Hey guys im still pretty new to the planted scence, but not fish keeping in general. I have been keeping fish for over 10 years and only now have i decided to start a planted tank. This is mainly since i live in a dorm now and cannot have anything larger than 30 gallons at the moment. Anyways here are my tanks
Tanks at home which are more about functionality rather than aesthetics since im at school/ cant clean them frequently.
120 gallon 4x2 2x xp3 filters and a cfs500
stock: 2x datnoids 2x lima shovelnose 1x senegal bichir 1x rapheal catfish/
stock 1x parrot cichlid, 1x convict
Now into the "planted" tanks
I recently only got into them into planted tanks due to appeal while also keeping water quality more clean and consistent. So i had a rather regular 20 gallon setup, ac20, xp3, regular sand, plastic plants.
This was the look of the tank until i decided to get some amazon swords and a cabomba, and some random petsmart grass that ended up dying
This is when i started to get into the plant scene and realized my tank was not setup properly for plants. Till this day i havnt changed much except now i am dosing with florapride, liquid co2, and have a t5no ontop. Many plants have changed and so has the fauna. I had the tank like this for a while, Cabomba and the grass died and i changed it to what i have now.
and now it sits today like this
A 10 gallon dual light with 2x 14watt 6500k lights were added when i bought the HC and DHG. The tank now houses a pair of kribensis, 3 oto cats, 3neons 2 cardinals and some kribensis fry. This tank will continue to evolve and will probably stay a semi planted for a while, using liquid co2, ferts, root tabs and the such. This tank wont be converted since i see it as too much work with a current stocklist. I do however, wanted to start a planted 10 gallon.
I have decided to go the dirt route.
I bought MGOCPM and i rinsed/ washed/ screened it twice. In this tank i would like to have DHG and the HC that is seen in pots in my 20gallon. Heres my questions and i need help from all of you guys. The tank will be a 10 gallon, light dual 14watt 6500k cfl, dirt with sand cap, no pressurized co2, maybe diy? or liquid dosing? Will this work for both the DHG and HC. How do these look btw? HC had some brown from the store, possibly transitioning? and the DHG was in horrible condition from petsmart, just wanted to give it a shot. Both plants have been in my tank for less than 1 week.
The DHG has shown some growth after trimming though
I would like to see decent growth but im not trying to make it grow like wild fire. I would also like to keep it on the cheaper side as being a college student, well you guys know. I possibly would be able to do a paintball co2 as i already have a co2 tank or possibly a full co2 system since i live in a frat house and there are extra 5lb co2 tanks lying around. I would like to do a co2 system but the costs just seem very high for my current position. Let me know what you guys think/ what i should do.
Also i hear that a DSM method will not work without co2? I would hoping to try a DSM method out but if it requires co2 when you submerge the plants then i guess it is out of the question?
Thanks a lot and im excited to hear any suggestions!