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Back to planting! 10gal

2659 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Flgatorguy
It has been close to ten years since I've had a planted tank. So much has changed, so much has stayed the same!

My girlfriend won a free betta. I just couldn't have the little guy in a half gallon cube that he came in. It gave me the motivation to get back into planted tanks :)

So here is my 3 day old 10 gallon Petsmart special.

Flauna: 8 ghost shrimp, 1 random tetra baby from the shrimp catching, 4 zebra danio, 1 African dwarf frog, and finally the -what I'm assuming- is the blue crown betta

Flora: 3 bunches Mondo grass, an Anubias, the bamboo (it won't stay for long) and whatever the thing is on the left.
Just getting off work so brain is dead right now.

Basic LED lighting that came with the kit. Upgrading Monday.

The filter was a bit heavy on the flow for the betta, so I packed a few fluval replacement filters I had to even the flow rate. Working good so far. Betta isn't having to swim hard, even right under the output.

Cycling the tank with the plants and some of the bacteria starter. Would normally do a proper cycle, but I got impatient. Hopefully it'll all work out. Keeping a pretty steady eye on it and burning through test kits. All levels are acceptable for now.

So how's it look?


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Get rid of the mondo grass. It's only semi aquatic and it'll melt. If you just bought it maybe see if you can return it? I know, it sucks, but petcos and petsmart don't know any better. They sell it for terrariums.

Bettas and tetras/danio are normally something that don't mix. Keep an eye on their behavior. Tetras can become nippy and nip at the fins of the betta and sometimes they dart around so much that the betta can become nervous.

If you can afford it go to amazon and get the API Master Test kit. It's usually half the price than petco/petsmart . If you can't afford it then I'd at least get the Ammonia kit to start. Keep your eye on your ammonia level. That's what kills fish first off. If it's anything above 0 do at least a 25% water change. If you're doing the amazon thing, I'd get some "Prime" by Seachem. It's not too spendy and you only need 1 drop per gallon to declorinate and well... it'll last you a long time. The only down side is, it smells like sulfur.

Ghost shrimp... I've had bad luck with them. They don't each much in the way of algae, but they do eat some left over fish food. Don't be surprised if they kick it though. It won't be your fault. I've never been able to keep them with even perfect water parameters. My betta also ate quite a few.
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Good to know about the mondo grass.

I started with 10 ghosts... I might just go down to the lakes and net up some grass shrimp (same thing?) as they die off....I have a little 2gallon I'll set back up for a quarantine/holding tank. They're there mainly so I had something to look at. Once the tank is going for a month or so I'm planning on buying some of the more interesting -to me- shrimp. I'm a fan of the pumpkins. But haven't done much research of the varieties yet, I've only ever had ghost.

Used a conditioner that was ahem "designed" for bettas....or so the bottle said. I'm guessing it's really just a basic dechlorinator/conditioner.

What 1" or so schooling fish would you recommend?
I'm not stuck on schooling breeds, but I'd prefer them.

Upon closer look tonight it appears I might need to get an assassin snail or two. I saw about 5 tiny little snails when I put my drift wood in (again, can't think of the species) but now there seem to be about 50 :(
They don't look bad though.... I'll do some reading and see what their benefits and drawbacks are.
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your main pest snails are
A. Pond Snails

^^ Note the "fat" antennae

B. Bladder snails (they are different than pond snails, they're bigger :icon_mad:

C. Ramshorn

D. Malaysian Trumpet Snail

IMO the only ones you need to be concerned with are A and B .. All snails eat extra food. Ramshorn eat "some" algae and Malaysians burrow into the substrate and eat extra food. They help "aerate" the soil. I personally like both.

I hate pond snails with a passion. I had the smaller of the 2 in my 10 gallon. In my 46 I had the bigger ones. I know the difference because one has a shell that they "wiggle" .. It's hard to describe, but one has more of it's body in the shell and the other it's sort of "free floating" .. I squish them with extreme prejudice with an old calling card LOL.

Assassin snails are ok, but they will kill ALL snails in your tank even if they are huge. If you add them (more than 1) you will have babies. They will either eat themselves and food but you'll always have them. They will take out mystery and nerites. I just had a mystery snail die today for no reason. I saw an assassin on him yesterday. I'm mad my Blu is dead, but I dislike pond snails more.

Bettas can have any dechlorinator. It just sucks people in buying "specialty" items for them, but in reality they are just another fish. I feed mine the same "Kens fish flakes" that my big tanks get.

Here's my betta.. He's a metallic HMPK so he's blue and pink at the same time

PS CLick the link for each snail name to go to an info site about them :)
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I'd remove the bamboo now, or at least get the leaves out of the water, they will rot submerged. Shove it in the HOB instead.

I have pest snails in all my tanks and not had an issue with them they eat bio film and dead plant matter rather than healthy parts of plants. I am even trying to "culture" my bladder (thought they were pond) snails and mts as a food source for some soon-to-be-here dwarf puffers, which can eat any snail (except maybe those huge mystery and nerite snails.. but I wouldn't trust them in the same tank still...)

Flgatorguy do you have a better close up photo of your betta? It looks like a veiltail from the top photo. Does it have a name?

Aurie love your betta, very metallic!
I'll get a close up later tonight.

His name is "Kitten Food" inspired by the 2 kittens I have constant attention to it.
I'll get a close up later tonight.

His name is "Kitten Food" inspired by the 2 kittens I have constant attention to it.
Nice, hope he doesn't end up as dinner.
HOB=hang on back filter, your filtration system next to the heater is an HOB. You can stuff the bamboo stock in the filter media/outflow area (left side) or by the intake (right side), but I like stuffing plants in filter foam myself, give them something to grow roots into and anchor down well.
You said up-grading the light. One T8 bulb is sufficeint for lots of plant types in a 10g tank. You just need a good bulb.
I think Current Satalite has a dimmer so that might work for a LED light but I'd start
it at 50% to see if algae happens. If none does after a month, then add like 10%
and so on.
I use two T8 bulbs in one of my 10g tanks. I changed bulbs every three months
which is how long I thought it would give them a good amount of time to show me
how much algae they would make in there. It took me over two years like that to find two that together wouldn't have me scraping the glass after just three or four days.
Now I can go over a week and do let it go till the end of the second week but have some by then. And BTW there is no Excel or CO2 in there, but there are light once a week Micro/Macro ferts.
Here's some close ups. It was feeding time...Few too many bloodworms but shrimp will take care of them.


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