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Old 11-08-2005, 06:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help needed to setup a 10g planted tank

Hello everyone, I have been reading the forums trying to gather the information I need but I'm more confused than ever So many things to consider!

So far I have figured out the following:

Substrate: Power sand special bottom layer and Aquasoil Amazonia S from ADG-ADA

Lighting: 1 X 40watt power compact square pin

I still need:

Filtration: I currently have a power filter mini but no bio-wheel. I'm looking into canister filters. Can somebody recommend one and tell me where to buy it? Also, what other accessories do I need and can I buy a complete package.

CO2: No idea, I read about so many different DYI, compressed systems but I'm still confused as to what I need, how much to pay, where to buy it, and how to set it up.

If anyone could tell me a nice setup list with sites to buy that would be great help!

Also, if I'm missing anything let me know please!
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello MrPops, welcome to APC.

I've been told that this filter works well for a 10g:

If you're good about keeping the water level as high as possible your power filter should work too although it's probably a little small.

You've got two practical options for carbon, pressurized CO2 or Seachem Excel. I didn't mention DIY yeast generators because I feel they're more trouble than they're worth, even for a small tank.

40 watts of PC lighting is a lot for a 10g tank so you'll need to have some sort of carbon supplimentation. If you're interested in growing stemplants I would recommend using a pressurized gas system. If you're more into ferns, anubias, crypts and sword plants Excel will be just fine for your needs. I've grown stems with Excel, but have had much better results with gas with the exception of Ammania, but that's too large for your tank anyway. has decent CO2 hardware for a good price. If you're up for some searching and a little DIY work search out your local Clippard distributor/retailer and get one of their needlevalves.

Local welding or homebrew supply companies will sell dual stage CO2 regulators for a good price. If you want to get a little fancier, check out getting a solenoid valve to syncronize CO2 injection to your lights on/off period.

Fertilizers: Check out Greg Watson's site, he's got any kind of fertilizer chemical you might need.

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Old 11-08-2005, 08:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Excel might be a good route to go. I've also had too much trouble with DYI. It was always a pita to recharge the setup every few days and i rarely had a consistent level of CO2. If you can afford it, i'd definitely go with a pressurized unit. I haven't met a person that has regretted making the switch. A 5lb bottle should be plent for your 10g and would be decent for anything up to 50g. Their prices vary quite a bit depending on your local source. Call fire extinguisher and welding supply shops. You can do a search on this board for "welding" and a few posts on dual gauge welding regulators should come up. That should head you in the right direction.
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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(I have not tried pressurized, but very much want to.)

Some tips/opinions for DIY CO2 in small volume:
Staggering bottles with weekly changes will help stability. For example, say two 1L bottles (A and B): A is changed on odd weeks and B on evens. Standard yeast and sugar mix easily gives two weeks of good output. Weekly changes sounds like a pain but becomes easy routine: I can do a 2L mix change before Bradshaw stops talking at halftime
High ppm is important. I have had good success extending what I understand of EI to DIY CO2: keep nominal value over 30ppm, and any fluctuation in canister output is not so important.
A powered diffusor is well worth the trouble. You can build one for less than $20 and 15 minutes. Less if you already have a spare powerhead and tube (say, a gravel vac). Could integrate it to the filter Phil linked if DIY inclined.
I find easy, fast mixes are less of a PITA than complicated mixes that last longer. Just my opinion.

Should add ferts to the list of things you need:

Hope this helps.
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