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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So for the last year I've been trying my hand at planted tanks. I've had my ups and downs, and as of lately been losing the battle with many kinds of algae. I've decided to start fresh and get help and do my homework. So to start of here it is.

I have a 10g tank (20"x10"x12") and hopefully soon a 20 long (30"x12"x12") that i'd like to work with. The plants I would like to use is jungle val, anubias, java fern, frogbit, and any other hardy plants you guys can think of. I also plan on not using co2.

My only questions right now is

1) What would be an appropriate light for the tank (specific brand and/or par reading)
2) Recommended fertilizing
3) dirted or non dirted

THANKS!!!
 

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For a 10 gallon I always had good luck with either the versa top and strip light with a single T8, or the economy hood with the 2 CFL sockets. The only issue with that one is that the screws rust, so I'd get some stainless steel ones to replace them with

For fertz: When I had my 10 up and running (it was my first tank too) I used fish poop.. that's it. I did pretty good just using poop. If you want to use fertz you can't go wrong with some flourish comprehensive. It's kind of watered down version of many that some forum members sell but it's easier to dose and available at all fish stores. I'd just look for your cheapest bottle (amazon is good for that). Nilocg has good fertz too. easy to mix. Just gotta do a water chance 1x a week with the stuff he sells. He'll sell ya enough to last a year. Dry fertz don't go bad.

Dirt or no dirt: That's up to you really. I did the dirt thing once, and it didn't fly. I'm sure it's something I did wrong. The soil went anerobic and I didn't like my layout and changing it was tough. Now I go eco complete and I found some osmocote plus and I bought some gel caps and make my own soil tablets. Great for root feeders.
 

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30" Finnex Fugeray would fit but I think it would be high light and have to be raised.
DIY with cfl and aluminum foil reflectors can be made to fit (if you or a spouse/family/friend are handy in DIY projects). I recently got a 20g long and will be going the DIY route with the help of my hubby ^^
buildmyled.com make them custom so if you can figure out the specific led lights/kelvin/wattage/# of lights/whatever you can have something made to fit snugly (though I suspect this would be a pricy option).
Aqueon has a 30" led light but no experience or knowledge about that brand.

I'd advize avoiding lights that are 24"-36", you'll have dark corners since the lighted section will only be 21"-23" in length
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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To answer your original question,

I always have done well keeping it simple- running a standard 15/18 watt T8 strip over low tech 10 gal planted setups.

Another common option is running 2 spiral flourescents in an incandescent fixture.
 

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45 PAR is getting into the medium lighting area, where you need a source of carbon for the plants to be able to grow at the rate the light drives them to. Excel should be adequate if dosed daily at about twice what the Seachem recommended regular dosage is.
 
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