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Discussion Starter #1
Well I have spent about as many hours as I care to think about trying to find plants that will "fit" a 10 gallon tank. Needless to say I am here to gather a list of those plants for everyone. I thought that my Crypt Red Wendtii might get big enough to fill one corner of my 10 gallon tank. It is now on the verge of taking over 1/2 the tank and more. If it was in the middle of the tank it would be the only plant that would fit.

The plants you list need to fit a 20 gallon LONG or smaller tank. If they will fit but will need 1/2 the tank, make sure to list that. When you list the plant, say where it should look best. Please keep your posts to plants you have experience with as I can go online and get a list of plants but most of them will not fit a smaller tank if growing well and the sizes they give are terrible and seem to be rather inaccurate. Experience is what I want here and I think it will best serve others to hear from those who have actually used these plants in this sized tanks.

Please remeber, this is actual success with plants, not speculation. Hopefully this will become a list of plants for other to look at so they don't "have" to make the same mistakes we did if they don't "want" to. Me, give me the plant and I will see if it works. :p

Here are the plants that I have specific experience with or would absolutely recommend for a 10 gallon tank.

10 Gallon tanks with ~33 watts of normal output flourescents from a standard 48" shoplight split over 2 tanks.

Elatine Triandra: (not my experience but from friends tanks)
-foreground
-short with runners
-plant spaced out to get full effect and fill in faster

Crypt Lucens:
-Corner front to middle back
-3-5 inches tall and can be thick in mass
-Does not like to be crowded nor shaded
-Grows well in my tank if it is not crowded and get a root tab about every 3 months. Growth stunted when crowded but Crypt Becketti

Ludwigia repens (Primrose):
-Background only
-Tall plant but can be trimmed and will start to bush out
-Spacing not an issue and depends on what you are looking for
-Very slow to acclimate and grow for me but once it got a good root system growth exploded

Anubias Barterii var. Nana:
-Middle ground in central location
-Will fill out to be a very dense plant in medium+ light
-Best if left in place so roots can feed the plant for faster growth
-Under my lighting I do have a staghjorn algae problem but it is minimul and the plant grows quickly and densely making many rhizome splits without any assistance

Cryt Red Wendtii:
-Centerpiece plant with few others in 10 gallon tank
-Will fill in both length and width of tank when healthily growing
-Not a plant to get if you don't know for sure it is one you want as it will get very large
-With my Light levels I am getting good fast growth and brilliant colors

Pearlweed:
-Foreground or midground
-With my lighting I am getting a carpet effect

Plants to avoid in a 10 gallon:
Wisteria
Elodea/anacharis
hygrophyla polysperma
All swords
Cabomba

EDIT: Let's make this a little more detailed, crazie.eddie made a point and I think that specific light levels, dosing, substrate and anything else relevant needs to be added so there is less confusion.
 

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Excellent article.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok members, someone has to have 10 gallon planted tanks and has recommendations here. My list is short and I need a lot more plants for an accurate article.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Elodea, hygro and cabomba, true if you don't mind trimming 3x a week.

Wisteria, as a lone plant or for 1/2 a tank full of one plant because trimming makes it look really ratty.

Swords I should have been a little more specific: Amazon swords, Red melon Swords especially but again if all you want is a Red Melon Sword, a 10 gallon will work fine for about the forst 3 months then it will grow out the top of the tank.

Remember, this is for my specific tank parameters. If you have 1.5 w/g or less and do not dose anything but a micro fertilizer then sure but I would not recommend any of those plants for a medium high light 10 gallon and dosing EI.

Detailed specific experience with these plants so members and visitors can feel confident that it could work for them.

Post your experience with these plants and the lighting and how they grew for you so I can add this information about your smaller tanks. Just saying they will work doesn't really help all that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, I didn't realize so few members have 10 gallon planted tanks. :shock:

I guess I really need to upgrade to a larger tank. :?
 

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fish_4_all said:
Wow, I didn't realize so few members have 10 gallon planted tanks. :shock:

I guess I really need to upgrade to a larger tank. :?
The "problem" with small tanks is that the "least" anomoly will cause the fish "grief".

I will use temperature as my first example.

Let's say that during the winter the power goes out and the temperature in the house "starts dropping".

A temperature drop of 1F in a 50G tank would translate to an approximate 4F drop in temperature in a 10G tank (ie. probably dead fishies).

Similarly if 1.5 Tblspns (in lieu of 1 Tlbspn) of Flourish were added to a 100G tank the effect would be negligible but would be very significant in a 10G tank.

TR
 

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I had a 10 gallon planted for a while (and will again in a couple of months). It was under 36 watts CF (spiral bulbs in an incandescent hood).

In it were Cabomba carolinia, Brazillian Pennywort, dwarf hairgrass, an "Amazon Compacta" Sword, an Ozelot Sword, and a Crypt Wendetii v. Tropica. The Cabomba did really well - needed trimming twice weekly. The Pennywort, hairgrass, and swords didn't really take off. Cabomba and pennywort along the back. Hairgrass in the front, Ozelot in a back corner, compacta and crypt in the midground. This was in a Fluorite and gravel substrate. I don't believe I was using any plant food at the time, but I did have a DIY CO2 going. (First tank in 25 years. Live and learn.)

Had a lot of green hair algae

I still have all of these plants. The Crypt and Ozelot moved to a 50 gallon under lower light. Crypt is thriving, Sword almost dormant.

The rest are in a 20 high, and their cuttings have populated 2 other 20 highs and a 50 breeder.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well hopefully this will help those that do have 20 gallon or smaller tanks and want to try their hand at live plants without a $500 bill going to a 55 just to see if they like live plants.

Another good plant:

Hemianthus Callitricoides HC (not my experience but a friends)
-Needs a nutrient rich substrate to really thrive, Eco Complete or similar seems to one of the best but a very fine substrate like sand also works.
-Needs at least medium high light to grow well
-When planting, spread out in single plantings using tweezers to bury one leaf and leave the other connected leaf above the substrate. Will take root in about 2 weeks and spread nicely assuming it is submerged growth, if not it will need about 4-6 weeks to change to submerged form and thrive
-Do not shadow this plant as it will not do well and will often die in the shaded places
 

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Elodea densa
-not suitable for tanks with temps soaring above 27. I've tried my elodeas in my discus tank with temp of 32 and ended up killing them.:blueworry:

-Hard alkaline water would be preferred. As mine is soft, it didn't even survive long-term even without the temp above 27. At least, there would always be consequences for elodeas living in soft water.

-Lighting should moderate to bright. The lushes are greener if kept in a tank with high lighting, of course.

-Fine substrate(fine gravel is ok). Coarse ones will not work. At least in my experience.

-Can be either floated or planted. I prefer the latter as it seeks anchorage and will serve as home for catfishes and even apistogrammas.
-I have used only fertilizers, no special substrate. They seem to grow well if ferts are combined without correct lighting(should not be too dim).

-Not demanding to CO2. Never tried CO2 on this plant yet but it grows quite well even without CO2 injected.

-Plant them singly. Planting in bunches can have dire consequences to the elodea particularly yellowing of the lower leaves(around the base).

Lastly, pls be careful with what fish you choose. I had my angelfish mowed down the elodeas.:blueworry: I stopped using elodeas as the consequence was also weighed down by improper water conditions apart from the wrong substrate which I have replaced.
 

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fish_4_all's siggy said:
Just because it works for me don't expect it to be as easy as simply copying me! Just as people are different so is almost every circumstance behind the perfect tank.
Nice sig there, mate.:thumbsup:
 

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So true! bigger the volume of water the easier it is to stay on top of the chemistry.


jones57742 said:
fish_4_all said:
Wow, I didn't realize so few members have 10 gallon planted tanks. :shock:

I guess I really need to upgrade to a larger tank. :?
The "problem" with small tanks is that the "least" anomoly will cause the fish "grief".

I will use temperature as my first example.

Let's say that during the winter the power goes out and the temperature in the house "starts dropping".

A temperature drop of 1F in a 50G tank would translate to an approximate 4F drop in temperature in a 10G tank (ie. probably dead fishies).

Similarly if 1.5 Tblspns (in lieu of 1 Tlbspn) of Flourish were added to a 100G tank the effect would be negligible but would be very significant in a 10G tank.

TR
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Common peoples, there has to be someone else out there that has been succesful in growing plants in a 20 gallon long or smaller tank! I can only grow so many species as I only have 3 of them going. Even if you weren't succesful, post your results. All of it can be used to help others set up and maintain smaller planted tanks and do it right.

Anyone else with planted experience in smaller tanks, good or bad?
 

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5.5 gallon (21.8 liter) tank (16"x8"10") - NO FISH
Specs:
70°F (21° C) no heater
No ferts
No CO2
40 watt desk lamp (7wpg) @12 hours/day
pH 7.2
Water top offs only when I remember
No susbtrate

Plants (ALL floating):
Carolina fanwort (Cabomba carolina)
Taiwan Moss (Taxiphyllum alternans)
Guppy grass (Naja guadalupensis)

Note: Junk tank where I just throw unwanted or extra plants/clippings.

20 gallon (75.7 liter) long tank (30"x12"x12") - Zebra & Shrimp tanks
Specs:
82°F (28°C)
No ferts
No CO2
pH 7.2
20 watt flourescent (1 wpg) @ 12 hours/day
Water changes at about 25% every 5-7 days
Sand, Black Beauty (size is similar to pool filter sand)

Plants:
Carolina fanwort (Cabomba carolina)
Taiwan Moss (Taxiphyllum alternans)
Guppy grass (Naja guadalupensis)
Sword (haven't ID'd it yet)
Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
Crytpicorne species
Java fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Amazon sword (Echinodorus bleheri)
Tropic sunset (Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig')

Note: The swords, crypts, & java ferns were all recovered from my 125 gallon tank. They were algae ridden and/or dying. So I cut the dead parts and bleached dipped the rest and just threw them in the 20 longs. After about 3-5 months, they are still doing very well.
 

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Oh wow, where to begin, lol.
I've grown these plants in 20 or smaller, under various types of light, and I don't use fertilizers. I am a strong believer in the "natural aquarium" and mine thrive.
Teardrop rotala
Bacopa
Ludwigia (broadleaf and narrowleaf)
Java fern
Java moss
Anubias (Barteri tend to get huge leaves... the smallest species is nana)
Compacta sword (dwarf species of sword plant)
Hornwort
Elodea (another common name is anacharis)
Wisteria (I trim mine from the bottom instead of the top as most do)
Crypt lutens species
Micro sword (not for the beginner)
Dwarf sagitaria (grows just tall enough to make a good background plant, can be trimmed at the top if it gets too long)
Moss balls

Plants I stay away from in small tanks:
Most swords
All anubias other than nana
Onion plants
Most crypts
Needle Sagitaria (gets way too tall)
All of the val plants (get way too long and shed alot, which pollutes water quality fast)
Aponogetan any species (grows way too large)

I can probably keep the list going once I sit and give more though to the many many tanks I have kept over the years. The thing to remember is that any plant will require trimming to some extent if it does well in a small tank. Some grow tall, some grow wide (like anubias), and some grow in every direction. Just like with fish, you should always know what it is before bringing it home, and have some understanding of what it needs. Some plants require low light, some high, some prefer cooler temps, some warmer, some require extra fertilizers such as iron to keep their color good (especially the plants with red tones in them), some do fine without fertilizers. Every plant has special needs, and knowing them is 1/2 the battle. There are some good books, and if anyone here is interested, I can look up some titles/authors for you, simply let me know. One website I've found to be pretty accurate and offer a lot of information on plants is http://azgardens.com
One other note... always check to see if the plant you've chosen is amphibias or fully aquatic. There are often plants found at LFS's that are amphibias in nature, and once submerged, don't do well, and over time die out for no reason. There is a reason... most LFS's don't know 1 plant from another, making it your own responsibility to know what you're spending your money on.
 

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I keep three anarchis in my 5 gallon tank and if i dont trim them they get out of control. The plants are prety good looking and the baby guppies like to nest in them at the top. at one side of my tank i let them grow wild this is were the direct sunlight hits my tank the plants act like a super natural filter.
 

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yea i have a wisteria and swords in my 5gal corner and they do great just need a little more love
 

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plants

I have banana plants in my small tanks...the bottom has a bunch of rhizomes that look like little green bananas! The leaves look like water lilies and will bloom a little white daisy like flower. There is something about the banana plants that helps the water too; but I can't remember what now.
Also, I have put small sticks of bamboo totally under water, leaves and all; gives the fish something to float thru/around and adds to the look of the aquarium.
 
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