I'm planning and preparing for my first planted (low-tech) tank. I have most of my equipment set up and I'm preparing my hardscape. I've been doing as much reading as I can here and elsewhere online and think I have a pretty good idea what I want to do but have a couple questions remaining.
Here are my main questions:
Here's what I have ready so far:
- Does the setup I describe below seem reasonable?
- Biggest question: Given the tank/plants I listed below I need to pick some lighting. Currently I have this clamp-on LED setup that I don't think will be sufficient for much more than the anubius, java fern and moss. I've ordered 5 3 watt 6500k LED's (230 Lm each at 3.8v, 700mA) to build a light strip, but even though I'm comfortable with doing the electronics I'm not sure if the light output would be right. I'm hoping to be able to grow a couple medium light plants like Hygrophila compacta, Blyxa japonica, and/or S. repens along with my low-light plants. Conversely, I don't want it too bright for my betta to be comfortable or so much light that I need CO2. Would a 13 watt 6500k CFL be better than LED's? I'm already stretching my planned budget so cheaper solutions would be preferable.
- I know most substrates need to be washed, but since the Eco-complete has various grain sizes and comes packed in water the package says contains some ferts for the plants should I just pour the bag straight into the empty tank?
- I want a small cleanup crew to eat algae and dead plant bits, but getting along with the betta makes that tricky. Some bee shrimp would be my ideal pick, but I'm thinking nerite snails or a cory or two would probably be less likely to be killed. Would corys or nerites be good at eating dead plant bits? What would be a good hiding plant or decoration for shrimp?
- I think I have a good selection of background to mid-ground plants. Any suggestions for easy foreground plants? I'd love some short, bushy plants for the betta to rest on as well as for hiding places.
Tank: 10g tank 20"L x 10"W x 12"H + 20" Glass Versa Hood
Filter: AquaClear 20
Heater: 50 watt ViaAqua
Lighting: Remaining issue (see question above)
CO2: None (will dose Flourish Excel as a carbon supplement)
Substrate: CaribSea Eco-Complete (20-Pounds)
- Gray granite rock (Not 100% sure on purity. Soaking to check for ph change)
- Assorted small aquarium rocks from pet shop
- Looking for a driftwood piece I like
Planned Plants (Depending on local stock & lighting choice)
- Anubius barteri (var coffeefolia, nana, and/or other)
- Java Fern
- Java Moss tied to hardscape (maybe)
- Amazon Sword
- Blyxa japonica (if light permits)
- Jungle Val
- Hygrophila compacta (if light permits)
- S. repens (if light permits. Carpeting would be ideal, but I'm not expecting it)
1x Male Betta splendens (currently in a 1 gallon and needs a new home)
Additional livestock Possibilities:
- Bee shrimp
- Nerite snail(s)
- Small Cory catfish
Ferts and treatments (ready to go):
- Seachem Prime water treatment
- Seachem Flourish root tabs
- Seachem Flourish Comprehensive
- Seachem Flourish Excel
Expected Water Params:
- Temp: 80 F
- pH: 7.5 - 7.6 from tap
- I will test gH and kH once my tests for those arive from amazon
Thanks for any help!