First Planted Tank - 10 Gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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First Planted Tank - 10 Gallon

So here it is; my first planted tank. It's a low-tech (2WPG) with the following plants...

Anubia nana
Moneywort
Java moss

I have on order another anubia nana, 2 anubia nana petite, and 2 java lace ferns. The java lace will line the back on the right. An anubia petite will be placed in the foreground on each side. I'm guessing the moss won't get out of hand given I'm only at 2 wpg but I'll try to keep it nice and trimmed.

It's not as dramatic as I was hoping but I like it for a first attempt. Perhaps it will look better with some growth as well. Comments and suggestions welcomed. Thanks!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 12:19 AM
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what are those big leaf plants and those tall smaller leaf plants? I am going exactly where you are now and I will totally follow closely....are you planning on putting a driftwood in it or just rocks...wut subs. are you using and lights and filtration...thank you

ITS NEVER ENOUGH!!!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 12:30 AM
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Harold- the rhizomes of those Anubias aren't buried, right?

Sea-Horsea- the big-leaved plants are Anubias, and the small green ones are Bacopa (moneywort). The Bacopa will need to be trimmed pretty regularly to keep it small; they grow very tall. Rotala is another option that looks somewhat similar but several species don't grow quite as tall, and there are some lovely red/pink variations.





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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Like most newbies I had to stay true to two things, low cost and low maintenance. Ultimately my goal was to learn about planted tanks without breaking the bank.

Lets see if I can break this down...

Tank: Used 10 gallon (free)
Substrate: Schultz Aqua Soil ($7)
Lighting: 20 watt AquaGlo (free with the purchase of a used 29 gallon)
Filter: AquaClear 30 ($30)
Plants: Anubia nana, Moneywort, Java moss ($30, but ordered another $30 worth)
Fish: 3 Rasboras ($9)

I am not adding anything else to this scape except for plants. Lauralee is correct on identifying the plants I have so far. And yes, the rhizome is not buried.

I'm a bit stuck on this scape because I just can't seem to come up with a good way to give it a dramatic look. I almost think having the java moss take over most of the foreground and mid-ground would be better. Nonetheless, I'm having fun and learning lots.

You were right Lauralee, I have spent countless hours arranging and rearranging this scape!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 12:55 AM
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thank you...where did you get the soil from?

ITS NEVER ENOUGH!!!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Sea-horsea: Soil is from Home Depot. Now that spring is arriving they have all this stuff readily available.

Lauralee: When I trim Bacopa can I simply replant what I removed?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 01:15 AM
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is it just gravel or it actually have beneficial stuff for the plants?

ITS NEVER ENOUGH!!!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 01:21 AM
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Horse, Shultz is a good substrate. It's inert and clay-fired, and a good particle size for root-growth. I put Sera Flora Depot (you could use something similar if your LFS doesn't carry Sera) underneath mine for increased root nourishment. The plants are growing out of the tank! On a similar (near identical) set-up, I skipped the Flora Depot and growth is poor and algae is setting in. Two tanks does not an extensive study make, but I'm breaking down tank #2 and adding Flora Depot this week.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harold View Post
Sea-horsea: Soil is from Home Depot. Now that spring is arriving they have all this stuff readily available.

Lauralee: When I trim Bacopa can I simply replant what I removed?
Yep, just like most stem plants, you can re-plant the tops when you trim.

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Originally Posted by sea-horsea View Post
is it just gravel or it actually have beneficial stuff for the plants?
It doesn't really have much for plants, but it has a high CEC, which means that it can hold nutrients that are in the water for the plants to use

Mike


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 03:00 AM
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Blue- I've never heard of Sera Flora Depot- gonna have to look into that one!

I use a fine layer of peat under my substrate to 1) make the pH a little more acidic, which plants tend to favor, and 2) boost the nutrient content.

I also mix in some mulm (gunk from an established tank) with the peat to 1) help jump-start the new tank's nitrogen cycle and 2) also provide nutrients for the plant roots

And Mike caught your question about replanting the Bacopa cuttings





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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 10:57 AM
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harold i like the setup of your tank.. specially the rocks, it looks natural
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks HectorJohn. I think I need to be patience and wait for some growth. I'm just having a hard time picturing what it will look like and how much actual growth I'll get with no ferts and CO2.

I started researching the use of Excel but I keep reading conflicting information. Can anyone tell me if I would see faster growth with Excel. I'd rather not go down the path of DIY CO2 right now. What I would like to do is give the tank enough ferts to jump start some growth and then stop.

If I start the tank on Excel then months later stop; would that be harmful in anyway? Also, would Excel harm the fish?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 05:50 PM
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Any time you mess with the C02 levels you are asking for problems. I learned this the hard way trying a DIY C02 on a large tank. DIY on a large tank is inherently unstable (click on link below for the ugly pics).

My initial plan on my tank was to go low tech, and I assumed like you did that a little C02 would get things started. When my tank went south, I was afraid that pulling the C02 would make things worse and I would lose all my plants. The cost of going pressurized wasn't all that much more that the cost of restocking my plants. Its a slippery slope, beware.

If you don't want to use C02 in the future, you probably don't want to start using it up front. The hornwort will grow real fast, just be patient.

Tank has a real nice start. Good choice in hardscape.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 05:24 AM
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Thanks HectorJohn. I think I need to be patience and wait for some growth. I'm just having a hard time picturing what it will look like and how much actual growth I'll get with no ferts and CO2.

I started researching the use of Excel but I keep reading conflicting information. Can anyone tell me if I would see faster growth with Excel. I'd rather not go down the path of DIY CO2 right now. What I would like to do is give the tank enough ferts to jump start some growth and then stop.

If I start the tank on Excel then months later stop; would that be harmful in anyway? Also, would Excel harm the fish?
Excel is a carbon source for plants. www.RexGrigg.com gives a great rundown of the things needed to be supplied to plants for healthy growth and to allow them to outcompete algae. If you haven't spent some time there yet, I'd highly recommend it?

In a 10gal tank under 20watts of light, IMO Excel is a reasonable option. Whether or not you actually NEED it, how the plants respond to it is impossible to say at this point- every tank is going to be a little different, largely depending on the plant, water parameters and bioload of each tank?

As long as you don't dramatically overdose Excel it should not harm any livestock. There are a few plants that can be sensitive to Excel, however- vals are one plant that is prone to melt. Excel will only stay active in the water column for 24 hours. Your dosing frequency/amount will have to be trial and error IMO.





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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Lauralee, my thought with Excel was to start with once a week dosing and work up from there if necessary. Would this be a waste? Meaning, do I need to follow the recommended dosage to be effective? Also, does this mean I should do once a week water changes even on a low-tech tank?

I've been reading and reading but I can't quite find the answer to this.

Thanks.
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