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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I first want to say that this site has a lot of gorgeous tanks! Also alot of knowledge! After seeing alot of planted fish tanks on this forum and other forums I figured I want to take the dive into this. I love fish and been into salt water tanks for sometime now. So with that said I want to start one and need some help.

I don't really know much about planted so if you guys/girls want to recommend me a good book to talk about everything dealing with planted tanks from building it, maintence, what to dose, proper lighting that can be purchase at a Barnes and Noble or whatever please post that.

Ok so I'll list what I have and what I think I'm going to do:

Tank: 10g tank/ stock light with flourescent tube light.
Powerhead: Maxijet 400
Air pump 3.0w
Heater: Hydor 50w
Filter: Aquaclear 20 H.O.B

My plan is to build a tank stand with canopy for the tank. So with that I will probably do a DIY light setup so I will need input on that.

I'm not to sure if I would need CO2 or not so please let me know if I do. Also what would be the best bet DIY CO2 or pressurized?

I think far as looks go for the tank I am liking alot the black zebra rock look with HC and maybe a small piece of dritwood. So far I really know I want HC in the tank, but I am not sure on what other plants to put in. Any suggestions?

For fish I am really wanting a schooling type fish. But at the sametime I do want some OTO's and a shrimp/snails. I do like Peacock fish, just to throw that out there. Any input on type of fish to look at ad shrimp/snails?

Substrate: I'm not sure on what kind to get, any recommendations?

Chemicals: Is there any certain addivties I need to get for the plants and for the tank?

Filteration: Should I look at getting something else?

I think that is it, if I have any more questions I will post!
 

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I'm fairly new at this to but I'll jump in you'll probably need to upgrade your light to around 30 watts total to grow hc you can purchase corallife PC lights pretty cheap stick to 5000k-10,000k color temp every thing else looks ok diy co2 will help alot and it's easy but costly over the long run pressurized is great but pricey to get every thing you need you'll probably be OK with diy in a small tank like a 10g diffusion has alot to do with it a small power head or internal filter works good to diffuse co2 if you don't mind tiny bubbles. think a can of 7up i use fluorite in all my tanks it work good and if rinsed properly doesn't cloud to much when rearranging things you should look in to purchasing bulk dry ferts from green leaf aquariums you can find a link at the top of this forums pages it's cheap,you can get a starter pack for about twenty$ and research "estimative index" fertilizer schedule the filter should be OK just make sure the tanks full so the water surface isn't agitated to much co2 out gasses easy good luck and be patient actually you probably have the Patience part down coming from salty's
 

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disclaimer, those are just my opinions you'll see just like life everyones got a different one take them all with a grain of salt even mine what works for me might not work for you but its a place to start scourer this forum theres lots of good info here and even more smart people if your confused about lighting look at a lot of "hoppys" threads and posts he is one of the smartest lighting people on here also look at alot of tom Barr's aka "plant brain" threads and posts he has a forum also, called the Barr report lots of great info there again good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Peacock gudgeons.

I was thinking DIY for the light because I was going to attach it to the canopy. So I was thinking about using CFL bulbs for the tank.

I am also trying to have my tank look as clean as possible far as equipment wise. I was looking at the glass lily pipes, I like the looks they have and seem like they will be pretty invisible since its glass. If I go pressurized for the CO2 I was planning on doing the paintball CO2 tank way.
 

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Fatality,

There is an article on the web that specifically discussed using VHO CFL bulbs in canaopies using basic, inexpensive components. The author has an aquarium ervice company and shoots straight from experience. I remember him recommending this solution over commercial products.

I don't have a canopy and have no experience with this approach, but he minced few words in recommending it. He had recommendations for bulbs to as I recall.

Unfortunately, I can't find the site, but google like crazy and I bet it shows up eventually.

AB
 

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In terms of books with info about planted tanks, I just got two that I'm using as I venture into the world of planted tanks. Both books have been very helpful to me, after spending only an hour or two with each of them.

1) Ecology of the planted Aquarium, by Diana Walstad - This book specifically addresses how to set-up and maintain a very low-tech tank - using soil substrate, no ferts, and no added CO2. This book came highly recommended by a couple of members of this forum.

2) Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants, by Peter Hiscock - I wanted a physical reference book about all the crazy plants that people are talking about on this forum. This book comes with full color photos and descriptions of many of the more popular aquarium plants. In addition, half the book covers the basics of setting up and maintaining a planted tank, again with photos and easy to understand explanations of the most important things that one needs to know about planted tanks. This book might be the one that you said you were looking for "everything dealing with planted tanks from building it, maintence, what to dose, proper lighting." (Don't think it talks about building a tank, but does talk about setting it up.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Were did you find the book, Ecology of a plant tank? I just came back from Barnes and Noble and they didn't have it. I did pick up though a book called "The 101 Best Aquarium Plants" by Mary Sweeney. So far what I have read it seems good.

What I really needed to know mostly about planted tank is the trimming part. I don't know exactly were you should trim the plant if needed. I figured if I have question on what supplements I need to dose in the water I can just ask everyone on here with the list of plants and get that information.

Since I am a noob to planted tanks I am guessing that the best bet for me is not to mess with plants that need High outputs of lighting. So I guess its best to stick to low/medium light plants, which I have no problem with. I do know that I want HC inside this tank, and I am not positive what that falls under far as lighting wise. My idea for this tank is to have HC and the Zebra rock look (love how these tanks look) with MAYBE a piece of driftwood with moss on it and some form of a tall big leaf bushy plant. If anyone has a suggestion on the big leaf bushy plant please list for me so I can check them out.

I'm trying to get as much space as possible inside the tank, and whatever that is going in the tank I am hoping to hide. I also was trying to get a nice crisp look, would the CFL's be able to achieve this?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
For my SW tank I use my RO/DI unit for any water changes and top off's, should I use the same water for this tank or would my tap be ok with the plants?
 

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For my SW tank I use my RO/DI unit for any water changes and top off's, should I use the same water for this tank or would my tap be ok with the plants?
I am pretty new to this and can only speak to what I've been reading, here and in my books. It appears that most people on this forum use their tap water. If you use RO water, you'll have to add hardness to the water.

I've been using RO water in my tank, because of what I believe are unusual conditions with my cities tap water. However, I'm thinking about switching back to tap water or at least a mix of tap water and RO water. You can see this thread to get a sense of what I'm dealing with.
 

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Would I be able to keep HC in this tank if I don't do CO2 and I just dose Excel?
Have you decided on what light you will be using? If you are using the stock light, you will not likely be able to grow HC. If you are upgrading your lighting, how much light do you eventually plan to have?

In my experience, HC prefers CO2 to Excel. In addition, I believe people have reported that HC sometimes melts due to Excel, but I have not experienced this myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well I was looking on this site, and read the Basics to starting a planted tank and I saw that it said a one 36watt CFL over a 10g would be able to grow almost anything, so I guess that would be the route to go?

My plan was to build a light set-up using the CFL bulbs with a homemade reflector.
 
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