Decorations for tank 55 gallons

inari

Hey guys,

I resealed my 55-gallon tank that I bought used. (NOT something I will do for a very long time!) I also got some decorations with it, I have a large castle that takes up a good bit of space, but my wife hates it. I have light colored rock and it's a blue/grey color. I am looking for things that would be big enough to go in a 55 gallon for a center piece. I have considered drift wood, but any other ideas?

Thanks.
 

A201

Quikrete all purpose gravel (sold at Lowes & Home Depot garden dept.) for substrate. Very economical.
Shop your local rockyard or landscape company for designer inexpensive rocks.
Mopani or Malaysian driftwood if you don't mind tannin stained water. Otherwise Manzanita wood.
 
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barbiespoodle

IMHO, driftwood, spiderwood, or mopani wood, is always a plus. I have one or the other or both in all my tanks. It not only offers endless options as far as decor, but give you places to attach live plants like anbius, java ferns, or java moss. It also give beneficial bacteria a place to grow.

Other wise, I also give natural rocks a big thumbs up. Personally I have been picking up rocks from hikes for my gardens for over 30 years now, I can't take a walk without picking up a rock, lol, so have a large selection to chose from, I take a walk through my gardens looking for just the right rock. Anything granite or quartz based are safe for about any water conditions. I also use geodes, slate, shale, and they work with my hard water. I do by pass sand stone because of my hard water. But basically, I tour the gardens when I set up a new tank and find rocks that are interesting, the right size, or suit a purpose such as anchors for plants or resting places for aquatic life. Plus rocks are easy to move until you find just the right place for them.

And you can find more than enough beautiful rocks at any lfs or places like chewy.com, but I don't pay for rocks, got too many to chose from for free.

Substrate on the other hand has to be chosen carefully. It depends on what direction you want to take your tank.

I'm into the planted tank thing. My first planted tank I used eco compete. And it worked wonderfully and is still working wonderfully. But that is a 20 gallon, a 55 gallon would be far more expensive. Further tanks I did the dirted tank thing and that is my go to method, 4 tanks now, potting soil with a topping of gravel or sand to keep the soil settled, way cheaper to say the least. Those tanks do take longer to cycle and get clear, but once they do, they are really easy to take care of, very cheap to do and require very little care other than keeping the plants trimmed.

But my 55 gallon community only has a gravel substrate and it is planted. In that tank I add root tabs to the plants that are planted directly in the gravel, use plants that don't want to be planted like annubias, java moss, marino balls, subwassertang and then add some leaf zone here and there. And I do have a few plants in tiny terra cotta pots with potting soil and a gravel topper but that's because I have silver dollars, aka, the plant assassins and those are cuttings from over grown plants in other tanks. And I don't vacuum the gravel because anything that settles into the gravel feeds the plants.

Oh geeze, let's face it, you have a blank canvas to work with and you and only you have to decide how to paint that canvas. Just make it one that you enjoy because like my tanks, it will become part of your decor. I just know that because I made mine my personal work of art makes them not only something I enjoy watching but also my personal distraction from the real world as I take care of them, aka, a joy, not just another job to do.
 
Upvote 0

inari

IMHO, driftwood, spiderwood, or mopani wood, is always a plus. I have one or the other or both in all my tanks. It not only offers endless options as far as decor, but give you places to attach live plants like anbius, java ferns, or java moss. It also give beneficial bacteria a place to grow.

Other wise, I also give natural rocks a big thumbs up. Personally I have been picking up rocks from hikes for my gardens for over 30 years now, I can't take a walk without picking up a rock, lol, so have a large selection to chose from, I take a walk through my gardens looking for just the right rock. Anything granite or quartz based are safe for about any water conditions. I also use geodes, slate, shale, and they work with my hard water. I do by pass sand stone because of my hard water. But basically, I tour the gardens when I set up a new tank and find rocks that are interesting, the right size, or suit a purpose such as anchors for plants or resting places for aquatic life. Plus rocks are easy to move until you find just the right place for them.

And you can find more than enough beautiful rocks at any lfs or places like chewy.com, but I don't pay for rocks, got too many to chose from for free.

Substrate on the other hand has to be chosen carefully. It depends on what direction you want to take your tank.

I'm into the planted tank thing. My first planted tank I used eco compete. And it worked wonderfully and is still working wonderfully. But that is a 20 gallon, a 55 gallon would be far more expensive. Further tanks I did the dirted tank thing and that is my go to method, 4 tanks now, potting soil with a topping of gravel or sand to keep the soil settled, way cheaper to say the least. Those tanks do take longer to cycle and get clear, but once they do, they are really easy to take care of, very cheap to do and require very little care other than keeping the plants trimmed.

But my 55 gallon community only has a gravel substrate and it is planted. In that tank I add root tabs to the plants that are planted directly in the gravel, use plants that don't want to be planted like annubias, java moss, marino balls, subwassertang and then add some leaf zone here and there. And I do have a few plants in tiny terra cotta pots with potting soil and a gravel topper but that's because I have silver dollars, aka, the plant assassins and those are cuttings from over grown plants in other tanks. And I don't vacuum the gravel because anything that settles into the gravel feeds the plants.

Oh geeze, let's face it, you have a blank canvas to work with and you and only you have to decide how to paint that canvas. Just make it one that you enjoy because like my tanks, it will become part of your decor. I just know that because I made mine my personal work of art makes them not only something I enjoy watching but also my personal distraction from the real world as I take care of them, aka, a joy, not just another job to do.


The rocks are a good idea, I'll have to see if my wife is willing to go with me to a rock shop and get something. The biggest problem we are running into is finding the right size. The things she likes and I wouldn't mind adding always have the 'betta' descriptor so I know they will get lost in the tank. I have a few pieces that are small tank decor and they get lost. The only thing that really stands out is the castle. I have probably about 150 lbs of gravel already in the tank and it is filled already to keep my seals wet. I'm happy to siphon off a few gallons as needed to add some decorations, but I'm not sure where to get a nice center piece. Chewys is a site we frequent I just never went there for fishy stuff! LOL thanks guys.
 
Upvote 0

JettsPapa

Decorating a tank is mostly a matter of personal preference. I wouldn't put a castle in a tank because I dislike any man made decorations, but that's my choice, and I wouldn't criticize anyone who feels different.

I only use sand, wood, and plants. I don't have any rocks in a tank at the present, but I have had a chunk or two of petrified wood.

By the way, it sounds like you and your wife each need your own tank.
 
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inari

Decorating a tank is mostly a matter of personal preference. I wouldn't put a castle in a tank because I dislike any man made decorations, but that's my choice, and I wouldn't criticize anyone who feels different.

I only use sand, wood, and plants. I don't have any rocks in a tank at the present, but I have had a chunk or two of petrified wood.

By the way, it sounds like you and your wife each need your own tank.

I agree! But I'd be the one who ends up having to seal the tank and take care of it ! I like the idea of wood and plants though, I might see about finding some largish drift wood pieces to replace the castle. I don't mind the castle personally, but it doesn't go with the gravel we have. I don't like the fake look of most decorations, Like the plastic or silk plants that have weird colors, no give me normal looking things LOL
 
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barbiespoodle

I have also found some wonderful e bay sellers when it comes to tank decorations. Not sure if I can say it, but your fish stuff is great. I got a beautiful piece of spider wood from them far cheaper than the lfs and it decorates my 55 gallon. I've also bought several plants from them and they do send high quality stuff at very reasonable prices.

Hey, take the wife on a nice romantic walk along a stream bed or along the edge of a newly plowed field (country girl here). And then pick up a rock or two as a souvenir. You might find just the right rock for your tank.

And as far as you wife having her own tank, I'm the one who does all the tank care on top of working a very hard full time job and managing a household, hubby don't work for medical reasons. But it's the hubby who pushes me to add this tank here for this reason or that tank there for another reason. And this is the guy who use to considered one tank, one tank too many and now I have 7 tanks to tend to because of him. Don't get me wrong, I love my tanks, they are my personal escape from a far to hectic life and the work I put into them is not work to me. Not saying your wife will get to that extreme, but you might be able to subdue her to the dark side, lol.
 
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