Planting Your 55 G

Good morning JE...

Good choice on going with the 55 G. I have several, they're my favs. Anyway, if you're going with low light like your larger tank, then that's my specialty. I experiment with different substrates and ferts to see what will grow in low light.

It looks like you have a good arrangement of plants already growing. I have very good luck with Anubias, Java fern (you already know about this one), the varieties of Cryptocoryne are nice. I have Singapore moss growing and Amazon sword too.

Another addition might be to float Java fern on driftwood, I do that and maybe attach a couple of Banana plants to the wood with black sewing thread. Stem plants like Pennywort, Water wisteria and Ludwigia are nice and hardy. Floating Indian Fern is nice too.

There are at least a dozen nice plants you can grow in less than a watt of light per gallon of tank size if you work at it.

Don't forget to dose a good fert too. The low light plants do so much better with it.

Let me know if you have any specific questions, we can discuss things.

B
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's some more info:

Here is the information for my ferts calculated in PPM with weekly dosing:

NO3 Nitrate: 22.98 PPM
PO4 Phosphate: 3.52 PPM
K Potassium: 16.74 PPM
Fe Iron: .42 PPM

I'm using the EI Dosing method with the following:

Dry Ferts:
KN03
KH2PO4
K2SO4

Liquid Ferts:
Seachem Flourish Comprehensive
Seachem Flourish Iron

I was using Flourish Excel before I decided to redo my tank and have ran out. I've been debating on if I want to transfer my pressurized CO2 tank from my 30 gallon over to this for a light amount of CO2 or if I should just continue using a liquid form. The owner of my LFS recommended staying with liquid as the pressurized can cause a major PH drop. I don't know if this is just so he keeps getting money from me or not. Or is there a better liquid CO2 version to use? I'm open to ideas!

I know I explained my lighting but I have a Coralife Aqualight Pro with 4x65 watt PC bulbs. I am currently only using two of them with 6500K bulbs.

It currently has a Marineland Penguin 400 HOB filter (which I hate). I wish that I had more filtration but the water is clear but with Clown Loaches I hear that a higher filtration rate is best.

My water is kept at 76* and I do weekly 40% water changes. I used to do 50% water changes but for some reason with the last two water changes I've lost some tiger barbs. It was only the barbs that seemed affected as every other fish were perfectly fine.

I'm trying to think of any other information that may help but can't think of anything else. If you need more info let me know! Thanks a lot for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So here's a pic after a replanting and adding more substrate. I haven't had a chance to get any hair grass yet for your idea in the center. Am I heading in the right direction or should I do something different?

 
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