Ken's 55g planted tank build journal *UPDATE 7/11*

  • Big-Ken
  • Big-Ken's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4258
  • Thank you received: 203

Big-Ken created the topic: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal *UPDATE 7/11*

*Update on page 4*

This is my first planted tank and i wanted to do a journal and I figured what better place than here on this site in our seldom used plant area, I will be documenting the entire build step by step here and i will do all my updates here as well. Please feel free to ask any questions and give any advice you might have cause this is a learning experience for me too :cheer:

Heres the tank as it sits now


*THE PLAN*

Tank: 55g Oceanic

Filtration: Magnum H.O.T. 250 pro

Lighting: 48" ZooMed Aquasun Dual T5HO 54wx2 suspended 26" above the substrate
Bulbs: 2- 6500k T5HO

CO2: DIY coming soon

Fertilizers: Estimative Index Fertilization Method (EI), I will explain later

Substrate: Mineralized Top Soil (MTS) capped with pool filter sand (PFS)

Flora:
Java Fern

Dwarf Four Leaf Clover

Jungle Val

Corkscrew Val

Cryptocoryne Wendtii (Green)

Cryptocoryne Wendtii (RED)

Anubias barteri var. nana

Sword, Red Melon

Sword, Ruffle

Sword, Amazon Compacta

Sword, Rangeri


Fauna:
2- Red Koi Angelfish, High quality babies from a local breeders project

5- Platties
15- Cardinal tetras
1- Long fin BN
1- Spotted raphael cat
6- Emerald green corys

Aquascaping: Driftwood


thats the plan!!

As soon as im finished prepairing the soil, hopefully the end of this week, i will be posting a how to on mineralizeing top soil and assembling the substrate in the tank

If anybody wants me too i can go over my lighting setup and how/why i decided to suspend it 26" above the substrate, getting the right ighting on these tanks is kinda tricky and confusing :unsure:
#233788

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 366
  • Thank you received: 2

Tony123639 replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

That will make a really nice tank when its all said and done. Good luck and I look forward to more pictures!
#233821

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • JasonR
  • JasonR's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Hey man...Got a light?
  • Posts: 8643
  • Thank you received: 452

JasonR replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

Awesome Ken! Looking forward to it bud!
#233826

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 11735
  • Thank you received: 297

cebosound replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

looks great man. i look forward to seeing it all come together.

do you already have that driftwood? or is it just similar to what your looking for? ... is it manzanita. are you getting it from ManzMan?

My YouTube Channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/cebosound1?blend=1&ob=0
#233939

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Darth Nandopsis
  • Darth Nandopsis's Avatar
  • Offline
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
  • Dark Lord of the Fish
  • Posts: 6163
  • Thank you received: 441

Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

Gonna look great. Just watch the Angels as they get bigger.....mine LOVED cardinals as a lite snack!!! ;)

What kind of driftwood is that?

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
#233958

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • ehall67
  • ehall67's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Ohio Cichlid Association Chairmen
  • Posts: 15869
  • Thank you received: 439

ehall67 replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

This will be fun love planted tanks ! The angles look great and shoot if you want to talk about lighting I would love to learn more about it or some site at least that you learned about lighting from! I would love to get better at growing my plants !!

The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals


#233974

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Big-Ken
  • Big-Ken's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4258
  • Thank you received: 203

Big-Ken replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

the wood is a piece of red cedar my mom found 20 years ago and it's been sitting outside in her rock garden since the so it's well seasoned

Jack- ill keep an eye on them, everyone said that cardinals have a better chance than neons, the angels are only about quarter size so hopefully everyone grows together

ehall67- ill post some stuff about lighting at lunch then B)
#234025

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • ehall67
  • ehall67's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Ohio Cichlid Association Chairmen
  • Posts: 15869
  • Thank you received: 439

ehall67 replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

Sounds good big ken I look forward to it

The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals


#234041

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Big-Ken
  • Big-Ken's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4258
  • Thank you received: 203

Big-Ken replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

*LIGHTING*

The majority of my research has been on this topic and for being the most important aspect of the planted tank its surprisingly very confusing and the info out there is vague and inconsistent.


All my research has came from these two sites:
www.aquaticplantcentral.com
www.plantedtank.net
The unfortunate thing about these sites is that alot (not all) of planted tank people remind me of alot of salt water people.....stuck up, full of themselfs and not very willing to help a newbie so everything I have learned i have done so by reading lots and lots of info and making educated guesses, so if you post at these sites keep you expectations in check.

The reason the info out there is so vague and confusing is due to evolving technology. For the longest time you could use the watts per gallon rule, typically 2.5-3wpg will create moderate light and allow you to grow most plants, but that rule was devised and works best with T12 lighting. The problem is with the invention of T8, T5, CFL's, Power Compact, and T5ho is that they are more efficent and have higher intensity than T12 so the watts per gallon rule has become like the inch of fish per gallon rule.

The only true way to figure your lighting is with a PAR meter but they cost upwards of $300, luckly there are a some good people in the planted tank world with these meters that has taken it upon themselfs to test most of the lighting types at diffrent distances and posted the results so they we can make educated guesses on our lighting.

Using this chart you can get pretty close

INFO ABOUT CFL'S ARE HERE, post #21

So why not just throw a bunch of lights over your tank and call it good?? Planted tanks are all about balance, you are trying to balance the light needed with the amount of CO2 and nutriets available. If you put a bunch of lights on a tank and you dont have enough nutrients and CO2 the plants will die, to much nutrients without enough CO2 and lights you become an algae farmer, and if you have too much CO2 and not enough lights and nutrients the it will bottom out your pH and cause your tank to crash and kill everything but the plants. So you need choose your lighting based on what you want to grow, the look you would like, and the amount of time and effort you want to spend on this tank.

You can use this database to find the plants you want to grow and their lighting requirents
PLANT PROFILE DATABASE

-High lighting: requires CO2 and more nutrients but you can grow anything you want fast also need a decent medium to grow on, also means your trimming the tank twice a week

-Medium lighting: can be done with either CO2 or carbon supplement like Seachem Excel and a moderate fertilizer dosing schedule also needs a decent medium to grow on or use root tabs, less trimming than high lighting but you can still grow most everything

-Low lighting: no CO2 no ferts besides the fishes waste very slow growth and limited on the plants you can grow but you dont have to do much trimming at all and can grow most the plants using gravel and other inert substrates

My lighting is a dual T5HO fixture and im suspending it 7" over the tank so with a 55g that puts me at 28" and in the medium range, I plan to dose with ferts and add a DIY CO2 later. I might have to lower the light a little to bring me into high lighting range after adding the CO2 to keep the balance but we will see
#234079

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Darth Nandopsis
  • Darth Nandopsis's Avatar
  • Offline
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
  • Dark Lord of the Fish
  • Posts: 6163
  • Thank you received: 441

Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Re: Ken's 55g planted tank build journal

Good info, BK. Also, I know 1st hand what you mean about other aquarium sites being "cliquey"......LOTS o' PITA's out there. bud. :laugh:

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
#234092

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Big-KenDRACO
Time to create page: 0.167 seconds