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Hey everyone!
I am a new member and I need some advice to start on a planted tank. I just bought a small little 4.5 gallon tank with a starter kit from Aqua Forest in San Francisco. My plan is to have some foreground plants, driftwood w/moss, and stones to complement each other. I have a few questions and I will also share what i have so far...

Do I need a Co2 system? If so what should I get? When should I start adding Co2?

Is my filter sufficient?

Should I upgrade my lighting?

I appreciate any advice and thank you in advance. I will try my best to reply as fast as I can.
 

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Carpe Diem
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Welcome to TPT!

I would dump all of those chemicals in bottles - you do not need them and they will do more harm then good.
The rest of equipment is looking good and you do not need co2. Instead, read up on plant fertilization.

I would recommend DHG (Dwarf Hair Grass) and Pearl Grass (HM, aka regular baby tears) for your plants to start with, in addition to moss. Blyxa Japonica for mid / background. One broader leaf plant as a center piece, small Red Tiger Lotus, a smaller crypt, "Rosette" Sword are good plants to check out.

Floating plants like frog bit and dwarf lettuce will help to keep the tank more stable, especially in the beginning.

Have fun!
 

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For your first time I would say don't go for CO2 and maybe only go for a high-tech setup once you're combfortable with the hobby. But, when you do get to that point always add CO2 as soon as the tank starts up. Instead, this time use something like Flourish Excel to supply Carbon to your plants.
I recommend using plants like Java Fern as it can become a pretty big mound and make for a nice focal point in low-tech tanks. Moss wise Java Moss is the easiest and most prolific, but generally most mosses aren't too hard to get going. For taller plants Crypts and HM as OVT mentioned are good. Have a look at Tropica's plant listings they can give you an idea of what you can grow in your setup, although do take it with a grain of salt.
Your light should be fine in low-tech tanks.
By the way, DON'T THROW OUT THE AMQUEL!!! You'll need it to condition water from your tap to remove chlorine etc.


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Carpe Diem
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Sorry, but AmQuel is not for tap water "conditioning". If you detect any ammonia in your Bay Area tap, call the cops ☺

Seachem Prime is one of the better concoctions to get the junk chemicals out of your tap and is very reasonably priced ( you need about 5 drops for a 5 gl water bucket). Seachem Safe is even cheaper (powder + water = Prime).

Ammonia is the best plant food there is (well, N and the rest in balance) but is very bad for fish. If you do get a spike and you have criters, extra Prime drops is you emergency remedy.
 
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What would set apart AmQuel from Prime? Doesn't Prime also have similar effect in that it binds Ammonia etc. I've not used it before but reading online and on the label it seems fine for use as a tap water conditioner.
Also, the other bottles aren't chemicals per se (well everything in the world are made up of chemicals, but I digress), but they're your bacteria stored in bottles for the nitrogen cycle. I wouldn't use them cus you can get the same results by just waiting, but they're not detrimental to your tank.


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