Complete Beginner 10 Gallon (updated Feb 20, 2017) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Complete Beginner 10 Gallon (updated Feb 20, 2017)

We all have to start somewhere.

I started out with a 38 gallon aquarium starting into the hobby. Unfortunately while setting up the hardscape a large rock rolled down a small slope and chipped the aquarium. I didn't believe it to be safe anymore, so I closed up shop and decided to mope around all winter. Well it's almost spring and I decided to get back into it. I have this old 10 gallon tank still, and a very low budget. I aquired a couple plants from a local pet store last fall in exchange for the fish formerly in my 38 gallon.

I was still stuck with a crayfish, 3 bags of eco earth (I already bought it before I did some research, I should have gone with black diamond sand and root tabs), 3 poor plants (Idk what type looks like 2 are anubias) and mystery snail. They wrecked havoc on the 3 plants in my small 10 gallon tank. Finally here in mid february it's time for me to step in. I moved the crayfish and mystery snail into a plastic tub with a heater and decided to get to work.

I first spent a good half hour scraping the algea off the tank walls using a rasor blade. I still couldn't get off all the algea on the silicone, so that's kind of a bummer. I then did several water changes and went out and bought a couple of cheap CFL's. As I mentioned before I'm broke, so I don't have money for $60 finnex lights or something similar if they aren't nessesary. Hopefully the CFL's will do the trick. I have a diy c02 kit ordered from amazon. I don't want to limit myself to a low tech tank even with a small budget.

I want this tank to have some nice stem plants in back. I was thinking some Alternanthera reineckii roseafolia in one corner and some other quick growers to fill up some other space. I love crypts, so for the midground I want some crypts and an anubia or two. For the forground I was thinking hairgrass, but I'm open to suggestions.

Unfortunately I have a lot of algea growth on the plants. If they recover, how would I fix that? Hopefully c02 will help.


Here are some pics, be as brutally truthful as you please. I could use constructive critisism. Thanks!











Bump: Forgot to include the equipment lol

Filter: AquaClear 20

Heater: ViaAqua 50-Watt Quartz Glass Submersible Heater with Built-In Thermostat

Substrate: EcoEarth

Lighting: 13 Watt CFL's 6500K

C02: diy c02 coming soon. For now excel.

Ferts: IDK yet. If someone could give me some options, that would be great. I heard things about seachem flourish however.


Current picture of tank



Last edited by Jerad Wilson; 02-22-2017 at 04:29 AM. Reason: Updated
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:10 AM
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You need to get the anubias rhizome above the substrate or it will rot and die.It needs to be tied to a rock or driftwood and it will anchor itself there after a while. It also will probably not like all the bright light so shade it somehow if you can.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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You need to get the anubias rhizome above the substrate or it will rot and die.It needs to be tied to a rock or driftwood and it will anchor itself there after a while. It also will probably not like all the bright light so shade it somehow if you can.
Thanks for the info!

4 videos, 3 accidentally broken off leaves, two forum searches, and a spool of fishing line later, I have managed to crudely anchor the anubias to the driftwood. Hopefully they'll do better now.

I also purchased some stem plants at my local LLS for 4 dollars. They also threw in a random plant as well. I think it might be a crypt, but i'm not sure. I also moved the lights a bit so the anubias won't get too much light. Hopefully that is an ok temperary fix.

Can I superglue the anubias to the driftwood later? I read that some members have done that. The fishing line is kind of unsightly. Thanks!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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The Rhizomes are starting to green already. Hopefully, they grow to the point where they will anchor to the driftwood.

The stem plants keep coming out of the substrate, so that's a pain. They do seem to be pearling a bit, so that's good. Hopefully, they will shoot out some roots.

The DIY c02 kit is coming today. I think I'll just stick the c02 into the intake valve of the filter until I get a proper diffuser. I haven't stocked the tank yet, so I don't think I have to worry about gassing anybody. Maybe I add an air pump at night just in case? Probably will end up putting a solenoid on it.

More pics tomorrow.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:29 PM
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Thanks for the info!

4 videos, 3 accidentally broken off leaves, two forum searches, and a spool of fishing line later, I have managed to crudely anchor the anubias to the driftwood. Hopefully they'll do better now.

I also purchased some stem plants at my local LLS for 4 dollars. They also threw in a random plant as well. I think it might be a crypt, but i'm not sure. I also moved the lights a bit so the anubias won't get too much light. Hopefully that is an ok temperary fix.

Can I superglue the anubias to the driftwood later? I read that some members have done that. The fishing line is kind of unsightly. Thanks!
Yes, you can use super glue. Use the gel type. If the anubias roots are long, I suggest trimming them to about 1/4". That will encourage the plant to grow new roots and anchor to the driftwood faster.
Make sure that any diffuser that you get doesn't need a high PSI to operate, you will not get the pressure that you need for that from DIY Co2.
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Last edited by Turningdizzy; 02-15-2017 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Add information
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:37 PM
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For fast growing stem plants I love rotala!


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! I did trim the roots a bit, and the plants are already sending out new root hairs, so that's good!

This is how the tank is looking with the stem plants and the Anubis attached to the driftwood. Tried to set up the diy co2 with a couple water bottles since I didn't have any 2 liter bottles, but it leaked. Hopefully I'll pick a couple up within a few days. Thanks for reading! As always, constructive feedback always accepted.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:59 AM
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You are gonna like it when that wisteria goes submersed. I pulled my plants, cut the new growth off and replanted it. The leaves get very delicate and detailed when submersed.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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You are gonna like it when that wisteria goes submersed. I pulled my plants, cut the new growth off and replanted it. The leaves get very delicate and detailed when submersed.

Is that what the stem plants are?
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 02:38 AM
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Is that what the stem plants are?
Yup. Here is some I planted and then again after I pulled it and replanted the tops. The emersed ones are very leggy so I'd prefer to keep the delicate leaves and try to trim them to stay bushy.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Yup. Here is some I planted and then again after I pulled it and replanted the tops. The emersed ones are very leggy so I'd prefer to keep the delicate leaves and try to trim them to stay bushy.
Thanks for the info! Also, nice start on that nano!
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Apparently my two programmable power strips are know to fail after a couple months. This happened to me after I have had them a few months. They simply won't follow the program. Going to have to manually turn the lights on and off until I can get a new one.

In a separate thread some nice members helped to to come to the conclusion that I won't need to up the amount of time my plants spend under the light, even after adding co2. At least until the tank, becomes stable. I am going to decrease my lighting period to 8 hours a day. I probably should have had it only 8 hours all along. Hopefully this will help the algae problem.

Bump: Btw I do not recommend the Coral life digital power centers. What a waste of $50! (I bought two)
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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I trimmed the stem plants a lot. This algae or whatever is getting out of control. I've been doing daily water changes and it still won't go away.
I added c02 at 1 bubble per second, hopefully that keeps it at bay. I also picked up two more plants, 3 ghost shrimp, and two ottos today. They are so cute! The shrimp are already starting to eat the hair algea on the plants, so that's awesome. This tank is staring to fill in a bit, but needs a lot more work. Hoping to pick up some hair grass after this algea problem goes away.

Thanks for reading!











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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 10:44 PM
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The light is strong, with less plant mass you won't be able to fight it. Get some very fast growing plants. Don't trim the plants unless its dying let it go wild.

If possible raise the fixtures rather than resting over the lids. Also ramp down the photoperiod to 6-7 hours. With 3 hours of siesta in between (3hrs - ON; 3hrs OFF; 3hrs ON)

My first tank was a 10 gallon with same lights but without lid and 3" raised from the top. I had a bit more plants to begin with never ran into algae problem.


I happened to inherit Coral life digital power centers which was like 2 years old. Its doing its job. Bit tricky to setup without instruction booklet.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Watercrayfish View Post
The light is strong, with less plant mass you won't be able to fight it. Get some very fast growing plants. Don't trim the plants unless its dying let it go wild.

If possible raise the fixtures rather than resting over the lids. Also ramp down the photoperiod to 6-7 hours. With 3 hours of siesta in between (3hrs - ON; 3hrs OFF; 3hrs ON)

My first tank was a 10 gallon with same lights but without lid and 3" raised from the top. I had a bit more plants to begin with never ran into algae problem.


I happened to inherit Coral life digital power centers which was like 2 years old. Its doing its job. Bit tricky to setup without instruction booklet.
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try to raise it higher, hopefully that will help. I'll also try and get some more plants, that might help. I would time it, but the timers won't work right lol. I'll have to pick up some new ones.

Bump: I trimmed them because the stem part was dying on some. Hopefully they'll grow better now.
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