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So I am thinking of upgrading my betta to a 10 gal.
I definitely want to do it planted, but since I am new to the planted aspect of the hobby I wanted to do it low-tech (at least at first)

So far I am just planning, so I haven't really bought anything yet.
But I'm thinking of planting; Anacharis, java fern, and anubias in the back. And maybe try to carpet the front with some java moss. I don't know how exactly I'm going to do that, but I might try the plastic mesh trick.

The setup I am going for is:

Standard 10 gallon A.G.A.
50w heater
AquaClear 20 (fuge mod)

I am undecided on the substrate and the lighting, but I think I might just go with the "florescent desk lamp" thing and sand to save some money.
Of course I would have to dose a lot more ferts with a nutrient poor substrate like sand, right?

I am also undecided on hardscape, but I will probably pick some stuff out when I go to my local pet/fish store.
I want to keep this as low maintenance as possible so any tips on achieving that? Anything I am missing
Thanks
 

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Sand just suffocates the roots and crushes them, ususally if you use sand you want to mix it with a slightly larger pebble as well. Plus just read up on the amount of light you will need...wattage and stuff. It won't be expensive but you need to make sure you have enough watts and not TOO much light or you will need CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks OT, I will look into other substrates.

@sajata - I was planning on dosing with excel and some other trace elements, but I am not sure exactly everything I was planning on using.
 

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The LFS told me she just feeds the plants some Leaf Zone once a week...although we all know not to believe what the LFS says. BUT, with this said, I still only bought what they recommended, so we will see what happens. Plus I have tahitian moon sand and small pebbles, nothing special with fertilizer or plant food in it. I just bought the plant eco stick and Leaf Zone and will see how this plays out....:)

Basically gravel is good to use in addition to eco-complete or flourite or some special fertilizing substrate....but if you are going low-profile then I would just do it the way the LFS does, just use gravel and fertilizer tabs or liquid.
 

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Sand is a good planting medium, but it is a pain to keep clean. I suggest haveing about 2in of sand, and a inch of aquarium gravel to cap it off. Also, play sand works, but can compact, and create bubbles of air, which when released, can cause alot of damage. To stop this, use PFS or pool filter sand, which has a bigger grain size. Hope that helps and good luck!
 

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Would not use leafzone! It causes hair algea all over my plants. try excel and some iron for dosing.



I am also setting up a 10 gallon
15w
eco complete
anubias,java fern, moss,crypt
 

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I honestly love sand, and have never had problems with it. If you do a mix i would think the gravel winds up on top no matter what you do. I also find it easy to clean because junk doesnt settle in the sand, but tends to stay on top. MTS will also help keep it from getting too compacted.

I thought DIY CO2 would be a pain, but mine last about 2 weeks and only takes 5 mins to replace, so its worth a shot. I honestly don't monitor the output though, I just guesstimate and figure some is better than none. It has worked well for me.

a shot of flourish once a week would be good too.

Goodluck.
 

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If you stay under 2 wpg you shouldn't need CO2, especially not with the plants you have listed.

I'm running just the standard 15 watt T8 strip over my own 10gal and am extremely happy with it. Moss, crypts, and sunset hygro. Growth is slow but steady, and no ferts needed at all. Onyx sand substrate.
 

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Get a standard aquarium strip light for it, but get the kind that is made of 2 incandescent bulbs. Stick 2 spiral CFLs in there and you'll be good to go.
 

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I also suggest filling the tank with plants as soon as you set it up. If you can't find the plant you want, substitute something else until you find it. Don't buy a plant here, a plant there, and slowly fill in the plants. You will have far fewer water quality issues if the tank is stuffed from the get-go.
 
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