My 55 gallon journal
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My 55 gallon journal

This is a discussion on My 55 gallon journal within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Over the coarse of being on this forum I have read many of y'alls journals and have enjoyed them very much. I thought I ...

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Old 09-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
 
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My 55 gallon journal

Over the coarse of being on this forum I have read many of y'alls journals and have enjoyed them very much. I thought I would do one of my own since I am redoing my tank. Here is a pic of how the tank did look.
2011-07-06 12.07.10.jpg

That tank had issuse from the beginning. It was a used tank that I picked up years ago. It always had this "film" on the glass that would never come off. I tryed several different things on the it. I original bought the tank to hold firebelly toads. It was setup that way for 5 years. When they finally past I convinced my wife to let me turn it into a fish tank. It first looked like this.

1301514205340.jpg

That was my first attempt at a tank that size and with plants. Many of those plant didn't make it as I didn't have enough lighting for them. The purple Cabomba is one that comes to mind right off hand. It just didn't do good at. Most of the stems would lose the leaves at the bottom. I now know that is a sign of poor lighting for that plant. I eventually pulled out those and some other plants. I collected some wood and took advice for many of you on this forum and ended u with this

2011-07-06 12.07.10.jpg

Well from day one that tank had signs of ammonia in it. I never knew where it came from. It always rode about .25. That tank was like that for 5 months. I couldn't take it so I decided that it I had to do something to figure out where it was coming from. Well I went to Petco the other day and noticed they were having their $1 per gallon sale going on so I picked up a new 55 gallon tank.

2011-09-04 17.25.00.jpg

Not sure where the ammonia was coming form. Thinking it was the substrate as it was really dirty. I knew it was as I could see it under the surface. I just didn't reallize it was that dirty. It had large peices of dead plants in it. I had thought I had gotten all of those guess not. With that said I decide I was going to use a different substrate altogether as I have heard eco-complete is to rough on some bottom feeders.

Since day one I have always wanted to try using soil in the substrate. I have read several different post on using soil on this forum and some other forums as well. Well I thought since I was starting over I would try doing it. So Sunday I spent most of the day sifting though dirt and cleaning sand off as I am using that as a cap for the soil.

2011-09-04 17.46.07.jpg

The soil consists of some cheap topsoil I bought and some topsoil from my yard. The soil from my yard consists of more clay then dirt so I thought that would be good to mix in.

2011-09-04 17.46.37.jpg

Last night after my daughter went to bed my wife and I started on the tank (this is the only time we really had to do the swap out.).
I took the fish and put them in a tote I had. I put the heater in the tank along with a airstone. I also put some driftwood and a plant in there in hopes it wouldnt be soo stressful for them. I know it may not be ideal but its all I had they could fit in.
2011-09-05 00.01.12.jpg
all the plants I had in there along with some of the driftwood.
2011-09-05 00.01.21.jpg
That leave the tank looking something like this
2011-09-05 00.00.59.jpg
very dirty and you can see that film I was taking about earlier. It is a little worse now and some of it will come off but I have never been able to get it all off.

Now that the tank is empty we moved that tank to the floor and I put the new tank up there on the stand and begin to put the substrate in it as my wife is digging though the old tank for MTS lol

With the substrate I made it layers so to speak. There is 5 total.
1st is all soil
2nd 25% sand, 75% soil
3 50/50
4 75% sand 25% soil
5 all sand

2011-09-05 00.42.37.jpg
thats a bad pic! LoL I could see sthe layers but it didn't show up in the pic.

From there I put some driftwood in there filled it up very slowly LoL added some plants and finally the fish. Now this was very late at night when I finally got most of this done. Here is a pic of what it looks like for the time being.

2011-09-05 11.19.35.jpg

This going to change as I was tired last night. I noticed something I am going to change. I am going to take the sword on the right and move it probably to another tank. then I am going to take anubias and put in that corner so it will be shaded by the vals. After that I am going to move some of the smaller swords around and I don't know from there. I am going to out today and look for some sort of floating plant. I think I have see some water sprite so I might try to get that today. If not then I will order it or maybe pennywort instead or prehaps both.

Looking at it now there is BIG difference but hopefully it will do better this time around.
Thanks for looking at this thread and looking forward to any and all comments and advice.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
 
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Wow, thats an awesome tank.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
 
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Wow, thats an awesome tank.
Thank you. Its kinda bare to me. Am out looking for plants now LOL.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:15 PM   #4
 
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No luck with getting water sprite today so I am going to have to order some. There is only one store that really carries any plants around me and they don't have the best of selection.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:52 PM   #5
 
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Just ran some test on the water all is good. Ammonia 0 ( for a change I hope I can keep it there), nitrites 0, nitrates 5
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:42 PM   #6
 
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I placed an order on Sweetaquatics today for 6 Sagittaria Subulata (Dwarf), 1 Cryptocoryne Undulata, 1 Java Fern Windelov (for my 29 gallon tank) and 1 Pennywort. Hoping it doesn't take as long to get my order as it has for some of y'all but the price was right with them so I can wait if it does take long.

I also took 2 of the swords out of that tank and moved them to my 29 gallon along with the extra jungle val in hopes to getting something to grow in that tank.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
 
Looks great but then I think it looked good before. I fail at aqua scaping.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:29 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by k19smith View Post
Looks great but then I think it looked good before. I fail at aqua scaping.
Don't feel bad I am not that great at it. Besides it just takes time and patience and a little imagination. The best way I found is to look at others and try to imagine how to make it work in your tank.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:54 AM   #9
 
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Don't feel bad I am not that great at it. Besides it just takes time and patience and a little imagination. The best way I found is to look at others and try to imagine how to make it work in your tank.

Yeah I'm trying that now and my 55 looks like a train hit it. I'm also waiting on an order of plants from sweetaquadics. I just always think everyone else tanks look better than mine. lol
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:58 AM   #10
 
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That's me I never think my tank looks good. My wife tells me I am crazy and they look good. LoL
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