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Old 07-01-2009, 03:13 PM   #1
llamas
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Default Redoing my 55 gallon tank.

Hey all!

I am currently on vacation and my dad is taking care of my fish for me while I'm gone. I have a 55 gallon tank that currently is kind of boring.I bought it used so it came with all of the things needed for a tank to run. However, I recently decided that I want to really turn this tank into something much greater than it currently is. Here are some things I want to do:

~get new lights (more lighting)
~Moderately to heavily plant the tank
~Add a few more fish
~Really get some aquascaping done

While I was making this list I realized that since I will be adding more fish, I would maybe need to upgrade my filtration. Well, maybe just add a second filter. Somewhere I read that you should get a filter rated for double the size of your tank. Is this true? I currently have a fluval 305 canister filter rated for 70 gallons.

What other filter would you recommend adding if any? I was thinking HBO since I don't know if I want to go into the more expensive canister filters. What are some good ones to use?

Also, I plan on planting my tank with medium light plants. I was thinking about getting a Nova Extreme 2x 54W HOT-5 light system. Would this be sufficient.

Lastly, any suggestions on how I can turn this tank into a real beauty, without having to invest in high cost equipment such as CO2 regulators...

thanks a lot. Oh and it is a community tank with tetras, hatchets, khulis, and may add danios. So mostly, small community fish....

Thanks again

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Old 07-01-2009, 05:24 PM   #2
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Well the filter you have is good but If you want to add another filter I would do an HOB(hang on back) filter. NO filter is perfect including canisters. I find that they are better at chemical and biological filteration but not the best at mechanical. IMO nothing moves water like an HOB filter so that's what I reccomend. As for plants, Unless its a low light setup it's gunna get kinda pricey and the bigger the tank the pricier it's going to get. Plants for lights are catagorized as so

1-2watts per gallon-low light
3-medium
4-5 high light

So you will need three watts per gallon. 54x2=108 you need 70x3 which =210 watts so no thats not enough light. Plus you will need a co2 reactor and a special substrate. SO depends what you interpret as cheap. I would definatly add driftwood. How does your tank look now? Any pics?
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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The watts per gallon rule isn't a good one anymore, but its ok for basics. 2 watts per gallon isn't low light. 0-1.5 low, 1.5 to 3 medium, 3+ high or around there. 3 watts per gallon and you'll have some algae issues without co2.

You can have plants without co2 injection...just stick to low light plants.

The Nova Extreme fixture is a good one from what I've heard. 2x54w is perfect for medium and low light plants for your tank. You wouldn't need to inject co2 either. Plantgeek.net has pretty good plant profiles. Check out the Medium, Low-medium, and low light plants.

As for another filter, I like to have 2 filters on long tanks like 55g. A HOB and a canister make a good combo. Alot of times canisters don't provide alot of water movement alone. Aquaclear HOBs are good. The Aquaclear 70 would be a good one for your tank IMO.

Last edited by SouthernBelle23; 07-01-2009 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I did think that 2wpg was about mid-light. Also, I will be using dry fertilizers rather than bottled fertilizers (99% water, 1% fertilizer) I think I have the plants part down.

Right now all I have in the tank are two pieces of driftwood. It's pretty boring and I doubt the fish like it. I want to plant it to add more cover and to add something extra to the tank. I had some amazonf frogbit and some anacharis, but they became quick snacks. the pleco ate the anacharis. The culprits behind the frogbit are still unknown...

I was thinking about getting a HOB. I once got one and it was really loud do to a bio-wheel? I need a quiet and efficient one. I will look into that aquaclear that you mentioned SouthernBelle.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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IMO aquacleares are the best HOB filters out there. I have one on my 55 gallon african cichlid tank, it is awesome and it can really move some water! Sorry I didn't give the best plant advice. I only keep lowlight plants. They look great but take forever to grow.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:07 PM   #6
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Yeah. Oh forgot that I do have one anubias. It only grow one leaf per month.

I was reading reviews on aquaclears and they are all good. ONly few that complain about impeller damage but it's probably becaue they don't clean the filter at all. I will look into that.

It seems like the aquaclear filters don't even use filter pads meaning much less cost to maintain. Am I right on that?

Thanks again
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:37 PM   #7
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Yes you are right. They have various media to choose from, one of which is sponges. Those can be reused over and over so you don't have to buy new ones very often (if ever...).
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:54 PM   #8
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That's good. I will definately get an aquaclear if I decide to get a second filter.
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