10 Gallon first planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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10 Gallon first planted tank

UPDATE: 7/27 - So my tank has changed a lot since I started it, but I did a major overhaul a day ago. Just completely changed the substrate so I didn't have a potential time bomb building under the gravel with the strange fertilizer and organic soil I used. Also, I wanted to get some pygmy cory and I really wanted them to have sand. I changed the substrate to flourite black sand and I put an aquaclear 20 on it since I have them on my other tanks and they're just beastly little filters. Still torn about the background, I might change it once I have more background plants.

Current picture:

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieFa3wHVTwM

I've actually put my scissortail rasbora and ghost shrimp back in the tank after I made the video, I was hesitant, but they're all getting along. The pygmys are so tiny in comparison so I watched them carefully for a couple hours and they are doing well. When the lights came on in the morning, they were kind of schooling with the scissortails, which was strange, but I'm ok with it.

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I decided to start a planted tank trial run with some stuff I couldn't find any information on. I used espoma biotone starter plus fertilizer with mycorrhizae, sprinkling it on the bottom of the tank and covering it with about an inch of Natural Guard 100% Organic Garden soil. I put 2 inches of gravel on top of that. The plants I used I believe are some type of ludwigia, vallisneria, arrow arum and a tiny lily pad. I know the arrow will probably have to go. This is just a test run to see how it goes before I actually spend money on plants.

If anyone could identify the plant in the center of the aquarium I'd appreciate it. I'm new to this so any advice is helpful, thank you. I'll post pictures as it progresses.
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Last edited by Pluke; 07-28-2017 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Update
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 04:41 AM
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Not sure on the plant ID but will be fun to see this develop. My money is on the vals taking over first haha

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure on the plant ID but will be fun to see this develop. My money is on the vals taking over first haha
Right now the thing that's growing the fastest is the arrow. It's cool how fast it grows, but I may have to remove it as it won't get light on the leaves if it gets much taller than my tank. The lily pad is growing nice, too. I'll probably post a picture in a bit.

I have a question though, my tank has been really cloudy these passed few days. Should I leave the water in or change some of it? My ammonia was only 1ppm last night when I tested and hadn't changed since the previous day. I have 0 nitrites. The ludwigia on the left of the pictures is having a hard time. They are growing well, but the lower leaves (the ones that are torn/have a hole) are turning yellow and reddish. I'm wondering if they're burning from the ammonia or possibly the fertilizer. I'm sure a water change wouldn't hurt, but I've heard it'll slow down my cycle if I do. Thoughts? Thanks.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 02:21 AM
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the one to the right(heart shaped-sword like) looks awesome though!!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 07:49 PM
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Right now the thing that's growing the fastest is the arrow. It's cool how fast it grows, but I may have to remove it as it won't get light on the leaves if it gets much taller than my tank. The lily pad is growing nice, too. I'll probably post a picture in a bit.

I have a question though, my tank has been really cloudy these passed few days. Should I leave the water in or change some of it? My ammonia was only 1ppm last night when I tested and hadn't changed since the previous day. I have 0 nitrites. The ludwigia on the left of the pictures is having a hard time. They are growing well, but the lower leaves (the ones that are torn/have a hole) are turning yellow and reddish. I'm wondering if they're burning from the ammonia or possibly the fertilizer. I'm sure a water change wouldn't hurt, but I've heard it'll slow down my cycle if I do. Thoughts? Thanks.
IME you need some patience with these dirted tanks. Unless you go through all the trouble of mineralizing the soil and being very meticulous about your setup it is unreasonable to expect it to cycle as quickly as a regular tank. I would do large (50% +) water changes once a week for the first month. Contrary to most other situations, there will likely be enough ammonia being produced even with you exporting heavily with waterchanges for the cycle to continue to develop

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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IME you need some patience with these dirted tanks. Unless you go through all the trouble of mineralizing the soil and being very meticulous about your setup it is unreasonable to expect it to cycle as quickly as a regular tank. I would do large (50% +) water changes once a week for the first month. Contrary to most other situations, there will likely be enough ammonia being produced even with you exporting heavily with waterchanges for the cycle to continue to develop
Yup, I didn't do anything to the soil other than use some fertilizer with a bunch of beneficial bacteria in it. I don't think it's doing any of the plants any favors at this point. As you can see in the pictures, they're not doing very well. I changed the water a few days ago, 50%. I'm going to do it again later today. I've got some Seachem prime and Stability now, I've read they're very helpful so figured it won't hurt to try. I've been putting co2 in the water with flourish. I've been busy all weekend so haven't been able to test the tank, but it hasn't changed. Water still clouds up. I bought some white clouds yesterday to add fish to the cycle. They instead ended up in my girlfriends tank which I started a couple weeks ago with eco-complete and it's already cycled. I don't want to hurt them despite how hardy I hear they are. I feel bad enough for the plants in my tank.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 01:06 AM
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Yup, I didn't do anything to the soil other than use some fertilizer with a bunch of beneficial bacteria in it. I don't think it's doing any of the plants any favors at this point. As you can see in the pictures, they're not doing very well. I changed the water a few days ago, 50%. I'm going to do it again later today. I've got some Seachem prime and Stability now, I've read they're very helpful so figured it won't hurt to try. I've been putting co2 in the water with flourish. I've been busy all weekend so haven't been able to test the tank, but it hasn't changed. Water still clouds up. I bought some white clouds yesterday to add fish to the cycle. They instead ended up in my girlfriends tank which I started a couple weeks ago with eco-complete and it's already cycled. I don't want to hurt them despite how hardy I hear they are. I feel bad enough for the plants in my tank.
Prime and stability will help for sure! And yes your plants will make it through the break in process if you can keep the ammonia levels down with water changes. Good call on the fish haha

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Well, turns out the cause of my water getting so cloudy and yellowed.. was the water itself. I did a test and filled a 5 gallon bucket to let sit for a while and sure enough, it turns dark yellow. That's well water for you. Now I've taken some water from my gf's house and the tank is clear as day, so I feel much better about that. Feel like I have really stifled the cycle, but hey.. at least I found the problem. I'm going to get some kind of fish to help cycle I think. Just glad it's doesn't look terrible anymore.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 02:33 PM
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I decided to start a planted tank trial run with some stuff I couldn't find any information on. I used espoma biotone starter plus fertilizer with mycorrhizae, sprinkling it on the bottom of the tank and covering it with about an inch of Natural Guard 100% Organic Garden soil. I put 2 inches of gravel on top of that. The plants I used I believe are some type of ludwigia, vallisneria, arrow arum and a tiny lily pad. I know the arrow will probably have to go. This is just a test run to see how it goes before I actually spend money on plants.

If anyone could identify the plant in the center of the aquarium I'd appreciate it. I'm new to this so any advice is helpful, thank you. I'll post pictures as it progresses.
Just a tool but if you click here you'll see the entire list of aquatic plants on the Tropica website. The cool thing is the picture the show next to each entry so you can just scroll through quickly looking for the shape of your plant. Tropica doesn't have every single plant out there but they have a lot and it helps sometimes for a quick ID.

Good luck!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Prime and stability will help for sure! And yes your plants will make it through the break in process if you can keep the ammonia levels down with water changes. Good call on the fish haha
Well, weird how things happen. This tank has been a strange trip so far with all the trial and error of plants I've had in it. It's not cycled yet, but a day ago I was at a house with a friend and there was a fish tank in a kids room.. It was half evaporated and in terrible condition with a thick layer of algae. No filter, just an air stone in a 20gal long. I was shocked to see fish in it. Two scissortail rasbora, 1 Amano shrimp, one ghost shrimp, and 2 chocolate pleco which I discovered at the last second after catching the others and moving the decor around. There was a ton of poop in this tank and I have no idea how anything in there was alive, I feel like they hadn't been fed in quite some time. I asked the kids dad if I could have the fish and he said please take them.. I realize the pleco will get large and need a bigger home so odds are I'll trade them in or just rehome them. The fish have been feasting since, besides the pleco who don't move much, atleast while I'm watching.

Here's where tank stands now, plant wise all I have in it are some wendelov java fern and some unidentified plant. I'm thinking I may get a bunch of anubia for this tank. If anyone has an idea for what does good in gravel substrate I'm open to suggestions. The tank is still a bit bare, but it has been coming around since I've changed water sources.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 05:20 AM
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Sweet looking tank! Looking to switch to a sponge filter, how do you like yours?

i love corydoras
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet looking tank! Looking to switch to a sponge filter, how do you like yours?
I like it, though sometimes I feel like it's a little weak and that I might need to upgrade the air pump. Maybe it's just me. I've never used a sponge filter before this one and sometimes there will be debris floating close to it that never gets sucked in and it's kind of annoying. I'm not sure if it's the filter itself or the air pump. The filter is the really cheap XY-2822 model from Amazon. Wish I had something to compare it to, to be a little more helpful. I guess if I were to buy another one, I'd spend a couple extra bucks for something more quality. It was a pain to fix the standard air tubing on it as well, because it was the same size as the tube where you connect them..
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 06:58 AM
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Was thinking that would be a problem if I did use a sponge filter... I wonder if using a stronger air pump would fix that as well! I'll have to wait and see if I have the same problem as well. Good luck with your tank. : )

i love corydoras
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Tank finally cycled. Down to just the rasboras and a ghost shrimp. Traded the plecos since it's too small a tank for them. I found a home for the rasbora, too. I added some plants and a nice piece of driftwood and I'm much happier with the way it looks. Planted 5 bulbs I got in a top fin pack at Petsmart and they are all growing, good deal for $6. I've decided I'm going to put a group of dwarf cory and cpd's in the tank after I change the substrate to black sand and all is settled.



That's how it looks now.



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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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I updated the tank and put the update in my first post. I added some bulbs I bought from petsmart (topfin 5 pack for $6) and they're doing good so far, pretty good deal if you ask me. Came with 3 apons, a water lily and an onion.. which I think I killed when I pulled it out of the gravel. Added 6 pygmy cory and 6 CPD as well after I changed the substrate and added a filter.
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