So I haven't used this account since 2011, since I was a teenager posting about my very first tank which my mom finally let me buy after much begging and a speech about responsibility... 7 years of education and several jobs later, I still have that same 20g high running now with 9 serpae tetra and about 1/4 of the anubias nana which I have grown over the years from an initial single Petco plant. Finally, finally I have the means and the space to upgrade!
Now (improved somewhat in husbandry and aesthetics)
Thanks to craigslist and a wonderful retired discus breeder who was moving cross-country, for very cheap I now have:
Marineland Penguin 330 biowheel
Marineland Penguine 200 biowheel
Some kind of 300W and 150W Marineland brand heaters
Half black pea gravel
Half pool filter sand
18W T8 lights x2 which came with the tank's hood
Spent the past week cleaning and testing all the equipment. Painted the back of the tank with black latex paint and started cycling.
Also picked up a good selection of driftwood that should just fit. The second image is after a water change, but these pieces are still full of tannins. The piece on top is already waterlogged and I suspect is the main culprit of the tannins so I've separated it to test. Showering is an issue right now let me tell you.
I'm planning on putting the driftwood and lots of plants over the gravel areas, mix of rooted plants + flourish tabs and driftwood tied pieces + water column ferts. I'll leave the sand free for corydoras to snuffle through as they are my favorite fish and I am definitely getting at least one little school once everything is ready. I plan to have this tank up for at least 2.5 years and would like it to be a community tank with a couple types of small schooling fish + a dwarf gourami.
Klondike the betta's 10g is right next to the 55g in "the fish corner". He's been pretty interested in all the hubub going on next door.
: I'm not looking to do a high-tech set up, but I'd like to upgrade from the T8's if I could do so without inviting too much algae. I dose liquid CO2
for my betta's high-light 10g, but I wasn't sure if this was practical for a 55g.
Heating & Filtration
The previous owner used this set up for a blackwater North American fish tank last year, but before that she used it for a discus tank, hence the overkill heating and filtration. Do you think I need the 150W heater, or can I just keep the 300W? Is there any downside to 2 heaters as I wouldn't do anything with the 150W otherwise. What about both filters? I think I will try to baffle them so my serpae's aren't too bothered by the currents and I can use some of my excess frogbit.
Plants & Stocking
Ideas? I already have anubias nana and frogbit. I regret throwing out so much of my anubias now. I was also thinking of trying to wash off some of my pothos and doing that whole roots in the water beside the filter thing. For fish, the 9 serpae tetra must go in and I absolutely want some species of corydoras. My LFS
also has some very pretty rosy barbs and siamese flying fish which I have been eying. I was thinking a gourami as a "centerpiece fish" of sorts? I know 55g options are limited, I'm open to any suggestions.