Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade - Page 14
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Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade

This is a discussion on Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade within the Freshwater Journals forums, part of the Aquarium Photography category; --> Don't worry, Snaps! We're fine over here, and I know the golden fishy rules: Be patient, watch and wait. . . and. . . ...

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Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade
Old 10-02-2012, 05:47 AM   #131
 
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Don't worry, Snaps! We're fine over here, and I know the golden fishy rules:
Be patient, watch and wait. . . and. . . DO NOT dump stuff in your tank unless you are SURE of the problem! The others all seem well, hope you had a great trip, can't wait to catch up with you!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:20 AM   #132
 
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sorry about your little ram girl, but wow, your others are absolutely GORGEOUS. i love them. i want them now xD the pet store rams (idk if they're bolivian or german or what) look nothing like that, much paler. good job!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:19 AM   #133
 
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Same here I have never seen Bolivian Rams that color in stores! Jes glad to hear that you have a go to person like Snappy to help with these problems. Will have to keep that in mind if I ever have sick fish again!! Dawn has been a great help to me in the past but she is hard to get a hold of with her schedule. Pms are about the only way I could get her advice.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:31 PM   #134
 
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Thanks guys! Rams, even these rams, in the shop are pale and stressed - a shadow of what they can become. In my limited experience with these amazing animals I've found that they do stress more easily than many other fish, so a display tank in a store is seldom the place to see them shine - and it's really tough to pick a healthy fish when you see the signs of stress. The black sand (I've been experimenting with this) brings out a darker grey coloration, while they go more golden with a lighter substrate beneath them. The coloration in these photos - though not *quite* right (it is so hard to get fish in a photo to show perfectly true to what I see) is them at their brightest, they brighten at feeding time, and in general when 'showing off' to each-other - or when I'm at the tank.They really have an amazing way of communicating with their coloration - it varies throughout the day by degrees. I haven't kept many fish, and all of the ones I own are my favorites, but these . . . are a different kind of creature altogether! I'm constantly in amazement of these animals!

I agree. . . I get lots of advice from you (thanks!), this website and others, and books - but everyone's experiences are so unique, as are their tanks. It's really a comfort to have a friend with so many years of experience to help sort it all out and explain why. So much of the information I find is absolutley contradictory - it's just befuddling at times! All I've really been able to nail down on my own thus far is that she was super stressed out. I have no idea what actually happened. Hopefully there will be a bit more info to come - and hopefully her death (which I'm almost certain could have been prevented if I were more experienced) will help someone else down the line from losing a finned friend.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:50 PM   #135
 
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Hey Ches did you decide what you want to do about the lights on this tank?? Is this the one that has 2 18" bulbs?? I been thinking that this IS low lighting and usually (from what I have been reading lately) that you want atleast a single 48"tube over a 55 gallon tank. Though like said before if what you have is working why change it LoL It like fixing something that ain't broke!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:13 PM   #136
 
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Question questions on lighting

Hey man - thanks for the thought! I KNOW I owe you a PM, sorry for the delay in reply, but thanks for getting back to me! I got your message pretty much as the doctor visits started


I've been thinking/reading/learning about lighting a lot, and doing as much research as I can. I'm still pretty convinced that I need more lighting, most especially for the swords. . . but. . . things are kind of confusing to me here, and there is much about lighting that I'm still learning. (heh. still a lot to learn about everything fish-related) I'd love some clarification if you or anyone more experienced has some light to shed (lol, cheesy pun intended)

So here's the breakdown. Every plant in the 55g tank EXCEPT for the swords (I've never had a sword plant, aside from the pygmy chains, and I'm not sure they count) and some of the floaters had been previously established in my other tanks - mostly the 29g version of Becoming and the 20g Jellybean QT tank. In both of these previous setups, I was running a single 24" 20 watt T8 (Life 2 Glo bulbs by Hagen). The plants were doing really well in both old setups, lots of growth and no issues with algae, except for a spurt of black-beard because I was obsessed when I first got my rams and couldn't bear to turn out the tank lights on time. This was easily solved when I went back to my original photo-period.

BUT
when I had that power out for 5 days in July (pre Jellybeans) the plants in the 29 took a huge hit, ended up covered in algae. I just cut my losses (yay, puns!) and chopped and hacked all of the affected leaves and things were going well from there. Moved a lot of the plants from the 29 into the 20 when the Beaners arrived (rams wouldn't speak to me for 2 days after that move), but good growth continued and things filled in again quickly in both tanks. I really would say that the 29g was just coming out of recovery mode and starting to look good again when I made the move into the 55.

The 55 gallon tank currently has two 18" 15w T8 fluorescent bulbs - also Life 2 Glow. It's a standard crappy plastic hood, with a separate hood piece & 18" light over each side. I fell like I MUST need more lighting than this, but I'm not really sure how much. The 55gallon is long, my 29g was tall - so both tanks have the same depth. Basically, the lighting is the same, more or less a single light from end to end of the tank - except that the 55g lights are only 15 watts, while the lights on the 29g were 20 watt.

That being said, everything is growing in really well! The swords are making me really sad right now, many of them have melted back to almost nothing - all original leaves gone. BUT, there are brand new tiny shoots coming up on all but one of them - they're GROWING BACK. The crypt spirallis melted a bit, as crypts will do, but are growing back quickly, and of course I was expecting melt from them. Silly crypts. . .

I WANT a glass canopy with an elevated dual-light fixture. . . but with the kids and the cat and knowing my clumsiness, I'm terrified to get glass. Can't seem to find Plexi - even a nice clear sheet for my husband to DIY one - and all of this stuff is so expensive anyway. My current plan is to pop the back pieces off of the hood, cut a plexiglass strip (I have a scrap laying around that should be just the right size) , and put my extra 24" fixture (single 20 watt T8) from the 20g tank until I get things sorted out. It's too short to go end-to-end on the 55g tank, but it'll help somewhat until I figure out what I'm doing.

Everything I've read everywhere is telling me that I need more light - especially for these swords. But every plant I've ever put into any of my tanks (EXCEPT for Java Fern and, oddly enough, my Cryptocoryne Wendti) has pretty much died and quickly bounced right back. So I really was expecting this (even though it makes me super sad!).

But the part that confuses me is that EVERY PLANT IN THE 55g is showing signs of new growth since the move. Every single one! It's only been a month, the setup is so new. . . but even the swords have new leaves coming up, and several of the plants I've had for some time require higher lighting than I have ever given them. . . so I'm really baffled! *scratches head* Don't want to do anything that will cause an algae problem, also don't want to kill my plants! Snappy had the brilliant suggestion of using my photographic light meter to determine how much light is getting where in the tank, but of course I cant find the bloody thing. Hopefully it'll turn up soon, but even then. . . I'm not sure exactly what numbers I'm looking for here!

I've been planning to put up my planting stock list for this tank. There is really an absurd variety of plants in there at this point! I'll add in how they're doing thus far in the 55 gallon. . . hopefully that will give a better idea of what light I need, and what will be over the top. . . so it will be easier to get advice!

A book tomorrow, yes. Right now, a warm and snuggy bed. . . mmmmmmmm! Night!
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:04 AM   #137
 
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LoL Jes you already wrote a book!!! I will have to go through my pms and links but I have notes somewhere on those numbers. Though to be complete honest they are Greek to me!!! I have an hour left of work and really need to get busy so I will go into what lil I know later. LoL
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:46 AM   #138
 
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Oh YES! I do so LOVE books! You should see my fish journal. I type too fast for my own good, but I also go back and reference this stuff, so a lot of it is for my record. Don't feel bad if you don't read it all. I am quite aware that I'm insane, lol!

Please do send links if you still have them. I suspect you have given these to me back when you helped me with my initial set up of the lighting in the 29. . . it's Greek to me, too. I've tried to bang it into my head but, yeah. Not scientific-minded like that - maybe between us and the others on this site, we can reach a better understanding all-around. That'd be nice, eh?

It gets trickier because some of my plants are low-light for real, but some need higher light, and I never expected them to do well in my tank - yet the all insist on growing anyway. *baffled*

Plant list to come... a bit later. It's going to be a busy morning!
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:45 AM   #139
 
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Red face Planting stock list and progress report ...

Lessee. . . what is all that green stuff, exactly?
*cracks knuckles*

Spiral Vals (Vallisneria Spiralis) - with soft water I've had mixed luck with these from the start, as expected. Many runners have been born from the originals, and some still survive, though these took the biggest losses during the power out. All I have now are babies, since I chopped all of the long blades to free the 29g tank of algae.

Cryptocoryne Spiralis - In love with these beauties. Low-light requirements, and have done amazingly well in my tanks. Many of them melted with the transfer, but are starting to come back now, and seem to be doing really well in the 55 gallon. *I need more crypts. I love crypts.*

Cryptocoryne Wendtii - Another of my favorite plants, I unfortunately had to prune many of the leaves off after the power out/algae. This plant has never melted on me, and shows new growth, but it seems to be growing VERY slowly compared to how quickly it was growing before the pruning. It's had a lot of changes to adjust to over the last 3 months. High hopes for this one!

Anacharis (Egeria densa) & Anacharis narrow Leaf, (Egeria Nanas) - No problems with either of these, lots of growth, but the bulk of these plants ended up in other tanks in my home. The few that are in the 55 seem well, and growth can be tracked daily.

Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) & Lace Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus 'Windelov') - I'm still battling the OLD algae on these, couldn't cut them down to nubs. Still, showing new growth from both varieties and MANY new plantlets from my original two are spread throughout all of my tanks!

Pygmy Chain Swords (Echinodorus tenellus) - These were doing brilliantly before the power out. Runners everywhere and had finally filled into the carpeted look that I was going for. They also took heavy losses, but many remain - small little plantlets mostly. Definite new growth in the 55g tank (I can't really tell the difference between my Vals and my PCS babies just now though, lol)

Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana) - Despite it's lighting requirements, this plant loves all of my tanks. Had a veritable Cabomba Forrest by the time I closed the 29g. I moved most of these to my other tanks, but put some small plantlets into the 55g and they continue to grow amazingly. New growth can be noticed daily.

Marimo moss balls (Chladophora aegagropila) - I kind of love these guys more like critters than plants - they have names! Be they alive or be they dead, they're cute and furry and green, and maybe a little bit furrier than when I brought them home so long ago! I don't think it's possible to kill these things

Brazilian Pennywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala) - Despite it's high lighting requirements, I have had no problems with this plant, though most of it is in other tanks. Growth can be tracked daily in the 55g.

Floating Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) - I've always ended up with small leaflets and/or substrate versions of this plant that did not fare well in the 29g at all (nibbling Mollies and HOB filters didn't help matters) Now in the 55g I'm FINALLY I'm having luck with this plant (Again, Dave is my hero for sending such large established pieces!) After a very short period of adjustment, it seems to be thriving. Shoots are being sent above the water line, and it's just. . . beautiful! Worried that it's hogging a lot of the lighting, but the loaches love it too much - it must stay!

Water Lettuce & Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) - Both are doing great, pretty root systems are filling out beautifully and I love them. The Lettuce seems to like this tank more than the Frogbit, I suspect the lack of ventilation at the surface has something to do with this. Again... don't want it to hog the light, but I've tried so hard to get these roots in my tank(s), makes me happy to finally have them!

Red Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea zenkeri) bulb: Got this on a whim, never expected it to grow in my light. In the 29g, it grew two little plantlets, but the Mollies nibbling (for algae) kept knocking the bulb out of the substrate, and eventually they knocked the tiny plants off the bulb - they were too small and died. Kept the bulb in the hopes of new growth, but LOST it under the substrate in the 55g tank when everything was moved. To my surprise, it found me last week in the form of a brand-new little shoot. It isn't where I would have put it, but seems to be happy where it is for now. In a week's time it has gone from one little nub above the sand to a tiny little plant with four baby leaves. Growth. . . can be tracked daily! I'll be really excited if this one takes off. I really love the plant, and have been babying this little bulb for so long, lol!

Ludwigia Repens (Ludwigia natans) - Termie sent me one little cutting of this a while back. It grows, not super-fast, but doesn't seem to be suffering under my lighting, either. . . this piece will probably be moved into the frog tank soon, it's kind of lost in the 55, and I think it'll like it better in the 10g.

Kleiner Bar Sword (Echinodorus 'Kleiner Bar'): In the famous words of the Wicked Witch of the West: "I'm melting! Melting! Oh, what a world, what a world!" These plants are new to my tank, came from a high-light Co2 injected system, and arrived a few days before the move into the 29g, so were not properly planted immediately (no way could I fit them all in the 29!). I was expecting die-off, and I got it. The plants that are more toward the center of the tank have suffered the worst, a few of them have lost ALL original leaves. The ones in the corners on either end seem to be doing better - or at least melting a little bit more slowly. Aside from these full-grown beauties, I got some younger, smaller plants that seem to be faring better (I was able to plant them immediately in another tank). Even with all of the drama, there are new baby leaves popping up on all but one of these plants. . .so the question here is - will there be enough lighting in this tank for them to make it back? I have no experience with swords, so I'm not sure what to expect from them, exactly!


Ummmm. . . I have a lot more plants than I realized! Neat!

I've already decided that I'm not messing with this tank. Aside from pruning when needed, I'm going to leave everything alone, let nature do her thing, and enjoy the ride. . . as far as additions - nothing right now, but depending on how things progress, I'm really tempted to try out a different type of Crypt, or add another Wendtii or two. I really seem to get along well with Crypts so far. I've also wanted some Anubias for ages, but I'll probably start that in another tank. . . maybe. *ponders* Either way, nothing is to be added until the plants that are in there now are established again, and the lighting sorted out.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:03 AM   #140
 
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Jes, you asked me to check in here. First off, that is a very beautiful aquarium. Very well done, indeed.

You specifically mentioned light, and I would agree that a single 48-inch T8 would be my minimum for a 4-foot 55g tank. Two 18-inch tubes are less intense than a 48-inch. The photos and video in post #1 are from setup, and it would be interesting seeing what it looks like today. If after the month the plants are responding well, then what is over the tank must be sufficient to balance the nutrients. I'd hate to suggest changes and have algae outbreaks or something, if what is there works.

On the swords in the photos, I do see failing leaves, but perhaps these were the initial leaves? If the new growth has been steady and good, fine.

Beautiful aquascape.

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