New tank! 55 Gallon Tank

  1. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    So we just set up our 55 gallon tank last weekend. It isn't technically new, my parents (about 20 years ago) had it set up, so it's broken in ;)

    It definitely isn't finished yet; currently there is a male betta (Admiral Ackbar) and a female BN pleco (Professor Nubbins) while the tank is cycling. I have the filter (the whole assembly, not just the media) from their previous home, a 10 gallon, along with the rated-up-to-60-gallons filter that will remain with the tank. Once it's done cycling (in about a month), the betta will return to his 10 gallon home (though I'll feel bad moving him, he looks like he's having a ball in a bigger tank), but the pleco will stay. Here is the rough stocking plan:

    1 angel fish
    2 apistos (of some sort)
    8 tetras
    6-8 platys
    6 cory cats
    2 nerite snails
    1 bamboo shrimp

    In the 10 gallon, it'll just be the betta, a nerite, and maybe some ghost shrimp if the Admiral can leave them alone ;)

    To set up the tank, we vacuumed/wiped everything down, and filled the bottom about 2" deep with fine-ish gravel. (Nothing fancy or multiple layers, I'm still a newbie.) We put in some lava rocks with hidey-holes and holes to swim through, as well as a few fake plants. We'd do a planted aquarium, but again, we're new, and we'd like to tackle one thing at a time. Once it's fully stocked, we'd like to add a few good beginner plants (java fern, wisteria) and get a feel for that. Nothing that involves CO2 or high light.

    The current water parameters are: pH=8.2, ammonia=0-0.25, nitrites/nitrates=0. Everything is going swimmingly (no pun intended), except for the fact that poor Professor Nubbins is constipated. This weekend we'll be hopefully buying a nice, big piece of driftwood to replace the rock that is 2nd from the left. (It has a hole to swim through, but it's a little too small, and doesn't have any good hidey-holes.) This way there will be a little bit of contrast, yet it won't be too cluttered. I'd like to add some more (fake, for the time being) plants, but I don't have any. I've seen people use silk plants (like the kind you get at crafts stores), is that okay? I'd be afraid the glue might not do well in water.

    I apologize the pictures are so washed out, I tried different lighting combinations (room lights on/off, one or both of the blue and pink bulbs) but nothing seemed to help. Also, I used my cell phone camera, which definitely isn't the best.

    At any rate, despite the fact it's looking a little empty, comments and suggestions are appreciated! I've been perusing everyone's pictures, and there are some fabulous-looking tanks out there :) We'd like to go for the more natural look (like the fish might see in their native habitats), so no sunken ships or anything like that. Thanks for looking! :)
     

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  2. nippybetta Well Known Member Member

    Nice rocks, and betta. The rocks should look really cool once you plant the tank. I don't use silk plants, but I've heard of people using them, so I think it would be ok. After a while, they do seem to get pretty gross- hopefully you'll have real plants by then. Your stocking looks very sensible. Single angelfish do well, and they're stunning fish. The snails might breed, but I'm not very familiar with nerites- I think they might be the kind that are only successful in brackish water. I had a bamboo shrimp once- it was really cool. One day I couldn't find it, eventually I looked behind the tank and found him all crunchy and dry :( I don't know how he got out- probably through the hole for the filter, but make sure you have a good hood.
     

  3. kimoore Member Member

    Love the fishy names!!! That must be the luckiest Betta in the whole world!!! As far as Tetras go, what kind where you thinking?

    I have also heard that fake plants get pretty nasty, but if you get some shrimp, they keep them really clean.
     
  4. Donnerjay Well Known Member Member

    Well done. You're using sound judgment and thinking everything through. I love it. :)

    One thought on the silk plants: I'd be a bit hesitant using plants from a craft store in a fishtank. I've had a silk plant in my tank for about four months, and it is fine. No algae, looks great, fish swim all around it no problem. I got it from a fish store.

    I think the driftwood idea is great, fantastic, awesome. Your pleco might like it, although I'm not sure about it. Others with more experience can chime in, but I've heard that plecos like to munch on driftwood.

    Thank you for the pictures! It is so enjoyable to see what other members do with their tanks.
    Keep us posted, please!
     

  5. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Not sure about the tetras yet. We were thinking neons would look really neat under the fluorescent lighting; some people have mentioned that they might be snacks for the angel, but we would be getting the neons first (so they'd grow a bit) and we'd be getting a small angel fish, so maybe they would go okay. If not, I like the serpae tetras, especially the long fin variety (though I've never seen the latter at any stores).
     
  6. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Donnerjay: I would be hesitant about craft store plants too; the only reason I considered it is that nice-looking pet store plants can be pretty pricey.

    I'm hoping the pleco likes the driftwood because I put some pea chunks in the tank, and she pretty much ignored them (though the betta was definitely interested). I have a thread in the pleco forum with a picture; she's definitely a bit too pudgy for my liking!
     
  7. OUTINFRONT Member Member

    Looks great imo thanks for the looksy.
     

  8. Donnerjay Well Known Member Member

    Yep,you're right about that. Do you have PetCo stores near you? My local PetCo is running a clearance sale on silk plants. Might be worth checking out if you want.

    When you put pea chunks in, do you mean frozen peas that were stuck together? Did your Betta eat them? I think my Betta might be constipated and I was thinking about giving him a pea.
     
  9. Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member

    I have dollar store plants in my tank :) The white flowers:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    No, I just did one pea, but there are only two fish in there. I put one in the microwave just for a few seconds, just long enough to soften it, but not enough to heat it up. Then I cut it in half, peeled the skin off (it's pretty thick, so it comes off easily) and dropped them in the tank. One of the halves broke in half (into quarters), which I think I would actually recommend, because I think the half was too big.
     

  11. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Akari, that looks great! I'll have to check out the dollar store soon, I never thought of that. :)
     
  12. Donnerjay Well Known Member Member

    Kinezumi, that's what I had heard about the pea. Thanks!
     
  13. Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member

    Thank you! I just made sure to get plants that had no fuzzy material on them, and had very little dye. I cut them to the length I wanted, and siliconed glass marbles over the exposed wire.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    That's a good idea, I don't think I would have thought of that. I'll be going shopping on Friday, I'll post pictures if I get anything. :)