Hi there, new to planted tanks but not fishkeeping.
Wanted to run my plan by you guys on here and ask a couple questions. The tank will be a low tech, 10 gallon betta tank.
-The substrate will be 1-2 inches of eco complete (is this necessary for the plants I would likely be using?) and 1 in of sand on top.
-What plants would you recommend? I know java fern and moss are great beginner plants, but what else would work in this low tech system? I've read recommendations online before but I fear a lot of them would take up too much space in the tank, so I wanted to ask specifically for a 10g.
-I'd also like to have some sort of 'carpet' over parts of the tank bottom, what plant would you recommend for this?
-I don't want to use CO2 but I have read that throwing some fertilizer in there is beneficial. If so, which types would best fit my tank?
-Lastly, this is a little unrelated but I have a beautiful 55 gallon brackish tank but have always been afraid to put plants in it. Are there any plants able to survive in 1.010-1.015?
I used Eco-Complete topped with Peace River gravel (1-2mm dia. grains) in a 30g tank and just Peace River in a 10g. The plants grow equally well in both. I'm sorry I used Eco in the 30g because it comes up to the surface when things are distured (moving or removing plants) and creates a mess.
From the reading I've done on substrates, a grain dia. of 1-2mm is ideal. Larger and there can be too much water circulation around plant roots and food gets trapped where corys can't reach it. Smaller grains and the roots don't get enough oxygen.
Eco is supposed to absorb and hold nutrients, releasing them as needed. I found I still needed to use fertilizer tabs in the soil to keep Cryptocorynes from putting roots up into the water in search of nutrients.
So, I would go with a decent gravel and use root tabs. Forget about Eco.
Cryptocoryne wendtii, Cryptocoryne spiralis, Anubias hastifolia, and Anubias nana petite, have proved to be hardy and tolerant of different light levels.
I don't have a carpet plant. From what I've read, they require a lot of light which is hard to maintain in a low-tech tank.