Originally Posted by teddyzaper
oh wow a longer post then byron. i should win a prize lol!
Right on! Guess I won't respond, as you may not win.
Never fear, won't leave someone in midstream.
The light is fine from the point of colour; 6700K is the spectrum colour indicator, and that is full spectrum which is closest to the sun at mid-day. I am wondering about the wattage, 65 watts must be quite bright, and over a 10g that could be too much. Plants need light, CO2 and macro- and micro-nutrients in balance, and if the light is more than they need to balance the nutrients, algae takes over. Perhaps a new bulb as you mentioned would be better, I would suggest a Life-Glo 2 full spectrum 6700K. And be aware that they have to be replaced every 12 months, since the output decreases quite significantly even though they still "light."
You don't want too much filtration on a planted tank. If you have an air pump, a simple sponge filter would be sufficient in a 10g planted. Also much less expensive.
You can use sand, and many do; I don't. Plant experts that I've read all recommend the small grain aquarium gravel, in a dark or natural shade. The plants can easily root but it is not so small (like sand) that it compacts too easily. And a darker substrate makes the fish feel at ease as it is closer to their natural habitat. Aquarium gravel can be bought in bulk, it's cheaper, and you will know it is inert; some gravels have calcium that raises pH and hardness, not good in a planted tank.
Carbon is not recommended for a planted tank. The plants need nutrients which they obtain from the water through their roots and leaves. Carbon in a filter removes useful stuff from the water, that's what its meant to do. Not for a planted tank. The plants are natures filters, and they do a terrific job. Your sponge filter will do fine, removing minute particulate matter as the water passes through it and provide enough water movement.
You will need a good water conditioner to use at the beginning and for each weekly partial water change; change 25-30% of the tank water each week. A gravel syphon works well with a pail for this.
It would be worth having your water tested for pH and hardness, your aquarium store might do this for you. Good info to know, believe me.
Well, I'm afraid I beat you again...guess you won't win that prize.
But you will have a very beautiful planted 10g tank when this is done. There will be more questions, we're here to help when we can. Now I'm off to my fish for their supper and then mine.