Want to start a 10 gal. planted?
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:54 AM   #1
TurtleShark
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Want to start a 10 gal. planted?


Hello! So, I want to start a 10 gallon planted tank but I don't really know how... The tank has a regular old, boring 10 gallon aquarium hood. We don't have a lot of money and I should be concentrating on building the 6 or 8 foot tank I'm going to need for my balas but...

Lights?

Substrate?

Plants? (I'll probably buy them off some online store because PetSmart has a horrible selection...)

Based on the above question, what site should I buy from?

Other?

What are the basics on keeping a low light planted tank?

I have some plants in my turtle's tank (I don't know the name of them) and they have grown quite well. The light's on for 14 hours a day, though...

Thank you for your help and your patients with me... I just want to do it right the first time around.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:52 AM   #2
Ashnic05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleShark View Post
Hello! So, I want to start a 10 gallon planted tank but I don't really know how... The tank has a regular old, boring 10 gallon aquarium hood. We don't have a lot of money and I should be concentrating on building the 6 or 8 foot tank I'm going to need for my balas but...

Lights?

Substrate?

Plants? (I'll probably buy them off some online store because PetSmart has a horrible selection...)

Based on the above question, what site should I buy from?

Other?

What are the basics on keeping a low light planted tank?

I have some plants in my turtle's tank (I don't know the name of them) and they have grown quite well. The light's on for 14 hours a day, though...

Thank you for your help and your patients with me... I just want to do it right the first time around.
Plants you should buy off TPT's For Sale section. You'll find rare/hard to find plants, better quality and cheaper price. Some other sites people have used are other Planted forums, bamaplants.com, aquariumplants.com, etc.

For equipment you can go to aquatraders.com, amazon or ebay (be careful about who you buy from). There's many sites to choose from.

Substrate really depends on the type of plants you want and livestock you will be housing. Some fish need a softer substrate like sand, if they have barbels that can be damaged from sharp gravel (cories, loaches, etc.)

Overall you need to ask yourself what kind of plants do you want to grow? Different plants have different lighting/fert/CO2 requirements. Since you're a beginner I would go with low-light plants as they are the easiest/most cost effective to care for. Such plants are mosses, ferns, anubias, crypts, and some rotalas. Swords are usually easy to care for but will outgrow a 10 gallon in a pinch, unless a rosette/compact of some sort. I would check out the Low-Tech forum on this site, there are stickies with a ton of info.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:37 AM   #3
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Dual incandescent fixture? Grab some lil' 13w daylight fluoros. 3 packs cost like 8 bucks. 40 pounds of safetsorb is like 5 bucks and 50 lbs of black sand(blasting grit) is about 8 bucks for 50lbs. Plants should be researched first, but try some stuff out. You'll fall in love with some plants.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
gourami1985
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I use The normal cfl daylight bulbs that screw in to The dual incandescent liight fixture on my 10 gallon tanks. I can grow almost anything under those. They are 6500k spectrum.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:55 PM   #5
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PetSmart might not have an awesome selection, but they do have a few good low light plants such as amazon sword, java ferns and the occasional crypt. I wouldn't count them out if you can find a good package that isn't all dried up lol. They'd be a good start if you didn't want to pay for postage and worry about weather.

Low-Tech Planted Tank Guide
This site has helped me a bunch with low tech information.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #6
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All I can say is, if you get plants from a Big Box store, clean them well before you put them in the tank. In the past few weeks, I've observed not just occasional hitchhikers, but entire ecologies coming along for the ride (especially potted plants, where there's more places for critters to hide.)

I've had a crash course on hydra, scuds, worms, snails and snail eggs recently, not to mention a bit of duckweed.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:15 PM   #7
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Default Thank you.

Well, thank you everyone. Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to set this up... Any ideas? I would like to leave a small area open with no plants right there. Maybe I'll put the largest in the back left and taper it off towards the right... I just don't want it to end up a big mess.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:52 AM   #8
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If your hood has a fluorescent light, that will probably work for a low-tech set up. If it's incandescent, get some of the smaller daylight CFLs as a couple people said up above.

You can go with almost any type of substrate - one bag of pretty much whatever will probably be plenty for a 10gallon. Cheapest would probably be dirt from an unpolluted/fertilized/pesticided area, or you could drop a couple dollars on a small bag of MGOCPM, and then use whatever to top it - SafeTsorb, pool filter sand, blasting grit, pea gravel, etc.

What about a filter? do you have one already or are you looking to purchase one?

For plants, you should see if there is an aquarium society in your area, or even just find some other hobbyists - a lot get rid of plants on a regular basis from trimming their tanks, and they are usually quite a bit cheaper then buying from stores.

If you can, put in some floaters initially - stuff like frogbit or water lettuce is easier to deal with then duckweed. - They can help take up excess nutrients until your other plants grow in, and they can help provide cover for surface fish. Once your plants grow in, you could either remove them altogether, or just thin them down to a desirable level.

Poke around on this site for some good info, and don't be afraid to try things and see what works
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:11 PM   #9
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I don't know anyone with any planted fish tanks. We don't even have a LFS around here... The only reliable place to get fish is PetSmart.

So, I was thinking about getting a couple of female betas, a couple of otos, and some platies. I think that sounds good to me. Oh, I have a tetra 15 gallon filter on the tank. The tank has water in it but the filter hasn't been running because it's empty (Except for the small but growing population of pond snails that have made the tank their home. I'm going to try to starve them out and hope they don't turn to the plants that I have growing in there for food... I don't know the name of the plants though or I'd tell you all..)

Plants I haven't decided on yet...
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
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And... I've found my inspiration. Here's a link: http://www.tropica.com/en/layouts/la...scription.aspx

This looks wonderful to me and seems simple enough. Now, I should ask if that red plant," Myriophyllum mattogrossense 'Red' " can go in a 10 gallon. It says it can grow up to 60 centimeters or about 24 inches so I think not. Is there any similar plants that I could keep? Would it be okay to keep this plant trimmed down enough so it was smaller? I'm going to look a little for something smaller...
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:46 PM   #11
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Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini' looks okay... It will only get 3 inches tall but it still has that red color like the other one. It's a darker shade but oh well. My only problem is the higher demand of CO2 most of the plants in this set up have. The information on them says 6-14 mg per liter compared to the 3-5 mg per liter that the anubias has. Would this make a huge difference?
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:52 PM   #12
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I find the 9W 6500k CFL's to be just right. When I ran the 13W I always got algae.
Bag of miracle grow, Black diamond blasting sand capping the dirt, small heater and your filter of choice then you are pretty much good to go.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:51 PM   #13
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Okay, so what about my choice of plants?

Here they are:
Hydrocotyle tripartita



Ammania sp. 'Bonsai'



Eleocharis sp. 'mini'



And


Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'



If I can use these, where would I get them? I know PetSmart wouldn't sell them... I'll look on the for sale section but...




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