[Wet Thumb Forum]-55g tank to be planted - New to Planted Aquariums - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 12-17-2005, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello all,

I have kept reef tanks for a while now, but I have also kept a freshwater tank for much longer. I've decided that I really need to liven up the freshwater tank. Someone pointed this forum out to me, so here I am.

I have a 55 gallon aquarium with a couple large angel fish (hand size) and a few tetras. My filtration is a MarineLand Hot Magnum canister filter. I do not have any live plants.

After spending some time browsing the forum here, I am a bit stunned by the beauty of some of the tanks pictured!

I would like to make my tank a planted tank. My main concern to start off with is lighting. What would be recommended for a 55g tank? Other concerns are filtration & water flow.

Once those things are taken into consideration (and any other things you all suggest), then I can get into plants, rocks, driftwood, etc etc...

Thanks in advance!

Greg
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Old 12-17-2005, 09:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Welcome to the AB forum!

For a 55 gallon tank you'll need at least 110 watts of lighting, that's about 2 wpg. Look through the AB store for some 55 watt retrofits or look through ahsupply.com for some additional retrofits.

If you go with a higher light, you'll need to inject co2 and ferts.

-John N.
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey, and welcome to the forum! Well you can always go with the AH supply from Robert here at the Aquabotanic store. If your not much of a do it your selfer, thats fine too. I installed my kits and I am terrible with lights and the such. The 2x55 watt Bright Kit is a great buy. If your really really not into setting up your own lighting, you could go with one of the compact flourescant strips. I have 2 4 x 65 watt Coralife fixtures and they were pretty good. Whatever route you take with lighting, make sure you have good reflectors.
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks.. Those lights would be no problem, nice price too. I really like the reflectors. Going to do a diy canopy for fairly cheap for them.

Do I need a glass top on my tank? If not, how high from the water should I mount the lights?
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I wouldnt put a glass top on it. Glass tops with block some light from getting into the tank. I usually mounted my lights just above the black rim of the tank. The closer the better
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Old 12-18-2005, 05:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What type of substrate should I use?
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Read this, it will answer all your questions.
Good luck.
http://rexgrigg.com/
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete City:
Read this, it will answer all your questions.
Good luck.
http://rexgrigg.com/
I appreciate the guide, but I much rather the sense of community of an online forum and teh friendly advice of fellow members.
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Like I said "Good Luck"
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I'll help you out. If you got the money. I would purchase some Eco-Complete Planted Substrate. It's a dark soil substrate that is great for planted tanks. Usually runs about $20 a bag. Check out Aquariumplants.com. You'll need at 6-8 bags. The other commerical brand is Flourite. It's a brown red color, and runs about $20 a bag online. You can find this at Petsmart for $25.

There are other ways of doing it, with sand, and other substrates that are cheaper but those are more involved.

-John N.
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