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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So working for my local Petsmart and seeing plants every day has got me wanting to start up a planted tank. I am currently running a 24g reef tank, so plants should be slightly easier on my wallet! Here's a picture if anyone cares:


I am planning on doing a tetra only tank (as I only have 10 gallons to work with). For lighting, I am opting for 2x 10w CFL (6500K) that I found at Lowes. Hopefully these will work out for the time being. Substrate: SeaChem flourite. And I am looking into a DIY co2 system. I have seen some simple ones floating around so it shouldn't be that difficult to achieve. So far my only question is: Are there any specific plants that would work the best for tetras? I have some ideas already but would like to get an outside opinion! I'm setting up the tank this weekend so pictures will be coming soon! Any comments are welcome! Thanks for the input and for looking!
 

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There are no specific plants that are tetra "favorites" that I am aware of. With your lighting, Crypt's, Java Ferns, Anubias's and some mosses would work great, though there are other low light plants out there. Nice reef tank by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah low light is what i've been looking at recently. I would opt for better lighting but right now i only have room for one money pit!
 

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I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised at the plants that will do well in a 10gal tank under 20 watts of lighting with CO2. As a matter of fact, I suspect you'll be able to grow just about any plant you want, given you get the CO2 and a good consistent fert regimen worked out. :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Last night I set everything up. After about 10 hrs and a 4 gallon water change the tank is still pretty cloudy from the flourite. Is this normal? I've never worked with flourite so im not too sure on how its suppose to run. Thanks for the info.
 

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Last night I set everything up. After about 10 hrs and a 4 gallon water change the tank is still pretty cloudy from the flourite. Is this normal? I've never worked with flourite so im not too sure on how its suppose to run. Thanks for the info.
Yep, cloudy water is normal. Did you wash it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
it probably could've been washed a little more imo. Just picked up the general Seachem Flourite (was not aware they different versions). I do believe it is starting to clear up. Stupid panickness is what we will cal it! Ask me anything about salt and i can tell ya but my work in plants in a little shaky atm. Thanks for the input! And i swear pictures will be coming soon. I found a pretty nice piece of wood for it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so everything has cleared up.. for now. Although every time I touch the substrate "dust" tends to come up and clouds everything. I am contemplating draining it and giving it a good rinse. OR should I do something different? Anywho... here's a pic from about 5 seconds ago...enjoy

 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Yep, that's the regular Flourite.

And if it's still that messy, honestly, I'd go ahead and take it down and clean it now before you get further along with planting.

The one and only time I set up a tank without rinsing the Flourite well, it would get so stirred up it would coat all the plant leaves and kill them. I couldn't even keep Java ferns alive!
 

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couldnt you just gravel vac the stuff and clear it up that way? maybe even run the out put through a net to catch the larger stuff that might get sucked up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok well i sucked it up and just drained it and really really washed it out... everything seems to be doing pretty well. I found an offbeat petshop (had pretty nice tanks surprisingly). They had "australian blue lobsters" and "tangerine lobsters".... Now again I'll say, im pretty savy when it comes to saltwater but dense as can be. Can someone enlighten me on these creatures and whether or not they are planted tank worth. They had some java ern sitting in the tank with these lobsters and from the 15 mins i spent looking at them, it didn't appear as though they were eating them. Thanks for the input and thanks for looking!
 

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There aren't many things at all that will eat Java Fern.
It's pretty much the failsafe plant.

Any crayfish will destroy a lot of plants otherwise though, so unless you only have Java Fern, I'd steer clear of them.
 

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Yeah, stay away from "lobsters" (crayfish, actually) unless you want only one lobster and plastic plants in your tank. Shrimp are usually a better option. They get along with fish and plants (most will eat some type of algae) and they come in a wide variety of colors (clear, white, black, green, yellow, orange, red, blue, and a few others). Ghost, Amano, and Cherry shrimp are the most common and best for beginners. They're hardier than marine shrimp, too.

Oh, and since you're into salt: CO2 is to plants what calcium is to hard corals. They can't grow without it, although under low light they need less (plants, anyway). Very nice reef, BTW.

As for tetras, search "aquarium fish by swimming level" and "hardy fish for cycling freshwater aquariums" on google. You should find several lists of common and hardy fish suitable for your tank. Just look them up one by one when you have time (check at least 3 different sources for each species) and rule out the ones over 2" long for schooling fish and 3" long for non-schooling. You should then decide whether or not you want a heater in your tank (highly reccomended, but not necessary if you plan for it), find out your pH, GH, and KH, and rule out the fish that are outside of your water paramaters. After you've narrowed it down, check your local stores to see what's available and choose the ones you like most. Some fish have special needs, though, like needing live or frozen foods or a certain male-to-female ratio, so make a note of things like that while you're researching.

I'm not sure if you're allowed to post outside links here, so just search "aquarium plant profiles" on google and you should find plenty of sites that will give you an idea of what you have to choose from. Try to vary the general leaf shapes in the tank if you can- don't just go for all grass-like or all round-leafed. Unlike reefs, you've only got two colors to work with (green and brown/red), so the variety in aquascapes has to come mostly from hight and leaf shapes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the good info Fishly.

Everything in the tank is going strong right now. Keeping an eye out on everything. Waiting to order some ground cover. Thanks for looking
 

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There are no specific plants that are tetra "favorites" that I am aware of. With your lighting, Crypt's, Java Ferns, Anubias's and some mosses would work great, though there are other low light plants out there. Nice reef tank by the way!
I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised at the plants that will do well in a 10gal tank under 20 watts of lighting with CO2. As a matter of fact, I suspect you'll be able to grow just about any plant you want, given you get the CO2 and a good consistent fert regimen worked out. :proud:
Well LauraLee got there before me, but I'll just second the fact that 20w CFL definitely puts you out of the low-light range, you're more into the med and possibly high light realm with that. In fact, you might need to add CO2 sooner rather than later to avoid having a tank full of algae ;)

There are lots of good tetra options but there are also lots of good microrasbora, boraras and other nano-fish species that would do well in a 10g tank. Instead of having a small school of neons or something of similar size, you could have a large school of one of the boraras species if you wanted :)

As for your parameters, aside from the very sensitive fish with extra special needs in terms of care, most of the fish you find in the hobby will adapt to your parameters even if they might be out of the range of their "ideal" or "natural" parameters. Especially if you get the fish from a LFS they're likely to have similar parameters to what you have in your tank. Stable parameters are much more important than "ideal" parameters.
 

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If you're completely captivated with crustaceans (argh, sorry) because of your salt influences, you might be interested in the CPO dwarf crayfish (Cambarellus patzcuarensis) because it only gets about 1.5 inches in size so it won't be much of a threat to your fish.

As for plants, the Cambomba you have there will grow very tall very fast so it is definitely a background plant. For your foreground, I think you have enough light going to keep some Pogostemon helferi because in good light it stays fairly compact. Should provide some nice variety.
 
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