Jump to content

A newbie and a 55 gallon tank


Rikostan
 Share

Recommended Posts

I thought I would do a little journal of my journey with my very first 55 gallon tank. Even when I was big into fish tanks as a kid in the early 70s, I never had a tank larger than 20 gallons, so this is pretty exciting for me.

I just came back to the hobby a couple of months ago and dove in headfirst. I have two 20 gallons, two 45 talls, a ten and the 55 gallon tank.

Only one of them currently have fish; I have some guppies and cherry shrimp in one of the 20s. Although one of the 45s has finished cycling and will probably have more guppies next week.

I'll focus on the 55 gallon though since I have not done anything with it yet, other than make a few decisions.

Here is the tank currently:

//content.invisioncic.com/b300999/monthly_2020_09/20200918_103659.jpg.2f661240beba402d3c31a8e47e5841a2.jpg

Cables and such will be hidden. I have some material coming today to cover the top 2x4s with, then I'll make it a little prettier.

I decided to do the plasti-dip for a black background and I am doing the twin wall polycarbonate for the lid. Most of my supplies for the tank are coming via UPS today, I bet our UPS guy is going to be surprised when I hug him...

Filtration:

I am going a little overboard with filtration for now, with the two large spongefilters from the Co-Op and a marineland 350 HoB.

For air flow, I just grabbed one of the Aquatop Breza 100s from the Co-op and a battery backed up one from KG Topicals.

Heater:

I bought two of the 300 watt Eheim Jager's heaters and the JBJ true temp controller @Daniel recommended on another thread. I'm only going to put one of them in the tank for now, I just want one for back up.

Substrate:

Going with just Eco-complete.

Plants:

I already have a bunch of plants waiting in one of the other tanks.

So far I have:

Vallisneria

Christmas moss

Java Fern

and Water Sprite.

I want to also get some type of carpeting plant too, but haven't quite decided what yet.

Hardscape:

I'm going to walk down to the bay tomorrow morning and look for some interesting hardscape stuff. 

If I can't find anything I like over the next few weeks, I'll grab some of the usual suspects online.

Fish:

Probably will change, but I'm currently looking at 6-8 Boesemans Rainbowfish, 6-8 Rasboras, but haven't decided on which one, and 5-6 dwarf corys as well as some type of shrimp.

{EDIT} For some reason it won't put the pic where I want it, instead it just displays the path and puts the image at the bottom of the post...

//content.invisioncic.com/b300999/monthly_2020_09/20200918_103659.jpg.2f661240beba402d3c31a8e47e5841a2.jpg

20200918_103659.jpg

Edited by Rikostan
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So i finished the background, love the way it looks. Plastidip stuff is so easy to work with.

I also put the material on the top 2x4s. Not crazy about the look, but it'll do. It's mainly there to give me a place to put little stuff that would fall through the gaps in the 2x4s. For that, it does an awesome job. 

Sorry for the glare on the tank. It makes it hard to see the background.

20200919_094718.jpg.5ecac8ee92a3528804cc06bcbddf9e3e.jpg

The lids! I love working with this polycarbonate stuff. I bought a 2'x4' sheet that let me make lids for  both the 55 and the 45 as well. Just gotta get some of those stick on knobs

311905128_20200919_102412(1).jpg.c55d98b7592d9ce2b16d3fa7bd01a13b.jpg

I starting putting substrate in. I think I'll need 3 more bags, maybe 4 to finish it.

I also still need to work on cable management and after I finish a project today, i am going to go down the hill to the bay and see what I can find for hardscape. I also need to drain the QT tank and put it up on the stand. It's currently sitting on the floor under the 55.

Those are my goals for today; knobs, rocks/sticks, and move the QT tank.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the tank is getting there. One more bag of substrate for the left hand side, but the right is pretty much done. Just need some more mosses and a carpeting plant for the very right front corner and some mosses to go on the "tree" top

Most of the stuff floating is jungle val, so I really just need some middle ground and foreground/carpeting type stuff for the left hand side, but I still haven't decided what to do.

1163832792_20200930_152309(1).jpg.473b67c3c2ee3cdb44fb564540415b09.jpg

The bag of substrate won't be here till next week and I still have to decide on plants, but that's about it. Hopefully by the end of next week I'll have it done and then we just wait for the cycle to complete.

 

{EDIT} There are some large rocks underneath the "hill" in the middle-right part of the tank. It's not just substrate piled up that high.

Edited by Rikostan
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This side of the tank is starting to come together. I have some nana petite coming that I am going to tuck in the hole marked with the N, and some Micro Sword that will go in the area marked with the C.

So now we just wait for the last bag of substrate and those last few plants. I went ahead and filled the tank, even though I need to put in some more eco-complete because I just got tired of waiting. 

It's no George Farmer, it's not even a George Lopez, but for my very first build, I'm diggin' it. I'm hoping it'll grow in nicely over the next few months.

And yeah, I know... I went a little overboard with the glue on that front moss. First time using Gorilla Glue in water. I switched to a rapid fuse glue after doing the moss.

20201003_171647.jpg.02b09908426cd017cb5fa52135bfae6c.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I decided on my fish...

8 Boeseman's, and 8-10 CPD.

I'm also thinking some purple mystery snails and some type of Neocaridina shrimp, but haven't settled on which variety yet. I have Cherry Shrimp in one tank and some Blue Dream in another, so I might just end up moving some of them over.

It's going to be at least another month before I order them, maybe even two, so I  might have to bite the bullet and find some "locally" I say locally, but it'll be a pretty long drive.

Do stores still ship to cold climates in the winter time?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The tank is done . Got all the plants I want in there. Not all of them were Co-Op plants, so expecting some die off and melting. I mean I'll get some of that with the Co-Op plants too, but it hasn't been much so far in my other tanks.

It's going to be fun watching this grow in over the next few months!

20201006_134639.jpg.9cfc11c9fadbf0ee301953660c17f3a8.jpg

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The tank finished cycling this past week, so I moved the CPDs into their new home. They love hanging out in the cave that is the backside of that stump area on the right there. I saw one of them come out just a few minutes ago and it was by far the most colored up I have seen them since I got them.

It was great timing too because the rainbows are being delivered tomorrow. so the QT is ready for them.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Ruud!

Yeah I check it every couple of days with the tetra tests strips, then check just for nitrites every week or more often if I see any changes on the strips,  with the API master kit.

This was their 5th day in the QT and oddly enough, that rainbow was the only one showing any color. There rest all look pretty stressed still.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Ruud said:

Maybe, hopefully, just a case of bad luck and the rest will adapt. I think there's something on the market from Seacham or something similar you can put in the water to lower the stress on your fish. @Daniel maybe knows???

Shipping is stressful, if there are deaths from shipping it usually occurs in the first week. I don't add anything to my water, I just make sure it is the cleanest water I can manage and keep my fingers crossed.

Sorry about your loss, I know those rainbows were long awaited by you. I pretty sure I would be in a tender state if I had just spent 8 days in the mail.

Back in July I got some tiny baby Discus that had a rough ride getting to me. I started with 15 fish but by day ten I was down to 11 fish. I could tell ahead time which ones were struggling and not likely to make it, but after day 10 the survivors took off and have been growing exponentially ever since.

Hope that wasn't the male rainbow fish that died (since he was the most colorful).

I wish I knew more about how to perform a proper autopsy after a fish death instead of just making an (un)educated guess as the what happened. I wonder if there is a course on that somewhere?

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for looking that up @ruud ! They spent 8 days in shipping and to be honest I was amazed they all made it.

 

I am saying they look stressed, but it's possible I am wrong. They are all juveniles, so it might just be that the pale color is just where they are right now. They are swimming around the tank and they ate when I feed them for the first time, 48 hours after they went in the tank, and a couple of times since.

I had planned to do a water change on that tank (it's only a ten gallon QT) anyways, so I'll still do that and just continue to watch them closely. 

 

And thanks @Daniel!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah yeah I remember reading that in the earlier post. 8 days is a LOT indeed, so definitely that will affect them a lot. First of all its a good sign all survived the first few days. I think if the rest survives for a week, you will most likely be out of the woods.

 

Kind regards

Ruud

Edited by Ruud
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I had a little issue with ammonia in the tank, pretty sure it was caused by putting to many fish in to close together. The rainbows actually got a little ammonia burn on their gills from it, but I kept on top of it and changed water every day until it was handled. There hasn't been any ammonia or nitrites for a week now with only one water change in that time period. Luckily I didn't lose any fish and there doesn't seem to be any long term effects.

The tank has 9 boesemani rainbows, 6 panda corys, and 9 CPDs.

 

I was going to put some shrimp in there too, but a few people mentioned the rainbows might go after any shrimp babies, so instead I'll put some mystery snails in the tank. I'm just waiting on my first clutch from the snails in my 45 tall guppy tank. As soon as I get a clutch, it hatches, and the snails get to be about dime sized, I'll move some over.

 

The guppy tank has been doing awesome. I started out with 7 unsexed juveniles I got from @Wel-Don Tanks, about a 4-6 weeks ago, but there are about 30 in there now. I even culled some already  and moved them to a 20 gallon. Some of the guppies have these awesome lined markings on the body, while the ones I culled  just had a solid dark color body

 

I'm up to 7 tanks total, but the 29 doesn't have any fish yet, it's doing a fishless cycle and I'm soaking some wood in there at the same time. The other 45 tall doesn't have any fish either, but I think it needs to be resealed , so I'm thinking I'll give it to somebody for a terrarium and get a 40 breeder instead.

Edited by Rikostan
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Well not much new to report on the 55 gallon.

It's moving along nicely.  The panda corys hide a lot more these days though. They pretty much stay in the little cave system and just come out to eat. Maybe they are spawning? Everything else in the tank is doing well and I've seen a lot of breeding behavior from the CPDs, so I've been thinking about moving a pair to another tank for a week or so and see if I get some fry.

My 29 gallon is doing well too. It currently houses my cull guppies, but I am going to be getting some pea puffers for that tank instead. 

The two 20 gallons both have guppies and they are doing awesome, as are my cherry shrimp. I started with 9 of the shrimp, but I have around 30 of them now. I'm moving them to other tanks now.

My 45 gallon has guppies too and they have exploded, breeding like guppies do. I haven't see the blue dream cherry shrimp hatch any eggs yet, but they have molted quite a few times and one is berried now. The mystery snails in that tank have laid 8 clutches so far, but none of them have hatched yet. The clutches all look good still and a couple of them are starting to look like they will hatch soon too.

This Saturday the stuff for my new stand gets delivered. Just doing concrete blocks and 2x6s. The stand itself will be right about 5 foot, so I am thinking I'll get a 75 for the bottom and do a row of 10s for the top for breeding and QT purposes. I would go with a bigger 4 foot tank, but they seem to be hard to find around here and I'd have no way to get it home. A 90 *might* just fit in my son's SUV, so that might be an option... I'll have to wait and see. I'm not planning on getting a new tank till around the end of February or the first week in March, so plenty of time to decide.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Well it's been a few months since I updated. Nothing new to really report with the 55. Everybody is still doing good in that tank.

I have a total of 9 tanks now as I've added a couple of small 5 gallon tanks and a 75 gallon tank too. The 75 is still being setup, and I haven't totally decided on what is going to go in the tank yet, but I am leaning heavily toward some roseline/dennison barbs. The gold ones if I can find them when I'm ready to buy, but if not, just the standard ones.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, OceanTruth said:

Congrats on getting yourself a 75 gallon tank! You’ve got some good sized tanks to mess around with.

Thanks!

 

I just realized I had made quite a few changes since my last update here. Instead of doing a huge post, here is a quick fishroom tour. You'll see a lot of Co-op plants and equipment 🙂

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...