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Hello everyone! I just joined this forum last night after doing some research on how to get started on a planted aquarium. My only setup is a 10 gallon tank, the very basic setup that you'd get from Walmart. Its only resident is a male red halfmoon betta. There are two plants in there (no idea what kind), but they're really not doing as well as they used to (leafs turning clear/yellow, rotting). Currently I'm only using gravel as a substrate, so I'm thinking that I will toss that and switch to Fluorite or Floramax, which are available at the local Petsmart. I'm not really sure if there are any great aquarium stores around my area (Kansas City, MO) so if you all know anything I don't, please share! I'm really wanting to grow a carpet of dwarf hairgrass over the substrate. Is the dwarf hairgrass you get at Petsmart decent? I bought some before, but of course I didn't do anything special for it, so it died pretty quickly. It came in this weird gel stuff. Anyways, I'm thinking that I'm going to get some better bulbs that will allow for plant growth. I just have some cheap bulbs from walmart that are supposed to promote plant growth, but I don't think they're good enough. What kind of bulbs would be great for growing dwarf hairgrass? Compact fluorescent? The hood on my tank allows for two separate bulbs. In addition to this, I was going to get the Hagen CO2 system from Petsmart. I don't think I'd have enough room for a DIY CO2 system. In addition to this, I was going to buy some kind of liquid fertilizer like Flourish. So, can you guys help me out? I think I mostly need help with the lighting.

Substrate: Flourite or FloraMax
Lighting: ???
CO2: Hagen Plant Grow Natural System
Fertilizer: Flourish

Here are some pictures of my current setup below. I think that I also want to get rid of the rock and find some kind of driftwood instead (the two plants immediately next to the rock are fake). Also, the stupid heater in my tank won't stay to the side anymore and just kind of floats there. I also have a nice faux rock background in the tank that I like a lot. I'd kind of like to make it to where I could move it forward so you couldn't see the heater or filter, but I don't think that would leave enough room in the end, because the background itself is pretty thick. Anyways, thanks for the help!!



 

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Welcome to the forum KelseyG, before you do anything do your self a favor and do some reading, I will give a link or two and get you started.

There are basically 4 different tank setups that work well and each allow to keep a balance between nutrients (substrate, fertilizer, animal waste), Light (the driving force behind growth) CO2 the second requirement of good growth, you can mix and match these to a point and keep some balance without just creating a tank full of algae or worse kill off your live stock.

These links should help Choose a method
The Basics
 
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