55 Gallon Tank New Tank Cycle On It's Way!

Cheesewoman

Member
So this isn't really a question, just me being super excited about my first large-ish tank and wanting to share with you guys, and maybe learn from any stories you care to share with me.

I have had my 55 gallon (240 litre) set up for about a week now, and already I have 0 ammonia, 5ppm nitrite, maybe trace amounts of nitrate (hard to tell), so the cycle is well on its way.

Initially I was going to add my cherry barbs to cycle the tank, BUT I have instead opted for a fishless cycle (don't think me awful, I did 3 fish-in cycles before and am using cycled media to speed up the process). But hey, fishless cycle is thus far going well, so I'm gonna let the barbs stay in their home until it's a done deal.

The tank already has the hardscape in it (elephant skin/grey mountain rocks, Redmoor wood, soil substrate within the "Rock wall" and Hugo KamishI Natural Fine Gravel around the outside for an open swim area). This will be my first proper scape and I am SO excited!! I think everyone is tired of hearing about it now teehee...
 

Kameron

Member
No pics? Lol
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Kameron said:
No pics? Lol
Lol well it's kinda going through a bacterial bloom and has all that white fungus going on with the wood at the moment, but I'll attach some pics of where it's at (before I added water, after I added water and the wood floated, and the overall design that I'm eventually going for)


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Kameron

Member
Cheesewoman said:
Lol well it's kinda going through a bacterial bloom and has all that white fungus going on with the wood at the moment, but I'll attach some pics of where it's at (before I added water, after I added water and the wood floated, and the overall design that I'm eventually going for)


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Wow that tank is amazing! Great hardscape. How many pieces of wood is that? The branches on it are so cool. I love the floating wood pic
I’d recommend getting some smaller pieces of stone and putting them in between the bigger pieces to give it a more natural feel if you want to go that route. I learned that tip from George Farmer
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Kameron said:
Wow that tank is amazing! Great hardscape. How many pieces of wood is that? The branches on it are so cool. I love the floating wood pic
I’d recommend getting some smaller pieces of stone and putting them in between the bigger pieces to give it a more natural feel if you want to go that route. I learned that tip from George Farmer
Thank you! I actually got these wood pieces (3 in total) from Aquarium Gardens which George Farmer has visited and done videos with on YouTube The guys at the shop helped me design this scape and actually I was already thinking that I should get some more smaller rocks to put around the edges and break it up a little, so I'm glad you agree

Floating wood is so cool lol sadly I've had to weigh it down with some cheap "rocks" from Pets at Home until it sinks, and it looks all ghouly with the white fungus, maybe it knew Halloween was coming... muahaha

oh - and I am planning on building the soil up a bit more at the back, I feel like it's a little flat at the moment...
 

Kameron

Member
Cheesewoman said:
Thank you! I actually got these wood pieces (3 in total) from Aquarium Gardens which George Farmer has visited and done videos with on YouTube The guys at the shop helped me design this scape and actually I was already thinking that I should get some more smaller rocks to put around the edges and break it up a little, so I'm glad you agree

Floating wood is so cool lol sadly I've had to weigh it down with some cheap "rocks" from Pets at Home until it sinks, and it looks all ghouly with the white fungus, maybe it knew Halloween was coming... muahaha

oh - and I am planning on building the soil up a bit more at the back, I feel like it's a little flat at the moment...
Oh wow so you got the best stuff if it’s from there lol. No problem! Haha yes that stage of the white fungus sucks but doesn’t cause issues with fish so no worries there lol. Can’t wait to see it with plants. What types of plants? Any co2?
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Kameron said:
Oh wow so you got the best stuff if it’s from there lol. No problem! Haha yes that stage of the white fungus sucks but doesn’t cause issues with fish so no worries there lol. Can’t wait to see it with plants. What types of plants? Any co2?
Yeah I'm determined to make this tank GOOD lol going all out with co2 and ferts - although this is all very new to me! I'm getting a dual stage regulator (also from Aquarium Gardens) by co2Art, and I've still got to pick up the cylinder.

I've had the white fungus before and I'm just gonna let it do its thing this time, last time I tried scrubbing it off several times and I think I made it last so much longer! The fish do seem to like to nibble on it anyway

Plants include:

Monte carlo
Coffefolia
Various crypts
Anubias Nana (might swap out for another anubias)
Helanthium (for carpet areas at sides of the soil)
Bolbitis HeudelotiI (on wood)

Was going to have dwarf hair grass for carpet, but they said I'd need a LOT of it so I changed my mind... I'll probably throw in a couple of moss balls for good measure.

I actually went in with a whole load of plants on a list and they put a lot of them on that display pictured, and added a few others which were better (I was drawing off their expertise lol).

Tomorrow I'll be going back to find and collect, so maybe I'll update once it's all bought - but I will definitely update with a final pic of what it looks like
 

Kameron

Member
Cheesewoman said:
Yeah I'm determined to make this tank GOOD lol going all out with co2 and ferts - although this is all very new to me! I'm getting a dual stage regulator (also from Aquarium Gardens) by co2Art, and I've still got to pick up the cylinder.

I've had the white fungus before and I'm just gonna let it do its thing this time, last time I tried scrubbing it off several times and I think I made it last so much longer! The fish do seem to like to nibble on it anyway

Plants include:

Monte carlo
Coffefolia
Various crypts
Anubias Nana (might swap out for another anubias)
Helanthium (for carpet areas at sides of the soil)
Bolbitis HeudelotiI (on wood)

Was going to have dwarf hair grass for carpet, but they said I'd need a LOT of it so I changed my mind... I'll probably throw in a couple of moss balls for good measure.

I actually went in with a whole load of plants on a list and they put a lot of them on that display pictured, and added a few others which were better (I was drawing off their expertise lol).

Tomorrow I'll be going back to find and collect, so maybe I'll update once it's all bought - but I will definitely update with a final pic of what it looks like
Man you are going all out on this tank!! Awesome plant choices! Can’t wait to see all the updates. You defiantly have done your research and know what you want lol
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Kameron said:
Man you are going all out on this tank!! Awesome plant choices! Can’t wait to see all the updates. You defiantly have done your research and know what you want lol
Oh yes, this is about 2 month's worth of planning lol and still not quite done
 

Kameron

Member
Cheesewoman said:
Oh yes, this is about 2 month's worth of planning lol and still not quite done
Haha it will be funny in a few months after it’s all fixed you change the scape
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Ok, so for those interested I went out and bought some plants today... When I say some I mean a LOT lol

Here's the list:
Eleocharis acicularis 'mini' (dwarf hairgrass) x 4
Helanthium tenellum 'Green' x 3
Rotala wallichiI x 1
Helanthium 'quadricostasus' TC x 1
Cryptocoryne balansae x 2
Nymphaea lotus x 1
Hydrocotyle verticillia x 1
MinI coconut shell with javafern windelov x 2
Microsorum pteropus java fern on wood x 1
Alternanthera rieneckiI lilacina x 1
Alternanthera rosaefolia x 1
Bolbitis heudelotiI on wood x 1
Anubias 'golden nana' x 1
Bucephalandra red x 3
Anubias coffeefolia x 1
Limnophila aromatica x 1
Staurogyne rubescens x 1
Cryptocoryne mollmaniI x 3
Cryptocoryne beckettI X 3

Sorry for any spelling mistakes as doing this on my phone! I'll update with more pics once they are in the tank of course
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Kameron

Member
Dang you hit the jackpot! That’s an awesome list of plants. I haven’t heard of a couple of the crypts before but googled them and now I have to get them. Great haul!
 

CoryGuy1234

Member
Nice tank. l'm excited too-just got through fishless cycling a new 10 gallon, so now l have 2 10's. l'm more of a nano tank guy.
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Here's the planted phase complete (excuse the murkiness!!) Minus one pot of dwarf hair grass that somehow got away lol
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Cheesewoman

Member
Kameron said:
Dang you hit the jackpot! That’s an awesome list of plants. I haven’t heard of a couple of the crypts before but googled them and now I have to get them. Great haul!
Thank you! The guys in the shop thought it was a good list too, but I did put in a lot of research before I bought anything

CoryGuy1234 said:
Nice tank. l'm excited too-just got through fishless cycling a new 10 gallon, so now l have 2 10's. l'm more of a nano tank guy.
Thanks! Nano tanks can look really lovely, I've got a couple but regrettably never set them up properly, now the plants are just a bit all over the place lol took my time into planning this one a bit better.
 

Fishcat

Member
Oooooooohhhhh.
That is a gorgeous tank you have going there, those plants look great and I am looking forward very much to seeing this one develop.
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Fishcat said:
Oooooooohhhhh.
That is a gorgeous tank you have going there, those plants look great and I am looking forward very much to seeing this one develop.
Thank you! I've got co2 coming today so it won't be long before they're growing well hopefully
 

imba

Member
Cheesewoman said:
Thank you! I've got co2 coming today so it won't be long before they're growing well hopefully
Very nice.
Low tech tanks are fine but pressurised co2 will bring your planted tanks to the next level in the hobby. Enjoy!

What do you plan to stock?
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
imba said:
Very nice.
Low tech tanks are fine but pressurised co2 will bring your planted tanks to the next level in the hobby. Enjoy!

What do you plan to stock?
Well actually the stock is some fish I'll be adopting from a friend that she no longer wants, and I'm a little concerned they might destroy the plants...

1 red tail shark, 3 plecos (not sure WHAT plecos they are yet), 2 angels and 1 blue gourami
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
I've got some fish in the tank now and it's maturing nicely.. my 6 cherry barbs, 3 albino corys, 2 pepper corys (was 3 but sadly we lost one before the move), and 5 amano shrimp.

Unbelievably I am now thinking of buying even more plants to fill it out and make it more densely planted, particularly in the middle area. My crypts and stem plants are being a bit awkward and seem to uproot every now and then, and the hairgrass is being typical hairgrass, think I planted it in clumps that were too big, so I kinda replanted in smaller clumps in the hopes it will stay down and bed in.

Also got an Interpet TriSpec light for it (I was originally going to get the Fluval Planted 3.0 but it arrived faulty so... went with plan B).

All looks good I think, here's an updated pic! (I also added plants a driftwood from previous tank - which is now decommissioned!)

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Tayls

Member
Wow! This is an inspiration! I'm very new to fishkeeping so don't know what I'm talking about, but just wanted to say your set up looks incredible! I'm currently planning out a tank upgrade for my black moor (29 gallon to 74) so that she can finally have a friend and this thread is giving me life haha. More pics please! You've inspired me to do some proper landscaping planning
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Tayls said:
Wow! This is an inspiration! I'm very new to fishkeeping so don't know what I'm talking about, but just wanted to say your set up looks incredible! I'm currently planning out a tank upgrade for my black moor (29 gallon to 74) so that she can finally have a friend and this thread is giving me life haha. More pics please! You've inspired me to do some proper landscaping planning
Ooh thank you! Glad I could be an inspiration to someone I have only been doing this since February myself, so I kinda jumped in at the deep end (no pun intended haha). I will upload more pics once the tank matures a bit more, and after I've added a few more plants (hopefully next week!) so stay tuned you should (if you haven't already) post up about your new tank build, I'd love to see it!
 

Tayls

Member
Oh I will! Hopefully collecting the new tank on Friday so will take some pics of the process.
Gosh that's even more inspiring that you only began in Feb!? Wow. It's so addictive isn't it? I love the feeling when you've been trying to work it all out, getting to grips with parameters and strange behaviours etc then you come on here, get advice and reassurance and it all works out (for a bit, until the next interesting issue arises). It's really fulfilling! Haha. No-one I know keeps fish and everyone thinks I'm mad to do so, so this forum is a lifesaver. Looking forward to more pics and updates!
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Tayls said:
Oh I will! Hopefully collecting the new tank on Friday so will take some pics of the process.
Gosh that's even more inspiring that you only began in Feb!? Wow. It's so addictive isn't it? I love the feeling when you've been trying to work it all out, getting to grips with parameters and strange behaviours etc then you come on here, get advice and reassurance and it all works out (for a bit, until the next interesting issue arises). It's really fulfilling! Haha. No-one I know keeps fish and everyone thinks I'm mad to do so, so this forum is a lifesaver. Looking forward to more pics and updates!
I know what you mean - everyone thinks I'm mad as this is my 4th tank now (and by far the largest!). The original one I had is now decommissioned, but I still have 2 betta tanks, kept separate for obvious reasons

It certainly is a learning process, I've had more casualties than I would've liked caused by a number of things (some my fault, some the shop's fault, some just bad luck), but we get there in the end! I'll look forward to seeing your tank pics! Take your time to plan it out, this took me over 2 months to plan and even then there was some trial and error, but it definitely pays off - even down to the substrate!
 

Tayls

Member
Definitely! Learning so much from here, but it was nice to see a thread that was solely positive and about a new set up. All my posts are frantic question asking haha. You're right about blaming the shop - I could never go back to the standard pets at home store we have here. Last time I looked at their black moors there was one with clamped fins on the bottom and one that couldn't stay upright. I got mine from an aquatics centre with just one or two large fish per tank, not twenty cramped in together. Anyway! Nice to hear about your tanks!
 

Kameron

Member
Cheesewoman said:
I've got some fish in the tank now and it's maturing nicely.. my 6 cherry barbs, 3 albino corys, 2 pepper corys (was 3 but sadly we lost one before the move), and 5 amano shrimp.

Unbelievably I am now thinking of buying even more plants to fill it out and make it more densely planted, particularly in the middle area. My crypts and stem plants are being a bit awkward and seem to uproot every now and then, and the hairgrass is being typical hairgrass, think I planted it in clumps that were too big, so I kinda replanted in smaller clumps in the hopes it will stay down and bed in.

Also got an Interpet TriSpec light for it (I was originally going to get the Fluval Planted 3.0 but it arrived faulty so... went with plan B).

All looks good I think, here's an updated pic! (I also added plants a driftwood from previous tank - which is now decommissioned!)

_oesZQeqeWXl3d7NHF2drf4-gfbGLx_u2tRrRVxsyFFRFYrXxxAILuRkYXKvcmKMmuzR3Up55dzxa-3Aup=w1240-h930-no.jpg
Amazing!! One great looking tank!!
 
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Cheesewoman

Member

toeknee

Member
Great tank, love the scape! I'm about to buy some elephant skin stone for my 55 as well. How many pounds of rock did you use for your tank?
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
toeknee said:
Great tank, love the scape! I'm about to buy some elephant skin stone for my 55 as well. How many pounds of rock did you use for your tank?
Thanks! I used about 46 pounds (21kg) of elephant skin stone, which cost just over £80 in total. It does look pretty awesome
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Thought I'd post a quick update and photo of the tank as I thought it looked nice today - fish and shrimp all doing well.. very well in fact, I found lots of Cory eggs so have separated them to see if I get lucky

Also some pictures of my corys as well as one of my barbs (she's called crook due to the crook in her tail) the others are all swimming madly so no good for a camera shot! And the shrimp well... There in there, somewhere
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Tayls

Member
Beautiful!
 
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Cheesewoman

Member
Quick update - didn't see a lot of growth over the last couple of weeks (or at least I didn't think so). I've added my friend's fish into the tank - 2 bn plecos, 2 angels, 1 blue gourami (the gourami did have friends but sadly they died a while back), and 1 red tail shark. There was a large pictus catfish also but I thought it better to rehome him as he and the shark had BEEF, and shark kept bullying him.

I think there has been some plant growth (despite the angels constantly pecking at everything, and the bn's digging), the stem plants at the back are doing well and have shot right up to the top, the coffeefolia is seeing new leaves come out, and the tiger lotus, well, the tiger lotus's bulb fell off, but I replanted it and now I seem to have two plants that are doing very well

Also upgraded the light to the Fluval TriSpec, so it's got the red and blue and plants seem to love it. Co2 runs during the day, airstone at night through the helmet (I did notice my fish seem to enjoy a bit more oxy at night )


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Tayls

Member
Looks fantastic!
 
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Cheesewoman

Member

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