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Old 03-13-2012, 10:55 PM   #1
Msigler
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First Planted Tank


Hi guys. After lurking here for a week or so I decided to start up a planted tank.
I currently keep a reef aquarium and have for about 13 years but I am a total noob with freshwater aquariums.
I had an old 10 gallon aquarium laying around and a heater to use. I set the aquarium up, brought the water to temp and added a little bacter booster. Then I went to the LFS and grabbed half a dozen plants or so along with the basics. I also grabbed a betta and named him master. I couldn't find flourite substrate locally so I just used regular gravel. I am going to order some dry ferts online and maybe the hagen natural Co2 system. Anyway, advice always welcome and appreciated. Here are some bacteria bloom pics I just snapped.



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Old 03-14-2012, 01:11 AM   #2
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Don't overdo the light. That is a typical mistake made by Reef tank keepers who start a planted tank.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:53 AM   #3
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Don't overdo the light. That is a typical mistake made by Reef tank keepers who start a planted tank.
Yea lol. My first thought was oh boy I can get more metal halides. After further reading I decided on a hood with two 10w U-tube cfl's. I figured two watts per gallon would be ok. Yea?
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:12 PM   #4
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I would raise the light a few inches.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:48 AM   #5
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I would raise the light a few inches.
I can't raise the lights because they are in the hood. It is only two 10 watt mini fluorescent 6500k aquarium bulbs. What wattage would you recommend?
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:56 AM   #6
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Might be just about right for lighting.
I might start with seven or eight hours a day and increase slowly as plant mass increases in growth.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:59 AM   #7
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I can't raise the lights because they are in the hood. It is only two 10 watt mini fluorescent 6500k aquarium bulbs. What wattage would you recommend?
10 watts over 10 gallons? I think you are fine and I wouldn't worry about it. One thing I would put some thought into is the Co2 system you are looking into. If you want it because you want it...I get that. That's how I got my second motorcycle, lol. Just be aware a DIY Co2 system will cost you the price of an empty 2 liter, a bag of sugar, and a packet of yeast with pretty much the same results. Granted, you won't get the cool ladder thingy...but most people end up hating them anyways.

Also, if you really get into having a planted tank...your going to be disappointed in plain old gravel. It doesn't hold plants well, doesn't hold nutrients well, and will require almost constant dosing. I'm not saying plants won't grow in it...they will...I'm just saying after a while you will probably want something better. I did, anyways.

PS: Good looking fish you have there.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I have the timer set at 8 hours right now so I guess I'll keep it there for now. I am really hating my substrate now though. I definitely want to swap it for the black sand fluorite. I watched a video earlier that made me want to totally change everything about my tank but for now I am planning on swapping the gravel for the black sand fluorite. Based on my reading once my tank is stabilized I can swap the larger stemmed plants for what I would like to be permanent. I really just want a nice carpet of micro sword and not sure on the rest. I love tips and suggestions.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Daximus View Post
10 watts over 10 gallons? I think you are fine and I wouldn't worry about it. One thing I would put some thought into is the Co2 system you are looking into. If you want it because you want it...I get that. That's how I got my second motorcycle, lol. Just be aware a DIY Co2 system will cost you the price of an empty 2 liter, a bag of sugar, and a packet of yeast with pretty much the same results. Granted, you won't get the cool ladder thingy...but most people end up hating them anyways.

Also, if you really get into having a planted tank...your going to be disappointed in plain old gravel. It doesn't hold plants well, doesn't hold nutrients well, and will require almost constant dosing. I'm not saying plants won't grow in it...they will...I'm just saying after a while you will probably want something better. I did, anyways.

PS: Good looking fish you have there.
LOL. You were reading my mind. I made my last post before I saw yours. Yea I am definitely changing the gravel. Huge eye sore to me. Should I add the Co2? I wouldn't buy the tabs anyway. Just use the sugar, yeast , B. soda deal. I was also looking at the atomic nano kit.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:23 AM   #10
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LOL. You were reading my mind. I made my last post before I saw yours. Yea I am definitely changing the gravel. Huge eye sore to me. Should I add the Co2? I wouldn't buy the tabs anyway. Just use the sugar, yeast , B. soda deal. I was also looking at the atomic nano kit.
Up to you. For my DIY, I just fed the "2 liter system" via airline into a airstone. I set the airstone so that the bubbles got sucked up into my filter...worked OK for me. Sure, not the most efficient method...but honestly, you're fermenting sugar in a jug and stealing it's by product...let's not get all crazy about efficiancy, lol.

If you get so into planted tanks so much that you decide to buy a proper Co2 system, stay away from the little "cutsie kit ones"...they end up being way expensive on the refill side. A decent, proper "big boy" kit that will only need a refill maybe once a year can be put together for around $130.

Insofar as substrate...well, I'm a dirt guy. Mainly because all the plants I see on earth are planted in, you guessed it, dirt. But, dirt isn't for everyone. It has it's drawbacks and benefits like anything else.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:29 AM   #11
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Good stuff there. I'll think on that for sure. Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:44 PM   #12
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That light is perfect for planted 10 gallons. You'll be able to grow anything with good fertilizer and co2. What part of WV are you from? Great to see another on the forum!
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #13
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+ 1 on everything Dax mentioned my 10 is a bit less light but it is open top to help make it seem bigger but definitely, dirt + sand are awesome and even with minimal effort (no co2 no ferts so far) everything I put in there is growing. Good luck!

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Old 03-15-2012, 02:56 PM   #14
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I would worry about making sure your tank is cycled before worrying about plant ferts and CO2.
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewingalot View Post
That light is perfect for planted 10 gallons. You'll be able to grow anything with good fertilizer and co2. What part of WV are you from? Great to see another on the forum!
I currently live just outside of Huntington, in Wayne. AKA, the boonies.
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