Heater Placement And Number For A 55 Gallon Tank

jenmur
Member
I have a 55 gallon tank I will be using for a community tank that I hopefully will be setting up by fall. I plan on using the Aqueon adjustable heater so my tank will be at 74-76*. I will be using the AquaClear 110 HOB as well as a canister filter.

1). Should I just get one heater and place it by the flow from the HOB? Or should I get two heaters and place them on either end of the tank? I'm also guessing I should place the output hose from the canister by the HOB

2). They have a 150w heater rated for up to 55 gallons and a 200w heater rated for up to 75 gallons. Which one should I get?
 
TexasDomer
Member
1. One or two is fine, depends on your preference! Two might be safer. You don't have to put the output from the canister by the HOB.

2. You want 3-5 watts per gallon, though I always go a bit higher just to be safe. I use a 300 watt for my 55 gal, so I would recommend a 200 or 300 watt (total, across 1 or 2 heaters) for your 55 gal.
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
1. One or two is fine, depends on your preference! Two might be safer. You don't have to put the output from the canister by the HOB.

2. You want 3-5 watts per gallon, though I always go a bit higher just to be safe. I use a 300 watt for my 55 gal, so I would recommend a 200 or 300 watt (total, across 1 or 2 heaters) for your 55 gal.
Safer is good I think! Oh I don't? If I put it on the opposite side from the HOB it won't mess badly with the fish? Cool.

Alrighty. I'll probably get two 150w heaters then. With two heaters on opposite ends where would I put my thermometer?
 
MaeKay
Member
I have a 55 gallon with a Marineland 220 canister filter. I got a 200 W EheI'm heater and that side of the tank was consistently 75 degrees but the opposite side of the tank was 72 degrees. I moved the canister intake hose to the cold side of the tank, hoping to stir the water more but it didn't seem to help. I had a spare 50w heater laying around so I installed that on the cold side and now both sides are consistently 75.

I didn't want to buy two 150w heaters and based on some advice here thought the 200w would be sufficient. It wasn't. However, the EheI'm heaters, that are highly recommended, are HUGE and I don't think a 300w would have fit upright in my tank.

Here's my current setup that seems to be working.
8481e0ecdacc97dfa6a5fb369cceda27.jpg
 
TexasDomer
Member
jenmur said:
Safer is good I think! Oh I don't? If I put it on the opposite side from the HOB it won't mess badly with the fish? Cool.

Alrighty. I'll probably get two 150w heaters then. With two heaters on opposite ends where would I put my thermometer?
It shouldn't mess with them! I like to put the output of my canister filter on the opposite side of my input, but you can also put them on the same side and put the HOB on the opposite side.

And you can put the thermometer in the middle to be most accurate, or you can keep it on the side and move it to the middle when you need to check it.

Many heaters can be laid horizontally in the water, as well.
 
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jenmur
Member
MaeKay. Hmm that sounds like two heaters are definitely worth it. Your tank looks very nice! I like the decorations . I haven't seen any EheI'm stuff in stores here, and I use an Aqueon 100w in my betta tank. Don't you have to calibrate those heaters?

TexasDomer. Oh good! I was concerned because I am debating a Gourami. I was thinking have the HOB on one side and also put one of the hoses from the canister on that side and then on opposite side of tank put other hose.

In the middle sounds good . I don't mind doing that. I tried laying my betta tank heater horizontally and it kept falling down!! So I have it set at a 45* angle. So far it's working!
 
MaeKay
Member
jenmur said:
MaeKay. Hmm that sounds like two heaters are definitely worth it. Your tank looks very nice! I like the decorations . I haven't seen any EheI'm stuff in stores here, and I use an Aqueon 100w in my betta tank. Don't you have to calibrate those
I got the EheI'm on Amazon for $30 and I have prime. If you are in the US and have Prime Amazon is often cheaper than the box stores. Actually, even the box stores' online prices are cheaper occasionally. I always look online before buying something in the store and then show them at the register.

Thanks for the compliment on the decorations! It looks way better this week. We've had it up for a month and oh my it was ugly before. But we're learning.
 
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jenmur
Member
MaeKay said:
I got the EheI'm on Amazon for $30 and I have prime. If you are in the US and have Prime Amazon is often cheaper than the box stores. Actually, even the box stores' online prices are cheaper occasionally. I always look online before buying something in the store and then show them at the register.

Thanks for the compliment on the decorations! It looks way better this week. We've had it up for a month and oh my it was ugly before. But we're learning.
I don't have Prime. I hardly buy anything online! Hehe. The only thing I do is PayPal cuz Dogvacay makes me get paid that way. But I will check out prices and compare them! My Petco knows me very well and if it's offered for a lower price online they will probably let me get it for that price instead.

Oh boy! I hope my tank is as nice! I'm planning doing a mix of live and silk plants, mostly what I have read says my schoolers like to have plants to hide in and swim through. .
 
max h
Member
If you are going to do live plants, I wouldn't even bother with the silk ones. The live plants will grow in and fill the spaces, just get easy care low light plants to start with.
 
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jenmur
Member
max h said:
If you are going to do live plants, I wouldn't even bother with the silk ones. The live plants will grow in and fill the spaces, just get easy care low light plants to start with.
Do you think my fish would be ok with that? Live plants really grow in that quickly? Right now am thinking Anubias (definitely) Java Fern, Anachris, dwarf Saggitaria, Val, banana plant (looks quirky). I know Anubias is easy but I have to find out about the other ones.
 
TexasDomer
Member
Your fish would definitely be okay with that; I would imagine fish prefer live plants to silk ones.
 
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jenmur
Member
max h. Sweet! My fish can keep the plants fed at least mostly hehe. My betta keeps his Anubias nana happy. Will look into water wisteria

TexasDomer. Oh yes I'm sure fish would like live plants better than silk! I didn't know about the lack of hiding places would be comfy for them.
 
TexasDomer
Member
Add more plants then! You can add just as many live plants as you would fake ones.
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
Add more plants then! You can add just as many live plants as you would fake ones.
I dunno how big the plants will be when I get them! I will admit my bettas Anubias has grown nicely since I got it. I am thinking plant the back and sides mostly with some plants attached to driftwood and a few scattered around front and interior of the tank. Hopefully some of these plants grow tallish! The 55 is 21" tall.
 
TexasDomer
Member
I use jungle val in my 55 gal - it can grow very tall!
 
max h
Member
I went from having no live plants to being fully planted in a manner of a couple of months in my 55 gallon tank.

Right now most of the plants are in a 110 gallon long tank. I have one Java Fern and an Amazon Sword that are close to 18". The Water Wisteria is to the top of the water and spreads out along the surface, I cut almost 12" off 2 of them last week. I also have Temple Compacta that have grown to the point the tops of the plants where growing out of the water. Then there's the Rotala that was given to me as 3 little short sprigs that have propagated into 6 plants that will also grow to the surface.
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer. Is Jungle Val an easy plant? Unfortunately it's Frazier my betta who has green fins, not me with the green thumb.

max h. Oh wow cool! So my plants might grow a bit while I'm cycling. Yay the plants will grow! . Aww, what a good little Rotala giving you baby sprigs
 
max h
Member
jenmur the only plant that hasn't propagated yet is the Amazon Sword. The rest of them have to the point I'm running out of room for them.
 
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jenmur
Member
max h said:
jenmur the only plant that hasn't propagated yet is the Amazon Sword. The rest of them have to the point I'm running out of room for them.
Uh oh. What do you do with plants you don't have room for? Would shops take them? I figure first I'd give Frazier a plant or two live but he only has a 10 gallon so that wouldn't be a whole lot of plants. He's a betta.
 
TexasDomer
Member
You can sell or throw away excess plants. Shops may take them, you'd have to ask.

Jungle val is very easy.
 
max h
Member
Some cuttings have ended up in the trash, with one of the plants the cuttings replace the older stem section of the plant as it loses leaves. I also try to give away some to people locally
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer. Hmm my LFS is willing to take fry so I can always ask them about plants. Oh good!

max h. Oh that's a good idea, to replace plants with new ones! And maybe when my friend starts up her tank again (120g I think). She might want some. She's the only person I know with a tank besides me....and people at my LFS
 
AKD200
Member
MaeKay said:
I have a 55 gallon with a Marineland 220 canister filter. I got a 200 W EheI'm heater and that side of the tank was consistently 75 degrees but the opposite side of the tank was 72 degrees. I moved the canister intake hose to the cold side of the tank, hoping to stir the water more but it didn't seem to help. I had a spare 50w heater laying around so I installed that on the cold side and now both sides are consistently 75.

I didn't want to buy two 150w heaters and based on some advice here thought the 200w would be sufficient. It wasn't. However, the EheI'm heaters, that are highly recommended, are HUGE and I don't think a 300w would have fit upright in my tank.

Here's my current setup that seems to be working.
8481e0ecdacc97dfa6a5fb369cceda27.jpg
Nice looking tank, it looks like four inches of that black stuff all around! I am cycling mine now, looking forward to getting plants in there.!
 
MaeKay
Member
max h said:
I went from having no live plants to being fully planted in a manner of a couple of months in my 55 gallon tank.
This is good to hear! Although I only have a 56 w T5 on this tank so I'm not sure how fast they'll grow...

AKD200 said:
Nice looking tank, it looks like four inches of that black stuff all around! I am cycling mine now, looking forward to getting plants in there.!
Thanks! I really struggle with aesthetics. I let my husband arrange most of the plants. I just told him if they were mid or background plants and then tied the rhizome type plants to the fake drift wood.

It's actually only 2" of Black Diamond blasting sand (yes, I used a ruler...any deeper and I read you can get anaerobic pockets of air that can release toxic gases...) And best yet, two 50 pound bags only cost me a total of $16 at tractor supply! I needed maybe only one to 1.25 bags for this tank but we had a mishap and then I also used some in my 10 gallon. According to a lot of folks on here it's as good as EcoComplete and Flourite substrate and smooth enough for cories.

jenmur said:
TexasDomer. Hmm my LFS is willing to take fry so I can always ask them about plants. Oh good!

max h. Oh that's a good idea, to replace plants with new ones! And maybe when my friend starts up her tank again (120g I think). She might want some. She's the only person I know with a tank besides me....and people at my LFS
I really don't know what I'm doing with the plants but I dislike the neon fake plastic plants so I figured I'd throw in some (supposedly) low light plants. (And then on this last trip I went hog wild and just purchased a few that I had no idea what they were and just liked the look of...we'll see if they melt or survive...) The micromeria browneii, which I have found readily in bunches at Petco, started growing aerial roots within a week of dumping them in the tank. Actually, the roots grew so fast that after a week I realized they had inch long wispy roots coming out from each node. I'd like to think that dumping all the plants in have helped keep the nitrates lower. A friend gave me a 20 gallon with 6 large goldfish with nitrates of 160. I changed the water and stuck in some pothos cuttings I had rooted in a plant vase. Thereafter the nitrates stayed lower until I was able to rehome those huge guys.

Two weeks ago I got an oponegeton (sp???) planted on a fiber ball (from Petco again). I plopped it in my 10 gallon that came with a full spectrum fluorescent bulb and has 1.5 w per gallon. I pulled it out of there today since it is so tall and realized it had already started growing roots down into my sand. I'm not sure if it grew in height but root growth was promising! Now it's in my 55 gallon so it's true height can be appreciated.

I hope you don't mind all my comments. I've just spent this past month doing exactly what it sounds like you're going to be doing soon. So I thought I'd share my mistakes and when things actually worked out.

Good luck!
 
  • Thread Starter
jenmur
Member
MaeKay said:
I really don't know what I'm doing with the plants but I dislike the neon fake plastic plants so I figured I'd throw in some (supposedly) low light plants. (And then on this last trip I went hog wild and just purchased a few that I had no idea what they were and just liked the look of...we'll see if they melt or survive...) The micromeria browneii, which I have found readily in bunches at Petco, started growing aerial roots within a week of dumping them in the tank. Actually, the roots grew so fast that after a week I realized they had inch long wispy roots coming out from each node. I'd like to think that dumping all the plants in have helped keep the nitrates lower. A friend gave me a 20 gallon with 6 large goldfish with nitrates of 160. I changed the water and stuck in some pothos cuttings I had rooted in a plant vase. Thereafter the nitrates stayed lower until I was able to rehome those huge guys.

Two weeks ago I got an oponegeton (sp???) planted on a fiber ball (from Petco again). I plopped it in my 10 gallon that came with a full spectrum fluorescent bulb and has 1.5 w per gallon. I pulled it out of there today since it is so tall and realized it had already started growing roots down into my sand. I'm not sure if it grew in height but root growth was promising! Now it's in my 55 gallon so it's true height can be appreciated.

I hope you don't mind all my comments. I've just spent this past month doing exactly what it sounds like you're going to be doing soon. So I thought I'd share my mistakes and when things actually worked out.

Good luck!
I'd like to get more live plants for my betta but the only space I have is under the filter flow. He doesn't mind it cuz he likes swimming in the current but plants might mind it. Anachris I have tried and no can do . I'm thinking Anachris would work in the 55 though.

I've seen live plants at my Petco with flowing water and some goldfish in there. Other plants I dunno the name of hehe.

Oh no! I like all the comments!! . This is helping me learn and figure stuff out
 
max h
Member
The Aponegeton will grow all the way to the top of a 55, it will send out little plants on long stalks. They will also flower with small whitish flowers.
 
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jenmur
Member
max h said:
The Aponegeton will grow all the way to the top of a 55, it will send out little plants on long stalks. They will also flower with small whitish flowers.
That sounds pretty! . Huh so it makes its own little baby plants kinda like a spider plant
 
TexasDomer
Member
Don't let them flower though, or they'll die back and go back into the bulb form for a while.

And blasting sand isn't as good as Flourite or Ecocomplete in that it's nutrient lacking, but it is just fine for plants with root tabs added!
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
Don't let them flower though, or they'll die back and go back into the bulb form for a while.

And blasting sand isn't as good as Flourite or Ecocomplete in that it's nutrient lacking, but it is just fine for plants with root tabs added!
Will they grow back if they go back to the bulb? Would you just pinch the flower things off?

I will look into Flourite and Ecocomplete. I would imagine my LFS has it. Would I use root tabs with those two products as well? How much sand would I put in for plants? I know I have to stir it occasionally to make sure no gas bubbles happen. I just want something good for my
Pleco and cory cats
 
TexasDomer
Member
I just pinch it off. And they should grow back eventually, but it's not immediate process. From what I've read, it'll take a few months.

There's not need for Flourite or Ecocomplete though. They're expensive, and you can usually achieve the same thing with root tabs and sand for low tech setups. Sand is perfect for cories too.

Around 2" of sand in your tank is fine, and the general rule is 1 lb per gal.
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
I just pinch it off. And they should grow back eventually, but it's not immediate process. From what I've read, it'll take a few months.

There's not need for Flourite or Ecocomplete though. They're expensive, and you can usually achieve the same thing with root tabs and sand for low tech setups. Sand is perfect for cories too.

Around 2" of sand in your tank is fine, and the general rule is 1 lb per gal.
Oh well that's ok. I can deal with that

Ohh ok. I'll just have to find root tabs. Oh yeah expensive not good right now. If the sand is ok I'll do that.

Ok. So a 50lb bag is ok. It's only 5lbs off from 55 so that shouldn't be so bad.
 
TexasDomer
Member
I use Osmocote Plus in gel capsules. You can also get some and put them in ice cubes and use those instead of the name-brand root tabs. Much cheaper!
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
I use Osmocote Plus in gel capsules. You can also get some and put them in ice cubes and use those instead of the name-brand root tabs. Much cheaper!
Where would I get those? I honestly know nothing about plants. My Anubias nana lives because of my betta honestly! I would just stick the ice cubes straight into the tank underneath the sand? I'm planning on attaching an Anubias and Java fern to the driftwood, is fish poo enough to help them? Can't stick anything by their roots
 
TexasDomer
Member
Osmocote Plus ferts are sold at Lowe's or online. Or you can order pre-made gel caps with Osmocote from Ebay. Yes, root tabs go into the sand. Java fern and Anubias won't need root tabs, and they're usually fine with just fish waste.
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
Osmocote Plus ferts are sold at Lowe's or online. Or you can order pre-made gel caps with Osmocote from Ebay. Yes, root tabs go into the sand. Java fern and Anubias won't need root tabs, and they're usually fine with just fish waste.
I'll check out Lowes and eBay . Oh good! Was pretty sure about Anubias but wasn't sure about Java fern.

Could you check out my thinking on stocking this tank? I tagged you on it.
 
TexasDomer
Member
I didn't get the notification. Could you tag me in it again or link it here?
 
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jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
I didn't get the notification. Could you tag me in it again or link it here?
I tagged you again. I don't know how to link a thread
 
MaeKay
Member
max h said:
The Aponegeton will grow all the way to the top of a 55, it will send out little plants on long stalks. They will also flower with small whitish flowers.
Yay!
 
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jenmur
Member
Thank goodness I have a notebook dedicated to this tank!! Hehehe.
 
MaeKay
Member
TexasDomer said:
Don't let them flower though, or they'll die back and go back into the bulb form for a while.

And blasting sand isn't as good as Flourite or Ecocomplete in that it's nutrient lacking, but it is just fine for plants with root tabs added!
Good info. Thank you!

And thanks for the reminder of root tabs. I was hoping the fish waste would be enough. I was being cheap since EcoComplete, et al would have to be replenished with nutrients eventually anyway.

TexasDomer said:
I use Osmocote Plus in gel capsules. You can also get some and put them in ice cubes and use those instead of the name-brand root tabs. Much cheaper!
Genius idea! (Sorry, I'm again totally hijaking this thread and learning from it!)
 
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jenmur
Member
MaeKay said:
Genius idea! (Sorry, I'm again totally hijaking this thread and learning from it!)
Oh no! Feel free to hijack my thread! . I'm learning from all this too!!!
 
MaeKay
Member
jenmur said:
Thank goodness I have a notebook dedicated to this tank!! Hehehe.
I found a spreadsheet for at least my water parameters log! Haha, we think alike.
 
  • Thread Starter
jenmur
Member
MaeKay said:
I found a spreadsheet for at least my water parameters log! Haha, we think alike.
I was told by the lady who used to work at Petco that keeping track of my water would help me while I was finishing up my 10 gallon cycle fishless. So now I keep track of what times and what I feed Frazier, my water changes and what I observe with his behavior and water parameters

This tanks notebook has started with me listed what I might need for the tank and basic info about fish I thought about having. . Plus once I know more of a timeline I plan on starting a thread on this site to keep track
 
MaeKay
Member
TexasDomer said:
Don't let them flower though, or they'll die back and go back into the bulb form for a while
Do I just need to worry when I see an actual bud forming or by that point is it too late? There is one leaf that is super tall and lays flat on the water already. Should I cut that stalk back?


7999b692f750707a13405ec028078517.jpg


Incidentally, terrestrial basil is the same way. If you keep pinching off the flower buds it will continue to grow leaves.
 
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jenmur
Member
MaeKay said:
Do I just need to worry when I see an actual bud forming or by that point is it too late? There is one leaf that is super tall and lays flat on the water already. Should I cut that stalk back?


7999b692f750707a13405ec028078517.jpg


Incidentally, terrestrial basil is the same way. If you keep pinching off the flower buds it will continue to grow leaves.
That stalk is an over achiever!
 
TexasDomer
Member
If it's a leaf, it's fine, but the bud will form on a long, thin, strand. I would go ahead and remove it now if you have one.
 
MaeKay
Member
TexasDomer said:
If it's a leaf, it's fine, but the bud will form on a long, thin, strand. I would go ahead and remove it now if you have one.
I don't think I see anything that resembles a bud yet. I'll have to look online for leave and flower morphology to make sure I know what I'm looking at.

Thanks again for the tip! You saved me thinking my plant was dying instead of just going dormant (had it come to that...)
 
  • Thread Starter
jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
If it's a leaf, it's fine, but the bud will form on a long, thin, strand. I would go ahead and remove it now if you have one.
Good to know! Is it ok to add plants throughout the cycling process? I know I won't be able to buy all the plants all at once.
 
TexasDomer
Member
Yes, you can add plants during cycling
 
  • Thread Starter
jenmur
Member
TexasDomer said:
Yes, you can add plants during cycling
Ok good to know! . I'm apparently planning on more than a few plants so I'll be buying them in stages. Probably Anubias and Java fern first cuz they seem easy care plants
 
  • Thread Starter
jenmur
Member
So I saw Seachem Florish at my LFS today. It comes in both root tab form and a liquid form. Which would be better? I am currently thinking liquid cuz more for cheaper and I'll be having non rooted plants as well as rooted but I am not sure.
 

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