Re-doing my 10 gallon into a planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re-doing my 10 gallon into a planted tank

I have always wanted to do a planted tank and decided to start small with a redo of my 10 gallon. I have a Marineland Penguin 100B filter and 15 watt light in an All-Glass Aquarium 20" Fluorescent Aquarium Reflector 120 volt 19 watt 60 hz. The substrate is currently gravel. I plan on making a diy CO2 setup using 2 liter bottles. What do I need to replace to make this work?
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 01:19 AM
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I'd start with a good substrate. Aqua Soil or Eco-Complete. (I like FloraBase, too, but a lot of people don't because it needs replacing after six months per the instructions on the bag. I rarely keep a 'scape up six months. Short attention span.)

Later on down the line, you may want to switch to a canister filter to prevent the CO2 from degassing.

Then, you may want to up the light to about twenty-eight watts for a solid medium-light tank.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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I will pick up a bag of Eco-Complete tomorrow but for the light, will I need to buy a whole new light or just the bulb?
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 01:40 AM
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You'd need a whole new light.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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If it will take me a while to buy a new light, would I just run the 15 watt light for longer hours to get plants to grow?
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 02:36 AM
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I'm sure that it's not the perfect way to go about lighting a 10 gallon, but I just have two of the standard plastic light housings on top of my tank. Each holds a 15W fluorescent bulb. They are both T8 aquatic plant bulbs from petsmart or petco. They may not be the best you can get, but for under $50 total I can grow pretty much all the plants I like (Lobelia cardinalis, rotala plants, e. diversifolia, HC, xmas moss, fissidens, java fern, swords, and yes...much algae). If I had it to do over, I would have spent the extra cash on a nice light setup, but I'm actually pretty happy with my setup as it is now. Check out my thread if you're interested in seeing what 30W of fluorescent lighting can do.

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 03:16 AM
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Duration of the light cycle cannot compensate for intensity. In addition to serving no growth benefit, a longer light cycle would simply encourage algae.

You're absolutely fine running fifteen watts over a ten gallon tank. Just start with low-light plants (ferns, Anubias, and mosses) and spend the time you're earning the money for a light fixture to learn the ins and outs of keeping plants happy.

If you're new to the game, you're going to think that you're missing out on all the "fun" high-light plants, but honestly, once you're in the game long enough, you'll realize that the low-light plants are just as much fun and not nearly as much a pain in the butt.

Get the Eco-Complete, set up your CO2, and you'll be off to a perfect start. Much like a person doesn't try to bench press three hundred pounds their first day at the gym, so to should we planted tankers take it slow and learn the basics the old-fashioned way.

You'll find a lamp soon enough. You don't have to get an aquarium lamp, by the way. Any lamp with the proper spectrum will do. You might have one lying around the house in which you can put a screw-in CF bulb with a kelvin rating of 5,000 to 10,000. Or go to Home Depot and get the 28 watt Hampton Bay "Robocop" lamp for twenty-something bucks.

Look up cl's Flooded Forest here in the nano section. The dude's got all low-light plants in there and it looks phenomenal. Craig's Mini-M, too. Both have plants that are low light and, in my opinion, look better than a lot of high-light tanks I see.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-01-2009, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I went to my local fish store just to get the Eco_Complete and some low light plants and ended up getting a light as well. It is a Satellite brand 40 watt but I had to get a freshwater bulb for it as well. I also got some plants and my CO2 system is set up but not putting CO2 in the tank just yet. I will get some pictures later.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-01-2009, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Last edited by Blue_Alien; 08-08-2009 at 10:05 PM.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-01-2009, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Found out today that the bubble counter output seal was leaking out all the CO2, took awhile to get it air tight. Now the CO2 system is working perfectly, just have to wait for my CO2 diffuser to come in the mail to replace the air stone. I will have to go and get some CO2 proof tubing sometime.
I drilled a hole through some driftwood and put one of my plants in it.
Also I ordered some Star moss on ebay.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-01-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the tank with a few changes. Added driftwood and a pleco from my 29 gallon that used to hide in his shell all the time.



1. Any suggestions about things I need to change or add to the tank to improve it?
2. I want to add more specific plants, I bought these because they were the cheapest they had just to start off the tank. What plants should I add to the tank?
3. How long should I run the lighting for each day? I am adding CO2 and the light is a 40 watt with a 10,000K and 6,700K dual bulb.
4. What types of fish should I eventually add? I already have a bushy nose pleco.

Last edited by Blue_Alien; 08-08-2009 at 10:06 PM.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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I will be heading over to my LFS today to get some more plants and some fish. Also, should I get some type of fertilizer?
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 06:32 PM
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1. More hardscape. Lot's more.
2. Experiment with all kinds of plants. This is where you'll cut your teeth on all the different varieties. Get lots.
3. Six hours for lighting. After three weeks, bump it to eight to ten.
4. Fish is totally up to you.

As for ferts, right now all you'll need is potassium. Soon, you'll need micros, but that'll be in a month or so. You may eventually need the other two macros, N and P, but right now, just stick to K, potassium. Fight the temptation to start dosing N, P, and micros now. You'll want to -- especially if your LFS does not have potassium -- but fight it. Tank doesn't need it and it'll do more harm than good.
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Went to the LFS today and picked up some more plants and got some fish. I got 8 tetras, 3 cory cats, and 3 amano shrimp. I found some pieces of lava rock I had bought a long time ago but never used. The plants I got were based off of what my dad liked (he has a degree in horticulture) and price. I know I got some java moss and some ferns. Also I bought potassium.
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the tank now with the added lava rock, plants, fish, and shrimp.


Last edited by Blue_Alien; 08-08-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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