Aquascaping a 55-Gallon Fish Tank

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For the past few months, I've been aquascaping a cute little 10-gallon fish tank. It came out pretty awesome. If you'd like to check that out, you can do so here. Before setting up the 10-gallon tank though, I had my heart set on a 55-gallon. While the 10-gallon is nice, I would love to see my little fishes swim around with a lot more freedom and space. Ten gallons isn't nearly enough room for five Danios and four Platys. The Platys are now having babies, so I really need more room for them. I will tell you though, the 10-gallon tank is really great for a beginner. Mine looks outstanding and has been a lot of fun to deal with. After I finish the newer and larger tank though, I'll likely keep the smaller tank for breeding and to house plants. We'll see what happens.

Last week, I filled the new tank up about half way to leak check it. I let it sit the entire time and there were no leaks, so I ordered some substrate gravel and another light. I also found some great looking stones from a nearby stream. Yesterday, I began arranging everything and adding more water. This morning, I took the filter from the old tank and put it in the new tank. This was to establish a nitrogen cycle. I also began transferring some of the smaller plants and stones from the smaller tank to the larger one. It's got a long way to go, but it's getting there. The water is still very cloudy. While I did rinse the gravel, I suppose I could have done a better job. Check out what I have so far.

setting-up-55-gallon-fish-tank.jpg

large-river-stones-in-55-gallon-aquarium.jpg

I'm leaving room on the right side of the tank for some stones from the other tank. Also, the plants I add later on will hopefully fill things out. I may need to buy some more, just because this new tank is so much larger than the other one.

The water should clear up in a day or so and when it's to temperature, I'll begin adding fish from the old tank to the new. I'll do this slowly as to avoid an ammonia spike. Once that's done, I'll also finish adding the stones and plants. I have some black foam board for the background as well, so I'll add that when the time is right. I basically, wanted to get this thread going so I could document this new project. I'll update here as necessary.
 
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The water is still cloudy in the tank. I've gone ahead and added the filter with the old media in it to the new tank full time. And just this morning, I added the rest of the stones, plants, and fish. The fish seem extremely happy and are enjoying all of their new space.

Here are a few pictures of some happy Platys.

orange-black-platy.jpg platys-eating-algea.jpg pregnant-platy.jpg

And here's a quick video I took about five minutes ago.


I still need to do some work to this setup. I need to add some black background, which I have sitting off to the side. I don't want to add the backer board before I stop splashing and dripping water all over the place. I also need to add some root tabs for the plants and wait for the tank to clear up. The water is still pretty murky. Although, I'll say that it's only about half as cloudy as it was yesterday. We'll see how it looks tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll be surprised with a nice clear tank.

Here's a picture of the entire thing.

setting-up-55-gallon-fish-tank.jpg
 
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JGaulard

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I received a nice little package from Aquarium Co-Op this afternoon. Inside the package was the sponge filter I've been waiting for. I haven't had bubbles in a tank for years, so I was excited to set everything up. During the process, I snapped a few photos, just in case someone is interested in what the filter, pump, tubing, and everything else looks like.

Here's the box the gear came in.

aquarium-cop-op-shipping-box.jpg
aquarium-co-op-packing-tape.jpg
aquarium-co-op-packing-list.jpg
aquarium-co-op-fish-tank-equipment.jpg

As you can see, I ordered the large sponge filter, a check valve, some air tubing, a never-clog air stone by Ziss, and an Aquatop AP-100 air pump. Let's see each item in its packaging.

aquarium-co-op-check-valve.jpg
aquarium-cop-op-air-line-tubing.jpg
aquarium-cop-op-large-sponge-filter-box.jpg
aquatop-breza-aquarium-air-pump.jpg
ziss-aqua-zad-15-air-stone.jpg

Okay, now we'll take a look at each item while in operation. First, we've got the sponge filter in the tank. It was a snap setting this stuff up. It only took a few minutes.

Oh yeah, before that, I'll show you a photo of the sponge filter and the air pump outside of the tank.

sponge-filter-air-pump.jpg

Now I'll show you both items inside the tank while running.

sponge-filter-in-55-gallon-fish-tank.jpg
aquarium-sponge-filter-air-bubbles.jpg

I originally had the air pump mounted to the side of my fish tank table, but after realizing that the check valve was cracked and that I couldn't get any air through it in either direction, I decided to mount it to the wall above the tank. Just in case the power goes out, the water won't siphon out of the tank. You gotta have one or the other; a check valve or an elevated pump.

mounted-fish-tank-air-pump.jpg

This is a photo of the cracked check valve. I decided to not even use one. I am not in love with the idea of having another part that can break - or slowly go bad over time. I've heard differing reviews on these things.

cracked-air-check-valve.jpg

I contacted Aquarium Co-Op about this. We'll see what they say. Oop - I just received an email back from them. They'll refund me for this part. Easy enough.

I've got the pump and filter running right now. I took a video of it to show off how loud (or quiet) they are. During the video, the pump was turned up high so the greatest volume of air would travel through it. I have since turned it all the way down because the filter really doesn't need nearly that much air. Everything looks good. I don't see any suction going through the foam though. I suppose that happens slowly. Here's the video.


Let me know what you think. Good stuff? It seems to be the industry standard.
 
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Enjoy the latest video of my 55 gallon tank. I took this for my friend Rob, just to show him the tank, but since it came out okay, I decided to post it on my YouTube account. The Danios are so much fun to own. They don't usually swim in the current, but I guess last night was their night.

Danios Swimming in Current - 55 Gallon Aquarium


 
Aquascaping a 55-Gallon Fish Tank was posted on 07-01-2021 by JGaulard in the Home Forum forum.

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