Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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BradSD 08-08-2010 11:17 AM

Newly planted 55 gallon
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Hello to everyone, I am pretty new to this website so I thought I would say hello and show off my new set up. This is my first planted aquarium and I am really excited about it. I have done some beginner set ups in the past but have taken a few years off from the hobby. I found this used on a local webite and stole it for a couple hundred bucks :-D Came with a really nice canister filter and and matching stand. Also has the buble front. I used a plant substrate and created a little creek up the center out of typical gravel. Planted ribbon plants in the back white and gold, some peacock ferns and aqua ferns in the middle, scattered a few wisterias around and planted some type of grass in the front, I dont know the name. Also changed out my lights to the 6500k type, they are only 32 watts each ( A little worried here, comments please). Running a filter for now as well as a little bit of air stone, my fish seemed to be lacking O2 with only the filter running. The filter is a Eheim which I know nothing about, The box was all written in foreign lang. Anyway, I look forward to talking to you guys here in the future. I have been a lurker for a couple weeks now, thanks for the information you guys are very very good.

kitten_penang 08-08-2010 11:29 AM

your gonna need liquid ferts as you din't state you have fertilizer gravel in your post.most here use seachem flourish once a week but you'll have to make sure theres no carbon in the filter as the carbon soaks up a few heavy metals in the liquid fert that your plants need.if you want to get the plants growing really healthy you're gonna need to remove the air bubbles as this causes o2 levels to rise in the tank and plants need co2 to thrive.the lighting is ok as most of us use the T8 6500k full spectrum day lite 40 watts yours is under by a few watts but i wouldn't worry personally.if you want you can make a DIY co2 diffuser at home it's really easy.

JohnnyD44 08-08-2010 12:54 PM

Hello and Welcome to TFK Brad!

As kitten penang said, you're going to need a liquid fertilizer, and I also recommend a product by the company, Seachem. Flourish Comprehensive is the stuff you want to be looking for. I would avoid the excel as it lacks things that the comprehensive gives us. You say you used a "plant substrate", are you referring to something like "Eco Complete"?

Nice lookin' tank so far!

BradSD 08-08-2010 01:18 PM

Thanks for the comments! I did use the fertilized gravel and I did pick up some Flourish Seachem. On the air,,,,,about 36hrs after putting the fish in I noticed them all at the top like they were starving for o2. I knew it was not good for the plants but I didn't want to kill the fish that I have already. I thought about switching filters to one that has a fall but I know that releases the co2 as well. As soon as I put the air stone in the fish were happy almost instantly. So not sure what to do at this point on the air, starve the plants of co2 or the fish of o2 LOL. I thought the plants would release o2 but maybe they are to young and small at this point. I would like to shut off almost all filtration but I also read on here that you should not stop and start a filter due to the bacteria. I will most def take out the carbon and any other material, which really makes that big canister filter a waste of effort. What if I run the air only a couple hours a day,,,, any thoughts . ???? Please feel free to comment in any way, you wont offend me, i am here to learn from you guys.
Brad :-)

BradSD 08-09-2010 07:28 AM

wow Kitten those discus are amazing. Thats my goal is to someday put about 5 discus in tank. Good news, I found the paper work from my aquarium and I think its a 72 gallon instead of the 55. Could anyone confirm this? I guess the bubble front adds a few gallons.

JohnnyD44 08-09-2010 10:45 AM

can you give us the dimensions? hard to say without them. a standard 55G is 48"x12"x18"

kitten_penang 08-09-2010 11:45 AM


Originally Posted by BradSD (Post 442776)
wow Kitten those discus are amazing. Thats my goal is to someday put about 5 discus in tank. Good news, I found the paper work from my aquarium and I think its a 72 gallon instead of the 55. Could anyone confirm this? I guess the bubble front adds a few gallons.

if your talking about my discus tank i had nine lol sorry i wasn't clear on the filter 1 don't turn off the filter that will cause the bacteria in the filter to die and you need the bacteria.give the fish the o2 it needs it wont affect the plants too much if you have an airstone as canister filters don't produce a lot of o2 and you have very sparse vegetation..if you've seen my planted tank you'll notice something floating thats attached to the top filter. it cuts down the water flow into the tank so there a o2 for the fish and yet my plants are getting the co2 from the fish so both are happy.once densely planted then they'll be enough o2 and co2 balance in the tank an you wont need the air stone but that depends in the planted area and no of fish in the tank.if you havent noticed lush planted tank are without airstones or anything that will disrupt the surface area.

kitten_penang 08-09-2010 11:47 AM

my bad i actually thought you filter was a o2 producing type but when i read your post again i noticed it's a canister and the outlet is submerged in the water.

Byron 08-09-2010 01:18 PM

Hi, and welcome "actively" to the forum.

There shouldn't be an oxygen issue in a planted tank, but one thing I see here are the plants. These are not heavy oxygenators. For this tank I would get maybe 3 Echinodorus bleherae, they will probably be under the common name "amazon sword". They are excellent and will grow to the surface in a few months. You can see info on this plant by clicking on the shaded name, it takes you to the profiles. Some pygmy chain sword Echinodorus tenellus for the bottom would be good too, another fast grower.

Eheim filters are terrific, I have them on 3 of my tanks. Your canister will have a bottom basket for ceramic disks, then a basket for biological media like rocks, plus the pads. That's all you need. I can explain more if asked.

Light should be fine. Watts is rather meaningless, as they only measure the energy used to produce the light. The lumens is the intensity. And Kelvin is the colour. Full spectrum around 6500K are ideal, and two over this tank is perfect.

You seem off on a good start. For some background info, have a read of the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of this section, there are 4 parts covering the "basics".:-)


BradSD 08-09-2010 03:41 PM

Thanks you Byron and others! I will look into picking up those plants to help with my O2 problem. Over the last two days I have had the stone off with no problems. I read your stickys a couple weeks back before starting, also picked up a few other articles that you were involved in with the planted aquarium. These forums make things so much easier with experts just a mouse click away. On the filter,,,, I disassembled it today and found a foam pad about one inch thick at the bottom followed by a plastic divider followed by a beige colored media followed by a black material disc with a thin fabri disc on top of that. I removed the media, and put the foam and plastic pieces back in. Not sure how it will do like this but if I understand correctly we our only wanting to take out the particulates. There is a good six inches of left over space,,, being a complete newbie on these things I might be doing everything wrong, not sure. Im off work finally for a few days maybe I will dig up some infor on this canister filter. After reprimming I cut the discharge valve back to about half as it is a pumping machine. The exact one is the 2217.
Again thank you to all, I am having so much fun with this and my family just sits and looks at the tank.

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