How to improve? 55 gallon planted tank

fishpicklepaste

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I recently completely redesigned my 55 gallon tank and replaced everything with rocks, a piece of wood, and some plants. This is my first planted tank and I was wondering what I could do to make it look the best that it can.

Currently, from left to right in the picture, there is rotala rotundifolia, rotala indica (just in this spot for now until it begins to grow a little), ludwigia repens, an anubias nana petite on wood, african water fern, java fern, crypt wendtii behind the rocks (btr), a aponogeton (btr), dwarf water lily (btr), water wisteria that is converting to submersed (btr), bucephalandra, amazon sword, crypt undulata (kind of buried under the substrate where the stratum starts), front to back in the stratum: hydrocotyle japan, brazilian pennywort, cardinal plant, cabomba and hornwort. Floating is duckweed, salvinia minima and frogbit.

I wanted to use the hydrocotyle japan as a carpet and when I ordered it it came as a huge clump so I just took it apart and smushed it all in the front part of the stratum. With that much there, hopefully it doesn't take too long to become an thick, even layer.

The light is a Fluval Aquasky and the tank has 2 gold severums, 11 tiger barbs, 3 boesmani rainbows. I'm planning on moving some bristlenose plecos from a different tank into this one. The tank is kept at 78 degrees and has a TopFin hob with a bunch of land plants sticking out of it and a Marineland Magniflow 360. There's also a little corner box filter behind the rotala rotundifolia.

Please let me know what works and what doesn't work with this tank!!
1F39850A-207C-49E3-B84C-45B7A2DF6E26.jpeg
 

Ebreus

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It's already a rather beautiful looking tank to me. If the fish are happy and the plants are health I'd say leave as is, let your hydrocotyle grow into a nice carpet and I think you'll have a stunning planted tank.
 
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fishpicklepaste

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Thanks for the replies everyone! We'll see how it looks in a few months.

I recently switched the light to a Marineland light due to some issues with the old one. The Marineland website says that the PAR at 24" with this light is 151. That seems very high since I'm reading that higher than 50 par is high light. Do I need to get a CO2 system because of this high light (if it is actually considered high)? Since I've added the light a diatom outbreak as started, but I'm not really sure if that is because of the light or because of the massive rescape that is shown above. I have started doing 2x 50% water changes a week since it has started.

Thanks!
 

Ebreus

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fishpicklepaste said:
Thanks for the replies everyone! We'll see how it looks in a few months.

I recently switched the light to a Marineland light due to some issues with the old one. The Marineland website says that the PAR at 24" with this light is 151. That seems very high since I'm reading that higher than 50 par is high light. Do I need to get a CO2 system because of this high light (if it is actually considered high)? Since I've added the light a diatom outbreak as started, but I'm not really sure if that is because of the light or because of the massive rescape that is shown above. I have started doing 2x 50% water changes a week since it has started.

Thanks!
To the best of my knowledge 151 PAR is three times the cutoff for 'high' light. I don't know anything about Co2 but I would guess that it would be something you may need under such high light conditions.
 

lisa99

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I couldn’t find the PAR rating for the above light.

The description on Amazon says “Advanced LED Strip Lights are ideal for freshwater or saltwater aquariums and low intensity plants”.

I tried looking it up because I’m looking for a high intensity light myself. Something doesn’t quite jive.
 

skar

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I would remove the treasure chest and replace it with drift wood.
Maybe a row of cabomba or other background plants along the back wall.
 

max h

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Even if the light is considered a capable of being high light, you really don't have to add CO2 injection into the system unless you have plants that require high light and CO2. The other plants will get more growth with CO2 but don't require it. Something you could do would be to add a liquid CO2 product like Excel.
 
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fishpicklepaste

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lisa99 said:
I couldn’t find the PAR rating for the above light.

The description on Amazon says “Advanced LED Strip Lights are ideal for freshwater or saltwater aquariums and low intensity plants”.

I tried looking it up because I’m looking for a high intensity light myself. Something doesn’t quite jive.
I found the PAR rating on this link. Under the Specifications dropdown right above the reviews section.

skar said:
I would remove the treasure chest and replace it with drift wood.
Maybe a row of cabomba or other background plants along the back wall.
The treasure chest was what my dad wanted and I don't think he'll let me take it out any time soon. I'll try to integrate some plants in it to make it seem more natural. Maybe I'll try to stick some java moss and brazilian pennywort in there and get it to grow all over the lid part of the chest. There are some water wisterias growing along the back wall and since I've posted the first pic, the aponogeton has gotten a LOT larger and the dwarf water lily back there is starting to rise above the rocks. I may move the aponogeton somewhere else because its soft leaves keep getting stuck on the filter intake there.

max h said:
Even if the light is considered a capable of being high light, you really don't have to add CO2 injection into the system unless you have plants that require high light and CO2. The other plants will get more growth with CO2 but don't require it. Something you could do would be to add a liquid CO2 product like Excel.
Thanks, I'll look more into Excel!
 

skar

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@fishpicklepaste
I've used excel before and I still do for algea spot tx.
But there is no real substitute for co2.

If it's in your budget, it's a real plant helper !
 
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