10 gallon on the cheap...
Keep your desk lamp - or get a desk lamp that looks nicer. Way cheaper than any aquarium lighting system. And replacement bulbs will be easy to find as well. A 10 is pretty small, and it's really easy to overdo the lighting, which will likely mean algae battles.
I've never used eco complete, but if you've got it, use it. If it's not the right color your looking for then just cap it with sand.
If your looking for low maintenance plants - go with anubias, java fern, mosses are great too.
With a pH like that, use driftwood, or maybe even peat in your substrate.
How much are you wanting to spend on lighting? Honestly, I do find that the RayII lights are relatively inexpensive for what they can do for you. Anyways, what I would do for substrate is organic potting mix capped with whatever your heart desires. I really like these soil tanks with hi light because they get everything going strong real fast. I didn't even bother dosing for the first few months, and I only dose super minimally now, and still I have way more plant growth than I know what to do with.
As far as plants, that also depends upon your budget and how much trimming you want to do. Things like wisteria and now Rotala wallichi are growing out of my ears (and out of my tank......skipped trimming this week :O) and I have glosso just everywhere.
HC would totally grow fine for you, though I might say stay away from DHG just because it really needs to be trimmed once it gets going, otherwise even the belem looks a little taller than I personally like
I would, personally, try and get whatever plants that you find attractive but that you can also sell trimmings of easily. For me, I know I want a ton of different Ludwigia and Rotala and other fancy stems in my 10 gallon, and whatever less common plants I can find.
Well looky here... wanting recommendations for possibly high tech tank
I'm tearing down my other 10 gallon for the holidays to lessen work on my tanks, so I can focus more on my CRS project (See my latest build thread), and so I can start afresh.
By start afresh, I mean start over. Almost completely. The tank has become consumed by algae, and water quality is declining. It is so bad I would feel ashamed to even share a picture.
Therefore, I am tearing the tank down and throwing away every plant in there. The substrate isn't nearly deep enough, with no nutrients, filled with poo and detritus, and clouding the water. The lighting system is not doing its job, just growing an algae farm. Fertilizers have been neglected for some time, so no extra nutrients have been available. This is awful, and I am embarrassed that the only way to fix these problems is to start over.
Alrighty, now that you know what I'm getting into, down to business!
Tank: This is a standard 10 gallon black rimmed tank, the one you find everywhere. No scratches, in very good condition.
Lighting: Right now, a full spectrum desk lamp, 6,500k, 27w one. I really, really want to get a better light, but I am not going to break the bank purchasing a schnazzy, with-all-the-bells-and-whistles Finnex, Fugeray, ADA, or FishNeedIt fixture. I just want sufficient, sustainable, reliable lighting that fits my ever-tightening budget.
Substrate: As before, I do not want to spend oodles of cash getting any special stuff, so don't you dare recommend ADA Aquasoil or UP Aqua stuff. I was planning on using barely used Eco-Complete that needs a use. Got any ideas?
Planning on starting once again with N,P,K, and Micros dry ferts that I have in abundance. Root tabs are in plenty, and it variety. Recommend whatever you like regarding this subject.
Carbon Dioxide injection: I have a 24 ounce C02 tank waiting to be refilled. I have a paintball system (ASA On/Off valve system) to go with it. I have drop checker with fluid, bubble counter, C02 tubing, glass diffuser, the works. Please do not recommend a regulator, unless you know someone who is giving one away.
Fish/Invertebrates: Only a male veintail betta will inhabit this tank. Due to the fact that I will be dosing ferts containing copper and injecting C02, no shrimp will be able to survive.
Plants: Here's the best thing! I truthfully don't care what goes in the tank, recommend anything you think a guy just gettin' into high tech would be able to keep alive! I would like to get a pretty foreground plant, either HC or Dwarf Hairgrass. Other than that, recommend away!!
pH is around 8.0 usually, kinda an important fact lol.