M H's 55 gallon planted journal
I thought I'd start a journal of my tank set up. Let's see how long I can keep it updated as I usually lose interest in writing things after awhile. I don't have any pictures yet. I will post some once the water and plants are in. I don't imagine why ya'll would want to see empty tank, then filter on tank, etc...
Let's start with the equipment:
All-Glass 55 gallon tank
Honey stained Birch stand
Glass lids (hinged)
Rena Filstar XP 3 canister filter
48" aluminum shop light fixture because it has a polished alum. reflector- 2xT8 bulbs
Rena Smart heater 200w
100 lbs. Eco-Complete (black) substrate
API Professional Water Test Kit
I ordered the substrate, heater, water cond. (Prime), fertilizers (Flourish, Flourish Excel, Flourish root tabs) today. I also order 2 LED Blue lunar light modules for lunar lighting at night. Each module contains 2 LED lights. One module will be placed at each end of the light fixture. One LED module every 24" is what's recommended.
Once the remaining item are received I will be pretty much ready to start setting it up and adding water. I have a plant list that is as follows. this list is subject to change as it has changed about three times already. I believe it is fairly firm in staying as it is now.
1- Echinodorus Bleheri
1- Echinodorus Rubin
1-2 Echinodorus (somethings to be determined in the next day or two) possibly E. Barthii (Red Melon)
2 Anubius Barteri var. Coffeefolia
1- Anubius Afzelii
1- Java Fern
10-12 Vallisneria Asiatica
2-3 potted Zephyranthes Candida (Dwarf Onion) One pot looks to yield about 4-5 plants
2- Hydocotyle Leucocephyala (Pennywort)
Foreground: 5-8 Sag. Sub.(Dwarf)
Possibly Lilaeopsis Mauritiana (narrow microsword grassy plant)
One large piece of Mopani driftwood. It is quite large with a large base that allows for fish to actually get partially under it for hiding places.
I am hoping my order comes in during the week and start to get this project started soon. Perhaps the following weekend, if not this coming weekend. I want to time the plants delivery after my current outstanding order gets here.
FYI check on your other order what the del day is...If you were to order the plants Mon, you'll get them Fri Mary always seems to send everything to arrive on Fri (so it doesn't sit over the weekend anywhere) so essentially what I'm trying to say is........................ I'm expecting neat planted pic's Sat AM with my coffee ok!? :-)
I think I am going to do a wood canopy and I don't have a table saw. If I get money for my b-day, yes my parents still send gifts of money lol, I may buy one. It's easier. I just don't have the power tools to make one. But, I may be able to rig the shop light to sit atop the tank temporarily. I won't be stalling anymore. Or much, I should say. Now that I know my plants and their layout it's a matter of doing.
ooooh I need to soak my DW> yikes i need to get on that.
Man if it ain't 1 excuse for not setting up its another......I's gonna have TWINS before you're ever gonna set this tank up and possibly even add FISH to them aren't I?
If there is one thing I've learned in life it is to try and do it right the first time. I used to be so rush rush no patience man. But I want to do this correctly from the start. I have a feeling once I get it planted and full of water you won't know it was someone's first planted tank build. But I say that cautiously. I've also learned in life that I don't like the taste of leather shoe that comes from sticking one's foot in one's mouth.
If we bug you enough I'm sure you will keep updating :)
About doing things right the first time... I couldn't agree more with you!
I have the drift wood soaking now. I'm still wrestling with the idea of doing a canopy or not. I don't really want to spend the money to buy one nor can I be arsed to build one. I am going to re-investigate the T5 normal output light fixture I was thinking about getting before. Bulb selection will determine whether I get it or not.
The tannin stained water in the container for the dw to soak in is pretty neat. I imagine that water in a tank and it seems appealing. Soft, acidic, lightly stained water bringing the Amazon to your living room. I may not soak it real long to keep this effect in the tank.
Def set it up right - I don't mean to push you off the cliff you know I just gotta pick on you every so often :-)
I pers actually love a lil tannin stained water, not only had I found certain fish are healthier this way; but also as far as your Tetra's & Killi boy do their colors burst if there's some tannin in the water.....And you know what I had 2 large DW from my very 1st tank start that I kept ever since, even with the big move now I kept all my DWs and these very 2 old once STILL stain the water after all these yrs inside tanks, I think that's pretty neat (thou by no means as strong any more as they used to, just a lil)
Hey Natalie. I don't feel like you're pushing me. I'm too old and mean to be pushed by anyone.
I have to admit I am obsessing about this lighting/canopy/no canopy thing. I may buy the matching canopy. I really like the 2 bulb T8 fixture I bought. I like it because the exterior is aluminum diamond plate, which isn't why I like it as much as because it is aluminum it has a shiny finish and the fixture itself has a built in and shiny reflector. Not the kind of highly polished German reflector. The aluminum itself is shiny. It will reflect the light into the tank better that a standard white enamel finished shop light.
I would like to simulate a real day as well. I can't do it unless I get another single bulb shop light, which I may do. The single will have a plant bulb which is dimmer/purplish color for dawn lighting. Then I'll have it go off and have the 2 bulb light come one which will have the same plant bulb in it and a full spectrum brighter mid-day sun bulb to simulate mid day and still provide for the plants. Then the 2 bulb goes off and have the single plant bulb come on for dusk lighting. Followed with the lunar led's that I bought for night time. I may be getting too deep in to this :lol: but it's how I roll. I lost sleep last night thinking about the lighting. Probably will tonight too. I obsessively think when I am involved in something until I come to a conclusion that satisfies what I want to do and one that works.
Today I ran my plant list past Mary at Sweet Aquatics and got a green light as it pertains to my set up. I did change the Echinodorus line up from the list above slightly. One E. Martii will be put in the rear corner replacing the E. Bleheri that was going to go there. The E. Bleheri will be moved but stays on the list. The E. Rubin is out in favor of an E. Barthii. I'm also dropping the the Anubius Afzelii in favor of Anubius Coffeeolia. While the Coffeeolia was already on the list I was going to plant the A. Afzelii on the dw and the Coffeeolia in the substrate. That was a mistake as I forgot the Coffeeolia is one that does not get planted in substrate. So Coffeeolia stays to put on the dw and the Afzelii is out. Sorry Afzelii but I love the Coffeeolia.
It's just a matter of waiting for my current order of substrate and fertz. to get here. Considering Sweet Aquatics ships on Mon. and Tues. I will likely order by this weekend so it ships next week. And my apologies for boring anyone. I thought I'd write this crap out as it help me keep straight and I'm here a lot on the forum.
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