Excited!! 55 Gallon Setup

MsRiss

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Hello all, Very excited to start my very 1st fishtopia!!! Set my 55 gallon tank up yesterday and took my first water readings today. My goal is to add freshwater plants and fish. With gravel I'm assuming plants are going to be a little difficult but from what I have read it can be done. I'd like to carpet the bottom with Monte Carlo (don't know the scientific name off hand), but I'm not sure how well cleanings would do since I need to develope a good rooting system. I don't plan on adding fish for a couple few months until I get a good start on my plants. I want happy with plenty of places to hide and roam. I want to replace the plastic plants with live plants but unsure of what would grow really well given the gravel for substrate. Any advice is welcome just be friendly as I am new and super excited!!
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MsRiss

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Don't add any fish yet. The ammonia level is to high. Sky high PH as well. No nitrites or nitrates.
You are just asking right?
Its not anywhere ready for fish.

But that is going to be a beautiful tank! Looks great.
No definitely not fish. I don't want to add fish for a long while lol. Just super excited to have gotten it all set up. Thank you
 

Katestanks02

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I don’t think substrate really matters that much. I have all different kinds of substrates in my tanks and most of them are all inert. I think some of the best beginner plants are crypts. If you want to boost the growth on anything that feeds from the substrate just get root tabs. You place them under or next to the plant. Vallisneria is also a great one. It’ll send runners out and before you know it you’ll end up with a ton of it.
 

Minxxy

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Make sure to fertilize weekly to encourage healthy roots, if you do a carpeting plant vacuuming is difficult but not impossible. The live plants will help your cycle also. This is a great forem you will find alot of good information! WELCOME
 

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Nice set up, I've grow rooted plants in substrate, they grow better in the substrate than in sand for me. It would be a good idea to add root tabs if you want to get rooting plants
 
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MsRiss

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I don’t think substrate really matters that much. I have all different kinds of substrates in my tanks and most of them are all inert. I think some of the best beginner plants are crypts. If you want to boost the growth on anything that feeds from the substrate just get root tabs. You place them under or next to the plant. Vallisneria is also a great one. It’ll send runners out and before you know it you’ll end up with a ton of it.
Ooo!! I just seen what crypts are they're gorgeous!!
 

Katestanks02

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Ooo!! I just seen what crypts are they're gorgeous!!
Here are some pictures of two crypts from my 75 gallon tank. The one in the back is crypt wendtii bronze and the one in the front is crypt lucens. I included a picture of that whole tank just to give you an idea of what you can still grow with an inert substrate. This tank just has some coarse black sand and gravel mixed in together. I place root tabs for my crypts and that’s all I do. The vallisneria needs tamed in that tank.
 

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MsRiss

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Make sure to fertilize weekly to encourage healthy roots, if you do a carpeting plant vacuuming is difficult but not impossible. The live plants will help your cycle also. This is a great forem you will find alot of good information! WELCOME
So am I able to add plants now? I figured I'd have to wait for the water to be cycled before I added plants being their alive??

Here are some pictures of two crypts from my 75 gallon tank. The one in the back is crypt wendtii bronze and the one in the front is crypt lucens. I included a picture of that whole tank just to give you an idea of what you can still grow with an inert substrate. This tank just has some coarse black sand and gravel mixed in together. I place root tabs for my crypts and that’s all I do. The vallisneria needs tamed in that tank.
Thank you! Definitely going to keep the crypts in mind the vallisneria looks wonderful as well.

Ooo!! I just seen what crypts are they're gorgeous!!
I'm going to have to Google root tabs. Never heard of them.
 
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Katestanks02

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So am I able to add plants now? I figured I'd have to wait for the water to be cycled before I added plants being their alive??
Plants consume/ absorb ammonia and other nitrogen compounds. That’s why they also help the cycle. The more you learn about aquatic plants you realize they’re a vital part in making your tank an ecosystem. I find I don’t have to do water changes as often in my heavily planted tanks.
 

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I'm going to have to Google root tabs. Never heard of them.
I've only ever used sand or gravel for my tanks and I've had no issues growing plants aside from having to trim out a literal bucket full between all my tanks every couple weeks aha. For gravel you'll need to do root tabs for your heavy root feeders. I mainly use the diy variety in my gravel tanks (osmocote plant fertilizer in a gel capsule... very cheap and quite effective) and flourish tabs in my sand tanks since the gel capsules like to float back up and the sand is too light to pin it down. I do an EI dosing routine with dry ferts, probably get them from most horticultural shops for far cheaper than any retail liquid ferts but do your homework on them if you did go that route... It's not complicated but it could be a disaster if not followed properly.
 
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MsRiss

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Here are some pictures of two crypts from my 75 gallon tank. The one in the back is crypt wendtii bronze and the one in the front is crypt lucens. I included a picture of that whole tank just to give you an idea of what you can still grow with an inert substrate. This tank just has some coarse black sand and gravel mixed in together. I place root tabs for my crypts and that’s all I do. The vallisneria needs tamed in that tank.
What kind of crypt is this?
 

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I second Vallisneria, for an easy grower. I bought a very small bunch and planted it 3 weeks ago, already getting runners and new shoots.
 
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