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Old 02-05-2004, 07:21 PM   #1
nysara
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I have a 10 gal non planted tank that I would like to transform into a planted tank with a minimum number of changes. In short, I seek advice on how to transform one step at a time so that the water quality is maintained and my small school of fishies are still happy.

Are there resources avail for me to research/ does anyone have advice?

Is a 10 gal tank way to small?
NW :shock:
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Old 02-05-2004, 08:59 PM   #2
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First, you need light.

Do you have flourescent or incandescent bulbs? In an incandescent hood that has two bulbs it is easiest to purchase the 10 watt screw-in aquarium bulbs sold by fish stores and walmart pet dept. That will give you low/moderate light. Add a Hagen CO2 system and begin planting. As rooted plants do better with an iron source in the gravel, either make an icecube of latterite and push it under the gravel or add some flourite and mix in the gravel as you add the plants. With lower light, you may not require much fertilizers, I'd suggest Tropca Master Grow or Dupla24 to begin with. The ordinary easy plants will do fine.

If you hood has a flourescent bulb, either stay with very low light plants or add light, maybe a double bulb strip, if they come in that size, or an AHSupply retrofit for 36 watts compact flourescent. The 36 watts is a lot more light and so the plants will grow faster and need more attention.

Do your best to read as much of this site as possible, it contains everything you need to know.

The 10 gallon is fine, but if you have to add much lights, then the cost gets to be an issue, you spend a lot for the equipment, even though the tank is small. If you have a glass cover, you may be ahble to just add a regular strip light on the glass to boost the light.
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:28 AM   #3
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Thanks. I have flourescent bulbs, but could probably buy a different fixture without getting a car title loan.

One more question. Is it best to add plants one at a time & see how they do?

Cheers!
NW
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Old 02-06-2004, 02:22 AM   #4
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Welcome to the board nysara! Glad you've joined us!
Geez...with a name like nysara, I'd figured you to be from NY! Shows how much I know!

Anonapersona has given sound advice, as usual!

Lighting is always an issue. Upgrading the amount of total watts over your 10G is going to be the first step in achieving your planted aquarium goal. Give us an idea on how you plan to upgrade.

Substrate would be the next thing to tackle. If you are unwilling or unable to change the gravel in your aquarium, Anona's suggestions will help get you on the right track. You may also consider adding a product like Seachem's Flourish Tabs into your substrate. A lot cleaner that laterite, and may cause a little less trauma on your fish. Although, the laterite ice cube is brilliant!

I would skip the CO2 injection for now, and go with Seachem's Flourish Excel in a 10G. Be careful to dose as instructed. The Excel will provide your plants with carbon, and also help get you in the habit of dosing your aquarium. Planted aquariums take a lot of patience and attention. Dosing the Excel on a regular basis will help you get in the habit!

Anona's recommendation on fertilizers is a good one. I think I am going to try the Dupla product in my new 10G.

Keep reading the site. I may be partial, but I think it is one of the best resources on planted aquariums available! Keep posting too! Let us know what is going on, and ask for help when you need it!

Mike
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:54 PM   #5
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Oh yes, Excel is the better way to get started for a 10 gallon, right you are.

Better to add a lot of plants just as soon as the lighting is correct. Lighting is the fuel, if you dont' have the plants to use it, algae will move in to take up that excess energy.

You can fill the tank with stem plants, I have sunset hygro and ambulia, that will help fill the tank while the rooted plants take time to get established.

I find that rooted plants in a 10 gallon are slightlly dwarfed due to the relatively shallow depth of the gravel. So, the crypts and swords do not get as large as they will in bigger tanks, which is important for so many plants will get too big for that tank. My 10s have pearlgrass, crypt wendtii red, java moss, corkscrew vals, sunset hygro, ambulia, java fern, anubias nana, compacta swords. The wendtii in the 59 gallon is 17 inches tall, brushing the surface, but in the 10 is 10 inches tall, brushing the surface. I also have stopped root fertilizing the 10 gallon, as the swords were out of control and had to be replaced. As it is a former goldfish tank, it has a lot of mulm now so no more Root Tabs for that one.
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:46 PM   #6
nysara
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Thanks for all the advice. In the intervening weekend, we decided to plant the 20 gallon tank as it has the correct substrate and is less hallse to retrofit. Now we will convert the lighting to 60 watts of full spectrum joy.

In the meantime, my shy pencil fish seem t have laid eggs... Neat

Sara Nicole (The "SARA" in NYSARA)
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:50 PM   #7
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Glad you are off to a good and confident start SARA!!!

How about the NY??

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Old 02-09-2004, 10:19 PM   #8
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Well, the NYSA in NYSARA is my sis!

Now I just gotta try not to kill the new little fishies - glad I have an extra tank separater. And this after a traumatic tank move to another room - go figure.

Any tips on where to find detailed info on breedin dwarf pencils? MUST LEARN FAST - it takes two days to hatch. I'd like ot find a photo of their eggs to verify that they are dwarf eggs and not something else, though there are only dwarf pencils in the tank. I had a snail hitch a ride and he is in another tank now, but you never know with snails.

Feel free to call me Nicole - been using it for 10 years.

Nicole
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Old 02-09-2004, 10:51 PM   #9
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Snail eggs look like a patch of gelatinous mass covering a bunch of eggs, while fish eggs are separate, well little transparent balls.

They are very small when they hatch. In the beginning they will consume their yolk, then start eating tiny micro organisms. If you have any floating java moss, Riccia, or any dense plants, they would find something to eat in there. After a few days they will take newly hatched artemia.
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Old 02-09-2004, 11:13 PM   #10
nysara
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Oh Crumbs, my tank is sooooooooo not ready for reproduction!

I have both snail eggs & fish eggs. That would be why they look different from eachother.

One thing is for sure - no more fish until we resolve the egg thing!

NW
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Old 02-09-2004, 11:21 PM   #11
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I am envious... I have 5 Dwarf Pencils for a few months now, got them really tiny, and now they look like adults... but no egg-laying business at all! I am beginning to suspect they are all one gender, males or females. They do their little head to tail dances, and eat the rest of the day. And this is in a planted tank, with all the little hiding places just in case they would feel embarrassed... but nothing :?
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Old 02-09-2004, 11:28 PM   #12
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8) Maybe they just like the new location in the bedroom to set the right mood.

We'll see if I can keep the offspring alive this first time...

I feel unprepared for the responsibility!

Nic
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:35 AM   #13
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Once I added MTS to my tanks, I never saw another baby fish -- MTS are very efficient egg finders it seems.
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