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Cycled 55gal long aquarium, planted. Info and opinions on fish choices?

This is a discussion on Cycled 55gal long aquarium, planted. Info and opinions on fish choices? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by sam7152004 I pulled mine off and use small amounts of algaside. I would not recomend an algicide. Anything truly strong enough ...

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Cycled 55gal long aquarium, planted. Info and opinions on fish choices?
Old 12-22-2011, 01:22 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by sam7152004 View Post
I pulled mine off and use small amounts of algaside.
I would not recomend an algicide. Anything truly strong enough to kill algae is almost certainly going to have some effect on some plants. Not to mention that any chemical is still chemical and not good for fish. There are safer ways to deal with algae, such as reducing light intensity/duration and providing the nutrients and good light for the plants to maximize. I have dealt with black brush/beard algae for years, it is pretty much the only troublesome algae I seem to get in some of my tanks; and in every case simply reducing the light duration has stopped it from increasing. What many write is true: in balanced planted tanks algae is never an issue.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:48 PM   #12
 
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I will also do more frequent water changes, before I have heard that if you do it too much it can make your fish stressed out, and possibly kill bacteria/do more harm than good. So no gravel vac? Just water? what about the poop and stuff that settles on the bottom?
Waste works its way into the substrate and is what we term organics; snails will feed on this and break it down faster, so the bacteria can more quickly break it down further into nutrients needed by the plants, including CO2. You can read more in my article that another member linked earlier in this thread:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/
There is a very important biological process ongoing in a healthy substrate; let nature do the work.

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On plants/lights: I used to use flourish but don't now.
This partly explains the state of the plants as I see them in the photos. While some nutrients do occur in tap water (another benefit of weekly water changes is to replace these essential minerals) and from fish food and fish waste, it is sometimes necessary to supply more. It depends upon the plants, fish load (number and type of fish as this determines the volume of waste), tap water, etc. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement has all necessary nutrients (except carbon, hydrogen and oxygen which all naturally occur in the aquarium) and in natural systems like yours (and mine) it is usually useful to dose it once a week, the day following the water change [conditioners usually detoxify heavy metals, and some of these are nutrients in Flourish]. I would definitely suggest using Flourish weekly.

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The lights are two tubes/bulbs, one came with the tank and the other is a replacement for the second bulb that was on it. One is an Aqua Rays, Fresh & Saltwater, F15T8-AR-FS (model number, I used this to find out the wattage as it is kinda hard to read on the bulb), 15W. It also says 2007 on one side so I assume that's when it was made. Here's a link to what I found when Googling the model number.
Amazon.com: 15W T8 COOL WHITE W/TUBE GUARD COVER FOR FOOD USE: Home & Garden
Amazon.com: 15W T8 COOL WHITE W/TUBE GUARD COVER FOR FOOD USE: Home & Garden
The other... Eclips, Natural Daylight, F15T8, made in germany for marineland. I think this is the old one... Likely over 5 years old and no date/wattage. From googling, I think it is 18w.

The lights are on about 7-11 hours a day. Depends.
From what I can find, the tubes themselves should be OK, but they need replacing. As fluorescent tubes burn, their intensity decreases quite rapidly. They will be basically useless for plants long before they actually burn out. I replace my T8 tubes every 12-18 months; I found that at 18 months, algae began to increase, a sign of weaking intensity, and once replaced this stopped with no other changes. Twelve months would be a good basic time to replace tubes. You can stay with what you have, or get others. Depending upon the length of the tube [these I am going to suggest come in some sizes, not all, and I'm not sure which exactly] GE, Phillips and Sylvania make "daylight" tubes with a kelvin rating of 6500K that are ideal. They only cost a couple dollars in hardware-type stores. Just get the ones with the 6500K.

Duration is OK, but again with the weak light intensity this is not going to help except for algae. When you replace the tubes, I would go with 8 hours daily. Use a timer, as the light period is best when it is consistent. It can be on at any time, as long as it is a period of 8 hours. There should be light in the room, whether daylight or lamps, when the tank lights come on and go off to avoid additional stress. Read more about light effects on fish here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...er-fish-81982/

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SOOOOO... I have heard I need 2W per gallon? If so I'm surprised my plants are alive at all
Watts per gallon is not a reliable guide, with all the different types of tubes we now have. Watts is simply the unit of measurement for the amount of energy a tube or bulb uses to produce the light. It is not related to light intensity (brightness) except when comparing the identical type of tube. I have less than 1 watt per gallon on my larger tanks, and the photos under my Aquarium log indicate pretty good plant growth. More light will only mean algae. It has to balance.

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PLANT INFO... So I did a little picture surfing and the plants I THINK I have in my tank are..
1. Some kind of Anubius. 2. Java Ferns 3. Large Moss Ball (Java) 4. Amazon Sword 5. Some plants with long stems that go up, and arrow-like shaped leaves. Almost like this >. Go to my pics above if anyone thinks they can help identify some... Thanks!
The Anubias, Java Fern and moss are low light so they will be fine. Swords are moderate light, no issue there either (when you replace your tubes and use Flourish). The stem plants usually require more light, but some do fine with moderate. If they grow, fine; if not, find something else. There are plants that I cannot grow, so I don't try. As with fish, selecting plants that work in your setup will be much easier and more successful.

Byron.
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:15 PM   #13
 
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Ok so....
1. Do not disturb my substrate
2. Weekly water changes, flourish the day after each change
3. New lights with 6500K (they are 18" ones). Burn them 8 hours a day.
4. My plants are ok. Ima get more!

And I won't use an algicide, I guess once I get all this straightened out the black bush will quit spreading. Personally I like where it is at on my lava rock and the one artificial plant in the tank, so no issues there. As long as it doesn't take over my other plants

One more question, if I replace the lights and for some reason it was "too much" for my plants, what would the signs be? More "melting" or just death?


Thank you guys for all your help!
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:31 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by angella View Post
Ok so....
1. Do not disturb my substrate
2. Weekly water changes, flourish the day after each change
3. New lights with 6500K (they are 18" ones). Burn them 8 hours a day.
4. My plants are ok. Ima get more!

And I won't use an algicide, I guess once I get all this straightened out the black bush will quit spreading. Personally I like where it is at on my lava rock and the one artificial plant in the tank, so no issues there. As long as it doesn't take over my other plants

One more question, if I replace the lights and for some reason it was "too much" for my plants, what would the signs be? More "melting" or just death?


Thank you guys for all your help!
Two 18-inch tubes over a 55g (which I assume is a 4-foot tank) will not be too much. You will be on the minimum threshold for low and moderate light plants.

Don't expect present yellowing leaves to recover; they might as well be removed. It is the new growth that will show improvement.

I don't bother with algae on wood and rock. It is only on live plant leaves that it can become a problem, suffocating the leaf and the plant. These remedies should resolve that.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:09 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Two 18-inch tubes over a 55g (which I assume is a 4-foot tank) will not be too much. You will be on the minimum threshold for low and moderate light plants.

Don't expect present yellowing leaves to recover; they might as well be removed. It is the new growth that will show improvement.

I don't bother with algae on wood and rock. It is only on live plant leaves that it can become a problem, suffocating the leaf and the plant. These remedies should resolve that.

Yeah it's about 4 foot... so is there a way to get more lighting if that would be the minimum??

And that's fine about the yellowing leaves.

And ok
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:56 PM   #16
 
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I replace my T8 tubes every 12-18 months; I found that at 18 months, algae began to increase, a sign of weaking intensity, and once replaced this stopped with no other changes. Twelve months would be a good basic time to replace tubes. You can stay with what you have, or get others. Depending upon the length of the tube [these I am going to suggest come in some sizes, not all, and I'm not sure which exactly] GE, Phillips and Sylvania make "daylight" tubes with a kelvin rating of 6500K that are ideal. They only cost a couple dollars in hardware-type stores. Just get the ones with the 6500K.

Duration is OK, but again with the weak light intensity this is not going to help except for algae. When you replace the tubes, I would go with 8 hours daily. Use a timer, as the light period is best when it is consistent. It can be on at any time, as long as it is a period of 8 hours. There should be light in the room, whether daylight or lamps, when the tank lights come on and go off to avoid additional stress. Read more about light effects on fish here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...er-fish-81982/

The Anubias, Java Fern and moss are low light so they will be fine. Swords are moderate light, no issue there either (when you replace your tubes and use Flourish). The stem plants usually require more light, but some do fine with moderate. If they grow, fine; if not, find something else. There are plants that I cannot grow, so I don't try. As with fish, selecting plants that work in your setup will be much easier and more successful.

Byron.
Ok so I have bought two GE T8 tubes today, they are the "daylight" ones with the 6500k output. 15w. My question is that there was also a plant tube that said it was especially for them and had more light in the red and green spectrum? Also by GE. But it didn't show the color temp, which was 6500k on the tubes I got. It did have cri: 90k? The tubes I got have cri: 75?

And I will find my timer and get that set up for 8 hours now.

Lastly I have ordered some Flourish and Water Sprite that I will hopefully get this next friday =]
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:59 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by angella View Post
Ok so I have bought two GE T8 tubes today, they are the "daylight" ones with the 6500k output. 15w. My question is that there was also a plant tube that said it was especially for them and had more light in the red and green spectrum? Also by GE. But it didn't show the color temp, which was 6500k on the tubes I got. It did have cri: 90k? The tubes I got have cri: 75?

And I will find my timer and get that set up for 8 hours now.

Lastly I have ordered some Flourish and Water Sprite that I will hopefully get this next friday =]
You bought the better tubes. So-called "aquarium" or "plant" tubes are almost always very weak intensity. It is true they highlight blue and red wavelengths which is essential for plants, but not only are they weak but this adds a purplish hue to the tank which I personally do not like. The daylight tubes are close to natural sun in colour rendition. They will be better all round.

To your previous post question about getting more light: this will require a new fixture. On a 4-foot length tank, the easiest way to go about this would be to buy a glass cover unit and then the light fixture. The glass unit sits down on the lip around the inside of the tank frame, and the light fixture sits on top of the frame. I am assuming your present hood and light is made for the tank. If you did decide to go this route, you could have a single T8, single T5 HO or dual T8. T5 single fixtures are not easy to come by.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:13 PM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
You bought the better tubes. So-called "aquarium" or "plant" tubes are almost always very weak intensity. It is true they highlight blue and red wavelengths which is essential for plants, but not only are they weak but this adds a purplish hue to the tank which I personally do not like. The daylight tubes are close to natural sun in colour rendition. They will be better all round.

To your previous post question about getting more light: this will require a new fixture. On a 4-foot length tank, the easiest way to go about this would be to buy a glass cover unit and then the light fixture. The glass unit sits down on the lip around the inside of the tank frame, and the light fixture sits on top of the frame. I am assuming your present hood and light is made for the tank. If you did decide to go this route, you could have a single T8, single T5 HO or dual T8. T5 single fixtures are not easy to come by.

Ohhh ok, that's good then I'm glad I won't need to bring them back =]
And yes the lights I got look pretty bright and seem to give the plants a good glow lol.

And ahh I see. Well if I ever get enough money or time I could buy the glass cover thing with double T8 tubes. But right now that's probably not feasible, I will remember it in the future. And yeah it has the factory hood on it I think (I bought it used).

Oh, and I found my Flourish! It's Flourish excel by Seachem, Organic Carbon for the Planted Aquarium, and I have had it for two years I think (does it go bad? It's still sealed and like 1/3 full). It says it's a source of bioavailible organic carbon. It says it's typically obtained from CO2 but may also come from simple organic compounds such as photosynthetic intermediates. And can be used alone or in conjunction with CO2 injections. It has iron reducing properties which promote the ferrous state of iron (Fe+2) that is more easily utilized by plants than ferric iron (Fe+3). Contains no phosphate or nitrate.
That is on the bottle, and from reading it I'm pretty sure it's for planted aquariums without fish... But maybe I'm wrong? Anyways, my Flourish should be in next friday but should I also use this? The bottle says you should use it with other flourish products but that might be overkill and I'm thinking it is supplying the stuff that the fish are producing themselves...


Thank you again for all the help, Byron :)
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:18 PM   #19
 
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Ohhh ok, that's good then I'm glad I won't need to bring them back =]
And yes the lights I got look pretty bright and seem to give the plants a good glow lol.

And ahh I see. Well if I ever get enough money or time I could buy the glass cover thing with double T8 tubes. But right now that's probably not feasible, I will remember it in the future. And yeah it has the factory hood on it I think (I bought it used).

Oh, and I found my Flourish! It's Flourish excel by Seachem, Organic Carbon for the Planted Aquarium, and I have had it for two years I think (does it go bad? It's still sealed and like 1/3 full). It says it's a source of bioavailible organic carbon. It says it's typically obtained from CO2 but may also come from simple organic compounds such as photosynthetic intermediates. And can be used alone or in conjunction with CO2 injections. It has iron reducing properties which promote the ferrous state of iron (Fe+2) that is more easily utilized by plants than ferric iron (Fe+3). Contains no phosphate or nitrate.
That is on the bottle, and from reading it I'm pretty sure it's for planted aquariums without fish... But maybe I'm wrong? Anyways, my Flourish should be in next friday but should I also use this? The bottle says you should use it with other flourish products but that might be overkill and I'm thinking it is supplying the stuff that the fish are producing themselves...

Thank you again for all the help, Byron :)
You're welcome.

I do not personally recommend Excel. This is a chemical preparation, and it is known to kill some plants. If it happens to be overdosed, it can harm fish. Carbon from natural CO2 will be sufficient, especially with low/moderate light.

Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is a complete nutrient fertilizer, quite a different product. This I use and recommend.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:23 PM   #20
 
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You're welcome.

I do not personally recommend Excel. This is a chemical preparation, and it is known to kill some plants. If it happens to be overdosed, it can harm fish. Carbon from natural CO2 will be sufficient, especially with low/moderate light.

Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is a complete nutrient fertilizer, quite a different product. This I use and recommend.
Ahhhhh ok =] I see the difference. I will call my pet store tomorrow to make sure we ordered the right Flourish.
Thank you!
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