07-10-2009, 01:48 PM
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Concur with previous posts here, and to expand a bit: you do not need CO2 especially in a small (10g) tank. A fluorescent light fixture will hold one tube, it will be a 10w or 15w (forgotten now which), and is perfect. Use a full spectrum tube such as Life-Glo by Hagen or Zoo Med Tropic Sun. Both have high blue and red (what plants need) but balanced with green for a natural colour of plants and fsh.
Substrate can be regular aquarium gravel, smallest grain size is best as mentioned. Make sure it is inert, the regular quartz gravl; dolomite and crush coral gravels are not for planted tanks as they raise the pH (unless you are keeping only livebearers and growing vallisneria and have acidic water that needs to be hardened). Plant additive substrates are also good, Eco-Complete and others, either as a layer under the regular gravel or on their own. In a small tank they might provide more nutrients than the plants need, which can lead to more algae.
With the above you will have success growing any of the rooted plants (swords, crypts, sagitarrius, vallisneria...), anubias, java fern, and some of the stem plants. Stem plants are faster growing and therefore require more light and nutrients, but in a 10g with full spectrum light you may have success with some of them.
Weekly liquid fertilizer will supply all the macro- and micro-nutrients plants need, and the fish the CO2 to balance the light and nutrients. I have currently a 70g and 90g aquaria set up as I've described, regular gravel, no CO2, 1 watt per gallon of full spectrum light, and you can see from my photos how the plants thrive. I add Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Plant Supplement twice a week (swords are heavy feeders). This is the only fertilizer you will need, it is balanced with the macro- and micro-nutrients that plants require.