Newbie just getting started - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie just getting started

I'm new here and new to aquatic plants as well. I'm not one that has a "green thumb", but I'd like to try out a planted tank.

I just got a 10gal from a friend that wasn't using it any more. I have a mystery snail in a 5gal right now and would like to move him over once its setup, planted, and cycled. Possibly may be adding some shrimp as well.

The tank is just a tank. No hood, lights, filter, etc. I do happen to have a Marina S10 Slim HOB that I got on sale even though I didn't have the need for one (glad I did!).

I have a few questions for a newbie:

1) What are some easy, slow growing plants for a newbie to start with?

2) What kind of lighting will I need?

3) Should I get a hood?

4) What substrate is suggested? I have some left over sand and gravel from the 5gal.

5) Is CO2 or fertilizer needed?

6) I usually go higher on my filters than what is called for. If I add a small internal filter in addition to the HOB, is that too much filtration for plants?

I've always loved the natural look of a planted tank, so I'd like to give it a shot. Figured if I do well in a 10gal, I'll upgrade to a larger tank and then add some schooling fish.

Any info would be awesome!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 12:04 AM
Algae Grower
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Welcome and congratulations on deciding to try out a planted tank. This site has more than enough information to answer all of your questions and more. Check out the sticky posts in each section (plants, substrate, fertilization, etc.) and you'll find that many of your questions have already been answered (1, 2, 4, and 5) better than I could.

3) Should I get a hood? Do you want a hood? Do you like the look of a hood? Can you afford a hood? You may decide that a cover glass is all you need (keeps water from evaporating quickly, keeps jumping fish - hatchets, plecos, danios - in the tank, provides a place to set lights). ...or you may decide that suspending lights over an open tank is what you prefer.

6) I usually go higher on my filters than what is called for. If I add a small internal filter in addition to the HOB, is that too much filtration for plants? There is no such thing as too much filtration. Too much flow, yes. More filtration than you require, yes. I'd start with the HOB, fish, and plants. If water changes aren't keeping the Nitrates in check and you are unwilling to lower the fish load, then additional filtration may be called for. Personally, I find in tank filters to be unsightly and a waste of space, but that's just me.
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