I've been keeping fish for several years now and have done everything from 5-75 gallons. All fake plants until now due to some ever-hungry silver dollars in my old tank. I've been wanting to take the plunge into planted tanks for a while now and am slowly accumulating equipment for my 125 gallon tank that is yet to be set up. I am partially waiting to set it up until I move in the summer. So for now, I thought it would be a good idea to try my hand at a planted tank on a smaller scale to kind of work out some of the kinks before doing it on such a large scale--and boy I'm glad I did!
I started by using a standard 10 gallon tank that I had in my closet. I also had a tetra whisper filter that is good for tanks up to 10 gallons as well as a small heater. I experimented with putting my koralia 1 powerhead in there but it was just wayyy too much flow. It turned the whole tank into a whirlpool almost. For substrate I used some potting soil I got at lowes that is supposed to be for orchids and maintain a lower pH. This soil also has miracle gro in it and I have since read that this might not have been the best idea. I haven't noticed any problems with this so far. Lastly I covered the potting soil with some black aquarium gravel. For lighting I used two 10 watt compact fluorescent bulbs in the standard hood. This was my first scape on Jan 23.
I wasn't really happy with the look of the big rock and I really wanted some wood in there so I found a piece of wood when I was hiking. I boiled it for about 30 minutes and weighted it down with another rock I found.
This was a little more of the look that I wanted but I really wanted to figure out how to get more light in there. I wanted more options than I felt the 20 watts would give me by itself. I did a little scavenging and found that the ballast in my 5 gallon eclipse hex was the exact same one as in the my 10 gallon hood. So I should be able to have a total of 40 watts using the same bulbs with both ballasts. Only problem was all of this wouldn't fit in the stock hood so I had to build something else. A short trip to Lowes, some super glue and some cutting later I ended up with this.
I'll eventually paint it probably but for now I think it looks fine. So now I've got 40 watts of light and things seem to look a lot better to me.
So now today, not even a month later I've been really happy with the growth and bought a few more plants. I think once everything fills in I should get a pretty decent looking tank.
Still working on the algae but I think it's going in the right direction.
The final flora stocking includes some micro sword (Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
), Water wisteria (Hygrophila difformis
), Pygmy Chain sword (Echinodorus tenellus
), Java fern, moneywort (Bacopa monnieri
) and Scarlet temple (Telanthera roseafolia
Fauna includes 1 german blue ram, 2 mystery snails (black and gold), 8+ ghost shrimp and 1 chinese algae eater (shouldn't have added him but now he's impossible to catch!!).
Comments and suggestions are welcome!