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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
After an 11 year break, I'm getting back into fish and planted tanks. I just picked up a gorgeous 55 gallon bowfront corner tank & stand (Marineland® High Definition LED Ensemble 54 Gallon Aquarium | Marineland®). It's quite tall.

I want to keep it low tech, low to medium light. No co2 injection (I used to have a high tech 90g and prefer low tech).

Substrate suggestions? I used to use fluorite black sand and liked that. I've also done aquasoil which I hated. I could use the fluorite clay gravel stuff, but want cories and think they can only be with sand or soil?

Trying to decide between a hob or canister filter. Hob is cheaper, and there's room back there since it's a corner tank with flat back. Any advantage to canister over hob if I'm not doing co2?

I'll need to upgrade the stock lighting (which is just the little marineland LED that suction cups to the glass canopy). Any recommendations? I have a nicrew 14w and hygger 18w on my 28g bowfront and find them really dim, although my current plants are doing fine (anubias, cryptocoryne, Java fern, Java moss).

Finally, scape and stocking suggestions? I'm wanting a busy, vibrant community tank. My favorite fish are kribensis, angels, pearl gourami, bettas, gbr, Congo tetras, bleeding hearts. Danios and barbs are nice. I love neons but have zero luck with them. Not really into livebearers because they quickly get overpopulated. Not into glofish at all - I like natural scapes and fish.

I have some Danios, ember tetras, and cherry shrimp that will be moving over from my 28g.
 

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After an 11 year break, I'm getting back into fish and planted tanks. I just picked up a gorgeous 55 gallon bowfront corner tank & stand (Marineland® High Definition LED Ensemble 54 Gallon Aquarium | Marineland®). It's quite tall.

I want to keep it low tech, low to medium light. No co2 injection (I used to have a high tech 90g and prefer low tech).
Awesome! Welcome back.

Substrate suggestions? I used to use fluorite black sand and liked that. I've also done aquasoil which I hated. I could use the fluorite clay gravel stuff, but want cories and think they can only be with sand or soil?
I've used pool filter sand, but where I am I can only find it during the summer up north here. I picked up one of those bags of "sand in a tube" used for weight in vehicles during the winter. I think it looks even better because it has multiple grain sizes and look much more natural. Both are super inexpensive.

Eco Complete and fluorite are both safe for your cories. Several people here have also used black diamond blasting sand and have cories. I haven't so take that for what it's worth.

Trying to decide between a hob or canister filter. Hob is cheaper, and there's room back there since it's a corner tank with flat back. Any advantage to canister over hob if I'm not doing co2?
I prefer canisters because I don't like listening to the water falling from a hob. Also I got Oase Biomaster canisters with the thermostats inside. This limits my visible equipment to just the glass lily pipes. Also most of the maintenance consists of swapping out the prefilter sponges every week or two. But the con here is the cost.

I'll need to upgrade the stock lighting (which is just the little marineland LED that suction cups to the glass canopy). Any recommendations? I have a nicrew 14w and hygger 18w on my 28g bowfront and find them really dim, although my current plants are doing fine (anubias, cryptocoryne, Java fern, Java moss).
Obviously you don't need to spend big on lighting for low tech. Still I'm using the Fluval 3.0s for the app convivence and control. More expensive than necessary
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! That fluval light looks nice. How deep does the light penetrate? Will it light the bottom in a 24" deep tank?

Any suggestions on apps to do scape mockups?

Stocking ideas?
 

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FWIW, for a tank that size, I agree you'd be better off with a canister. You can get one that includes a heater, or use one intended for in-line use, which will mean it won't have to be in the tank.
 
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