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Old 03-27-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
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my 55g journal thread

I ended up doing some work on my 55 yesterday and got some new fish for it and added some plants. I figured I would start a thread to track my progress with this tank since I am going planted community this time around with it.

I got this 55g for free (almost a year ago to the day) from my mom since she wants to do something bigger like a 90+. tank is 18 years old and has sat empty for about 10. I got the stand, lights, gravel, and ugf with it.

i set it up originally towards the end of may 2013. I added all the stones, petrified wood and plastic plants. I ditched the ugf and picked up a sun sun canister for it and a new heater. I got it all cycled and added a group of firemouth cichlids.

the fm lasted a month. they got ich the first night. got rid of it with the heat method. then one got hole in the head. paraguard took care of that. then all 5 got columnaris and died after that.

I drained the tank and cleaned everything and it sat for a while. then I rebooted it and got it cycled again. couldn't afford to go planted with it and didn't know what I wanted in it. my mom's pond goldfish overwintered in it keeping it cycled til I could work on it again. my heater had crapped out on me as well when I recycled it.

pic below is what I started with. the new light is on it. as far as scaping it doesn't look much different now just has live plants instead of the plastic ones in the pic. i'll add what it looks like now in a bit.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:15 PM   #2
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I switched out the lights from 2 15watt tubes for a hydrofarm 4ft 54watt t5ho single strip light with the separate reflector sitting right on the glass. starting with one light and then going from there if I choose to do co2 and go higher light. the reflector is modular so you can bolt multiple fixture together and they are daisy chainable.

the old lights are from when the tank was bought in an all-glass kit and did still work. I remember bringing home the tank in moms mustang convertible with the top down in a snow storm 45 minutes home.

pic of the old fixture with date on it and what the new one looks like.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:09 PM   #3
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I've been getting a new plant about every other week for a while at the lfs. been putting them in my 10g with the idea of transferring it to the 55.

left about half of everything in the 10g so if it doesn't work in the 55g I won't lose all of it. i had anacharis, wisteria, hornwort, and java fern to add. the 2 new plants I picked up yesterday were some ludwigia repens and some lindernia rotundifolia

for fish I picked up 5 cardinal tetras and 5 lemon tetras. plan on adding another 7-8 cardinals. want to add a couple rams I think later on and maybe one other type but don't know yet.


pics are of one of the lemon and cardinal tetras, a full tank shot now and a shot of the ludwigia.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:16 PM   #4
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and here's the hornwort, wisteria, lindernia, and anacharis. later tonight or tomorrow i will add some of the baby java ferns i have growing.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:24 PM   #5
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Awesome tank. I want a 55 gallon, just havent pulled the trigger.

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Old 03-27-2014, 10:46 PM   #6
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Looks very nice!
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:21 PM   #7
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thanks. I like the 55 but I wish it was shorter so it could have more of a footprint. being tall makes it harder to light well. but can't argue with free.

scape is going to change definitely. next wc I am going to do a little rearranging to see If I can get it looking a bit nicer and try to make a bit of a focal point.

going to get rid of some of the rocks if not all for a different type. in the next week or so I should be able to redo the substrate. shooting for a fluorite/gravel mix.

after the substrate and rocks then I will look for some wood. I do have a few pieces of elm wood that I may post pics later to get opinions on but the longer I've had it I am not in love with it.

I think I may be down to 4 cardinals already. may be hiding but I haven't seen one in a day and a half now and I've been looking.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:21 AM   #8
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did some rearranging and added another piece of petrified wood from one of my other tanks. looks a lot cooler but i don't like where the plants are right now.

lemon tetras love wisteria. they have ate most all the tips off around the leaves. its still transitioning so it didn't look that good to begin with. they leave everything else alone.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:45 AM   #9
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Looking good!
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