View Full Version : Starting a 55g planted
11-03-2009, 08:33 PM
Hey all, I've been reading the forums and founds tons of great info. I just laid down the gravel and filled the tank. The current setup is:
55g rectagular (guess of dimensions: ~20"H x ~12"W x ~48"L)
reva 55 filter
4 15lb bags of fluorite (this stuff is a filthy mess)
Fluval E50 heater
I'm planning a fishless cycle, unfortunately I don't have anything to seed with. So I've been spending time to figure out what to stock the aquarium with (plants and fish). I plan on about a 25% water change every week.
The fish list so far is:
8 zebra danio
8 gold barb
I'd like to add another shoal/school of fish or maybe a larger solo or pair. Any thoughts? Based on the list I already provided, I'm looking for some fish that are not very delicate, are good with water temps around 73ish.
Also, are the corys going to be ok with the fluorite?
As far as plants go, I haven't really spent a lot of time researching, but based on the fish details I plan to keep the center somewhat open and plant in the back and sides. Again, I'm looking for somewhat easy to maintain plants, something like:
- Java fern
- some swords
- anubias nana
Thanks in advance,
11-03-2009, 09:59 PM
A LFS they probably would give you some stuff to seed it for free. I know ive brought a tank at a LFS and the guy offered me some beneficial bacteria out of one of the tank
11-03-2009, 10:22 PM
Corys are fine with fluorite... when I first started researching the hobby and decided to start a planted tank, I had read that their barbels can be eroded by the "sharp" edges of fluorite but I have seen no evidence of this. I have had my 31G tank set up with fluorite black for about 7 months now with a mix of panda and melini corys and no problems.
my tank is populated with suggestions and knowledge from other forum members with what are considered to be lower light plants. Java and windelov ferns, anubias, swords and cryptocorynes. If I were to do it over I think I would leave the swords out because they have gotten really big and take up lots of room. The swords are very nice looking but have grown quite unruly and require frequent trims and the roots grow out into the water. I have found Crypts seem to be great for lower light and would probably do great with nice lighting. Originally had lots of stem plants as well (hygrophila difformis aka water wisteria, hygrophila polysperma, bacopa caroliniana) at the start and they grew quite nicely but as soon as the tank gets established they started to die off probably because of the lower light and lack of nutrients being sucked in by the other plants. They probably also needed more frequent trimming than most other plants.
Should also mention that I did a fishless cycle with no seeding of bacteria but was adding about 5-10mL of ammonia to the tank a day regardless of what my water params were reaching.... I had planted the tank and my cycle happened in about 14 or 16 days with the plants in the tank. I may have been lucky that it happened as quick as it did.
Hope this helps!
11-03-2009, 10:28 PM
To do a fishless cycle you use pure ammonia from the grocery store, you want enough to initially raise your ammonia level to around 4ppm...start with 1tbsp per 10G and see where that takes you. Add more according to the ammonia readings....youll need to do this daily to feed the bacteria so they can grow and colonize your filter. Read up on the nitrogen cycle, and Im sure there is a fishless cycling how to around here. I agree that a LFS would/should be able to supply you with a bit of colonized media.
IME fluorite does well with corydoras, I have experienced no problems in the past with having them on it. I would actually raise your shoal of zebra danios to 12, leave your gold barbs at 8, 2(pair) bristle nose plecos, and a 3(1M,2F) Paradise Fish
I also assume that you mean the Rena Smartfilter HOB, if so they are very nice HOB filters...unfortunatly in a planted tank they arnt offering enough circulation to handle your tank. Filter companies often times like about the capabilities of their filters...for HOBs you would like atleast 8-10X turnover(atleast 400GPH) for your tank. Adding a Rena Smartfilter 30 in addition to the 55 model would bring you up to adequate filtration and turnover rate after you calculate in the water displacement from substrate and decor. :22:
11-05-2009, 02:13 AM
Thanks for the information all, so far I've filled the tank and added the decoration. I've attached a pic of the progress so far.
I had a few more questions.
1. I just found and purchased the Ammonia to start the fishless cycle (Ace Hardware is the place). I'd like to start the cycle but I haven't added any plants. Should I wait to get plants or can I cycle the tank while I decide on the plants to get?
2. Based on MCHRKiller's suggestion, I'm bumping the number of zebra danios to 12 and adding the 1M2F Paradise Fish. Does the following setup seem ok for the tank size:
- 12 zebra danio
- 8 gold barbs
- 8 corydoras
- 3 paradise fish (1M, 2F)
I know he suggested the plecos, but I wasn't sure if he was suggesting them as a replacement for the corys, if so I'd rather keep the corys.
3. Back to the cycling, I'm doing a bit of napkin math here, but the bottle of ammonia says it's 10% concentration. Which to my mind means 10mL of this stuff would contain about 1mL of ammonia. I have a 55g, but rounding based on gravel and ornaments it's probably around 50g of water. To get the 5 ppm I'm guessing I need around 10mL of the ammonia solution, does that sound about right?
4. How long should I wait from when I add the ammonia until I measure the ammonia level? 5-10 min?
5. Can anyone recommend a good resource for picking out plants? The plant DB on this site doesn't seem to have a lot of photos, so it's hard to determine what I might like.
I'll post more pictures as the tank progresses.
Thanks in advance,
11-05-2009, 03:34 AM
You might want to check out the Atlanta Aquarium Association, I know Korith is a member and is always talking about the plants he gets really cheap/free from monthly meetings. http://www.atlantaaquarium.com/
11-05-2009, 07:16 PM
For plant advice, check out this site:
I've learned lots and have lots to learn from there.
11-05-2009, 07:25 PM
You can start the cycle right way no need to wait.
That stocking will allow room for more fish. You could easily do a BN pleco or two.
Add 10ml weight and hour and test.
Depends on the plants you want. How much light etc. Check the classifieds here and on other aquarium sites. best place to get good plants.
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