starting a 10g planted aquarium
hi i have a 10g tank that is stocked with one fish fake plants and gravel substrait. i want to start over and plant my tank and eventualy aquascape it and add dwarf puffers. this would mean getting rid of the one fish i have ( a gourami) and the plastic plants that are currently in the aquarium. iv never had plants in an aquarium before and dont know what i need to have a well planted tank. iv been reading for the past hour and a half though and have learned about "el natural" "dutch" and "natural style" aquariums. iv learned that the substrait needs to be pretty small and hopefully i can find some that is designated planted substrait such as ADA Aquasoil. after reading i also know to start with hardy slow growing plants that need around 1.5 wpg though i dont know what ill need to be looking for when buying lights or what the names of plants are that are hardy and slow growing. i also dont know if i will be required to add CO2. i think the over all plan that i want though is to start out slow and get better at it and add more and different faster growing plants along with some shrimp to keep me entertained though i know when i add the puffers they will probably get eaten. and then when i add my puffers and it looks like there is a forest covered mountain in my aquarium i will be happy.but i need help with the step by step stuff and more indept information so if someone could help me id be eternaly greatful.
.....sorry the post was so long
those style aquariums are aquascaping styles and although nice you can create ur own style. If you want plants, eco complete or other flourite substrates are usually the recommended ones. However, the smaller gravel helps plants root better but if you choose to get medium-fine gravel it will also be ok as long as you plant them deep enough.
Slow growing plants like anubias are great if your looking to make a low light tank. Most people follow the wattage rule, but if you get a good spectrum bulbs they can make up for the lack of wattage. Personally i use T-5 compact flourescent full spectrum bulbs for my plants. I have around .75 w per gallon but i grow swords fine and those usally hav a 1.5 recommended wattage. For slow growing beginner plants, java fern and java moss are the top choices, they will grow anywhere at anytime. If you turn your lights off they will still grow. You probably dont need co2, its usually uneccessary unless you are turning your tank into a super jungle.
I am, by no means, a plant expert. But when I had my 10 gallon planted I used Anubias Nana, Crypt Wendtii and Java Fern. These are all easy, low light plants that don't requiire CO2.
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.
thanks byron that helped a whole bunch id been pretty confused about lights and that pretty much cleared it up plus iv been doing alot of reading and thank you for adding the names of the products that you use and suggest.
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