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Discussion Starter #1
I've had this tank for a few years now, but had it for a small animal when it was a baby. Then the tank sat in a closet for a year. I pulled it out and said, "Oh yeah, I want to get back into planted tanks again!" It had been quite a few years since my last experience with aquariums. I had a 100 gal planted tank with angels, a 20 gal long planted tank, 5 gal guppy tank and a saltwater nano cube in the past. To be honest with you, I think I've forgotten a ton of what I have learned. I'm having to relearn everything again. I want a big tank like i used to have, but since I move almost every year (and I plan to move again in March), I should stick with a baby 10 gal.

So today, I finally added a hood (I still need to replace the included bulb with a better one), filter, substrate (Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate) and water.

Now, come on, baby...CYCLE, CYCLE, CYCLE!!


My plans? Well...I want to start off easy - wisteria, of course! I also would like some dwarf grass or dwarf baby tears, java fern, moss, etc. I'll need low to moderate light since I have a one-bulb light strip. I will have CO2, but haven't decided if I want to spend money or go with a DIY system.

As far as fish, that will be the hardest decision. I originally wanted all neons and a couple of clown loaches. But my boyfriend keeps picking out all these fish he gets excited about. ugh. I want all matching fish. He wants one of every kind. LOL I loved having a guppy tank in the past, so I think maybe guppies, endlers or some other live bearer would be fun. Either way, I want all my fish to match. We'll see.
 

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Clown loaches will grow waaaaay too big for a 10 gallon. If you want bottom dwellers, maybe a bunch of pygmy cories, or even possibly kuhlie loaches (although they're delicate). An endler tank is a good idea. The tiger-endler-guppy hybrids are really attractive too.

You say you have low to moderate lighting. How many watts? I don't think dwarf hairgrass or dwarf baby tears will really do well under low lightings.

Regarding your cycle, I'd add the plants now. You don't have to wait for a cycle. It'll give them a head start before you add fish. Keep us updated once you start adding stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Frosty, thanks for the advice!

I know clown loaches take forever and a day to grow. Well, it seemed like that with the ones I had a long time ago. I had a couple in a 20 gal and they stayed small. But I did have a humungous one in my 100 gal at one time (we named him corndog lol). If they eventually get too big, I'll find new owners for them. I just love their personalities.

I can't just run in and plant away. I have to do this tank at a very slow pace. I'll have to wait till another payday comes to add on. :( baby steps

I still need to get a full spectrum bulb. The one in there right now is what came with the hood. But when I do get a bulb, it will be 15 watts, 5000K. I remember having baby tears in the past and they grew like crazy in my tank. I think I had moderate lighting back then, but I can't remember what the watts are. I'll just start with a little bunch and see what happens. I really kind of have my heart set on them. :( I have read that with the right amount of CO2, I can grow them with moderate light.

so i get to stare at my empty tank for a while - booo
 

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Good luck!

I'm in the process of setting up tanks that will eventually end up in the fish room...so I know about the "empty tank" thing. At least yours has water & gravel. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good luck!

I'm in the process of setting up tanks that will eventually end up in the fish room...so I know about the "empty tank" thing. At least yours has water & gravel. LOL

Well, I did stare at a completely empty tank without a top or anything for 2 weeks before getting to this point. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Does this count as an update? LOL

Things are SLOWLY coming along. I switched out the lightbulb to a trichromatic one and wow, the color completely changes. No more blue/purple tank anymore. The water is finally clear. I also bought a magnetic scrubber, thermometer, and pH test kit with pH down and pH up. I tested to find out it's at 7.8 or maybe higher (cause that's as high as it goes). I'm sure once I get plants and CO2 going, it will drop. But I went ahead and dropped it to 7.5-7.6.

And the wood - yay! I have something in my tank! LOL The wood cost me an $8 which I debated that or going to a creek to pick out some cool looking rocks. But this piece of wood looked neat, so hopefully it's worth the price.

Now I get to stare at this for another week because I'll get paid on Friday and can get CO2 and plants introduced. I'll probably run that for another week before fish.

OH and I definitely need to get a black background so you don't see my kitchen bar behind the tank. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #7
FINALLY!!! I have some plants AND some fish!

Plants - wanted to go with easy and low to moderate lighting plants. So far, I have some wisteria, micro sword and a tiger lotus. I'm not really happy with the placement, so I may change it up later. Especially when the lotus gets bigger, it will go into the back corner where the wisteria is.

Fish -
2 male dwarf gouramis (they have their turf on each opposite corner of the tank and already have bubble nests)
4 cherry barbs (2 females, 2 males)
2 spotted cory cats

Now....my probs. I do nightlife event photography. I consider myself pretty good. I have a Nikon D60 dSLR with couple decent lenses and a 600 speedlight, and other various photographic equipment. Knowing all of this, I have yet to figure out how to shoot aquarium fish. It probably the most challenging. So my photos really suck. But someday, I'll figure out the trick. If you have any advice, please let me know!












 

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Sharper,

Are you going to be staying in the Dallas area? If so, check out the DFWAPC at, originally, aquatic-plants.org. They're a fantastic group of people.

Regards,
Phil
 

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Those pictures are really good! You already have the talent. It just takes a little practice getting used to taking fish pictures. I'll let you know if I ever figure it out. ;)
 
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