Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Sure, the Low Tech forum here at TPT has a sticky at the top and all sorts of good threads asking about the details.
Most basic concept:
Plants and animals live together each supplying some of the needs of each other in a way that you, the aquarium keeper, have less to do.
In conjunction with my other post about a suggested list of parts for a 10 gallon tank:
The tank itself. 10 gallons is a bit small, but can work. Just do not over stock it with large fish or too many small ones. A 20 gallon would be better, because many of the best plants for a low tech set up get a bit too large for a 10 gallon, and the increased water volume is a much better buffer against changes in the water chemistry. Much more stable conditions, much healthier for fish and plants.
Eco Complete or other plant specific substrate: Holds nutrients for the plants in a way that the plants get a slow, steady supply of fertilizers and minerals. There are a lot of other possibilities, but in a small tank, and just getting started with a planted tank, get one of the ready to use materials like EC, Flourite or similar material.
Light is appropriate so the plants grow well, so they are able to remove CO2 and supply O2, and remove ammonia and other fish waste.
I would also get some aquarium fertilizer tablets to put under the substrate. When you first set up a tank there are no fertilizers for the plants. Slow release tablets supply those nutrients. Eventually the decomposing fish food and water changes may supply most or all the nutrients.