10 gallon planted - Betta home!
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:18 AM   #1
laurenjane
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10 gallon planted - Betta home!


Starting a journal for my ten gallon planted tank! I'm a definite newb who is starting to get addicted to this.

I've been having nothing but problems with my ten gallon while learning a truck load and I've decided to take my corys back to the pet shop and completely start over from scratch.

Planted in tank
2 x Amazon sword
Wisteria
Pink something on top need to find out what it is
Aquarium grass

Basically I started off by getting dirt out of my garden and throwing white sand on top as a cap.. it's working okay but I'm not happy at all with how the tank actually looks. Constant ammonia problems as well as the tank wasn't cycled before getting the fish... mistake number one.

Swords are not doing well either.. I can see they are starting to struggle. Wisteria is doing okay, the stuff on top is growing well and the grass is getting taller but is ugly.

So I'm going to strip down the tank, put in some eco-complete as a substrate instead and focus on learning to grow plants well and cycling the tank before I get the fish.

My plan is for a betta and a few corys... although I might just stick to the betta in this tank and latter upgrade to a larger tank IF I can successfully run this tank.

I'm learning that I'm impatient and fussy! But I adore this hobby too. Eeek. Wish me luck. I'll take a pic soon and would really love input.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:15 AM   #2
primo
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Good luck!

Couple plant tips I can give you with my experience:

Wisteria will drop it's lower leaves to keep "reaching" for light. You can constantly trim it to get it bushier. Prior to adding the T5s to my 55g mine dropped every lower leaf but the top looked good. Now that I have significantly better light, lower leaves and even planlets are growing back within less than a week.

Swords are heavy root feeders, invest into some root tabs as they will not feed well from liquid or other ferts put into the water. Look up Osmocote Plus DIY root tabs. They're CHEAP and better.

Pink something on top sounds like rotala rotundifolia?:

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Old 09-21-2013, 03:31 AM   #3
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aww thanks Primo!! That is helpful! I wondered why one of my wisteria was skinny at the bottom but doing well at the top... I will definitely not be afraid to trim it now.

And no that's not the pink plant.. I'll take a pic of it for people to identify. I've stripped most of the stuff out and found the source of my ammonia problems. The rocks I kind of laid on top of each other which was a really, really stupid idea as gunk has just collected underneath the cracks of both and to make matters worse I thought it was a great idea to put a plastic bridge behind the rocks for the fish to hide in if they were scared. Umm, really stupid as it was just basically a gunk catcher! I also didn't bury the rocks in the substrate but placed them on top of the dirt so basically.. gunk city underneath them. I had to move the bridge to catch my corys and the state of the water after that was unbelievable. Even though I was syphoning out 90% of the water to keep the ammonia out daily I couldn't work out why the fish seemed to be stirring up stuff at the back even though I was cleaning the substrate daily. Now I know.

So today I will clean it out yet again and plant the plants in the dirt again until I get back from my holiday and then get some new substrate and basically set up something more appropriate.

My little babies (corys) did not look happy in the community tank at the pet shop at all which has made me sad but at least they will live! I won't go buy them back later, I think just one betta for the ten gallon will be more than enough.

I am definitely interested now in setting up a larger tank, and corys will be on my shopping list. They were awesome. I know I've done the right thing now though, the tank had no chance how it was set up. It would have been ammonia cesspool forever.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:59 AM   #4
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Good luck and hoping to see your finished tank!
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:38 AM   #5
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fyi, incase they didn't say, a single amazon sword will get WAYYYYYYY to big for a 10 gallon. Don't toss them out, if you can't get a bigger tank for them then I suggest seeing if anyone on here wants them (buy them to help you out get replacements)

When starting up a setup, I research all the plants HIGHLY before I even decide those are the ones I want for the setup. I also mark out on a piece of paper who I plan to scape it. Take into account the FULL grown size of the plants before you plant them. There are some good swords for a 10 gallon that look even better than an amazon.

PS don't buy plants from petco/petsmart. 90% of the time those plants aren't actually fully aquatic, the rest of the time they are in such terrible shape that they're a waste. I'm also fairly certain the 2 plants I did get from them, had BBA on them and caused my 90 gallon to explode with it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:01 AM   #6
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Thanks Nestle. I have noticed the swords are growing rapidly and I can totally see them being too big for the tank soon. I'll have to re-think my whole tank.

My wisteria was just looking awful and I found slime looking algae this morning all across the substrate. I am now convinced the problem is the dirt and sand substrate. I think it's the source of the ammonia and the algae problems, and the dirt seeps through the sand when I move things which is awful.

So I've syphoned out the algae and done a partial water change which has cleared things up. I pulled out the wisteria as it just wasn't looking well. Ammonia was up at 2ppm today so hopefully that continues to rise unassisted while I'm away but if it doesn't I'll start cycling again when I've fixed all the other issues.

Going to replace the substrate with eco-complete and get some root tabs and flourish to take proper care of future plants.

The swords aren't looking well, however I've kept them planted and I'm sure they'll do better once I fix the substrate when I get home. I'll have to leave the lights off as I don't have a timer yet, so the swords might not be looking too great when I get back.


So basically, I need a new plan. What are some good plants for a 10 gallon tank?

Any advice much appreciated. x
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:59 PM   #7
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Swords survived.. yay! I got some great rocks for my tank while on holidays, and some driftwood that I'm soaking. Not sure if I'll use the driftwood yet as I've had nothing but problems so far so I might just keep it simple.

Still in need of some plant ideas for a ten gallon.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Just purchased some good substrate online, decent heater, some bacteria to help cycle this tank, a little castle (son's request).. with the cool rocks I got should look ok. Driftwood is soaking well, may or may not use it. Found an awesome betta at the pet shop, it looked marble.. restrained myself from buying him. Tank not ready, tank not ready.

Just need to order some new plants and it's all systems go. I'm still unsure of what to fertilise with. More research needed.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:03 PM   #9
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well, dry ferts are the cheapest but a little more complicated. I sucessfully fertilized for years with seachem flourish. Its a good "all around" and its readily available. I also didnt see where you listed a carbon source like CO2? If you are going to fertilize you will need something for that. You can always dose seachem excel as a substitute. I used those two for years and successfully kept many plants.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:56 AM   #10
laurenjane
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Yes I was thinking of using both of those.. haven't been able to get them in pet shops so I'm going to order them online, along with plants. I was hoping to buy it all at the pet shop but I wasn't happy with what they had.

In other good news...

Nitrite showed up!!! I can't tell you how excited I am to see purple!! Only problem is it does it just before I want to change the substrate. Why me.. *sigh* I think I can keep it going though, if I do it all in one day and keep the tank water I should be able to keep it cycling.

I've got a bottle of good bacteria coming anyway.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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The rocks look too big for the tank but they are sitting on the sand, once I put them in first and put the substrate in next they will take up less room.

I also went past the pet shop today where I gave them my cory's, I saw they are still there and looking skinny as!! I may buy them back, but I did notice the panda corys... how pretty are they? Might get some of those instead once the tank is cycled.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:31 PM   #12
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if you have to order your ferts online dont skimp, you will use alot and dont want to keep ordering so get the 2L containers. The thing is with premixes is you are paying for and to ship alot of water. There are several guys on here that sell dry ferts (in the Swap n shop) maybe contact them about mixing you up a good "all around" fertilizer mix. Then you would just add water when you got it. Might be cheaper. Just a thought.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:53 PM   #13
laurenjane
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Thanks! I did order a small bottle and was wondering how long it would last... Unfortunately I'm in Australia, I don't really want to ship anything in from overseas. Will have to have a think of what to do long term.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:14 PM   #14
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Today my tank actually cycled!! I couldn't believe my eyeballs.. I was expecting no ammonia and high nitrite, instead I got zero of either and nitrate!

Whoooo! For a newbie I can't tell you how exciting that is. Just had to share. :-) My new substrate came in the mail today too, just waiting on my new plants and it's all systems go for the re-scape. Yeah I'll probably stuff up my cycle, but it needs to be done. Go me!
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:34 PM   #15
laurenjane
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These are the four plants I got for the tank... hopefully they are all easy to look after.

Java Fern Microsorum Pteropus

Eriocaulon lividum

Anubias Nana

Anubias Nana Petite
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