Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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JMILLER 02-23-2010 06:46 PM

I need help planning first planted tank
I have been slowing transforming a neon colored 10 gallon tank created by my grand-daughter into something a little bit easier on the eyes. I have reached a point that the next logical step is to add live plants.
I have done a lot of reading and have come up with some plant choices for a low tech set up. In theory all of these should work but with absolutely no experience I need help. I mainly went with plants that say they are easy to care for and have the general size, shape and texture of the fake plants currently in the tank.

Here is the layout and choices:

1...front / Hemianthus Callitrichoides
1...back / Anubias Barteri var. Nana Petite
1...back / second plant is undecided if needed
2...Vallisneria americana var. Biwanesis (contortional val)
Auubias Barteri var. coffeefolia
Sagittaria subulata (dwarf)
3...Ledwigia Natans
4...Limnophila Indica
Bacopa Australis
Ledwigia Natans
5...Hygrophra Corymbosa
Anabias Barteri var. Nana
6...Bolbitis Heudeloii
Hygrophlia Corymbosa - siamensis
Hygrophlia Difformis

Please excuse any butchering of names. The plan is for one type of plant in each numbered area with some areas showing multiple choices of plants that I liked the looks of.
My setup is your basic 10 gallon (20" long x 10" deep x 12" high), two 15W incandescent lights, cycled AquaClear 20 HOB filter, water PH 7.9, 50W heater @ 79*, standard black aquarium gravel and currently stocked with guppies, neons & cories.

Now the questions,
1...Are the above listed plants good for beginners?, if not what then?, and any other suggestions?
2...Will I have to change the lighting?, if so to what?
3...What about liquid fertilizers?

I'm sure I'll have a bunch more questions but that should be enough to get started.


Angel079 02-23-2010 07:00 PM

Any/ All these plants are easy to keep. The most common matter overlooked (and that's why the 1st planted tank often fails) is the lights. You need a good light such as a full spectrum daylight around 6500 kelvin rating and then on a 10g something like 15watts max. If the source water doesn't offer much nutrition/ minerals add to that a weekly liquid comprehensive fert and you're all set.

Change of lights can be done VERY inexpensively by a trip to your next favorite home store. Bulbs like said above are offered by GE, Bright effects, Phillips.....If you have the screw in kinds on your tank I'd strongly recommend the Bright effects they work excellent on my 10g's set ups. In all other tanks with the tubes i use GE personally.

What I'd take off of you list simply because of the size of the tank vs plant size one's its growing is the Vallis

Starting/ Keeping a planted tank is superst easy really, many articles you find just really overcomplicated a simple matter you need 1) Good light 2) Fish (for co2) 3) Dep on your water possibly a liquid fert
That balanced (meaning not too much light not adding no nutrition etc) and your plants will thrive.
Look at my tanks here under my name on the left at the tap that say's "aquariums" all them are planted; non but 1 received liquid ferts; non them have any co2 added others then what's there from the fish and I'd wanna say the pictures speak for themselves.

Angel079 02-23-2010 07:01 PM

Also if you go to the "Aquarium Plants" folder you'll find 3 Sticky posts by Byron explaining what I just briefly addressed in full length & details if you'd like to read up on more background on the matter.

JMILLER 02-23-2010 07:46 PM

Thanks for the quick reply. On the lighting you're saying I only need 15 watts? I checked Lowe's website and couldn't find the bulbs you mentioned, and yes they are the screw in kind. I'll keep looking.

As far as the the water goes here is a link: I have no idea what to even look for.

I'm glad the list looked mostly okay. I've done a lot of reading so far and it was beginning to get a little overwhelming. I'll go look for Byron's posts. I'm pretty sure I've already read them but I'll double check.

stephanieleah 02-23-2010 08:56 PM

+1 on Angel079's reply...just stopping by to say that your avatar is brilliant. :-D

and good for you on going guess is that you'll tell a difference with your fish. they will "seem" happier. the direct and indirect benefits are huge.

JMILLER 02-24-2010 07:29 AM

Thanks. That my "good side". :lol:

I've actually been following your posts about your 10 gallon because I too would like to have dwarf puffers one day.

Angel079 02-24-2010 09:28 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's a pic of my 10g. The bulbs you see there are from Lowes company called Bright effects (blue-white label) and each 1 is 7watts daylight.
I simply pref the tube looking screw in one's over the twisted CFLs for looks; but both of them work, just be sure to get one that's called Daylight or Ultimate daylight and listed on the pack with 6500 kelvin.
Yes ~15w for this size tank will be fully sufficient. We recently had a member who thought otherwise as well and put some 40w over her 10g and she literally fried the plants (its not a joke this will really happen when you have too much light).

JMILLER 02-24-2010 09:58 AM

Thanks so much for the pic. I have that same exact hood.

I'll probably go out this weekend and see if I can find them. It looks like I have a little time since I checked on SA website and they are out of 75% of the plants that I want. I sent an e-mail asking them when they would be back in stock but haven't received a response yet.

LisaC144 02-24-2010 10:29 AM

JMiller, I use the same lights too at Angel's suggestion. I got it at Lowe's I love them. What's actually nice is that when the light turns on for the day, it takes about a minute to reach it's full lighting capacity. It lights up slowly, which I love for my fish.

It is by Bright Effects in blue and white packaging. It says something like 40w at 7w of energy. Sounds weird and a bit confusing, but they work wonderfully.

Thanks again for the great suggestion, Angel!

JMILLER 02-24-2010 11:07 AM

Thanks for all the replies. Is there some type of guideline on how long lights should be left on?

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