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Please critque my build plans

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Hungtran10, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Hungtran10

    Hungtran10 Junior Poster

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    Ok guys. Here's my plan to start my 55 gallon planted tank. I plant on using Tom's Excel method.

    1) Lighting:

    - T5 48" lights Freshwater Nova Extreme Fixtures include: One SlimPaq 10,000°K and one SlimPaq Freshwater bulb. 55W x 2. With parabolic reflector. Giving me 1.96W/gal.

    2) Substrate:
    - Aqua Soil- Amazonia II (9 liters)- Normal Type (3 bags). Is that enough?
    - Should I add a layer of Seachem black flourite on top to prevent cloudiness if I need to move plants around when scaping?

    3) Filter:
    - Hang On Tank Magnum Canister Filter with carbon initially but will take it out once later after the plants have grown in well.

    4) Plants - I'm going to plant heavily from the start based upon Diana Walstad's recommendations on easy fast growing plants:
    - Limnophila x5
    - Hornwort x 5
    - Amazon sword x 5
    - Corkscrew Val x 5 (not sure if this is fast growing but I like the look)
    - Duckweed 1/4 lb
    - I will add more slow growing plants like Anubias later

    5) Fishes I will stock once the tank has cycled:
    - Siamese Algae Eaters (1st)
    - Rummy nosed tetras
    - Cardinal tetras
    - Angel fish
    - Clown loaches

    6) Invertebrates:
    - Amano shrimp
    - Cherry shrimp

    7) Fertilizer dosing:

    I will purchase the following from aquariumfertilizer.com
    - 1/4 teaspoon of the KNO3, once weekly
    - 1/8 teaspoon of the KH2PO4, once weekly

    I will purchase the following from Fosterandsmith.com
    - SeaChem EQ -1/4 teaspoon each week
    - Seachem Flourish Excel 5ml 3x per week

    8) Water changes:
    - 50% water changes monthly with the hope that once things get established I can wait longer for water changes.

    Ok that's what I have come up with based upon reading your guys' articles. Please let me know what you think if you have any other suggestions, criticisms, ideas, you name it.

    best regards,

    - Hung
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think you have a bit too much light for the Excel method. T5 lights, with their individual reflectors, are very bright compared to other lights. The approximately 2 watts per gallon you have are the equivalent of at least 2.6 watts per gallon of PC bulbs, with good reflectors.

    I wouldn't use Amazon swords in any aquarium because they just grow too big and too vigorously. Unlike stem plants you can't just shear them off to keep them the size you want. Eventually they take over the entire aquarium. And, I know Diana Walstad likes floating plants, but duckweed will very soon become an invasive pest that you will always regret introducing to the tank.

    Limnophilia aromatica is a great plant to use, beautiful and quick growing. Vals are also good, but can be a pest if you don't remove a lot of the runners. You could use some Ludwigia repens or Hygrophila difformis as another fast growing stem plant.

    If this were my tank I would just use the Aquasoil, without trying to cap it with black Flourite. Using two substrate materials means they will eventually be mixed together.
     
  3. Hungtran10

    Hungtran10 Junior Poster

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    Thanks VaughnH.

    I appreciate you input. I'm having trouble find the right 48" lights though. I did find a simple T5 that has a total of 65W. Is that too low? Or perhaps you can suggest an online vendor.

    In regards to the aquasoil, do you think 3 of the 9L bags is enough for my 55 gallon tall tank?

    best regards,

    - Hung
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not at all sure how many bags of Aquasoil are needed for a 55 gallon tank. Some of the others here will, I'm sure, give their opinions on that. Have you looked for a light fixture that uses 2 55 watt PC bulbs? That should be about right, in my opinion. What part of the world do you live in?
     
  5. Panda

    Panda Guru Class Expert

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    The shrimps will be a gone in a few hours with an angel fish in the tank ! :eek:
     
  6. Hungtran10

    Hungtran10 Junior Poster

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    I'm actually from Southern California. I'll have to look around for 48" 55 watt PC x 2 lighting fixtures. Thanks again for your input.

    - Hung
     
  7. Hungtran10

    Hungtran10 Junior Poster

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    Doh! Good to know. *scratches shrimps off the master plan*
     
  8. zhza

    zhza Junior Poster

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    You can use the formula to determine the volume of a trapezium.

    Suppose at the back of your tank you are going to have 5cm of AS. Then you gradually slope it down to 3cm at the front. If you look the shape of that AS from one side of your tank, it forms a solid trapezium.

    The formula to find the volume of trapezium is:
    0.5 x (sum of parallel sides) x length x width

    For a tank that is 2' long and the width is 1.5' (that is about 61cm in length and 46cm wide), the formula to find the volume of trapezium that is formed by having 5cm of AS at the back and gradually slopping it down to 3cm at the front is:

    = 0.5 x (5 + 3) x 61 x 46
    = 11,224 cubic centimeter = 11.2 Liter

    So for that tank size, you need slightly over 1 bag of 9L AS to do that kind of slope. I just use 1 bag for that tank size.

    HTH

    ../zhza
     
  9. shega

    shega Junior Poster

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    you know what kind of dinner angelfish have in the wild?
    a school of tetra..........
     
  10. Hungtran10

    Hungtran10 Junior Poster

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    lol. hrm. i guess if i don't stock the anglefish then i can have the cardinal tetras and shrimp. life is all about compromise. we can't have it all.

    thanks!
     
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