My 10G Planted Ghetto Aquarium: new pics added! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Talking My 10G Planted Ghetto Aquarium: new pics added!

I had a 10G tank brand new laying around that my friend gave me for free. I also had a 65W PC so... i decided to go planted for the first time.

Here is what I have + several questions:

I have a BakPak skimmer from the 10G reef i used to have and removed everything from the chamber and filled it with Bio balls and put in a heater.
As per circulation i have one 85gph pump.
I used top-soil from Home Depot to use as substrate and as "clay" to create a mound i wanted to have those plants that are amphibious (body in water but leaves out of water - bog plants i think).

Pics will be up soon, I want to have everything looking neat before i post pics.

This is my first planted aquarium so input is welcome; however, i have kept many freshwater fish-only aquariums and currently keep a reef tank ( 54 corner) so im not new to the basics of fish keeping.

Questions are:

1. Is the top soil ok to use - i have a very thick brown cloud in the water column - i plan to do a full water change to reduce the cloudiness. Is that ok?
2. As per water, is it fine to use regualr tap water that is dechlorinated ro do I have to use RO water as I do with my reef?
3. Is carbon really necessary in this set-up since its a 10G? I do plan to stock it heavily with plants.
4. As per fish, does the stocking suggestions still remain the same since i might fill it only 3/4 full and have some land area as well. I want to keep 4 or 5 guppies and 2 tetras and perhaps a oto or a bottom dweller. Is this too much or ok?
5. Are there some beginner plants that I should try first to use as a tester plant? Like I use xenia in my reef.
6. Also, do I have to use any kinds of supplements to have a good looking planted tank or is WC enough?

All suggestions welcome and as I said, I am a beginner and correct me if I did something wrong. Thanks.

Last edited by dasstheboss; 04-18-2009 at 12:39 AM.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 01:24 AM
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The top soil may or may not be ok. If it has any kind of fertilizer added to it I would get rid of it and start over as they can often be toxic to fish. If it was an organic soil it should be ok, but it will probably continue to cloud the water unless you cap it with something such as sand or gravel. There are lots of posts in the substrate section of the forum about how to make mineralized topsoil, which should not cloud the water and will be safe for fish. As long as you still have no fish, a 100% water change will not hurt anything.

Depending on your water and the types of plants you want to grow, dechlorinated tap water should be fine. Personally, that's what I use, but it does limit my plant choices as I have very hard tap water and many plants prefer soft water (such as Hygro species). You might wish to research the plants you want to use and if they will do ok in your local water, if not either use buffers or RO but if you go RO make sure to use ferts.

Carbon is absolutely not necessary in a planted tank. Just make sure to do water changes regularly, but the plants will take up a lot on their own. I do a roughly 30% wc on my two 10gal. and one 5.5gal. every week and use no carbon, just filter floss and lots of bio media and they have been going for 2yrs, 1yr, and 1mo. respectively.

As far as fish stocking, its pretty subjective. If you plant heavily and do frequent water changes you can have way more fish than is usually recommended (1in of fish per gallon of water- actual water in the tank). I would never recommend only 2 tetras though, as they are schooling fish that will be stressed in less than a group of 4 and are way more likely to get diseased and die. I would just do the oto and the guppies, you could probably have 10 guppies comfortably in the setting you described and they are very entertaining on their own!

As far as plants, I would start with cheap ones and make sure they like your water parameters, but other than that just do what you want as almost all of them are quite hardy with your lighting, especially if you use Excel and/or CO2. Other ferts I would recommend are trace elements (with each water change), Iron (small doses 3x a week, not on the same day as the trace), and Potassium (same as Iron).

Good luck on your new tank, but just a warning: planted tanks are VERY ADDICTING! You should definitely post pictures when its set up, it sounds like it's going to be very cool with the bog and aquatic plants together!
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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yea u got a point.. the water is cloudy as hell now.. im planning on taking out my mud scape and everything.. i will post pics of it once i have my "final" set up done. So you have to wait sorry hehe
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 02:18 AM
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I'm still new at planted tanks my self and just about to set up my 10g. But here is what I learned. You can't just put some soil in the tank you will end up with just mud water, and there is a whole process on how to make mineralized soil, you could put some peat instead topped with some sand, or just get some flourite substarate, there is so many options out there just choose the right one for you. I got mineralized soil from torpedobarb it's already premade and ready to go, I will be using some color quartz another good thing about MS is that you don't need to dose, Im lazy so it's perfect for me.
About your fish choice I wouldn't go with guppies they need at least a 20g tank, but you can get a small school of neons or some other small tetras, dwarf gouramis, also some shrimp is nice, they do make a great cleaning crew, otos are good too but I hear that they somewhat hard to keep, they need perfect water conditions from what I understand. I might get a couple myself and try them out. Good luck.


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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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i have the tank set-up right now going to get some fish tomorrow to start the cycle. I also went the ghetto way as my title states by adding rock i found in my backyard ( iwashed it well) and used sand as my substrate. I also added driftwood i found in my backyard and i have a aquascape im proud of and i created for free.

As per equipment, I dont have a heater because i think the 65W PC and my air pump can put out enough heat themselves to keep the tank at about 74- 76 F.

I will post pics probably tomorrow when everything clears up.

Is marine sand (i took it out of my reef tank a whilw ago n had it sitting around n used it as my substrate, after all, all i need the sand is to hold down the roots of the plants and I think it can do this well. Is this ok or will there be future problems using sand?

And as per fish, i plan on getting about 5 or 6 guppies or difereing color 5 tetras, and perhaps 1 or 2 otos or small bottom-dwelling fish and a bunch of ghost shrimp.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 05:45 PM
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I'm not familiar with marine substrate but don't they generally raise your GH and PH? if this goes too high you may have some complications- but I'd wait for someone more familiar with your particular substrate before you decide if this is actually a potential prob.

cheers-K

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dasstheboss View Post
I had a 10G tank brand new laying around that my friend gave me for free. I also had a 65W PC ...
Are you serious?? Personally, I would not recommend more than 20 watts PC on a 10 gallon tank if you don't plan to have pressurized c02 and no more than 30 watts PC lighting if you plan on having pressurized c02. With the 65W PC lighting that you are planning to use, even pressurized c02 may not prevent a hostile algae take over. Good luck.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 06:30 PM
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homer has an excellent point. . .that would be 6.5 WPG. that's a lot. . .but the smaller the tank the higher you can go with WPG- but that's still high. you could reduce the intensity by raising it up off the tank -how high you'd need to go i can't say. . . this might have a negative effect on the ambiance in the room but I've seen lovely set-ups where 90 watts are suspended 12 inches and it's ok (bigger tanks obviously)
whatever you do with light placement- you'll need CO2 in a big way

have fun!-K

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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O is that really that much of a problem, I didnt know. Is it ok then to use a small NO F 15W tube light? I also dont have the sand anymore, i removed it for some fluorite and other ferted mixture my friend gave me. I also plan on dosing liquid CO2.

So will the 15W Fluoroscent tube work? Or can i use a Spiral CF bulb but with a very low Kelvin rating? I have a 40W bulb with 3000K and a couple 13W with 5000K? Will any of these work?
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Also, i take the 5000K CF back.. i dont know wat K rating it is so i dont plan on using it. Can i raise the 65W about 12 or more " off the tank because I plan on having plants grow out of the water anyways. Will this work out well?
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 07:53 PM
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that's what i was suggesting you try- i'd give it a go and see how you do with it.

I think it will be very expensive to keep liquid CO2 (excel i presume) in the tank in high enough volumes to be in balance with your light. but i can't say for certain that you couldn't get it to work.

I think you should try this out and keep us informed of how it's going. if you develop any problems it will be fairly easy to tweak different components one at a time and come up with a way to "make it work"

maybe stringing three 2 liter bottles together in a DIY CO2 set-up would get you a nice high CO2 saturation. then you could fore-go the expense of excel. . . i think it sounds like a fun experiment- just read a lot so you really have a grasp of how you're pushing the limits and what sort of things you'll have to do to tweak your set-up and find a balance. (doing a search for plantbrain posts will put you on the fast track to the right info)

cheers-K

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 07:54 PM
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by the way 5000K bulbs will work but they are the lowest K rating i would use for a planted tank

3000k just won't cut it

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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im going to try that.. will have pics soon, i have them on the camera but i cant find my USB cable to upload them .. will post them as soon as i find it.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 03:20 AM
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your screen name immediately reminded me of this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NisCkxU544c

good luck with the tank
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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lol thats pretty funny..
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