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Plant Suggestions for a 10 gallon Low Tech

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I am contemplating setting up a 10 gallon planted tank ~ been out of the hobby for quite awhile, and the empty aquariums in the garage and basement are calling to me (I'm sure plenty of fellow forum members know the feeling).

I am basically thinking low tech, and I have decent lights: old coralife fixture with a 28 watt lamp, and standard t-8 strip light for a 10 gallon are available~ just need new bulbs. They fit over one tank ~ I've used both before on a single system.

What plants would all you experienced planted tank enthusiasts recommend for a 10 gallon with this light that won't completely outgrow the tank? I am fine with regularly trimming them, but need things that are reasonably sized, or dwarf versions of standard varieties. I don't want it to look like aquatic equivalent of an adult sitting at the kiddie table ~ been down that route before.

Any thoughts on plant selection (or links to relevant old threads) would be greatly appreciated.
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· Banned
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A Crypt Parva may not like that level of light.
One 6500K T8 bulb can grow most anything but is a bit less than needed for high light plants. In a 10g tank that is. Taller tanks need more.
But take a look at Najas G. (Guppy grass) and Fissidens also. The Guppy grass kind of fits what ou are saying about size perspetive but related mostly to leaf size/stem size.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/picture.php?albumid=14281&pictureid=58858
That is a 3-4" tall new plant of it. Sorry about the poor lighting.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/picture.php?albumid=14281&pictureid=53481
That has Fissidens and regular Baby tears in this picture. Can't see the Fissidens well though
on the log above the rock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both of you for the suggestions; this is really helpful. I will do some research on pH and water hardness parameters for the suggested plants; local untreated water is hard and alkaline, but with such a small tank, RO water is also quite feasible.
 

· Fresh Fish Freak
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I've kept Crypt parva in this exact setup. Didn't spread much, and they stayed small, but the plants were fine.

Cardamine lyrata I've never had success with in low light/low tech setups. Tends to get leggy.

Rotala rotundifolia and Bacopa caroliniana or B. monnieri are 2 other stems I've had do well for me in low light.

If you go for stems, I'd place them directly under your bulb.

You don't have to use RO water, the vast majority of plant species are very adaptable to hardness. It's your livestock you'll need to be a bit more picky with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks laurelleellbp; advice on the stem plants appreciated. I am just leery of having them take over such a little tank, which would naturally result in me pulling out one of the larger aquariums.

In terms of fish, if I decide to add any, I am leaning towards a small group of harlequin rasboras (an old favorite) or tetras, which I know need reasonably soft, slightly acidic water; thus, I am thinking of using RO water. Plus, as I am in an agricultural area, I know sometimes we have more nitrate in tap water than is desirable for aquariums.

I know I can do live bearers and not fight the water chemistry, but I don't want to raise fry. Of course, I suppose I could only have males or females; easy enough to tell them apart. A handful of male guppies, or maybe a trio of platies.

Other than live bearers, I am not sure what hard water and planted tank friendly species are also 10 gallon friendly. Goldfish are out on both counts, brackish water puffers and other common brackish species are, I'm guessing, similarly eliminated, and my understanding is the dwarf African cichlids are not compatible in a planted tank of any size... I know some of the rainbow fish are from hard, alkaline waters, but I think a 10 gallon is just too small. Let me know if there are other options I haven't thought of. I always like to learn about new possibilities.
 

· Fresh Fish Freak
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There are quite a few dwarf cichlids (African and South American both) that are plant-friendly, just a 10gal is too small for any of the ones that come to mind.

If you enjoy cichlid-like behavior, you might like some Dario dario. You'd probably need to use RO with them, though.

If you're going to use RO water anyways, then you can probably stock whatever small plant-friendly livestock species you want.

If you like Harlequin rasporas, have you ever checked out their teeny cousin the Chili raspora? Tons of color in a package so small you could easily stock 15 or so in this tank along with some dwarf cories or shrimp, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Those are two interesting and colorful types of fish that are new to me, and I hadn't even thought of keeping shrimp; not sure about sourcing locally, but I promised myself I wouldn't worry about stocking fish until I had a well established planted aquarium.

I did greatly enjoy the cichlid behavior of the pair of blue rams I kept for several years in my 30 gallon long peaceful community tank. Watching the spawning and egg guarding was always a treat; they are the only cichlids I ever kept, and definitely were in my top 5 list of freshwater favorites.

But I am trying to concentrate on appropriate plant selection now, and deciding whether I want to try DIY CO2 (I think the light is probably sufficient in such a shallow tank) ~ would be a fun aid to start explaining the fermentation process and photosynthesis cycle to my niece.
 
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