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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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? about a small 10g tank

I have a small 10g tank at work



sorry about the crappy pic its from my phone i keep forgetting my camera

and i want to put some live plants in it, the plastic ones i have are sad looking. My question is, I cant put c02 on the tank and the light fixture isnt that bright, any way i can make it brighter cheaply? is there any live plants i can put in here? or am i sol?

here is the substrate i have



Will that work? or should i just stick with the plastic plants
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 04:23 PM
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You can absolutely grow live plants without CO2 or massive lighting. Low light/non-CO2 tanks are very feasible, it just limits you on your plant choices and the speed of growth. Here are my recommendations:
1) Do some research on low tech tanks (generally considered to be low light and no CO2). Some even go without a filter.
2) Replace the gravel with Flourite or Eco-Complete.
3) Choose some hardy low light plants to start with: Anubias nana, Anubias coffeefolia, Java Fern, Java Moss.
4) Do some research on fertilizers that cover macros (Nitrogen, Phosporous, Potassium) and Micros (Iron and other trace elements).
5) Check your light bulb/tube: from the picture it looks like you have a standard T8 15 watt tube. Other than being low wattage, it is probably not a good plant growing bulb, sooo...
6) Look into upgrading the light. If you can upgrade to a double stip light, that would be fine. If you can't upgrade the light, at least improve the bulb by replacing it with a freshwater plant bulb, preferreably in the 6700K color range.
7) With no CO2, you can still get some carbon for the plants with a product like Flourish Excel.
8) Be warned: you tank looks pretty clean right now: when you start doing things like upping the light and adding fertilizers, you might get some algae bloom. Make sure you are putting in the plants at the same time or before you mess with the light and ferts to minimize the algae.
9) Keep coming to this site for help.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 04:47 PM
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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That looks like a really good setup with those bulbs, but my light doent have the screw in sockets, but one long flor. bulb its a 15w aquarium light, i think its 20 in long
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osteomata
You can absolutely grow live plants without CO2 or massive lighting. Low light/non-CO2 tanks are very feasible, it just limits you on your plant choices and the speed of growth. Here are my recommendations:
1) Do some research on low tech tanks (generally considered to be low light and no CO2). Some even go without a filter.
2) Replace the gravel with Flourite or Eco-Complete.
3) Choose some hardy low light plants to start with: Anubias nana, Anubias coffeefolia, Java Fern, Java Moss.
4) Do some research on fertilizers that cover macros (Nitrogen, Phosporous, Potassium) and Micros (Iron and other trace elements).
5) Check your light bulb/tube: from the picture it looks like you have a standard T8 15 watt tube. Other than being low wattage, it is probably not a good plant growing bulb, sooo...
6) Look into upgrading the light. If you can upgrade to a double stip light, that would be fine. If you can't upgrade the light, at least improve the bulb by replacing it with a freshwater plant bulb, preferreably in the 6700K color range.
7) With no CO2, you can still get some carbon for the plants with a product like Flourish Excel.
8) Be warned: you tank looks pretty clean right now: when you start doing things like upping the light and adding fertilizers, you might get some algae bloom. Make sure you are putting in the plants at the same time or before you mess with the light and ferts to minimize the algae.
9) Keep coming to this site for help.

Thanks for all that info, so i should relaly switch over the substarte huh? ive already got fish in there, thats why i was hoping i wouldnt have to. but if i do i will do it. Do you think 2.2w per gal would be good enough, if i can upgrade my bulb to a more whiter light and 22 watts it would be 2.2wpg.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 10:10 PM
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Make sure the ballast can drive a 22w bulb.

If I were you I wouldn't sweat the substrate, especially if you go with anubias and Java, which don't sink roots but rather prefer to wrap around rocks and wood...

Also, unless your plants show signs of nutrient deficiency I wouldn't sweat dosing the ferts. Fish waste and decomposing food might be all you need.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffboy
Make sure the ballast can drive a 22w bulb.

If I were you I wouldn't sweat the substrate, especially if you go with anubias and Java, which don't sink roots but rather prefer to wrap around rocks and wood...

Also, unless your plants show signs of nutrient deficiency I wouldn't sweat dosing the ferts. Fish waste and decomposing food might be all you need.
the ballast says either 20 or 22w i forget. i might go to homedepot and see what the have for lighting and ballasts that will fit in my hood. How do i get the java and anubias to wrap around my driftwood? is there a kinda string or something i can use to wrap around the drift wood to hold them on there? and how does the moss work just lay it in the bottom or does that attach to a plastic grid or anything?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 03:51 PM
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You can use clear fishing line to attach your anubia etc. Some prefer black thread as it may eventually disintegrate, but hopefully not before the plants have attached. It is easier to take the driftwood out, attach the plants, then reinsert the whole assembly.

Depending on how comfortable you are with electrical work, you can consider mounting your ballasts remotely. I have mine in my stand.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 06:47 PM
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If you use thread to attach plants (which is what I do) make sure it's cotton and not polyester or it might never dissolve. Cotton typically disintegrates by the time the roots have a good grip.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxjg35
Thanks for all that info, so i should relaly switch over the substarte huh? ive already got fish in there, thats why i was hoping i wouldnt have to. but if i do i will do it. Do you think 2.2w per gal would be good enough, if i can upgrade my bulb to a more whiter light and 22 watts it would be 2.2wpg.
It depends on what you want to grow. You don't have to replace the substrate. Instead, you could get a piece of driftwood, or rock and attach pieces of java fern and/or Anubias or anythign else that likes to attach to things, rather than root in the substrate. This can look very pleasing and it only requires minimal light. You probably will be best off if you drop some fertilizer in the water though, as this is how they get nutrients since they're not rooted in the substrate.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 07:47 PM
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well first try to see what kind of florecent light do you have. whats the K rating of the bulb

you might have a 18 watt light not sure. if its a 18 over a ten, then you can go with a low light setup

if you dont want to go the expensive route you can go all low light plants like whats mentioned before. most of these plants dont even need a good substrate, you can even do well with a ugf filter if its all water coloum feeders, unless your going with crypts. so you can just use your regular gravel. hell dont even bother with expensive substrate for a ten gal, since your not adding high lighting or co2. it will just give you a algae problem.

if you want to get into the more expenzive but cheap route heres some suggestions

if you want, try to get a incandecent hood. for your ten and buy some light of america daylight 65k CF 20watts about $4.50 a bulb and a incan decent single strip cost about $5.00, $8.00 for the dual. this should up your wpg to 2wpg but if you get a dual incan hood it can up to 4 wpg. and since its just a ten gall its gonna be shallow, so this amount of light is way into the high,s. you can then add co2 using a cheap DIY co2 about $3.00 worth of items. now you have a 10 gall that will grow anything, at a cost of $13.00 for 2wpg or $21.00 for 4wpg. also dont forget a timer

125 ga. Pressured co2. T5ho
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AW0L
well first try to see what kind of florecent light do you have. whats the K rating of the bulb

you might have a 18 watt light not sure. if its a 18 over a ten, then you can go with a low light setup

if you dont want to go the expensive route you can go all low light plants like whats mentioned before. most of these plants dont even need a good substrate, you can even do well with a ugf filter if its all water coloum feeders, unless your going with crypts. so you can just use your regular gravel. hell dont even bother with expensive substrate for a ten gal, since your not adding high lighting or co2. it will just give you a algae problem.

if you want to get into the more expenzive but cheap route heres some suggestions

if you want, try to get a incandecent hood. for your ten and buy some light of america daylight 65k CF 20watts about $4.50 a bulb and a incan decent single strip cost about $5.00, $8.00 for the dual. this should up your wpg to 2wpg but if you get a dual incan hood it can up to 4 wpg. and since its just a ten gall its gonna be shallow, so this amount of light is way into the high,s. you can then add co2 using a cheap DIY co2 about $3.00 worth of items. now you have a 10 gall that will grow anything, at a cost of $13.00 for 2wpg or $21.00 for 4wpg. also dont forget a timer
I dont have an incandecent hood, i have a Fluorescent hood, i went to homey depot today and got a new bulb that is 6500k i think from what i remember. and i think 18-22watts i belive. I also got a new dual bulb ballast so i can over drive the fluorescent which would be about 3.6wpg is that going to be too much without co2? if so ill just use the bulb without the new ballast.

Thanks for all the help so far guys. Is there any place online that i can order some nice driftwood? We dont have many rivers around here, just lakes
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 03:57 AM
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try ebay for the driftwood, I belive misspaulakays has auctions all the time for it and it is relativly inexpensive. here is a link to one of their auctions
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 02:41 PM
 
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Driftwood

I just got my driftwood from miss paula! It's a 25 inch, really fab piece that I just this morning wrestled into the 46gal I'm working on. She has great stuff and packs it really well. I've gotten 3 pieces off ebay and they're all great.

Figs
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 03:44 PM
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18 watts over a 10 gallon tank is NOT a low light tank. It's more like NO light tank.

Plants require a minimum amount of light energy to grow. This minimum amount is not expressed in the WPG rule on small or large tanks. You can run 36 watts over a 10 gallon tank and it will behave more like a medium light tank than a high light tank.
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