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want to plant 10g, what do I do?
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cks
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005

PostPosted: 2007.01.01(Mon)13:54    Post subject: want to plant 10g, what do I do? Reply with quote

I have a 10 gallon that I want to convert to a planted tank. I just have plastic plants in there right now. Where do I start? What do I do? I want to be able to keep the regular hood lights for now at least, and I would kind of prefer to keep the gravel I have. I've heard both ways - that I can or can't keep the gravel as substrate. What kind of plants can I put in this tank? Thanks in advance for any help and advice!
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Char
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2007.01.02(Tue)1:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Java Fern is a good plant to start with. It only needs minimal lighting (mine gets practically no direct light) and it doesn't (in my experience) need any fertilisers or co2 injections. It can grow in basically any gravel, but it doesn't need to, it will attach its roots to ornaments, rocks, logs, driftwood, ect. so it won't be bothered by fish that dig and it is rarely touched by plant eaters, because it is thick and bitter. It is a slow grower but eventually gets failry large.

Wisteria is another great plant, except it is less hardy then Java Fern. I have kept it with only 1 flourescent tube (on for 12-14 hrs a day) and a basic fertiliser (1 drop a day and around 5mls each water change). It will become thin with less leaves coming out of the stem if it is not provided with suffecient lighting though.

I wouldn't go for fast growers such as java moss or baby tears, as they can take over a tank very rappidly, and is hard to contain with out getting rid of the lot with such a small tank.

So 1 flourescent tube on for around 12 hrs a day, combined with a good liquid fertiliser, is enough to grow a lot of plants- but go for the more hardy ones to begin with.

What types of fish do have? Diggers and herbivours can cause problems.

These basically answer all your questions as well (on the last link, look at the 'low light tank' page on the left side):
http://home.infinet.net/teban/
http://www.petaquarium.com.au/info/aqua/plants.asp
http://www.aquariaplants.com/
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cks
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005

PostPosted: 2007.01.02(Tue)17:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the advice! I'll look at those links you provided as well. I will definitely start slow!

Right now I have 5 Black Skirt Tetras, 1 Black Phantom Tetra and 4 Corries (I think they are the spotted). I am planning on getting a centerpiece fish, such as a dwarf gourami or something - I have a thread on another board for that question!

Thank you again and if you or anyone else have any more ideas/advice, they are greatly appreciated!
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Char
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2007.01.02(Tue)18:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your welcome.
All those fish should be fine.Very Happy
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cks
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005

PostPosted: 2007.01.04(Thu)9:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welll, I bit the bullet and got a 'bunch' of Anacharis. The lps said they are good for low light and low maintenance and I liked the way it looked. I'm going to see how this one does for a little bit before I take the plunge and get anymore plants. They are more money than I want to throw away if they react to my black-thumb the way houseplants do! Wink

Thanks for the advice, and I'll keep you updated!
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Cinder
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Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: 2007.01.04(Thu)10:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did the exact same thing you did - started a 10 gln. with plastic and then completely changed it into a planted tank.
I also tried Anacharis - they would start growing great but would die off after about a month for me. My lighting is also the lowest possible (just because I can't afford better lighting right now). I have had great success with Java Fern, Java Moss (it does grow pretty fast and needs to be kept in check but I really like it - personal preference thing), Anubias (they flower all the time and continue to add new leaves), Cryptcoryne (which are slowly spreading out - which I like ... they are my fishes favorite to swim through and lay around in) and Jungle Valisheria (they have also done well and I've been able to replant them with cuttings - until my new Apple snail demolished them, now I have to start over with them).
Now, I got the 'bug' and ended up replacing my 10 gln. with a 20 gln. and am now using the 10 gln. as a hospital/fry tank with just plastic plants again. But, the 20 gln. is doing great also with minimum lighting. I recently added dwarf sagittaria and they were spreading great until the Apple snail mowed them down also. They are now coming back in (I removed the Apple snail and found her a new home.
By the way - just for information it turned out that it was a Canaliculata Apple Snail which love to eat plants ..not a Bridgesii, who don't eat plants. I loved the Bridgesii that we first had!
I use regular aquarium gravel (smaller size) for my tanks and only use liquid fertilizer once a month (I was having algae problems when using it even twice a month) and use less than the recommended amount. My tanks have been up and running for about 10 months so I'm still learning lots about everything - especially plants.
Have fun finding out which plants work for your tank.
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29 gln. freshwater tank
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krt
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Location: bedford, virginia

PostPosted: 2007.01.04(Thu)11:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

the best thing u could do is add more gravel (cheap or otherwise), your plants need around 2-3 inches (if u make it thicker towards the back it will look nicer) for their roots to take hold (this will help u from having to 'replant' everything every other day also)

here is an 'old' pic of my planted 10 gal which contains telanthera (red), wisteria as well as many others (which I can't remember) I use 2 mini compact fluorecant bulbs which were areound $13 a peice but were well worth it as well as a cruddy co2 system and occaisional liquid or pellet fertilizer (which I got on sale thankfully)



good luck
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Sammie7
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Joined: 18 May 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.04(Thu)12:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

cks wrote:
Thank you for the advice! I'll look at those links you provided as well. I will definitely start slow!

Right now I have 5 Black Skirt Tetras, 1 Black Phantom Tetra and 4 Corries (I think they are the spotted). I am planning on getting a centerpiece fish, such as a dwarf gourami or something - I have a thread on another board for that question!

Thank you again and if you or anyone else have any more ideas/advice, they are greatly appreciated!

First off, that is way too many fish for a ten gallon. Black skirt tetras grow to be about 2 inches each. Following the inch per gallon rule, no matter how flawed, that would be all the fish you could have in that tank. However, you also have a Black Phantom tetra that also gets to be around 2 inches, and 4 Corydoras catfish which will probably get to be 2-3 inches. On top of that you are thinking of adding a dwarf gourami that will add another 2 inches to the picture. Sorry, if it sounds like I'm attacking you, but I just want to make sure that you and your fish won't have too many hardships in the near future. I'd say to either get a bigger tank if you have the room or take those tetras back and get smaller tetras. For example, neon tetras, glolight tetras, or even white cloud minnows would be better suited for such a small tank. As for the corys, pygmy cories, panda cories, or otos would be small enough for your size tank. On the plant topic, I have a ten gallon with two screw-in 10 watt compact fluorescent lights and I can grow a lot of plants really well. Good luck with the hobby and remember we all have to start somewhere. Strange, as I see you have been a member to this forum since Sept. 2005.
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cks
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)7:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the added advice. I did quickly jump to a 29 gallon that I moved my fish to. My one live plants looks beautiful and right now you can't tell the others are fake. I went with a very natural look to the tank (usually my son wants lots of "decorations". I got a beautiful piece of driftwood, some rainbow rock, a fake rock cave (for now - I already had it) and a fake driftwood, (Until I can afford some more real). I would really like to try adding more live plants - especially java moss or java fern since I have the driftwood now, but I am still trying to be cautious and see how I do with the one I got. Is it better to go ahead and take the plunge and get all live plants?

As I mentioned, I have a 29 gal now and althought I know I want some of the Java to fill in towards the front of the tank, I want to get some plants that will already be, or will grow taller for the back of the tank. I still am using the standard flourescent bulb that came with the 29 gal hood, although it seems brighter to me than what I had in the 10 gal. I am sitting here watching my happy fish play! I would love a little more advice about whether or not I should go ahead and take the plunge with some more live plants. On a side, but same type of, note, what do I use to tie the java fern and java moss to the driftwood? I think I remember reading somewhere that fishing line is the best thing. How do I go about doing that? Oh, I also did a deeper gravel substrate. It's not in the tank evenly because I didn't want a flat top gravel look, but I would say it's a good 2 1/2", maybe 3" worth of substrate. Is that enough? And by the way, on day 4 now and the anacharis is still doing fine. I'm happy about that!

One more thing, Sammie7, I did not feel attacked. You were absolutely right about the fish, which is the main reason I upgraded the size of the tank. I come here for advice, and as long as someone is not outright mean, I don't feel attacked or get upset. Thank you for your advice and I feel better about my escapades into planting from your success story. However, I did not understand your comment - "Strange as I see you have been a memeber to the forum since Sept. 2005". Although I have been back in the "game" for a little over a year now, I still consider myself a newbie (my first tank back in college was totally wrong so I don't even count tha) to the hobby because I learn something everytime I come here! Smile I am just now taking the plunge into live plants because I have a black thumb when it comes to regular plants (house plants, etc) and I was scared!! Wink

Thank you all again for the advice and please keep it coming! BTW, the fish were just as happy in the 10g as they are now in the 29g. I maintain my water very well and talk to them and whatnot. The main thing I have learned in this hobby is that everyone has a different experience and can offer different advice. That is why I love coming here to see what works and doesn't work for people so I can take the advice and ideas and see what will work for me!
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Sammie7
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Joined: 18 May 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.06(Sat)15:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can attach the moss and fern with either cotton thread or fishing line. Cotton thread will stay in place until the plants have enough time to gain hold and then disentegrate. The fishing line will not disentegrate, but you have to be carefully not to cut the rhizome of the java fern.

You could use anacharis for the back, since you already have some. Most stem plants will work well for the background, as well as vallisneria and watersprite. Those might depend on how strong your lighting is going to be though. Have you taken a look at the garden section yet? Perhaps you should look over there and then come back with the different plants you like, and we can tell you if they'll work in your tank or not.

What kind of substrate do you have? Is it just regular gravel in the 5-10 mm range or smaller sand like gravel? The depth seems alright for a fully planted tank. However, if you are just going to be having a few plants planted on driftwood, that may cause more harm than good. More gravel means more places for waste and debris to collect.

You should start to plant as heavily as possible in the beginning. It will help with cycling and it will be healthier for the fish. Real plants use up ammonia and nitrates before they can reach toxic levels for the fish. That's why during the cycling period it will be better for the fish if you can get a lot of fast growing plants to consume the toxins. How often are you doing water changes? Do you have a test kit?
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