A little ole 10g startup (lighting, ferts, and stock help) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: MN
Posts: 15
A little ole 10g startup (lighting, ferts, and stock help)

I'll start by saying that I wasn't sure where to post this, so if its in the wrong place, I apologize.

Not too long ago I had a 2.something gallon dealy on my desk, lo and behold there was an old 10 gallon stashed away in the garage that I was unawares of, so I swapped out some substrate (oil-dri), boiled some more sticks (oak), and picked up a new light that I thought I needed (Hardware store work lamp with a 6500k 23W spiral bulb which I think is much too large). A month or 2 later and I have some Wisteria (though it has more "solid" leaves, so I'm not convinced that's what I got) some kind of chain sword, micro sword, and one Java fern (that is starting to pop out more java ferns, so i guess it is happy). Also, lots and lots and lots of string algae which I pull out on a daily basis (I raised the light a bit per the spiral bulb par thread I found in the lighting forum, fingers crossed.)

Long story short, questions I have are thus:

1) I'm afraid the light may be too far away now and not illuminating the tank fully. Anyone else use a single hardware pendant light over a standard 10 (or similar sized footprint)? What works for you? What doesn't? I'm approaching this whole deal as an experiment for now, but any previous experience from you knowledgeable folk would be great help.

2) Thus far I haven't been doing any ferts. I did Seachem trace for a little while sporadically, ran out, didn't replace (due to cost) and have left it ever since. Do you think some ferts would help my plants beat out the algae hoard? Any recommendations? Should I keep with no ferts? Use anything particular? (I should also add that I'm a huge cheapskate, so cheap suggestions would be very, very welcome.)

3) So far the tank has been plants, a few hitch-hiking snails and one ghost shrimp. I think I'm ready to fish up. Any stocking suggestions? I would like to under-stock if anything (if possible in this small tank). I was thinking either a small school of something very active, or a couple (2-3) "centrepiece " fish. (I'm a bit weary about shipping fish around, so something from the local stores would be best...unfortunately for me I really only have petsmartco's around here...so... if I NEED to ship I will... but I would prefer not too) Any and all ideas welcome (though I'm not really into bettas, and I feel like shrimp wouldn't really fill out this tank very well, though fish+shrimp would be acceptable)

Thanks everyone, sorry for the wall of text.

tl;dr - have 10g tank, 23W 6500k work-light '4hr on - 3hr off - 4hr on' lighting schedule. Petco brand filter "up to 30 gallons" or so. Looking for 1) Work-light recommendations "from experience" 2) fert recommendations and 3) stocking suggestions.

stpeter is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 10:32 PM
Wannabe Guru
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Centennial,Co
Posts: 1,836
The light should be fine. The java fern is eating itself. You need ferts. Work on that before you work on fish. Clean the tank. Take it completely apart and rid it of as much of the algae as possible. I don’t know what oil dri is but you need to feed the plants somehow.
BruceF is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: MN
Posts: 15
Bruce- I guess its not clear to me why you say the fern is eating itself. It is shooting off smaller ferns from the tips of the leaves, which I understood to be a good thing, a normal means of propagation, perhaps I am misunderstanding something.

I do agree though, that I need to feed the plants. Any recommendations for a (very very) low cost, effective way to fertilize the water column? I haven't done alot of testing but I can tell that my water (out of a well) is "very" high in iron (if you leave it sit in a glass for a few minutes, it rusts) and possibly other junk as well, what this means for ferts, I don't know, I was hoping one of you awesome peoples could help me out.

(also, oil dri is an inert substrate with (what i've read) a high CEC (or something like that) similar to turface or kitty litter, etc.)

stpeter is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 02:36 AM
Planted Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 221
I use API Leaf Zone to fertilize my 10g, just 5ml with my weekly PWC and I'm good to go. I also dose API CO2 Booster daily.

As far as fish go, if you want as small school that's active, you could get some neon tetras. I love mine--they're very easy to take care of and kind of cute. Guppies are another option but they reproduce frequently.

If you went the 2-3 centerpiece fish way, you could get female bettas, a pair of platies or mollies (just keep to the same gender if you don't want fry!) , and I think you could do a pair of dwarf gouramis. There are a lot of options!

10g Planted Community Tank| Otocinclus, Red Cherry Shrimp, Tiger Nerite Snail, Assassin Snail, MTS
5.5g Planted Tank | Betta
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