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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I am very green when it comes to plant tanks, I have been an marine reefer for years now. I was looking to build a low maintenance, low tech plant aquarium with fish for my office. I have been reading about different methods of substrate (not a easy as reef tanks). I would like some seasoned vets to let me know I am going in the right direction when it comes to my tank setup.

Tank
-10 gallon 20 x 11 x 13

Light
-not 100% sure would like to get about 1.5 to 2 watts per gallon
What is considered light - moderate - high light?

Substrate
-Mineralized topsoil(organic Soil)
-Peat Moss
-Seachem Onyx Sand
-Flourite Dark
a mix of 50% black dirt, 25% Onyx Sand and 25% Flourite
W/ a partial gravel cap

Plants
-Java Moss
-Anacharis
-Hornwort


Thanks
 

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Low Tech Planted Tank

Good morning vcs...

A 10 G tank is very small. I would suggest going with a minimum of a 30 G. I have large, low tech planted tanks and just for the challenge of it, I have a couple of 30 Gs. They're really very compact and would be much easier to maintain than a 10. I had a 10 once and tried to plant it and there was just no room to work.

Low tech lighting is very simple. One, 6500 K, T8 bulb. If you're willing to do 50 percent water changes every week and keep a good number of fish, you'll have two good carbon dioxide sources and not have to go to the expense of CO2.

Just one old "water keeper's " opinion.

B
 

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You don't need a substrate for any of those plants. Soon enough you will have a 10g filled with anyone of them, a wall to wall tangled aquascape. You might like that actually. I've kept tanks like that.
If you want to do the substrate you mentioned then you need plants which root. Crypts, small swords, vals, elocharis, things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good morning vcs...

Low tech lighting is very simple. One, 6500 K, T8 bulb. If you're willing to do 50 percent water changes every week and keep a good number of fish, you'll have two good carbon dioxide sources and not have to go to the expense of CO2.

Just one old "water keeper's " opinion.

B

Because this tank is going to be in my office(where I have enough work:)) is there a way to keep plant and do a 10-15% water change every other week.
 

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the plants that have been mentioned are low light plants, so for a ten gallon I would recommend 2 13 watt spiral CFLs or one 23 watt CFL.

If you wish to dose ferts I'd highly recommend Tom Barr's EI dosing light for less techy folks, found HERE. Combined with daily doses of Excel.
 

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Stick with ferns, anubias, and moss and you don't have to worry about the substrate.

For esthetics you could use some black diamond blasting sand from a company like Northern Tool co. It is only $8 for a 50lb bag.

Here is a substrate calculator.

I just read at plantgeek.net that riccia is a high light plant.
Marsilea minuta seems an easier plant to grow with low light. Have seen it in a tank thicker than at plant geek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stick with ferns, anubias, and moss and you don't have to worry about the substrate.

For esthetics you could use some black diamond blasting sand from a company like Northern Tool co. It is only $8 for a 50lb bag.

Here is a substrate calculator.

I just read at plantgeek.net that riccia is a high light plant.
Marsilea minuta seems an easier plant to grow with low light. Have seen it in a tank thicker than at plant geek.

If I dont have to worry about the substrate I will have to dose w/ ferts. Or would the fish be enough.
 

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the plants that have been mentioned are low light plants, so for a ten gallon I would recommend 2 13 watt spiral CFLs or one 23 watt CFL.

If you wish to dose ferts I'd highly recommend Tom Barr's EI dosing light for less techy folks, found HERE. Combined with daily doses of Excel.
If you go with these lighting options you'll need to add CO2 and/or daily Excel dosing, and also need to regularly dose macro and micro nutrients.

If you go with a single 18 watt T8 strip you'll be fine with the plants I listed earlier, no CO2, and little to no fert dosing.

I don't dose ferts at all in my own tanks other than occasionally some Excel for algae control (and that's once every 3 or 4 months if needed). I do have Miracle Gro Organic Choice potting soil underneath a cap of Flourite mix for my substrate, so the plants are able to get what they need from the substrate and from fish waste.
 

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If you go with these lighting options you'll need to add CO2 and/or daily Excel dosing, and also need to regularly dose macro and micro nutrients.

If you go with a single 18 watt T8 strip you'll be fine with the plants I listed earlier, no CO2, and little to no fert dosing.

I don't dose ferts at all in my own tanks other than occasionally some Excel for algae control (and that's once every 3 or 4 months if needed). I do have Miracle Gro Organic Choice potting soil underneath a cap of Flourite mix for my substrate, so the plants are able to get what they need from the substrate and from fish waste.
I ran 2 13 watt bulbs over a 10 gallon, without CO2 or Excel. They were mounted sideways in the standard hood.
 

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I had anubias, ferns and moss in a 10 gallon tank in front of south window. I didn't dose. They lived but didn't grow. Substrate was dirt with sand over it. Found that they thrive in water with phosphates. Many cities does the water with phosphates.
 

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Nothing is written in stone when dealing with nature. I know someone whom has 3 10 gallon tanks side by side with a single T8 over them. The tank in the middle started having algae problems. Thus he started dosing excel.
 
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