10 Gal planted dirted work tank
I decided to start a new tank that I can bring to work and have at my desk. I've been talking about bringing in fish for a while and my co-workers that sit near me liked the idea, so I decided to go ahead and do it... I was going to a few months ago, but when I changed my 55 gal tank substrate from the old stones to eco-complete I ended up crashing the tank, and my plan was to populate the work tank with fry from my home tank. So my plans were put on hold for a while...
My home tank is finally starting to get the population of molly/guppy fry up, as well as I have 20-30 cory cat fry that I've hatched out that I'm waiting for them to get a bit bigger to turn loose in my tank... so my breeding stock is getting up where it needs to be to be able to start my work tank, so I went and bought another 10 gallon tank yesterday.
I decided that since it is a work tank it will be a pain in the butt to do regular water changes, so I want to do a planted tank again... but I'm still not sold on the benefits of the eco-complete in my tank at home... my plants are growing now that I upgraded my lights, but I wanted to try something different with this tank...
I set the tank up last night and put a gallon of water in it, then decided to use some miracle-grow potting soil that I had at the house to make a 1 1/2 - 2" thick bottom layer, which I then covered with about 12-13lbs of small gravel that I had left over at home from a previous tank to hold the potting soil in place.
I'll let the tank cycle for a few weeks (or move my filter floss from my 55 over to it) before I bring it to work (that way by the time I set it up at work I can put fish in it, so people don't pick on me for having an empty fish tank at my desk, and I can have it all set up before any management realizes it - I barely ever see my boss, so I think I can get away with keeping the tank at my desk, but there's only one way to find out!).
I had a nice piece of driftwood that I cut a little shorter so it would fit in the 10 gallon tank as a center piece that gives it some dimension... then I'll add some low light low tech plants over the next few weeks before I bring it to work.
I'm currently planning on using my stock hood from my other 10 gallon tank that I've removed now that I upgraded my lights on my SW tank, so right now I have two spiral CFL 50/50 10000K/actinic bulbs in the hood right now. These are only 13W bulbs, so I will probably upgrade them to something a little stronger - but I want to stick with the stock hood to help keep stuff out of the tank. Does anyone have any suggestions on bulbs that will fit a stock hood like the CFL bulbs that would work good for a 10 gal planted tank?
Any suggestions on plants I could keep that wouldn't need a lot of maintenance? In my tank at home I have DHG which seems to be doing OK, but hasn't spread any yet, plus dwarf baby tears (HC), water wisteria, java fern, a couple of other unimpressive plants and a lot of algae!
Any tips on using potting soil / gravel combination? Am I doomed? Will the miracle-grow cause a problem for the fish in the water?
Looking forward to advice / help! Will post some pics as soon as I can!