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Hi everyone! I'm so glad I found this forum! I currently have the following:

55 Gallon with 2 Angels, 3 Danio, 3 Clown Loaches, 2 Dwarf frogs, 1 Ghost cat. Plants- 1 large Sword Plant, several (what I believe are) Rotala Rotundifolia - These are doing very well. I also had a couple other plants which I am not sure of the names, one was a very frilly fern, and I believe the other was anubius, both of these died almost immediately.

Two ten gallon tanks with a Blue Crayfish in each. (one male one female)

One 5 gallon quarantine tank, nothing currently, just stays cycled.

Two 2 and 1/2 gallon tanks with a betta in each.

I'm always looking out for other cool things.

I have only planted the 55 gallon so far, as I'm new to this planted tank thing. I have a sand substrate, with some pebbles mixed in as well. I first added a water nutrient which didn't seem to help much. Then I used Flourish tabs, and that has done much better. I know I don't have adequate lighting, I have about 30 wats for the whole tank. But I think the plants I have appreciate low light. I do plan to upgrade my lighting very soon.

I have a hard time identifying plants, as I have a very limited access to any really good plants. PetSmart is about it. And I don't trust their listed names because when I look online I don't see any of the plants that look like what they say they are. It's really hard to identify some plants based on a picture online. Plus you have the latin name versus the common name thing.

I'm going to be doing alot of reading here and hope to learn more.

I'm really curious just what the perfect balance is between fish and plants to have a self-maintaining tank. I know it's possible, but I don't know how to go about it.

Thanks for a great site!

Sveinne
 

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First off welcome, I am new here also. wish I would have stumbled on to this site before setting up my tank. I am learning so much from this site it has saved me many hours trying to find the information randomly on the web. Just a bit of FYI, if you want to upgrade your lighting, I did an open 55 gl tank and bought two 48" shop lights in stainless steal for $10 each and use four 48" 40 watt daylight flourescents, for like $3 each and it seams to be enough light for high light plants, and under $40. All at Lowes. This can become a very expensive hobby, so good luck and let me know if you ever find the perfect balance.
John
 

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Welcome to APC! I have a few questions for you first. What substrate are you using? What type of lighting and how many watts? Are you planning on using co2?

I think one of the main things you have to do to get a tank going is plant heavily from the start. This makes it easier to get the jump on algae and keep it manageable.
 

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Hi Kevin,

My substrate is sand only.

I currently have only the lighting which came with the hood which is two 18 inch 15 watt flourescent bulbs. I am in the process of trying to find a new light source that will work with my hood so that I can upgrade my lighting with minimal cost. I realize I have very poor lighting. It appears that if I stay with the 18 inch ballast I don't have much choice but to stay with 15 watts. I'm scouring the net trying to learn my options.

I am really looking into co2 but I have to admit it's still a bit confusing to me. I've done alot of reading online, and I don't really completely understand just how and where it's hooked into the tank. But I'm going to keep reading on that.

I can't say I planted heavily, but I have quite a few separate plants although not much variety. I'll take a picture or two later tonight and try to post them to give you an idea.

Sveinne
 

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