Convert or no? - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 14
Convert or no?

Hey all, I've introduced myself a bit in the Lounge section but wanted to make a thread here in order to get some advice and questions answered.

I have a 10G tank at home right now that is currently a graveled/plastic plants basic aquarium. I've always wanted to have a real nice aquarium but could never bring myself to setting one up and going for it all. Now I know I want to try and venture into the planted tank world but will admit I am a bit scared because I don't know what to expect. I've done some research and am familiar with what needs to happen, but am unconvinced whether I'd be able to do it or not.

So here is my real questions. Should I even consider a planted tank if I only have a 10G tank? I could get a 20-30 gallon for relatively cheap but would love to just convert my current tank over if possible. I also have in mind my tank setup consisting of white(find) sand and a few plants or maybe driftwood. Is that relatively possible with sand instead of gravel?

I should mention at this point that I am a full time college student and between work, school, homework, chores, etc. have some but not huge amounts of time on my hands. Does it take a lot of time throughout the day/week in order to create/maintain a planted tank? I find myself a bit lacking sometimes with previous aquariums..

With that in mind, I am also on a college budget as well...Is it much more expensive than a simple plastic everything tank?

Please advise and thanks in advance.
falseantidote is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 14
Might I also mention since I am a college student, I move around quite a bit between living back at home for the summer and new apartment/dorms during school semesters. Is it difficult to move a planted tank back and forth often? Plastic-planted tanks aren't much to deal with but not so sure about planted tank since there is so much more going on...
falseantidote is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 12:33 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,993
Here's a forum just for tanks under 10gl.

So yes, 10gl is big enough.

How much time you spend each day is based on your own planning & research. Low Tech tanks don't require as much maitence time as high tech tanks.

Here's a forum just for Low Tech tanks

CO$T - This hobby is about growing plants not shopping. Wise choices + basic aquatic gardening skills will keep cost reasonable.

If some endeavor has enough value, one will make the time to attend to it.
DogFish is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 01:14 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
CAM6467's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alvarado, Texas
Posts: 593
I had the same reservations when I first decided to go from the standard, fake aquatic environment to something a bit more realistic. I too started with a simple, 10 gallon aquarium. 10 gallons is PLENTY big enough to "get your feet wet"....Pathetic pun, I know...

Some things to consider before making any purchases:
  • What sort of plants do you want to grow? This is a biggie. If you are going for a simple, low-maintenance tank, then you'll probably want something like java fern, anubias, swords, etc. If you want something a bit more challenging, you can go with the vast array of stem plants, carpet foreground plants, etc. This is where you need to start. Do some research, then choose the type of plants you are interested in.
  • Now, the type of plants you choose can impact the type of lighting you'll need. Do some research, then take a look at the "Lighting" section of TPT.
  • Filtration. Basically, do you want to see the filter or not? This will impact whether you get a canister or a HOB (hang on back).
  • Substrate, which should probably be higher on this list, is one of the largest areas of concern for me when I start a new tank. I am a HUGE advocate of eco-complete. I've had great success every time I've used it. I would suggest you do even more research to find the substrate that fits your personality and budget the best.
  • What sort of carbon source will you use for the plants? Some use liquid carbon sources such as Seachem's excel, others use DIY CO2, and others step out there and go for the pressurized CO2 system. I've used all three, and I will never even consider anything other than my pressurized system. In your research, you'll find that a fully rigged pressurized CO2 system can cost at least $200-300 depending on where/how you get your stuff.

This list could go on and on. The best way to learn what you need is through experience. Being a college student, you'll probably find that time is a precious commodity that must not be wasted. I would advise that you find something that satisfies your aquarium needs but doesn't dominate your life. I, unfortunately, have made the mistake of allowing a high-tech tank take over my life.. Not fun!

Anyhow, have fun with the new hobby! I can't wait to see a journal started by you in the future!


"Success is not the goal, it's merely a byproduct!"
- The Fraternity of Dirt #66 -
Just because it's dirt doesn't make it low-tech.
CAM6467 is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 14
Thanks for the helpful responses. I have decided to go with low-light plants for starters. HOB filtration system, and white pool filter sand.

The most important factor, substrates, is also the most confusing area for me. I will do more research to further understand substrates before moving forward, but is there any brands cheap and effective you might suggest? Or basically, starter-friendly substrates?
falseantidote is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome