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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just started my first real planted tank/fish tank. not sure what direction i'm going to go with it. basically trying out a couple plants right now and cycling the water (which the plants i bought and filter media/small amount of gravel from my roommates tank should help with). lemme know your thoughts... and gimme advice and critiques... i welcome them.

tank setup:
simple 10g tank
17.5 lbs estes gravel
Whisper Power filter for 2-10 gallons

plants:
1 moneywort (back right corner)
1 aponogeton bulb (front right)
1 sword plant (in the middle)?

fish:
3 danios so far

heres a couple pictures:





also, this was created on a budget-ish. I'm still looking for a hood/light combo because i'm currently borrowing one... any recommendations?

i'm thinking of painting the back of the tank black. bad idea?

i've also got some rocks i wanna put it. not sure which ones to go with though. I've got pictures of them all, so if i have time later i may upload and ask for opinions. also, how do you prepare a rock before putting it in the tank? boil it for a while?

also, pH is at 7.2, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all at 0, and water temp is 72º-74º. I thik i'll update this and keep a record here if anything changes.
 

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the 'mystery' plant in the middle should be a sword plant (echinodorus sp.).
 

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First of all, that nasty multi-colored gravel needs to go ASAP. Appearance opinions aside, it isn't exactly an ideal substrate for plants. Consider either Eco-complete or Flourite instead.

Secondly, planted tanks do NOT need cycled, if you have sufficient number of plants (which you don't). Plants do an amazing job of sucking up all of the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, which are the primary components involved in a typical aquarium cycle. In many ways your plants become the "bio filter".

Third, I strongly recommend you hold off on plants and keep this tank as a fish-only tank until you can get ALL of the necessary equipment to properly support live plants. I look at your tank and I see a mirror image of myself with my 1st 10-gallon planted tank. Look like you're heading down the exact same path I was initially heading with my 10-gallon, and let me tell you, it wasn't a good path. Read up first, then save, then buy everything necessary to support your plants all at once. It's been my experience that trying to buy everything bit by bit as you get money only makes the tank suffer in the meantime.

Finally, I suggest you thoroughly read every little bit of info from RexGrigg.com twice, before going any further. Lots of good info on there. It should be required reading followed by a quiz afterward for membership on this forum. :tongue:
 

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i think that swordplant is going to outgrow your 10 gallon.

you can spruce up your tank with some driftwood which you can collect from a beach, creak, or pond and some rocks to tie down more plants

after you're done cycling, with only 3 danio's you have yet to reach your carrying capacity. Other fish that you could consider are cory's (same species and in groups of 3 or more), other small schoaling fish, a blue gourami, bettas, and guppies to name a few.

before you buy from any store I would check craigslist and ebay first. If you can't find anything better and have to do store check their on-line prices and see if they'll match it in-store. I think there's like a REALLY CHEAP $10.00 hood at petsmart site called economy hood that uses regular bulbs. I don't know I just thought that was too cheap for me lol so I just got a regular strip light which cost me $21.00 but that also meant getting a glass canopy, so that's an additional $8.00

But I can't offer much since I haven't even planted my tank yet but am in the process of ordering and planning....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First of all, that nasty multi-colored gravel needs to go ASAP. Appearance opinions aside, it isn't exactly an ideal substrate for plants. Consider either Eco-complete or Flourite instead.

Secondly, planted tanks do NOT need cycled, if you have sufficient number of plants (which you don't). Plants do an amazing job of sucking up all of the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, which are the primary components involved in a typical aquarium cycle. In many ways your plants become the "bio filter".

Third, I strongly recommend you hold off on plants and keep this tank as a fish-only tank until you can get ALL of the necessary equipment to properly support live plants. I look at your tank and I see a mirror image of myself with my 1st 10-gallon planted tank. Look like you're heading down the exact same path I was initially heading with my 10-gallon, and let me tell you, it wasn't a good path. Read up first, then save, then buy everything necessary to support your plants all at once. It's been my experience that trying to buy everything bit by bit as you get money only makes the tank suffer in the meantime.

Finally, I suggest you thoroughly read every little bit of info from RexGrigg.com twice, before going any further. Lots of good info on there. It should be required reading followed by a quiz afterward for membership on this forum. :tongue:
THANKS for the reply.

after reading rexgrigg.com i think i've realized i don't know much about planted tanks... however, i know a lot more now, so thanks for the resourse!

I'm gonna try to find some Eco-complete or Flourite today during lunch. preferrably eco-complete since you don't have to rinse it before use... And even if it doesn't become a planted tank right away, at least the eco-complete will be there when i want to make it a planted tank. I thought the blue mixed with black would look nice, but I am colorblind so I could be WAY off... probably gonna go all black on the bottom. Is there a problem with taking everything out of the tank (fish and plants) and just mixing the eco complete in with the gravel i have? rexgrigg.com says you can mix onyx or flourite with gravel 50/50 but nothing about mixing eco-complete with gravel...

also, what's the purpose of the peat moss under the substrate?

still wanna paint the back of the tank black, anyone see a problem with that?

as for light fixture... i still don't know what to get...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i think that swordplant is going to outgrow your 10 gallon.

you can spruce up your tank with some driftwood which you can collect from a beach, creak, or pond and some rocks to tie down more plants

after you're done cycling, with only 3 danio's you have yet to reach your carrying capacity. Other fish that you could consider are cory's (same species and in groups of 3 or more), other small schoaling fish, a blue gourami, bettas, and guppies to name a few.

before you buy from any store I would check craigslist and ebay first. If you can't find anything better and have to do store check their on-line prices and see if they'll match it in-store. I think there's like a REALLY CHEAP $10.00 hood at petsmart site called economy hood that uses regular bulbs. I don't know I just thought that was too cheap for me lol so I just got a regular strip light which cost me $21.00 but that also meant getting a glass canopy, so that's an additional $8.00

But I can't offer much since I haven't even planted my tank yet but am in the process of ordering and planning....lol
i figured it would outgrow my tank, but when that happens i'll put it in the 40 gallon tank my roommate has.

also, i found some sword grass at a lfs... would that be a better match for my tank?

I'm going camping this weekend and will be on the lookout for driftwood... anything to stay away from? and do i just soak it til it sinks then throw it in?

I'm also gonna get some river stones this weekend. What do I stay away from in that regard? and do i need to do anything to them to make them ready to put in the tank?
 

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I would just use the eco in your 10 gallon. You should be ok doing the switch.
Need more light,more plants,more plants,more plants and a source of carbon. Then some line of fertz. Good luck and read read read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would just use the eco in your 10 gallon. You should be ok doing the switch.
Need more light,more plants,more plants,more plants and a source of carbon. Then some line of fertz. Good luck and read read read.

how much light? 2wpg? 3wpg? don't wanna go too high cause i'm not ready to add CO2 yet.

and what kind of plants would you recommend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
update... even though i don't think anyone is gonna read.

moved the HUGE sword plant to the 55g tank.
no more blue rocks, just black eco-complete.
moved in some micro sword grass and it's doing pretty well after NEARLY dying in a lightless tank.
also have three aponongeton bulbs that are flourishing.
the moneywort that was in the back corner has now been split apart, the DEAD parts removed (with some crazy looking white fuzz on it) and there are only three stems left but seem to be doing well.
also bought a cheap fake root thing for some of the fish to hide in.

current fish: 2 albino cory's, 1 algae eater (not sure what kind), 1 pleco (also not sure what kind), 1 black molly, 1 danio, and 3 shrimp.

will post pics when i get a chance.

also gonna buy the ahsupply lighting setup when i can (stupid speeding ticket)
 

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buy some java moss, it look scool, plus u can never have enough of it,,,when i started my ten gallon tank i had 7 serpa tetras, 1 anglefish and 1 pleco, so far its been great none of the fish are fighting, so i'm not complaining, but really java moss, can help make ur tank look great
 

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buy some java moss, it look scool, plus u can never have enough of it,,,when i started my ten gallon tank i had 7 serpa tetras, 1 anglefish and 1 pleco, so far its been great none of the fish are fighting, so i'm not complaining, but really java moss, can help make ur tank look great
But I wouldnt try adding an angelfish and a pleco to a 10g :). Java Moss attached to driftwood is great looking though!
 

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HEy oven mitt.
Great to see another san antonian here.
For lighting, check out alamo aquatics on bandera road, they have good prices on equiptment. I suggest a sattelite 40W fixture, you can always do a yeast/fermentation/DIY co2 bottle later for a couple bucks.

Fintique on west avenue has great fish and some plants(i'm geussing that's where you got the micro swords from)

Stones and Driftwood:
Stones- If they are lime stone (white, sometimes smooth) then they will raise the PH and hardness dramaticlly.
IF you're not sure, pour vinegar on one and if it bubbles and foams it is not good for the tank.

The river rocks are ussually limestone too. Check out some local landscaping and gravel supply places, we have a bunch of them(at least on the north side) and ask them about rocks, they should be able to tell you if the rocks are lime or no.
Driftwood- I collect Driftwood all over, school, Gaudelupe river, canyon lake, etc. Cedar makes a good wood if you boil it, oak is not very good.

The peat under the substrate lowers P.H and hardness, and adds extra nutrients to the water, and also stains the water.
 

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I want updated pictures! :) Tie any kind of aquatic moss to a piece of driftwood using fishing line or sewing thread. Be sure to space it out thoroughly. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ooooh replies!!! :)

Dufus... i've checked out alamo aquatics... pretty nice place plus, that eel they have is INCREDIBLE. i may go check out fintique for some plants (probably java moss since everyone has said to). I'm not sure i have enough room for anything else though. 10g aren't big... AT ALL! also, i actually got the micro swords at wal-mart... :) also, if you have the hookup with some driftwood or stones... i might just want to buy some from you! and i think i should have thrown some peat under the substrate since out water is hard as hell and the pH is pretty high. i'll probably do that in the 25ish hex tank i'm getting for free... but i've heard growing things in a hex is kinda hard due to the lighting...

pics soon.
 

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WM!!! Can't beleive they had Micro swords!
I have some driftwood, but i am gonna use it in my 29 gallon. No stones, but like i said, a rockyard is a good place to check out.

Our water is very hard and high ph, but IME, it supports aquatic life! i had discus in our water.
 

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About painting the background, why don't you use black construction paper on the back? That way it is removable. That's what I do.
 
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