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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Question New to planted tanks...

HI! I have never had a planted take but recently aquired a 10 gallon tank with a hood and would like to start one. I have a pretty small budget and would like to house cherry red shrimp or something similar and maybe some small killifish. I was thinking of putting a layer of soil under the rocks as I don't want to fertilize. Because I want to house shrimps I mostly want mosses and small plants so I can see them more. What kind of bulbs would you reccomend(I dont know what kind of bulbs it takes theyre just the ones that fit in the canopies that come with the 10 gallon tanks)? What kinds of plants would you reccommend and what kind of soil should I use?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 03:22 AM
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You can use the generic canopies that come with the tank and stick to low light plants. I have one 10 gal tank that is nothing but java moss and narrow leaf java fern with some wood and rock. Here's an recent pic (please ignore the water spots on the glass)-


Other plant options are crypts, ferns, anubias. This is my 5 gal cherry shrimp tank using these plants and some Blyxa japonica and a few small pieces of wood. I took this pic at an angle to show the different plants in the tank. This one still needs time to fill in.


The 10 gal tank uses pool filter sand as a substrate, the 5 gal tank uses black Flourite with a base layer of Ferka Aquabase. I'm not running CO2 to either tank and don't plan on it. I add some Flourish Excel a couple times a week if I remember. No ferts other than what I just listed.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 09:47 AM
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I agree..you should stick with low light plants,they are cheap,beautiful and saves you ALOT of cash..
my tank is a 3-5gallon tank with anubias nanas,narrow leaf java ferns,java moss,peacock moss and a mystery plant(i forgot to look at the name of the plant when i bought it,i just asked for low light plants and this one was nice and cheap)and drift wood...its a shrimp tank with RCS,CRS and few orange shrimps
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 12:19 AM
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Does your hood take incandescent bulbs or flourescent?





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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 12:27 AM
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I'm assuming he has one of the walmart special hoods that are typically sold with 10 gallons. I have heard of people having good results using just spiral CFLs, and I'm actually supplementing my lighting with a ghetto-rigged 20 watt. I think up to 20 watt bulbs will fit in the hoods, and you can find them at walmart for pretty cheap. Make sure you get 6500k bulbs, though.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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I think my hood takes incandescent bulbs.(it takes the ones that screw in like a regular lightbulb) Still no comment on what kind of potting soil is good to use? Any reccomendations for filters?

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 04:01 AM
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Quite a bit depends on lighting, as this is what tells plants how quickly to grow, and will also determine whether or not you need CO2, how much ferts to dose, and what types of plants you can keep alive.

As-is, your incandescent fixture won't grow much (incandescent bulbs waste too much wattage on heat rather than light), so you'll be pretty much limited to ferns, mosses, Anubias, maybe a few hardy Crypts.

If you replace those incandescent bulbs with screw-in flourescent bulbs, then you'll need to add CO2 to the tank, and will be able to keep a much wider variety of plants.

If neither of those alternatives appeals to you, you could upgrade to a simple 15 watt T8 flourescent tube, which would allow you to grow more "low light" plants than under incandescent bulbs, but not necessarily need to put CO2 on the tank.





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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 04:51 AM
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There are quite a few plants you can grow in a tank with a standard hood. Get some 6500k bulbs for it (get CFL's) and look for low light / and low/med light plants. Placement is going to be key for some of them. The hood is going to block alot of light from the front of the tank, so your mosses, and low lights will be good for there. Mid tank gets the most light from these hoods, so your low/med light plants should be placed here, and your back gets about the same light so your larger plants work well there. I have Amazon Swords, Cryptocoryne Wendtii (red), aquadic four leaf clover, Anacharis (narrow leaf), Java Moss, Brazilian Micro Sword, Moss balls, Anubias Nana, Carolina Fanwort, and telanthera reineckii.

The med. light plants grow extremely slow under a low light condition, if not fail. My fanwort started out pretty dense with its leaves, but has thinned itself out over the past couple months, it still grows fast, but the distance between leaves is much larger. The last one (scarlet temple) is very surprisingly growing quite well. The leaves near the surface of the water are a bright pink and red, quite a beautiful plant.

as for substrate, if your are lucky enough to have not set up the tank yet, go to the substrate part of the forum and see what others are using. I was not planning on a planted tank when I set mine up, so I have plain gravel. I rely on fert. sticks under each and every plant that root feeds (which can be a pain)

The next tank come Christmas (a little bird I call daughter, told me of a 36 gal. bow front) is going to be using eco-complete or similar for the substrate.

Welcome to TPT by the way, I am a newer person as well. The members here are super nice, and come with TONS of great information.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

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