Return to the hobby!


I've been a long time lurker / researcher on the site. But, finally I registered. About 20 years ago I got into the hobby with a 10 gallon and some various tropical freshwater species. I used to frequent the forums on Over the course of the next 4 years I ended up with 5 tanks running. I got into some planted set ups and did the yeast style DIY Co2. After a couple of moves, getting married, a couple of kids, we slowly shut down all of our tanks and were out of the hobby for the next 15 years or so.

Fast forward a few years when I was given a free / used 55 gallon & stand. It sat, dry, in my unfinished basement for a few years.

Another fast forward to 2020. Our basement project(s) are almost wrapped up. I had been slowly gathering the things needed to set up the tank. In March, I purchased a Fluval FX4 for a steal of a deal. At that point, we repurposed the old stand for an entertainment center. It was open in the front and the canister filter was going to be an eyesore to my wife. So, instead of having a huge Fluval sitting in the floor beside the stand, I built my first stand. Well, overbuilt I should say as it is large enough to take on a 90 gal footprint if *when* we upgrade. And, it could hold 10 times more weight than I could ever place upon it!

As for the tank, it is now a freshwater community low tech planted set up. Now that she is cycled and stocking has commenced over the last few months, I am looking forward to the plant growth.

Here are the vital statistics:
55 gallon glass 48" long.
Low tech planted.
We are on well water.
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5ppm, Ph 7.4. Very hard water.
Light: 48" Finnex 24/7 Planted+ ALC (this one has the adjustable program for a custom 24/7 light cycle)
Substrate: Mix of gravel, black eco-complete, and red laterite
Heater: 200W submersible ViaAqua
Heater controller: Inkbird ITC-306T set to turn off 76 F and cuts on at 74 F
Filter: Fluval FX4 with red lava rock as the bio media.
Background: 6 mil "clear" plastic (4 layers) for a slate gray look. I had tried the frosted and it was far too white for such a narrow tank.
Plants: 4 Java Ferns (and 3 babies so far), 3 Anubias Nana, 2 Anubias Nana Petite, 5 Corkscrew Val., 8 Dwarf Sag. (plus 6 offshoots so far), and 4 Cryptocorynes (unk exact variety as the store had them listed as various *local grown and sold to the shop*).
Livestock: 8 Zebra Danios, 6 Cherry Barbs, 6 Odessa Barbs, 6 Peppered Corys, 3 Otocinclus, 25 Olive Nerite Snails.

For fertilizers, I have only added some DIY Osmocoat root tabs 2 1/2 weeks ago, and have ordered some Thrive C that will be here today!

I'm enjoying the return to the hobby, looking forward to my plants growing in, and really would like to add a 125+ gallon tank at some point. Something in the 6 ft long footprint.

In the short term, I am trying to decide if I would like to add a few more Odessas and corys to the #'s of the current fish I have, or add some dwarf neon rainbows to the mix. Who knows. At this point I am just trying to be methodical and patient with things while the plants get established. The good news is that they are all already putting out new growth.

So, since it didn't happen without pix, I'll attach a couple here for everyone. I know it isn't much compared to some of the beautiful and elaborate set ups that I see posted on here regularly, but given time...

Carry on fish people!

21May20 - 1.jpg
21May20 - 2.jpg


Welcome! Tank looks great!

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