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M H's 55 gallon planted journal

This is a discussion on M H's 55 gallon planted journal within the Freshwater Journals forums, part of the Aquarium Photography category; --> I say get your coffee ready 2mrw and start adding these 100lbs in you55g and then take a look at it..........

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M H's 55 gallon planted journal
Old 02-04-2010, 08:04 PM   #41
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I say get your coffee ready 2mrw and start adding these 100lbs in you55g and then take a look at it.......
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:33 AM   #42
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Yeah, then post pictures so I can see what 100lbs of gravel looks like in a 55g. Am I way off thinking 60lbs will be enough?
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:39 AM   #43
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I can't wait to see your tank progress! I bet it is going to be awesome! You have put a lot of thought into it.

My plants should be arriving today or tomorrow. I cannot wait to get them planted. I have some in there already but not enough to really look like a live planted tank. It is going to look a little awkward in my tank for awhile until they really get some growth. I am going to leave a few of the fake plants in there until I get some height.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:32 PM   #44
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I spoke with an Aquarist Specialist at Drs. Foster and Smith last night. He was of the belief the bacteria in the Eco-complete as it sits in the bag will be fine. The manufacturer information shows no shelf life or exp. date. He also believed the bacteria, that would need "food" just like in a tank, would either go dormant or possibly die. but that there is probably so much in the bag that not all would die. Therefore I will likely wait until I get my plants next week to set up the tank. I see it recommended all the time to plant heavy from the start. I may as well wait and do it as recommended.

And Angel...............I'm a tease lol gotta wait a little longer
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:49 PM   #45
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That sound like a joke to me. Any bacteria no matter in which amounts its present needs food and has a shelf live and you can not just let that lay there for the next 10yrs and expect it to have BB alive in it. I really HIGHLY question that statement made there from these people.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:24 PM   #46
They just like to add water to those bags, so they are heavier. I do not agree or disagree with the eco-complete "bacteria" thing. It is a nutrient rich soil, and I have had good luck with it. I think you would be surprised how long bacteria could survive in those bags. The substrate is mineral rich and the water is heavy black water. There are a lot of organics and minerals for those bacteria. A slight amount of air in the bag. Its impossible to know how long its self life is without knowing exactly what species of bacteria they are using. The heterotrophic bacteria that they claim is in the bag is a very vague term.

I added 100 lbs to my 55gal, I think you will find it too be enough. Its deep enough for my 2ft caecilians to completely burrow in it when they feel like it.

The best way I've found to add eco-complete is to lower the water 30-50%. Remove the lids/hood from the tank. Cut all the way along one end of the bag. Pick it up and add set the whole bag in the tank on its side, then lift up the other end of the bag and the gravel should easily pour out and not make a huge mess. Your tank will still be cloudy for a while.

Your tank is really similar to mine though, same substrate, filter, heater,..ect. Just different lighting.

Last edited by Mikaila31; 02-05-2010 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:53 PM   #47
Don't worry too much about the lighting, Its important, but it doesn't need to be overcomplicated. The LED things will probably work, but I wouldn't expect them to provide a decent spread/depth. Cold cathodes are what I suggest on taller tanks like that. The use of a universal AC/DC inverter will allow you to adjust the intensity of the moonlights CC or LED's.

if you get fed up with the liquid ferts I suggest looking at EI(dry) ferts. They can be a little confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it $30 should cover a year or more worth of ferts.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #48
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Thanks Mikaila. Great video of your tank btw. Very nice
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:15 PM   #49
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Went to Home Depot today to get some MDF and styrofoam. The MDF is to put a piece on top of the stand. The stand, a store bought aquarium stand, had a real thin piece of plywood stapled on top. It was crap and my tank frame was not touching in a few spots. I ripped that junk off and bought a sheet of MDF. It is more dense than plywood and has a smooth finish. It cuts real nice and doesn't splinter.

It's funny what we put ourselves through for this hobby. I was going to get 3/8 plywood but I wanted a piece to put on the floor for the tank to sit on for extra support and a nice flat surface. Then I saw the OSB board but they were bowed worse than a cowboy's legs getting off a horse after riding all day long. I didn't want to rely on the weight of the tank and stand to flatten it out. I'm too picky. I almost gave in but then I saw the MDF. It was not bowed at all. And it was 49" x 8 feet or a little longer. Not the typical 4x8, which was perfect. I needed two pieces. 1 at 13 1/2"x48 1/2" (top of stand) and 1 at 14"x49" for the floor. The floor piece is a little bigger footprint than the stand but that's fine. It also allows me to shim the base piece if needed to level the tank and retain full contact of the stand bottom to the base piece. I'm not about to have a stand/tank failure.

So after cutting the two pieces I noticed they were way out of square. The guy grabs another board, this time perfect. Must have been a piece of wood under the first board edge when he cut. Oh the troubles we put ourselves through.
I just trimmed the 1/2" of length off the one piece for my top and have a remaining larger portion of the full sheet left to do whatever with. They styrofoam is 1/2" with the shiny reflective on each side. I wasn't going to hunt down thin packing sheets around town. I need to feel like I am getting somewhere. It will serve its purpose under the tank directly to insure no gaps/spacing between tank frame an stand top.

As soon as help arrives I will take tank off the stand and get it set in its final resting place with the right wood under it. For anyone interested, the MDF sheet was $20 and the stryrofoam was $9. It's cheap insurance in my opinion.

P.S. Almost forgot. I'm sort of waiting/hoping for a reply e-mail from Sweet Aquatics before placing my order. I hope to accomplish that tonight as well.

Last edited by Mean Harri; 02-06-2010 at 03:20 PM.. Reason: P.S.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:57 PM   #50
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Maybe now you start understanding better why i DIY so much stuff (if not most all) on my tanks with the Stands & hoods etc....I look at the store stuff and I'm just not happy - I want things MY way and so I wind up building them THAT way, custom fit & all and I'm happy that way.

Well maybe...really only maybe....Mary actually for a change took the weekend OFF....like a lot of folks do?!
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