Need 10-gallon advice... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hello everyone!

After doing reef tanks for the past few years, I've decided to try something different. I used to shy away from freshwater aquariums because they generally aren't as beautiful as the marine tanks. Well, I changed my mind after seeing a few of Takashi Amano's tanks as well as ones done by other people. They're prettier than the reef tanks in my opinion!

Anyway, I'm a newbie at all of this but I have been researching as much as I can. Let me give you my setup, what I'm wanting to do, then I'd like to hear some of your suggestions:

Tank: 10-gallon

Substrate: Red Sea Flora Base

Lighting: Fixture holds two bulbs, 1 Coralife 10,000k Daylight and 1 Coralife 50/50

Filtration: Penguin Bio-Wheel 125

Tank has been setup for one day and I need to get to cycling it.

What I'm wanting to do is start out simply. I'd like to decorate with some local rocks and maybe a nice piece of driftwood, as well as keep a nice population of plants. I'm only looking at having the easier, beginner plants for now. If I get more into the hobby, then maybe I'll consider the tougher stuff. Right now I don't have the money to spend on fancy CO2 systems, etc. What are some good beginner plants to use in the background, as well as something that forms a nice "carpet" or "turf". I love the look of the tanks with a bed of grass covering the bottom. As far as inhabitants, I think I'll try it with guppies. They're beautiful, hardy, easy to breed and raise, and very peaceful. I might keep a little army of grass shrimp with them to clean algae, on top of the fact that I just really like them I also need to put some other kind of algae-eater in there to keep things under control.

So, do you think I can pull this off with this setup? What kind of plants do you recommend?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 08:20 PM
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Cool, welcome to this dark side. 8)

The 50/50 bulb should be replaced with another 10kK. Actinic is rumoured to be useless for plants and good for algae. I believe it's used for the symbiotic algae in coral? Also, what type (normal flo, compact flo, etc...) and wattage are those bulbs?

I'm having decent luck with low-light, low-tech in my 6g Eclipse (so far). It only has 8 watts of light! :shock: I added DIY CO2 for the heck of it, but think I wouldn't have needed it *IF* I'd removed the biowheel from my filter. That's the thing: your penguin biowheel will probably allow too much CO2 to escape. You might consider a different filter (one with less gas-exchange/surface agitation).

The above all depends on your lighting. 26w (2x13w CF) or 30w (2x15w NO) over a 10g would probably be considered low to moderate light, and you'd be ok w/out CO2. 36w (CF) and above might push you into mandatory CO2 territory...

I'm growing Crypts very well, and plan to try some Sagittaria. Anubias, Java Fern and Java Moss will also do well in a low light setup. I don't think you'll be able to pull off a carpet-effect without high lighting and CO2, but you might be able to do a Dwarf Sag "lawn."

Ian

PS: CF = Compact Flourescent, NO = Normal Output Flourescent.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 08:25 PM
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Ok, just followed the links on your bulbs...

2x15w = 30w = ~3wpg. In a small tank I think that's considered moderate light (anyone?). You'd be making it easier on yourself to plan a DIY CO2 setup. It is cheap and not overly difficult. Here's a great tutorial:
http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html

Ian
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypsophrys

2x15w = 30w = ~3wpg. In a small tank I think that's considered moderate light (anyone?).
I agree....

120g, Flourite & Sand. DIY Stand and Canopy. CF lighting 3wpg, Pressurized C02, DIY reactor. 2-XP3's, 500watt heater.
Heavily planted
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 08:33 PM
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Wow, this is my 100th post. Woohoo!

:roll:
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypsophrys
Wow, this is my 100th post. Woohoo!

:roll:
Thank for your help!

I can remove the bio-wheel on the penguin and then it's just a regular power filter... just like an Aquaclear, etc. I guess I will do that. The bio-wheel is noisy and annoying anyway :evil:

Thanks for the link on the CO2 setup. I will follow your advice and go ahead and do that. Maybe I can afford one of those nice JBJ ones someday

I will also look into replacing the 50/50 light. Maybe I can trade it to a friend of mine who has a marine aquarium (that's what mine was on before I setup this new tank).

More questions:

- How long should I wait to put plants in? I know fish need to be in a cycled tank to be healthy, but I have not heard whether or not it matters for plants. Can I put in plants immediately or do I need to wait? My tank is about 30 hours old by the way.

- Do you think the substrate I'm using will work?
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 08:56 PM
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The more plants you have the faster she will cycle

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 08:56 PM
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You can put your plants in right away. That's the best part.

I think your substrate will work. I've never seen it around here, but it looks similiar to Flourite. I wonder if it's got a lot of available Iron? The buffering at 6.5-7.0 is interesting. You won't really need that capability once you start adding CO2 (your pH will go down), but it's good to know.

By the way, what is your tap water's pH and KH?

Ian
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypsophrys
You can put your plants in right away. That's the best part.

I think your substrate will work. I've never seen it around here, but it looks similiar to Flourite. I wonder if it's got a lot of available Iron? The buffering at 6.5-7.0 is interesting. You won't really need that capability once you start adding CO2 (your pH will go down), but it's good to know.

By the way, what is your tap water's pH and KH?

Ian
That's GREAT to hear that I can add the plants! I'm going shopping after work

The substrate I have supposedly has lots of iron according to the guy at the LFS.

I've always used R/O water for my tanks. I've got R/O water in my freshwater tank right now.... is that bad? I'm not sure about the specs of our tap water. I'll give you the link and maybe you can figure it out: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/water/index.htm
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 09:46 PM
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Yikes, glad you mentioned that.

Unlike with reef tanks, where salt-mixes contain all your trace elements and buffers, we tend to rely on tap water for these things. Depending on the species you want to keep (i.e. Discus), you might mix RO/DI with tap water (to soften & lower pH). However, there probably isn't a good reason (unless your tap water is toxic - which it isn't) to use 100% RO. If you did that, you'd need to add alkaline buffers (increase KH) in order to have any pH stability. RO has KH/GH of 0, and would allow for massive pH swings. Add CO2 to that mix, and you're headed for disaster.

Use your tap water, but be sure to treat with a good dechlorinator that removes chloramines (which are added to your tap).

Ian
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypsophrys
Yikes, glad you mentioned that.

Unlike with reef tanks, where salt-mixes contain all your trace elements and buffers, we tend to rely on tap water for these things. Depending on the species you want to keep (i.e. Discus), you might mix RO/DI with tap water (to soften & lower pH). However, there probably isn't a good reason (unless your tap water is toxic - which it isn't) to use 100% RO. If you did that, you'd need to add alkaline buffers (increase KH) in order to have any pH stability. RO has KH/GH of 0, and would allow for massive pH swings. Add CO2 to that mix, and you're headed for disaster.

Use your tap water, but be sure to treat with a good dechlorinator that removes chloramines (which are added to your tap).

Ian
Dang.... guess I need to drain the whole thing when I get home and use nothing but tap water.

Thanks again for all your help! It is most-appreciated!
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 09:56 PM
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No worries. Keep us posted.

If you have the time, upload some pics of your progress to the Photo Album section.

Ian
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hypsophrys
No worries. Keep us posted.

If you have the time, upload some pics of your progress to the Photo Album section.

Ian
Well, I just started it up yesterday. I changed out the water to tap water when I got home, then went and got a piece of driftwood, a pygmy sag. and I forgot the name of the other one.. lol.

Here's a very poor-quality photo I took with my webcam:
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 07:12 PM
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Nice start, now go get some more plants, you have a lot of filling in to do.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 07:56 PM
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Yep, good start, but definitely get a bunch more plants. What types are you considering?

Ian
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