10 gal planted tank: what species to get?
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:45 AM   #1
riftlake_kid
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i want to turn my 10 gal aquarium that has 5 guppies and a port hole catfish into a planted tank. i have never kept live plants before. i have been doing a bit of research on them and here is what i have planned:

fine gravel mixed with laterite substrate for iron.

a co2 injector

2 18" triton fresh water bulbs. 2x15watt 3 watts per gallon.

what i was planning on is some microsword covering the bottom, vallisneria in the corners, a few cryptocrynes mixed in the gravel with the microsword. some anacharas in the back ground. and some anubias nana and java moss on driftwood.
i am also replacing my biowheel filter with a fluval 1 for less surface agitation.
i also need advice on feeding/fertilizing the plants. whats the best brand of fertilizer and how oftern do i use it? i currently have a bottle of flora san. is this a good quality plant food? if not what is best?
i havent purchased any of this stuff yet so i am open to any suggestions of changes i need to make.
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:53 AM   #2
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should i make my own or should i buy a co2 injector. and how do i stop it from lowering my pH too much. my tap water is very alkaline, 8.2 so i am affraid of big swings when doing a water change with the tap water if the co2 has lowered the pH all week. what should i do?
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Old 01-18-2004, 04:08 AM   #3
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my pH is 8.0 and GH is 9
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Old 01-18-2004, 04:33 AM   #4
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i want a "carpet" of microsword. will microsword do that?
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:49 AM   #5
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Hi there, welcome to the Planted Tank! Looks like your are off to a good start. Fine gravel over laterite sounds good, same for your lighting plans. A 10 gal is very small, which makes it a little harder to get and keep things balanced.

Regarding CO2, there are various ways. 1) Flourish Excel is a carbon source which can improve things in smaller tanks. 2) You can buy the Hagen Natural CO2 system in pet stores. It comes with a "bubble ramp" and is a good solution for a 10 gal tank. 3) You can DIY, build your own sodabottle CO2 production plant or 4) You can use pressurized CO2, which will cost you much more than the tank, lighting, filter and plants together.

With a kH of 9, you don't have to worry too much about pH swings, it will be buffered well. You might want to add water slowly to reduce the sudden fluctuations during water changes.

Fluval 1 -- is that the internal filter? It might work well, although it is difficult to hide in a small tank.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:52 AM   #6
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Vallisnerias and Anacharis might outgrow a 10 gal tank quickly. Smaller crypts, microsword, and slower growing, and fine leaved plants are well suited.
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Old 01-18-2004, 06:56 AM   #7
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thanks for the help wasserpest. i think i will go with the hagen co2 injector. i have been reading about flourite substrate and i also see in your sig thats what u have in your 10 gal. is it better than laterite? should i use that instead?
ok i wont get vallisneria or anacharis. but what species would make a good background plant instead?
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:17 PM   #8
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Flourite and Laterite are different things. Flourite is a substrate that can be used by itself, while Laterite is something to add underneath another substrate, like gravel.

The advantage of Flourite compared to gravel is that it has a high CEC (capability to bind nutrients in a plant available form) and also contains some iron and traces to start with.

Once you have Flourite washed and in the tank, it is easy to plant and won't cloud your tank much. Laterite, on the other hand, will create dustclouds each time it is disturbed.

Is Flourite a better substrate than Gravel + Laterite? Not sure.
Is it worth the additional expense? Not sure.
Is it a good value? No. I think it is overpriced.

For a 10 gal, one bag of Flourite is sufficient, so it's not that big of a deal, and probably still a good choice.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:20 PM   #9
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Have a look at the gallery (Homepage) and check out 10 gal tanks for ideas for background plants.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:55 PM   #10
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I like this kid already, enthusiastic, does some homework, I think he will make a fine planted tank-er, to coin a phrase. :roll:

Try some Sag subulata in the background, there is a some that grows a little taller and will give you that look that you wanted from the Val.

Microsword does nicely in a 10 gallon tank, it likes being close to the light, you might want to take a look at the hairgrasses, they are a little easier to get started than the microsword.
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Old 01-19-2004, 03:28 AM   #11
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thank u for your help wasserpest and SCMurphy
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:26 PM   #12
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You may also want to try eco-complete, one bag will work very well for your tank size.
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Old 01-19-2004, 01:41 PM   #13
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A few of my favorite small-tank plants are Crypts, Anubias and Bacopa. The Bacopa can grow to several feet tall but don't grow tremendously fast and can be kept as a few nice vertical stalks.
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