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Recommendation 10G Sand Plants
Simply put the tank I am hoping to put some dwarf corys in and when needed have Molly Fry in with them to seperate from the adults. I wanted to ask for some good plant options and lightining options. I right now have the tank and a glass hood. I plan to have a sponge filter stuck to the side for when fry are added. Any recommendations on what may work best would be greatly appreciated. The canvas is essentially blank :)
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Floating plants, some options include Brazilian Pennywort (really a stem plant, but floats well), Amazon Frogbit, and Dwarf Water Lettuce. Water Sprite is a good floating plant, but would probably get too large for a 10 gallon.
For down below, you can have the typical low light stuff like Anubias and Java Fern. Java Moss is also very good for fry to hide in.
For substrate plants you can give Cryptocoryne Parva a try, and also Pygmy Chain Sword.
All of the above will work in a 'low light' and low tech setup (no CO2 injection). You could use either a single 18" T8 tube fixture, or you can use a dual screw in fixture with two 10W CFLs. In either case, get the daylight bulbs from a hardware store, they should be listed as 6500K for a color temperature.
Since you want to use this tank for Molly fry, I recommend bushy plants because the fry like to be able to hide and feel secure. Hortwort or Cabomba would both be great for this. Their light requirements (in my experience) are pretty minimal as well. Some thick, grassy plants would also be great.
I would caution against Cory in the tank with very small fry. My Cory eat brine shrimp, tubifex worms and bloodworms, so I know they'd be able to fit a Molly baby in their mouths. I know they wouldn't actively hunt the fry, but if they happened across one resting in the grass, they might suck it up.
Molly require medium hard or harder water, with a pH well above 7. The "dwarf" species of cory are soft slightly acidic water fish, and while they can manage with slightly basic water, if it is too basic and hard they will not last.
I agree on the previous suggestions for light and plants. Over a 10g, an incandescent fixture (screw-in bulbs) is cheapest and works well, I have this over my 10g with two 10w GE Daylight (6500K) CFL bulbs.
General terms like "hard" can refer to very different levels of hardness.
pH UNITS 7.4 to 8 Ranges
Hardness (AS CaCO3) mg/L 198 to 316 (¥)
Magnesium 2.93 to 20.50
Calcium 11.2 to 103.0
Does that help or no? I can send you the full report they send out there is no exact gH/kH readings just the ions/minerals that make these up. If there is an easy formula I could work to convert if there is more data needed.
Found converter online My ranges for gH are (and if there is a test kit out there you'd recommend maybe an API one to go with my master test kit I could get this to test, I'd like something that did gH and kH though)...
11.088 to 17.696 (gH)
What does the pH read in your aquarium? Just wondering if it changes much, as this will tell us something.
There isn't a lot of space in a 10g, so back to your original question now that we have worked through the GH and pH, I would get some snails and leave the fish to the molly fry.
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