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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I need help to set up my first planted tank. I am not new to fish keeping. I have gold fish for two years already and have some java fern in goldies tank. Now I want to have a true planted tank and decided to use my empty 10 g tanks as a starting point.

Currently I have Eco-complete 20 lb, 50w heater, Emperor 280 (Biowheel) filter and some java fern and moss in the tank. I want a low tech / low maintenance setup with DIY CO2 bottle.

What lighting setup should I buy? Currently I have spiral Eco bulb on clamp lamp 14w + planted light 13w light that come w/ 10 gallon light hood.
- Should I buy 36 watts set from ahsupply? Cost $44
- Should I add additional addition spiral clamp lamp (14 watts)? Cost $20 + tax
- Should I get Coralife 65 watts? $54
Thanks all.
Fred
 

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Hi All,
I need help to set up my first planted tank. I am not new to fish keeping. I have gold fish for two years already and have some java fern in goldies tank. Now I want to have a true planted tank and decided to use my empty 10 g tanks as a starting point.

Currently I have Eco-complete 20 lb, 50w heater, Emperor 280 (Biowheel) filter and some java fern and moss in the tank. I want a low tech / low maintenance setup with DIY CO2 bottle.

What lighting setup should I buy? Currently I have spiral Eco bulb on clamp lamp 14w + planted light 13w light that come w/ 10 gallon light hood.
- Should I buy 36 watts set from ahsupply? Cost $44
- Should I add additional addition spiral clamp lamp (14 watts)? Cost $20 + tax
- Should I get Coralife 65 watts? $54
Thanks all.
Fred
I cannot speak for other people's experiences but from my experiences as a tester and what I have witnessed first hand, I would set up a 10 gallon low tech, low maintenance low tank along these lines. Either one would work, but I would recommend the Tom Barr method(1st one) over the other.
http://www.barrreport.com/articles/433-non-co2-methods.html
http://www.vickisaquaticplace.com/PlantsChapter1.html

I would personally skip the DIY c02 and use Seachem Excel for the carbon source. Simple reason: with DIY c02 you will constantly fight the development of white snot like matter on the c02 outflow. It will not harm the fish, but will reduce the flow of c02 and inconsistent c02 is not a good idea even for low light tanks. You could eliminate the problem by going pressurIzed c02 if you have your heart set on c02 injection.

You don't need to spend a fortune on lighting if you take the low light route. I would recommend no more than 20 watts for a 10 gallon tank. And you achieve this with 2 10 watt 6500K daylight compact fluorescent bulbs(cheaper) or 2 10 watt corallife colormax compact fluorescents(more expensive). Anything over that and you may well be summoning algae to make its appearance. And believe me, it is much easier to do things to prevent algae than have it overtake your tank and engage in a 2+ month battle trying to get rid of it.

The only other thing that I would do is jam pack the tank with plants as extra insurance against algae, although if you are going the low light route, it may not matter as much and algae may not make its appearance. By the way James From Cali has posted an excellent list of plants that would do well in this kind of setup if you decide to buy more plants.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/low-tech-forum/56042-excellent-list-low-light-plants.html

There is also some excellent information in the low tech part of the forum that you may find interesting.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Homer..

Can we buy this or have to go DIY?
And you achieve this with 2 10 watt 6500K daylight compact fluorescent bulbs(cheaper) or 2 10 watt corallife colormax compact fluorescents(more expensive).
 

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Thanks Homer..

Can we buy this or have to go DIY?
If you can get a 2 socket incandacent 10 gallon canopy from a used pet shop that fits over your tank gallon, you can just replace the stock incandacent bulbs with the 2 10 corallife colarmax compact fluorescent or you 2 10 watt 6500 K daylight compact fluorescent(GE brand are cheap at Wal-Mart and work great for a low tech). I purchase a used 2 bulb incandacent 10 gallon canopy and that is what I did. Heck! if you were my neighbour, I would have happily given you an extra two bulb 10 gallon canopy for free. The other thing that you can do is purchase two clip on desk lamps, put the compact fluorescent bulbs(10 watts in each) and aim them over the tank. The problem with this is that you would have to leave the tank unconvered and this may cause issues if you decide to put in fishes that are jumpers.


As far as otos and neon tetras go, these fish are compatible and will go exist in a 10 gallon. The problem is that they are also the most sensitive fish of all. The neon tetras are prone to neon tetra disease and if you don't quarantine fish and get one that has this condition, it could spread to other fish in your tank and wipe out the whole population of fish. This happened to one member who was forced to tear his tank down. You may be better off to get cardinal tetras if you are looking for fish as pretty as neon tetras.

The rule is, no more than 2 otos per 10 gallon tank. When choosing otos be sure to buy ones that have been in the seller's tanks the longest, have big bellies. Also, be sure that you acclimitize them properly. I am only mentioning this as otos are another fish that seem to have a high natural mortality rate but if you do what I say may increase their chances of survival. I also find that the ones I feed microwaved zucchini seem to survive the longest.

For a 10 gallon, I would err on the side of understocking, rather than overstocking, so personally I would not put in anything more than one Betta fish, or make it a shrimp and otocat tank only, with otocats and cherry and or amano shrimp. The Amano shrimp, IME are excellent consumers of algae and dead plant matter and so will help to keep any algae under control. They also tend to be pretty hardy. I have one in a tank that has tripled in size and even survived ammonia spikes. It was still alive when everything else in the tank was dieing. Shrimp also place minimal bioload on a tank.
 
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