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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys i'm new to aquascaping and have a few questions. Any answers are appreciated :)

1. Is it possible to make driftwood using the stump and roots of a small tree or would it be to had to clean?

2. I have a 55g aquarium with 2x 150w(equivalent) compact fluorescent 5000k bulbs with a DIY co2 system and playground sand substrate, what are some good plants(especially carpet) i could grow here?

3. How do i keep algae down in my tank?

Like i said any help is appreciated! :)
 

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there is a lot to learn here, but let me at least nudge you in the right direction;

1. unlikely - don't pursue this at all; http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/aquascaping/66154-wood-choice-planted-tank.html
2. use one bulb and stick with low light plants - and a low tech design; http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/
there are some low light plants that spread runners to approximate a foreground carpet, or
mosses that can be trimed to appear as a lawn like foreground, but don't get too fixated on it.
don't bother with DIY Co2 in a 55gal tank - IMHO it's too big a tank to be of any use.
please review this outline; http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/planted-aquarium/low-tech-planted-tank-guide/
3. as long as you spend a few weeks properly cycling this tank, don't over feed your fish,
and keep the lights low, then algae should not be a headache.

after about 6 months of this low light tank experience, you should have picked up enough to
graduate to a more complex higher light, Co2, fertilizer, pourus substrate plant environment,
but till then, I would stick with what is most likely to work out and encouraging for beginners.

to tailor this discussion further to your tastes, please include;
your tap water pH and hardness.
what fish you'd like to display,
in what country do you reside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PH: 7.2
VERY soft water
and US(florida)

I actually just rigged up a DIY co2 system, mostly to help my java moss. Iv had some for a while and its grown but more up then out and it never really spread, im hoping the new lights and co2 will help it, im trying to form a carpet.
 

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I suggest you add some crushed coral (calcium carbonate) to a media bag, and leave it in your canister filter. this will help keep both your ph and softness in a more moderate range that a majority of plants prefer. undisturbed moss will grow just fine with only a single bulb in that new fixture. moss grows faster and more distinctive patterns in higher light, but that increases the risk of algae taking hold without compressed Co2 and/or regular macro/micro nutrient monitoring of your water. so try one bulb on the moss, and be patient - it's a slow growing plant compared to most stems plants and swords. if moss is the main foreground component of your tank, I strongly advise against getting any other fine stem or fine leaf plants, as moss tends to get entangled in them and make a mess. sticking with the wide variety of medium leafy plants like easy to manage low light Cryptocorynes will make it a lot easier to houseclean any rogue moss that breaks loose of your foreground. you can still add a wood component to your aquascape, just stick with the hard woods more commonly used by this hobby. wood will lower your pH a bit, so be sure to use it in concert with the CaCO3.
 
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