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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Dirted Tank Newbie

Hello everyone,
After months of research I have decided to set up my first 10 gallon planted dirt aquarium!
I have a ton of questions and plan to post pictures.
Please give your feedback!

Supplies: Tank and lid, Miracle Organic dirt (mineralized), black aquarium gravel, driftwood, Rocks and shells, timer, Floramax T8 plant growth light, and a carbon filter.
To Be Ordered: Test kit, Red clay, plants

Fish: I have 9 Neon Tetras and a ghost shrimp I want to put in this tank.

Plants: Amazon Sword, Anubias, Vals (corkscrew), Dwarf Sag, Java Fern, Java Moss, Duckweed, Crypts, and Hornwort.

Questions:
1)What type of algae eater should I get? Siamese Algae eater? Snails? (What kind? MTS? Other?)
2)Do I need to dose?
3)Do I have enough lighting? I've read mixed reviews on this light.
4) Do I use activated carbon in the filter?
5)What do you think of my plants?

I look forward to hearing from you guys!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquelyn View Post
Hello everyone,
After months of research I have decided to set up my first 10 gallon planted dirt aquarium!
I have a ton of questions and plan to post pictures.
Please give your feedback!

Supplies: Tank and lid, Miracle Organic dirt (mineralized), black aquarium gravel, driftwood, Rocks and shells, timer, Floramax T8 plant growth light, and a carbon filter.
To Be Ordered: Test kit, Red clay, plants

Fish: I have 9 Neon Tetras and a ghost shrimp I want to put in this tank.

Plants: Amazon Sword, Anubias, Vals (corkscrew), Dwarf Sag, Java Fern, Java Moss, Duckweed, Crypts, and Hornwort.

Questions:
1)What type of algae eater should I get? Siamese Algae eater? Snails? (What kind? MTS? Other?)
2)Do I need to dose?
3)Do I have enough lighting? I've read mixed reviews on this light.
4) Do I use activated carbon in the filter?
5)What do you think of my plants?

I look forward to hearing from you guys!
shrimp are a good option for algae eating...although I don't have them I am getting them tomorrow when I stock my tank...I also have a 10 gallon tank(dirted) and I also have diy c02..i do dose ferts and they seem to work as my plants are growing pretty good...As for lighting I would go with cfl's...I tried using a t8 floramax and I didn't get good results..
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 01:07 AM
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looking good ! you will have fun with a dirt 10g especially mineralized ! looks like you have done a lot of homework and your light looks great for these plants, i started adding one or two more demanding plants then when i switched to two T5's on my 10g dirtied, i noticed a huge improvement, i dont run co2 and i just do root tabs right now, i started with java fern, small swords, java moss, dwarf sag (improved with higher light doesnt grow fast on T8's but does fine), the rate of growth seems to dictate everything else as things picked up in growth on the T5's i needed to start dosing, finally as i put more and more demding plants and tweak it i might add co2, but its fun experimenting and you have all you need for now to see how you like it ! for sure. i now have ludwigia repens, riccia fluitans, microsword, Marcelia minutia, rotala indica and just added some ludwigia cuba to see how that does love seeing new growth and happy plants, just taking it one step at a time !
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 01:15 AM
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are you guys planning on using any activated carbon to make the water clear? I wanted to start a dirt tank but pussed out due to brownish water?

I think you might be good with just the shrimp, I have read that the SEA gets more credit then it should, and might take up too much room in your tank as he get bigger. I would only pick it up if you start to get an algae outbreak that is known to be good for SEA, meaning he will eat it for sure.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 01:48 AM
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Stay away from Duckweed....once you introduce it into your tank it's VERY hard to get rid of. If you stick your hands to replant other plants, you will most likely get the duckweed all over your arm....it's just a pain. You can replace it with Salvinia which grows just as fast but it's easier to manage. I can send you enough to cover at least half of your 10 gallon for the cost of shipping if you want.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Wow! Thanks for all the tips! So my Ghost Shrimp will do and just say no to Duckweed!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 05:37 AM
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Why does every hate duckweed so much? It goes great with a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette. A little peppery flavor.

"A" as in one ghost shrimp? In a ten gallon you might want to consider more to control algae. They don't eat that much.

SAE's are too big for a ten gallon tank. They also are happiest in groups. Look into malaysian trumpet snails and oto's for that size of a tank.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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I love the thought of snail. I'm just scarred of their population getting out of control. Eventuallly they should form a balance right? Otos would be great too! How many would I need?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 05:53 PM
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In my experience, snails don't become a problem unless they have an excess of food...I've never had them overrun a tank (yet). I have pond snails in all my tanks, and they do a decent job of taking care of dead plant matter, though obviously you wouldn't want to let that pile up anyway.

Nerite snails are a good choice...they don't reproduce in freshwater, so you don't have to worry about that, though the one I have leaves little white eggs everywhere it goes. I think my two GBRs and oto crew keep them in check though.

Also, you can use carbon in your filter if you don't like the look of the stained water...it fits with the look of my dirted bowl so I just leave it as is (it's not filtered anyway). You'll have to replace carbon periodically though, so you could also try Purigen; I believe it works the same way, but can be cleaned and reused.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 06:01 PM
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Sound planning as it reads. I would skip the Amazon Sword though as they grow very large and very quickly planted in enriched substrate. It would crowd a 10g in short order and then be a total mess to remove with it's root system laced into everything.

2-4 otto a month after wetting the tank should do great

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 06:12 PM
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Algae eaters are unecessary unless you just want something to add to the tank that so happens to eat algae. The best cleaners are pond snails, and you shouldn't have to buy those...
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquelyn View Post
I love the thought of snail. I'm just scarred of their population getting out of control. Eventuallly they should form a balance right? Otos would be great too! How many would I need?
Only "pest" snails really overpopulate tanks. And only when the tank is overfed and there is an excess of food for them to consume. I have Malaysian trumpet snails in my 28 bowfront. I barely see them because I feed the fish in there sparingly. Other snail options are much easier to control though. Nerites were mentioned, although so were their eggs. I've kept them in several tanks and have seen the eggs get a little out of control in one tank as well as barely seen the eggs in another. Apple snails are another option although they arent as big of algae eaters as the nerites. They lay their eggs in clutches above the water, so just keep an eye out and remove the clutch if you don't want babies. Just make sure to get the apple snail species that won't devoure plants.

Also, I do love to watch my otos.
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