The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Before I start adding anything to my tank, I want to be sure I have all the proper equipment. At this point, I have a tank and a Tetra filter and that is it. I do plan on having live plants, with moderate lighting, I want my plants to look nice and full and ALIVE.. From what I've read so far, I'm questioning whether hte size of my tank and the level of light I'll have will warrent a CO2 setup.. and if so, what is recommended. I don't want a DIY setup, i'd prefer something that will keep the levels in the tank relatively consistent, and my impression is a DIY setup will not give me consistent levels. I've read about the compressed co2, but I also see places like petsmart have a CO2 booster (liquid). Is this an adequate substitute for a co2 compressor? My tank is so little I don't know that having a compressor isn't going to be overkill.

Also, if it's important, I do plan on having sand substrate.
 

·
Dwarf Fish Lover
Joined
·
471 Posts
1, those liquid Co2 are much more expensive than having a co2 system in the long term. Get a GLA system at least. Those super cheap ones like Aquatek will break after a couple of years. Better ones will last you at least 10 years. And if you want dual stage( which you don't have to) system cuz you have some expensive fish or fish mean something to you, go ask Forum member Alan Le build one for you.

2, Any filter works. But internal filters will take much space in a already small tank. Cheaper way is go get a HOB filter. AC 20 will do, AC 30 is better. If you are more serious then go get a Eheim 2213( not really needed for such small tank IMO).

3, lighting on a 10G is tricky. I personally don't trust LEDs yet. You can try it tho, stuff like Finnex 24/7 works. I use a couple of IKEA desk screw-on CFL lamp. They are $13 each and just a couple cheap 2700k 24W CFL bulbs I'm good to go. Super cheap and effective. Just does not look as clean of a setup as a single LED unit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
oh boy.. okay, gotta slow it down for me a bit... TOTAL newb here! lol When you mention a dual stage - are you talking a filter, or a CO2 unit? What IS a dual stage exactly? I doubt I'll be needing it for such a small tank at this point... but a friend is willing to give me a corner 75g tank and I suspect I'll need to step up my game with that tank.

My tetra filter is a HOB (hang on back, right?) filter, quiet little thing.. and my understanding is it's not top of the line, but will work for what i need it for right now.

Your lighting option sounds stupid simple, and that is right up my ally!! ;) I can handle a somewhat messier light setup, i primary goal is giving adequate light to my plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
I recently got a small 8 gallon tank and wanted a canister filter to go with it so I could have an inline co2 diffuser. The canister can hang off the side or if you have space below the tank, I would put it there to keep it clean looking. I went with this Shiruba XB-303 (I believe there are alternative name/brands for it as well like the Finnex PX-360 though that might be for larger tanks) https://aqualabaquaria.com/collections/filtration/products/shiruba-all-in-one-power-filter-xb-305

I say go with co2, it adds a new element (though also a new expense) because you said you do want nice plants and from my experience there are some plants you just can't grow without co2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
You can make your 10 gallon tank as simple, or as complicated as you want. If you take a look on this forum at some of the low tech tanks that members have created, you will soon realize that low tech tanks can look amazing. On the other hand, going high tech will allow you to grow a wider range of plants. It really is what you feel comfortable with, and also, what kind of budget you have to spend.

I would suggest that you do a little research by looking at plants, photos of tank designs, etc., and get an idea of what you want to create. Many plants will grow well, albeit more slowly, in a low tech tank. You can use liquid carbon, such as Excel or CO2 Booster as a supplement, if desired. With a small tank, such as a 10 gallon, the expense is not great.

It really is up to you. A little time spent now doing some research will pay off in the long run!
 

·
Dwarf Fish Lover
Joined
·
471 Posts
oh boy.. okay, gotta slow it down for me a bit... TOTAL newb here! lol When you mention a dual stage - are you talking a filter, or a CO2 unit? What IS a dual stage exactly? I doubt I'll be needing it for such a small tank at this point... but a friend is willing to give me a corner 75g tank and I suspect I'll need to step up my game with that tank.



My tetra filter is a HOB (hang on back, right?) filter, quiet little thing.. and my understanding is it's not top of the line, but will work for what i need it for right now.



Your lighting option sounds stupid simple, and that is right up my ally!! ;) I can handle a somewhat messier light setup, i primary goal is giving adequate light to my plants.

Oops sorry I did not explain too good. There are dual stage co2 regulator unit and single stage co2 regulator unit. A co2 regulator is the first stage to control how much Co2 will be pumped into your tank( second stage is the needle valve which fine tunes the co2 bubble to countable amount, as known as bubbles per second, or BPS). So anyways, basically the regulator will hold the pressure of co2 being run to the needle valve at the first stage, since needle valve was not designed to hold that much pressure from the co2 tank. Everything will fail including co2 regulators. Once a single stage regulator fall, all the co2 left in the co2 tank will all be dumped into your fish tank and pretty much wipe out your life stock inside, this most likely happen to people when their co2 tank is close to empty. A dual stage regulator, is a regulators that has two stages. So one stage fails, the second stage holds off the pressure. There are much much much much much much less chance both stages fail together. A dual stage regulator is kind of like a insurance, not mandatory, but good if you have it. Quality single stage regulators can very well hold the pressure and end of tank dump is less of a chance.

Your Tetra HOB works fine as long as it has good flow. Use it as a mechanical filter( filter that has a lot of pads to catch the debris being sucked into the filter chamber), and let the substrate and hardscape( rock, wood) take care of your bio filtration. Just remember to have a lot of flow. Like.... At least 10times of the flow of what your tank size is, in your case, 100gallons of water flow per hour.

The guy above me has a point. A canister filter has a advantage of running a co2 reactor or a online co2 mister. And since you have a HOB filter, you have to run a in tank co2 diffuser. Not a big deal but some people want as less equipment inside of their tank as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the feedback!

Reiterating that I am a TOTAL newb - do i need to have BOTH the tetra filter and a CO2 unit, or can the CO2 unit such as fusiongt mentioned serve as both? i'm still undecided which way to go as far as low tech vs high tech, and will be researching the low tech options to see how they'll work for me. In the meantime, I figure with the 75 gallon i'll definitely need a CO2 filter since that tank is much bigger, and I have a feeling i'm going to want lots of variety as far as plant life goes.

touch of sky, Budget is certainly a consideration, though I think the CO2 unit Fusiongt mentioned is well within my budget. My entire goal with this little tank is to keep everything alive... The first, and last time I set up a tank I couldn't keep a single thing alive (thought to be crappy gravel), so if I can keep this tank alive for 6 months, then I'll be a happy camper. If not having a cO2 canister won't kill the plants, and I can use a booster as mentioned, I will until I see my tank stock is thriving.

huhu89151734 - thank you for clarifying! I don't think i'll need a dual stage just yet, lol. It's definitely beneficial to know how that works and the safety net it provides though, and something to look at once the big tank is up and running.

Thank you again everyone! I am loving learning about all the options I have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
If you are planning to set up the 75 gallon with CO2, you could actually use one CO2 tank to run both aquariums. You have to set the regulator up for two tanks with two needle valves and two bubble counters. I would suggest you get a 20 lb. CO2 tank if your intention is to set up the 75 gallon and the 10 gallon.

On the 10 gallon, you can use your existing filter, and use a CO2 diffuser in the tank to deliver the CO2. When setting up the 75 gallon, you could go with a canister filter, and an inline diffusor to deliver the CO2.
 

·
Dwarf Fish Lover
Joined
·
471 Posts
OKay, me again lol

No nO No nO NOOOOOO~~~ co2 is a supplement to help plant growth and algae control. They are not filter unit and serve different purpose than your Tetra HOB filter. Like the other said, you dont NEED the co2 unit to grow some of the plants, but you do get the benefit of being able to grow more demanding plants and less headache when it comes to algae control with it. Feel free to try growing some plants with out co2, process is much much slower and your selection will be very limited. You will not get a ton of algae if you keep it low light, in this case, only use one of the CFL lamp I mentioned and rise it at 6 inches above the tank. If you see algae growth, rise it higher. Yeah it is still fun growing some life without co2 supplement, but you will only get the "WoW" when you saw your plants gets co2.

One thing I forgot, I do not recommend using sand as substrate, it gives no benefit to the plant root and does not preserve nutrition. Go to your local Petsmart or Pet Co or even some online store and get a thing called Eco Complete. That what I have used back when I was setting up my first low tech tank and had a lot of success with it.

Oh Oh, one more tip, get A LOT of plants, as many as after planting, the substrate should be somewhere 70-80% covered, low light plants grow slow, they are cheap, and stock your tank with full of plants will help a lot as far as algae control goes. Go to Youtube and see how much plants Takashi Amano use when he sets up his tank. Mind he uses co2 tho so dont copy his plant selection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No nO No nO NOOOOOO~~~ co2 is a supplement to help plant growth and algae control. They are not filter unit and serve different purpose than your Tetra HOB filter. Like the other said, you dont NEED the co2 unit to grow some of the plants, but you do get the benefit of being able to grow more demanding plants and less headache when it comes to algae control with it. Feel free to try growing some plants with out co2, process is much much slower and your selection will be very limited. You will not get a ton of algae if you keep it low light, in this case, only use one of the CFL lamp I mentioned and rise it at 6 inches above the tank. If you see algae growth, rise it higher. Yeah it is still fun growing some life without co2 supplement, but you will only get the "WoW" when you saw your plants gets co2.

Lightbulb moment! Thank you - THAT was hugely helpful... I'm not sure why, but I definitely got it stuck in my head that the CO2 is a filter of sorts... not a supplement.

time to sit down and figure out exactly WHAT I want with this tank... Low tech may be the way I start out, but I really really like the look of some of the tanks pictured on the board, especially in comparison to my friend's bow front 55 gal, it's sparcely planted, and looks nice enough, but nothing in comparison to the tanks on here.

Thanks huhu!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you are planning to set up the 75 gallon with CO2, you could actually use one CO2 tank to run both aquariums. You have to set the regulator up for two tanks with two needle valves and two bubble counters. I would suggest you get a 20 lb. CO2 tank if your intention is to set up the 75 gallon and the 10 gallon.

On the 10 gallon, you can use your existing filter, and use a CO2 diffuser in the tank to deliver the CO2. When setting up the 75 gallon, you could go with a canister filter, and an inline diffusor to deliver the CO2.

The 75 won't be getting set up for some time... I don't want to dump a bunch of money into this and have things not work, and get discouraged and quit trying. Plus the two tanks are in totally different rooms. The 10 is set up in my dining room, which gets lots of natural sunlight during the day, and the 75 will be in a corner in my bedroom.

What I hope to accomplish, with the 10, is boosting my confidence in keeping things alive, and taking what I learn from this tank and applying it to the 75 when I'm ready to move to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
Here is my quick suggestion:

Lighting: 2 10watt 6500k cfls (home depot) in the hood without reflectors and with the guard on. Don't go over 7-8 hours a day
Filter: Aquaclear 30
Substrate: Flourite, very well cleaned
Heater: Aqueon pro 50
Fertilizer: DIY EI from Nilocg.com, dosed for low tech (very easy to use)
Carbon: Seachem Excel dosed at 2ml everyday

This set-up will give you medium-low light and allow you to grow a variety of plants. It is affordable and most of the stuff can be bought at commercial stores.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top