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Old 12-07-2010, 09:31 PM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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You can go so many direction with a 55gal tank and depending on how much you want to spend can make a difference too....you can go low tech low cost (my personal favorite) or high tech high cost

With planted tanks one of the most important things to get for success is the lights-I use plain ole shop lights from home depot for $9.99 hold two bulbs and I get the GE brand daylight 40w 6500k bulb for another $9.99-this will give you a bit less than 1.5wpg but it is enough for most of the low to mod light plants

Next is the substrate...OMG this can cost you if you want or go to home depot and get a couple of bags of pea gravel or pool filter sand or play sand or you can even go natural and use dirt or potty soil but with the NPT method you have to start out with lots of plants and I mean lots of plants a few won't work...I am talking 80-90% of the tank planted

Filtration-in my opinion/experience they all pretty much the same the only difference is the type of media you can add-you want to limit water agitation at the surface like with bio-wheels so you don't gas out the CO2 that is naturally in the water-but water movement is important and it make the tank look neat too with the plants swaying in the tank....

Heater-I would get a submersible type 100w at least-I am not brand oriented to me one is as good as another.

Driftwood- I collect my own..cheaper or you can buy a nice big piece and you will need driftwood if you plan on adding a pleco for their digestion needs...bushynose is the best and won't get to big.......and rocks....again I collect everything local and use

Plants-what are your plans on them as far as where are you going to get them-if you are ordering on line get me the link and I will go through it and find/list all the plants that will be good for what you want to do
Another good place for plants is a local aquarium club-tell me your state and I can look one up for you if you don't already know or a member of
The list for plants is endless........
If you are going to a local pet shop to get them get a list from them and post it and I can help you out

Fish/livestock.....again depending on what you want-go to the fish shop or on-line and look at what you like and research...... a lot of ma and pa type shops and even some of the box pet shops will special order both fish/livestock and plants for you with their next order.....and aquarium clubs are good for livestock too especially shrimp and snail that are hard to find.....all depends on how big of a hurry you are in.......

Water changes-a good rule of thumb is 50% weekly and depending on how many and what species of plants and livestock you have that can change too...

What do you want...a planted aquarium or aquarium with plants or natural planted...maybe a mix...what is the focus-this will determine the ferts needs and water changes for that matter...
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:17 PM   #12 
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Umm... I'm not really sure. I didn't know there was a difference between a planted tank, a tank with plants etc. I guess I want a.... planted tank. Could you maybe explain the differece between them?
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:01 PM   #13 
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Aquarium with plants focus on fish...the planted aquarium focus on the plants


A tank for fish with some plants or a tank for plants with a few fish......
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:57 PM   #14 
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Ok, then I want a aquarium with plants.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:07 PM   #15 
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Okay...what kind of lights and substrate do you want to use or did the tank come with lights? also, going with big fish, little fish, shrimp, snails, or better question.....what do you see...whats your vision for the aquascape, hardscape, stocking etc......what do you already have for the tank and how much do you want to spend......
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:35 PM   #16 
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My mom and I are supposed to go pricing and maybe get a tank and canopy this weekend. The lighting will be a aquaglow or some other plant growth lamp. The tank may come with lamps, I don't know. I haven't bought a tank in 10 years. For fish I won't be keeping anything big. The largest I'll keep is a angelfish. just for example. I do plan on keeping some ghost shrimp though. I'm sorry but I'm not sure about a Aquascape, but I do have a plant for the tank if thats what you mean. I'm not sure how much I'm spending because it's coming from gift cards and grandparents. As for substrate I want to use natural colored gravel. The type I have looks like the kind you put in driveways.

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Old 12-08-2010, 06:23 PM   #17 
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If we don't find a tank and canopy to match the brown one I have we're going to paint it black. Do you know a good way to paint a wood stand? We're going to use wood spray paint. Should we sand it first then paint?
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:40 PM   #18 
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Just some quick comments on the stocking. If you are going to use angelfish, they need to be kept in pairs. Some experts argue no less than 3 pairs (a pair is 1m/1f). Angelfish tend to be somewhat aggressive, keep that in mind. All tetras need to be schooled in groups of 6 or more. Angelfish will kill neon tetras, those don't go together.

If you are looking at low-tech lighting, the best for plants is a flouresent bulb rated 6500k in Kelvin. These are ofter called "daytime" or "full spectrum" bulbs. You can get more than 6500k. 1 1/2W per gallon is recomended. That is all I have to say on lighting.

For plants you can go with afew amazon sword, longleaf sword, pygmy chain sword, and other plants if you want. The 3 I just mentioned will reproduce pretty rapidly once things get going. The better the lighting, the better the plant growth.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:30 PM   #19 
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[quote=small fry;530355]Just some quick comments on the stocking. If you are going to use angelfish, they need to be kept in pairs. Some experts argue no less than 3 pairs (a pair is 1m/1f). Angelfish tend to be somewhat aggressive, keep that in mind. All tetras need to be schooled in groups of 6 or more. Angelfish will kill neon tetras, those don't go together.

I know that. I was just using the two as an exmaples. I know your helping ,but I know that angels can be bullies and can eat a neon. I allways research and relie on my books. Thanks for the help! I'm getting more help on here then the other site by the way.

Last edited by Jayy; 12-09-2010 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:51 AM   #20 
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Good job on the research! I just want to make sure that nothing like that (neons and angels) happends. Not all people research their fish. Some don't research there fish to any extent. I just don't want fish violence on my watch.
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