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yodapoolman 09-01-2011 08:13 PM

From 55g tall to 55g normal (pic heavy)
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Hey all,

I recently changed from my 55g tall to a normal 55g. I made a few changes: 2x T5HO 54w (Nova Extreme 2xT5HO | Current-USA) and Amazonia substrate (Aqua Soil Amazonia). All but one fish survived the move, and I've added more amano shrimp and Nerite snails.

I realize I need a background. The one that came with the tank had a theme to it that I didn't like. So I'm probably going to get some black construction paper for the back.

I put the outflow valve on the Fluval to half (the lowest recommended setting), so I'm hoping it's enough. I'll try to post a video on the flow.

Please feel free to leave comments/suggestions for layout, fish, plants, etc :)

@Byron: I know I've asked a lot of questions about lighting and please don't think I've ignored your advice against T5HO. I've had a lot of help from a well-respected fish store who uses this substrate and lighting, with very good results, so I thought I'd give it a try. I continue to respect your opinions, experience, and success. With that being said, I'd welcome your advice on how I can work with this setup. I know I may need more floating plants (I'm hoping the current floating will grow and the giant vals will spread over the top). Should I consider more caves or other types of plants that will provide shade for the fish? I have Flourish Complete, so will I need to dose more to keep algae levels low?

yodapoolman 09-01-2011 08:15 PM

I just updated my sig to show the contents of the tank.

Byron 09-02-2011 11:34 AM

The light spectrum appears quite balanced so that shouldn't be an issue. The back right corner is bare but it looks like a couple stems of Wisteria are planted there so that should fairly quickly grow to the surface and deal with that issue. I wouldn't let it grow along the surface though, that tends to cause the lower leaves to fall and you'll have bare stems. Once it reaches the surface, pull it up and cut off some of the bottom and plant the top end stems. How often this needs doing will depend on the growth rate. If you stagger this you can always have a tall stem so it is not so much of a sudden difference visually. And yes, floating plants, something like Water Sprite would be ideal.

Keep an eye on algae, that will be the test. Reducing the duration may help if this gets problematic. I've no experience with the particular substrate, so can't say if additional liquid fertilization will be necessary or if so how much. But I would certainly do once a week with Flourish Comprehensive.

Expect algae at some point during the first couple of months, in new tanks this is standard as the water chemistry is unstable and algae can take advantage. But when it appears you want to ensure it is "temporary" and doesn't become permanent. Reducing the light duration is how I handle this.

I see this substrate affects the KH and pH, so monitor that.


Christople 09-02-2011 11:53 AM

I love this substrate and have some in both my tanks... I holds a steady pH and KH, I didn't add Flourish and I had a inflorescence on my sword... also I had 5 runners sent out on my chain dwarf swords in the first week. only problem was it is really dusty which I guess is more of a problem in a 10 because in my 40 it was not dusty so...

Christople 09-02-2011 11:54 AM

I also have T5 HO on my forty and CFLs on my little tank, beware ADA leaches ammonia for about a month

yodapoolman 09-02-2011 09:51 PM

@Byron That's a great tip on the Wisteria. I was wondering why it was all stem up until the top. I read on another post about 5 on/5 off, so that's what I'm trying (6am - 11am on, then 4-9 on; this also makes it ideal for me to actually view it due to my work schedule).

@Christople I heard that too about the ammonia, and so far it doesn't appear to be that bad. When I talked with the people at the LFS, they said that having plants would mitigate that

As for the crypt wendtii bronze in the front, if I remember from reading, under high light this will say lower to the substrate and may initially look like it's dying right? So if I remove any decaying leaves, as long as I keep the root, it should grow back?

Byron 09-03-2011 10:33 AM

Most species of crypt will "melt" if they are disturbed (the roots) by moving, or if water parameters change more than a tad. Leave the roots planted, just siphon off the mush, and the plant usually recovers, sometimes in a few days, sometimes longer. Decide where you want this and try to leave it there, as any moving will bring on the melt. And yes, brighter light with many plants will cause shorter growth; less light causes such plants to grow taller in an effort to reach the light. This applies to most substrate-rooted plants such as swords, crypts, etc.


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