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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lots of questions.

First, lighting. Everywhere I've looked so far has mentioned watts per gallon, then said for something 10-15 gallons or smaller that watts per gallon doesn't apply, but I can't find anywhere what does apply for a 10 gallon or smaller, and what I should be looking for.
Right now I just have a perfect-a-strip w/ reflector and a Flora Glo bulb (2800K light, 65 lux, 420 lumen, 15 watts) While the lighting looks lovely, I have no idea if it is of any use growing plants? If not, should I keep it and add another different light, or another of the same, or what? Is this considered medium or subdued or bright lighting over a 10 gallon aquarium?
I would prefer to have perhaps medium or subdued lighting, just because my fish belongs to a species that dislikes really bright light.

Right now I have plain gravel mixed in with Laterite, is that a decent substrate or should I change it to something more plant friendly?

Also, could someone explain fertilizing and CO2 to me? Do I need both for all plants, or do only some plants need it? I saw some Nutrafin Plant Gro at the store, and it said it added important trace elements to a tank for plants (like Iron), so I grabbed it. Is this even a fertilizer? If it is, is it a decent one?

I'm sure there are some other things I should know about...any advice, explanations, or links on how to start out on this would be very appreciated.

And does anyone have any suggestions for beginner plants; floating, or (and :angel:) other? And if you could give me a link to the care of the plants or a short explanation on them, I would be extremely grateful.

Oh, and this tank is a room divide (or rather, it is one of the 3 aquariums I have in a row that form a room divide), so how would I arrange plants to make it look good from both sides?


Thanks for reading!
 

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i am new to the planted tank thing also. i cant answer much but i do know that for a low light tank you dont need co2. u can try some crypts, java moss, java fern or some floating plants.
Under the low tech forum you will see many threads of people who have low tech tanks, lower light and no co2 and how they cope with that.

also see the thread:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/low-tech-forum/56042-excellent-list-low-light-plants.html

lotsa luck to you

just pick something easy to grow and dose with excel flourish its awesome.
d.
 

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The light could be upped a bit. You could either change the bulb to a 6500K bulb (the current one is a bit too yellow) or maybe get a clip on light (the kind people use for reptiles- they are available at hardware stores in my area for $5) and get a 27 watt spiral compact fluorescent energy saver bulb (6500k, GE makes them and they come in a blue package- brands other than GE are also available, my local Kroger just happens to carry this kind) for around $6, which would be a pretty nice upgrade from the current lighting.
You are right, there is no WPG rule for smaller tanks- actually the WPG rule is basically obsolete now with the wide variety in lighting options.

I think that laterite would harden your water too much unless you are keeping plants like anubias and java fern, but even then I'm not sure if it's good for freshwater fish other than fish like cichlids.

Fertilizing and CO2 is not completely necessary for low light, slow growth tanks, as long as you have a semi nutrient rich substrate like eco complete or flourite.

I would also suggest browsing the forums. There's lots of great info out there, and I learn new stuff every day :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I rinse my substrates, I use a strainer over a bowl so that the small, light particles fall through the strainer, that way I separate out the heavier particles and only put them in, so I don't usually have problems with floating.
 
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