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HELLO ALL.

I am a fairly experienced fish keeper, have owned a 55, 75, 125, 180 and 300g tank. Sadly i have NEVER had a tank smaller then a 55 nor have i ever had a planted tank, so this thread is going to be about my first "mini" planted tank ever. i take criticism just fine so if i do something dumb dont be afraid to yell at me!

ANYWAYS lets get started.

last week i helped a buddy of mine setup a 55g tank, afterwords he gave me his 10g for free. It came with a filter, heater and the stock hood. tank is in great shape so i thought it would be a perfect opportunity to learn about planted tanks.
first thing i did was add normal kids play sand which i now realize isnt the BEST for growing plants but whatever i will make it work. i also had a small piece of driftwood that i had laying around and bought a few assassin snails.
the plan for the tank was to order a fancy betta, 4 or 5 kuhli loaches and the snails but since i have changed my mind and am going to do the snails, kuhli loaches and 4 dario dario. seems like alot of fish for a 10g tank but other people i have talked with seem to think it will be fine.
for lighting i have ordered a marineland double bright LED setup. for my first tank i wanted something that is good looking, simple and low light. didnt need anything crazy off the bat.
for plants im hoping to do some moss and a few other low light plants (really dont know anything about different species of plants).
for filtration the tank came with a top fin 10 but i didnt think that was enough so i added a small whisperer filter.

i do have a few questions.

how deep should my sand bed be?
should i add another type of subtrate along with the sand or is there anything i can add too the sand to make it more nutritious?
is my filtration strong enough for 9 fish?

all feedback will be appreciated

 

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I like 10 gallon tanks for small little planted setups. I like the challenge of making the tank look bigger than it really is. Picking small plants is the key, anubias nana, even picking 10 to 12 inch plants for the background is tough, because those would only be considered midground in large tanks. It's much easier to light a 10 gallon tank, and supply it with co2 and cheaper to fertilize, but it can go out of whack quicker too....the sand isn't too bad, it's what I used. I put root tabs in the sand, they are good for something like a 3 or 4 inch radius I think, so just place them around the tank under the sand. I found it nice because the roots can move so freely under the sand. I never had a problem with anaerobic conditions despite what people told me would happen. I had quite a bit of light tho on my 10 gallon and really needed a pressurized co2 system on it. I got quite a bit of hair algae with my setup.
 

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My substrate is always around a inch to two inches. I would scape the tank so the back has deeper sand giving it the illusion that you didn't use that much sand. I agree on the tabs as well because with silicate sand there is no nutrition.

Rotala 's , ludwigia's and crypts should do great
 

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