Planting a 55 gal. HELP

Amanda

I have a newly set-up 55 gal. It has pool filter sand as a substrate. I want to add live plants. I haven't began to cycle it just yet - when should I add the plants? Also, what types of plants should I add? Here's a pic - I was going for a river bottom look. Help please, I'm kinda lost here.
 

tony

What type of lighting do you have and how much? I just planted my 55 gallon tank a few days ago also. The plants largely depend on what sort of lighting you have.
 

Amanda

I really don't know...it's a single bulb
 

tony

Ok. Than you should probably stick with low-light plants, since medium or high- light plants will die without enough light. This is guide with different low-light plants that you could add to your tank,
As for putting the plants in before the tank has cycled... I wouldn't think that you can do that seeing as how plants need fish wastes for nutrients and the CO2 from the fish, and you shouldn't have any fish in the tank while it's cycling. But I'm sure there are ways around that, I don't know for sure.
 

Amanda

I read somewhere that live plants help to hurry up cycling - something about absorbing the ammonia?
 

tony

Well they do. But the whole point of cycling is to have ammonia for the new bacteria in your tank to feed on and grow. Are you doing a fish-less cycle?
 

Amanda

I'm hoping to...but it's a bit overwhelming. I don't know where to start. I was planning on adding the drops of pure ammonia.
 

tony

Ok. That will give the bacteria something to feed off of. And as for putting plants in there without fish, I really don't know. I would just wait until the tank has cycled and there are fish in there but like I said, I'm not sure. Hopefully someone who does know will come along

As for what plants to put in the tank... stick with low-light plants for now, until you find out what kind of bulb you have. Once you know that you can figure out how many Watts Per Gallon you have. But if I'm correct than you should have 2 15 watt bulbs, if you are using the hoods that came with the tank. Is that right?
 

Amanda

Yeah, that sounds right. I bought the tank secondhand, so I'm flying blind here. I don't knwo anything about plants.
 

lilsoccakid

hI amanda, I have a planted tank with sand so maybe I can help you out

to start, check ur lighting and see how many watts the bulb is. standard bulbs are usually not strong enough for any plants except java moss and java fern.

for around 100 bucks you could get a T-5 108watt light

if you end up adding plants, you can add them when you start the cycle. the amount of bacteria built up in the filter depends on the amount of ammonia their is at a steady rate. The more ammonia=more bacteria. Adding plants helps to start because you don't have to build as up as big a colony. Why wait till after the cycle when you have built up all the bacteria, just to have the colony shrink from the plants sucking up ammonia?

hope this helps!
 

tony

Ok. So someone who knows came along lol. So I was right, good to know I'm not giving out bad information and if those came with the tank then you have 2 15 watt bulbs which is 30 watts total. Which gives you .54 watts per gallon. 30/55 = .54

So you have very low lighting. Between 1-2 watts per gallon would be good for some low-medium light plants. But your tank only has 1/2 of a watt per gallon. Which is very low. You won't be able to grow many plants with that lighting. You can look at the link I posted earlier and find the lowest of the low-light plants.
 

Amanda

How about planting my 10 gallon tank? Would plants do better in there?
 

tony

How many watts is your 10 gallon tank bulb?
 

Amanda

Whatever the standard bulb that comes with the hood is.
 

tony

I don't know what bulb comes with a 10g. Can you look? It should say on the bulb or maybe the fixture.
 

Amanda

15 watt
 

tony

Ok. Than yes, your plants will do much better in that tank. You have 1.5 watts per gallon which is between low and medium lighting, so you could definitely grow some low-light plants and maybe some medium light plants. But there is more to lighting than just power, you should have a decent color temp. Somewhere between 5000-6500k will do nicely or something in that area.
 

Amanda

Ok, thanks. Now I have to go to Petsmart *shudders* and try to see what they have. That's the only fish store around me.
 

tony

Your welcome The petsmart here isn't that bad. What's so bad about your's?
 

Amanda

They don't have anything. They used to have a huge open top tank with live plants I it - now the plants come in little tubes with a "free snail!". And their workers don't know that much about animals in general.
 

Arrow1oo

So before changing my stock, I plan on planting my 55 gallon tank.

I've looked at various videos of easy to grow plants, I don't plan on doing co2 injects or liquid fertilizers. Maybe some root tabs at most.

From what I've seen, these plants seem good:
Valisneria
Amazon sword
Java Fern/Moss
Anubias
Cyptocoryne

I am planting in medium sized gravel not optimal but from what I've seen it could work.

I'm here asking for advice on positioning and things like that .

My original plan was to keep jungle Val towards the back and maybe one or two Amazon swords in the back as well.

For the midground I planned on using mostly anubias and java Fern attached to things, which also makes gravel vac easier.

Foreground I planned to be mostly java moss and anubias Nana. Maybe a trident java Fern.
 

SaltyPhone

Unless you go super low light the Anubias and Java ferns are gonna need some ferts in the water column until they can get their roots into the substrate where the root tabs are.
 

StarGirl

I have Vals Swords and crypts in my 55 right now. All doing great with root tabs and an occasional squirts of ferts. Agree with the Anubias and Javas.
 

Arrow1oo

Ah, so I'm going to need some liquid fertilizer? How often would I need to dose

I have Vals Swords and crypts in my 55 right now. All doing great with root tabs and an occasional squirts of ferts. Agree with the Anubias and Javas.
Do you mind telling me where you have your Val's situated? I can't decide between the middle-back of the tank, or one in each back-corner of the tank.
 

StarGirl

Ah, so I'm going to need some liquid fertilizer? How often would I need to dose
I use Thrive C for low light. I use 1/2 dose once a week with weekly 50% water changes. Sometimes I skip a week.
Mine are situated a lot like you described. I'll grab a pic.
 

Arrow1oo

I use Thrive C for low light. I use 1/2 dose once a week with weekly 50% water changes. Sometimes I skip a week.
Mine are situated a lot like you described. I'll grab a pic.
Would really appreciate that. I was thinking about getting seachem flourish. I loved their products so far.
 

StarGirl

Flourish doesn't have all the macro and micro nutrients you need. Go with a all in one to start. Way easier!!!!

20200323_203353.jpg
 

Arrow1oo

Flourish doesn't have all the macro and micro nutrients you need. Go with a all in one to start. Way easier!!!!

20200323_203353.jpg
Ah, know and good all in ones?
 

StarGirl

Thrive C is what I use. I ordered it last May and still haven't used the whole bottle yet. Ive heard Aquarium co ops easy green is good too.

The problem with Flourish while a good fert is that you need other bottles of other things for it to be useful. You need Flourish comprehensive, flourish trace for other elements, etc and so on. They have 40 different bottles for a reason All in one is the way to go.
 

Arrow1oo

The problem with Flourish while a good fert is that you need other bottles of other things for it to be useful. You need Flourish comprehensive, flourish trace for other elements, etc and so on. They have 40 different bottles for a reason All in one is the way to go.
Ah, I see thrive c on Amazon so I'll probably get it.


SmartSelect_20200323-205305_Amazon Shopping.jpgwhich one was it
 

StarGirl

Ah, I see thrive c on Amazon so I'll probably get it.


SmartSelect_20200323-205305_Amazon Shopping.jpgwhich one was it
Yeah Amazon isn't delivering right now as I understand. The Nilocg website you may get some sooner.
Looks cheaper too.
 

Arrow1oo

Yeah Amazon isn't delivering right now as I understand. The Nilocg website you may get some sooner.
Looks cheaper too.
Thanks! It's 30 with shipping so around the same. Last question, for your jungle Val did you buy multiple plants to get it like that or did you wait for it to propogate across?
 

StarGirl

I bought like 4 stems and keep moving them when they are about 6 inches tall. It's been a work in progress
 

Boostr

Dwarf lilies will do great as well.
 

Arrow1oo

So I'm looking to plant my tank this weekend and before I buy the plants I want to know how much and which I should buy, mainly for the background plants.

I'm torn between Amazon swords and jungle val mostly, not sure if the Amazon swords can deliver that full background effect I want, or if I should try doing both.

I have gravel substrate, plan on using root tabs. 55 gallon good parameters, 79-80°

Any suggestions, tips or personal experiences woild help a lot!

I love the look of Amazon swords but they seem to grow more large rather than tall like the jungle val do.
 

Blueberrybetta

I prefer the look of jungle val myself . It gives the tank an underwater seaweed vibe and it looks great in bunches
 

Arrow1oo

I prefer the look of jungle val myself . It gives the tank an underwater seaweed vibe and it looks great in bunches
I agree, plus if I like how they drape on the top when they get longer.

When I buy, should I buy 3 and wait for them to throw out runners? Or does that take really long.
 

Level99Fishing

Rotala rotundifolia if you want to make a bush
 

Blueberrybetta

I agree, plus if I like how they drape on the top when they get longer.

When I buy, should I buy 3 and wait for them to throw out runners? Or does that take really long.

I would buy the 3 and runners shouldn't take long to grow. Theres a good chance they will come with runners sprouting already like my 2 vals did !
 

CichlidCody

Hygrophila corymbosa is a sexy plant.

Skinny ain't sexy . I prefer a thick sword or java fern
 

NotAaryan

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus
 

Arrow1oo

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus
This one looks super cool, what are the requirements for this plant. Does it require liquid ferts or root tabs? I've read every time it's pruned it splits into 4
 

Thibault Drake

I like jungle val
 

Arrow1oo

I would buy the 3 and runners shouldn't take long to grow. Theres a good chance they will come with runners sprouting already like my 2 vals did !
Where did you buy your Val's from. Don't commonly see them in stores
 

NotAaryan

This one looks super cool, what are the requirements for this plant. Does it require liquid ferts or root tabs? I've read every time it's pruned it splits into 4
It doesn’t require much it’s pretty low maintenance it grows fast root tabs and liquid ferts would be beneficial but are not needed.
 

TWiG87

I love swords in the background (I have 2). But they are definitely slower growers, mine are just getting to the point where they take up about half the width of my 20 gallon.
 

NotAaryan

If you want a faster growing plant that looks kinda like a sword I’d get giant hygro or hygrophila salicifolia
 

Arrow1oo

I love swords in the background (I have 2). But they are definitely slower growers, mine are just getting to the point where they take up about half the width of my 20 gallon.
Yea, I might do jungle val in the middle background and I'm the two back corners 1 Amazon sword each. I think the variety would be nice and it would look great.

Or maybe the jungle val on the ends and swords in the middle
 

!poogs!

Personal favourite is jungle Val. Would not use an amazon sword in the background. Personal think it’s a disappointing background plant. I use amazon swords as a mid plant, and even then they are not very exciting. Personal favourite variations of a sword plant is a green ozelot. They look great in the background or mid in front of some jungle Val.
 

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