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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!!

I'm trying to plan out a 10 gallon low tech set up. It will be filtered and heated. I'm looking at getting the Finnex Stingray light.

Right now, I'm looking at the following plants:

Foreground : Java Moss

Mid ground : Anubis Nana, Cryptocoryne Wendtii

Background : Java Fern, Water Wisteria

Are there any other plants that would work well in a low tech setup that I've not listed?

I feel like my foreground is going to be very sparse with only Java Moss...I was looking at Pogostemon Helferi as well...but I read somewhere that it requires a decent amount of CO2.

I know I can't have too much in a 10 gallon, but I would like to have some diversity as well as for it to be pretty heavily planted (this is going to be a community tank with a betta, so I need to provide some hiding places)
 

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Hi shellsie,

Welcome to TPT!

You can grow a fairly extensive list of plants in a low tech 10 gallon; it just depends upon your tastes. Cryptocorynes are always a nice choice, the Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Red' would look nice. Microsorum pteropus (java fern) 'Windelov' would like do well also and not grow as large as regular java fern. Here is my 10 gallon low tech, HOB Aquaclear 20 filter, heater, 2X10 watt CFL lights. You will see Pogostemon helferi (Downoi) growing in the tank but it was a lot of work to keep them going. Questions? Just ask.

10 gallon, low tech; 2X10watt CFL; no CO2 but used Seachem Excel; dosed ferts using EI method
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi shellsie,

Welcome to TPT!

You can grow a fairly extensive list of plants in a low tech 10 gallon; it just depends upon your tastes. Cryptocorynes are always a nice choice, the Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Red' would look nice. Microsorum pteropus (java fern) 'Windelov' would like do well also and not grow as large as regular java fern. Here is my 10 gallon low tech, HOB Aquaclear 20 filter, heater, 2X10 watt CFL lights. You will see Pogostemon helferi (Downoi) growing in the tank but it was a lot of work to keep them going. Questions? Just ask.

10 gallon, low tech; 2X10watt CFL; no CO2 but used Seachem Excel; dosed ferts using EI method
First of all, thanks for the response!!

So far as the crypt. wendtii red. I'd read somewhere that most red plants require higher CO2 that isn't doable in a low tech. Not the case for those perhaps? Or was that a bit of a generalization? Also, is that it in your tank? The reddish broader leafed plant towards the front?

I'll definitely check out the java fern variety you'd mentioned! I may do both as well.

What is the EI method that you refer to for ferts? I'm planning on using seachem excel as well!

Also. Any recommendations for a nice foreground plant? What is that in yours? The grass looking stuff.

And lastly. How much is too much? Lol Should I try and keep myself to a few varieties or can I have a bit of diversity!

I appreciate your response again!! I'm stuck on restricted activity because of complications from surgery (nothing serious) but I've been a bit bored so I'm filling my time with fishy and plant research to help plan out this tank :)

*edit: I've seen a lot about Amazon Frogbit. I'm just not sure on that plant. Any opinions?
 

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Hi shellsie,

Sorry I was AFK helping fix some dinner, potstickers and fresh steamed clams......pretty tasty!

Always glad to welcome new folks to the forum.

'Red' plants will typically be their 'reddest' under high light levels irregardless of CO2 or not. That said, a lot of time in order to have 'high light' and not have an algae farm CO2 is used to enhance plant growth and allow the plants to out-compete algae for the available nutrients hopefully avoiding a major algae outbreak. Most 'Red' plants will still show some degree of red even under lower light conditions; my tank above is low light with PAR=25 at the substrate level yet the C. wendtii 'Red' (right front), Barclaya longifolia (center rear), and Helanthium tenellum (ground cover) all show some red on the leaves.

When I frist started this tank I dosed Seachem Flourish and Seachem Excel which worked fine but eventually the plants developed signs of deficiencies because they were not getting enough nutrients. The Estimative Index (EI) method of dosing fertilizers uses dry fertilizers such as potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, and potassium phosphate (which are some of the ingredients in Seachem Flourish). There are several threads available on this forum and the web about the Estimative Index method. With a Finnex Stringray light you may need to cut back the photoperiod (time the light is on). Strong light (as well as long photoperiods) means the plants will need more nutrients.


The foreground plant in my tank is Helanthium tenellum (previously Echinodorus tenellus / AKA Pygmy Chain Sword).

As for plant species you are only limited by space. I think I had about 10 species in the tank above; or can approach it like designing a garden and go with few species and repeat some of them once or twice in different areas of the tank.

LOL- I understand the surgery "opportunity". I spent four months in bed this winter with pneumonia (twice) followed by a nasty staph infection that required surgery in January....good news I lost 55 pounds! I am just now getting back on my feet however the prognosis is good.

As for Amazon Frogbit it can grow and multiply quickly and cover the surface of your tank blocking light to other plants below. I would not add that species to the tank until you have a better grasp of the 'regular' rooted plants.

Questions, Just ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm definitely going to look into the red crypt variety! It'll be nice to have some variation from all green!!

What sort of substrate are you using?

And I'm glad to hear your prognosis is good!! Staph can get nasty really quick!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Hi shellsie,

The substrate in the picture is Safe-T-Sorb #7941 (AKA STS); a 40 pound bag cost $6.49 at Tractor Supply Company (there are several in the Birmingham area and points south). It is a montmorillonite clay substrate with a high cation exchange capacity (CEC) which basically means it can absorb nutrients from the water column and release them to the root area of plants. I also used it in my 75 gallon.

75 gallon with STS #7941
 
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