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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello There,

My name is Carmen, and I have been researching your method for several months now and was finally able to set up my tank a couple of days ago.

Here are the details:
Tank - 10 gal
Filter - Sponge filter with "whisper" air pump
Heater - Oase HeatUp 25W
Lighting - Leddy Slim 10W/8000K
Soil - Better Homes & Gardens Natural & Organic Professional Container Mix (1")
Gravel - Spectrastone aquarium gravel (0.75")
Water - Tap water treated with Tetra "Aquasafe" de-chlorinator
Plants - 8x Vallisneria, 2x Lobelia Cardinal, 4x Sword Compacta, 1x Crypt Wendtii
Decor - 1 medium-sized Mopani wood piece

Here are the questions:
I added the plants to the tank yesterday with 2 teaspoons (as directed) of the de-chlorinator and this morning the tank has a more greenish tint and is slightly cloudy.
1. Is that normal when first starting out? Any guesses on why this is happening?
2. Should I have the heater on? My tank is at about 69F. I haven't looked into how warm the tank should be for the marine life I plan to add. I'm thinking guppies and tetra.
3. As far as lighting - I was planning to do the siesta method. 6 hours on, 2-4 hours off, and 6 hours on again. Does that sound right for the plants I have? And do you think the plants I chose go well together?

Thank you!
Carmen
 

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Hello There,

My name is Carmen, and I have been researching your method for several months now and was finally able to set up my tank a couple of days ago.

Here are the details:
Tank - 10 gal
Filter - Sponge filter with "whisper" air pump
Heater - Oase HeatUp 25W
Lighting - Leddy Slim 10W/8000K
Soil - Better Homes & Gardens Natural & Organic Professional Container Mix (1")
Gravel - Spectrastone aquarium gravel (0.75")
Water - Tap water treated with Tetra "Aquasafe" de-chlorinator
Plants - 8x Vallisneria, 2x Lobelia Cardinal, 4x Sword Compacta, 1x Crypt Wendtii
Decor - 1 medium-sized Mopani wood piece

Here are the questions:
I added the plants to the tank yesterday with 2 teaspoons (as directed) of the de-chlorinator and this morning the tank has a more greenish tint and is slightly cloudy.
1. Is that normal when first starting out? Any guesses on why this is happening?
2. Should I have the heater on? My tank is at about 69F. I haven't looked into how warm the tank should be for the marine life I plan to add. I'm thinking guppies and tetra.
3. As far as lighting - I was planning to do the siesta method. 6 hours on, 2-4 hours off, and 6 hours on again. Does that sound right for the plants I have? And do you think the plants I chose go well together?

Thank you!
Carmen
It sounds as if you've done everything right. A little cloudiness is to be expected since it's really easy to stir up the soil as you're filling the tank with water. The greenish tint to the water may be an optical illusion due to the way the light diffuses through the plants. Is it the same color when you take a glass of it and hold it up to the light?
 

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Everything sounds like a pretty solid start. Like @johnwesley0 said cloudiness is pretty normal.
Some pictures would help. Also to show layout... i am not sure of your layout but from your list it looks as though you might be a little light on your plant stocking. Do you have any floaters?
I am a bit of a crypt fanatic so i would say add a few more of those. Houdori, greern gecko, and tropica have done well for me. Maybe look for rotala catetpillar or h'ra both have never failed me in the 3 tanks i have tried so far. Also D. Sag is another no brainer. I have also had fabulous luck with AR variegated.
Other then the plant list looks good just maybe more plants. Oh also a asian knot weed that i have in my native tank. I adore that plant but it is probably to large for a 10gal.

As for fish those sound good. I am a sucker for bettas (i have a betta with 4 ember tetras) and absolutely love love love rainbow shiners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It sounds as if you've done everything right. A little cloudiness is to be expected since it's really easy to stir up the soil as you're filling the tank with water. The greenish tint to the water may be an optical illusion due to the way the light diffuses through the plants. Is it the same color when you take a glass of it and hold it up to the light?
Thank you for the response! I attached a photo of what the water looks like now (the top) vs. the color of the water I originally filled the tank with (the bottom) so you can see it is slightly more yellow.

I did test the chemistry and nothing was significant except the pH seems kind of high at 8.2, I'm wondering if the color change is partly due to the piece of driftwood - although the shop I bought it from says they pre-soak them and they shouldn't leach color. Any thoughts?
Liquid Water Drinkware Fluid Serveware
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Everything sounds like a pretty solid start. Like @johnwesley0 said cloudiness is pretty normal.
Some pictures would help. Also to show layout... i am not sure of your layout but from your list it looks as though you might be a little light on your plant stocking. Do you have any floaters?
I am a bit of a crypt fanatic so i would say add a few more of those. Houdori, greern gecko, and tropica have done well for me. Maybe look for rotala catetpillar or h'ra both have never failed me in the 3 tanks i have tried so far. Also D. Sag is another no brainer. I have also had fabulous luck with AR variegated.
Other then the plant list looks good just maybe more plants. Oh also a asian knot weed that i have in my native tank. I adore that plant but it is probably to large for a 10gal.

As for fish those sound good. I am a sucker for bettas (i have a betta with 4 ember tetras) and absolutely love love love rainbow shiners.
Thank you for your response! I attached a photo for layout.
Water Plant Terrestrial plant Organism Aquatic plant
 

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Tank looks nice. Beautiful plants. The slight water color from tannins is fine.
It looks like the crown of your swordplants and others are buried in the gravel. I would just pull the plant up slightly or remove some of the gravel near the crown. It is important that the crown is fully above the surface of the substrate or it may rot.
 

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Looks like you're off to a good start, but you have a lot of substrate that is not occupied by plants. If you can, add some more rooted plants. @PlentyCoup has made some good suggestions...Dwarf Sag especially. Also, adding some floating plants like Water Lettuce will help with the absorption of excess nutrients your soil will release into the water. For the fish you're considering I'd shoot for temp somewhere in the low to mid 70's. And pH of 8.2 seems high. Have you measured the pH of your tap water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks like you're off to a good start, but you have a lot of substrate that is not occupied by plants. If you can, add some more rooted plants. @PlentyCoup has made some good suggestions...Dwarf Sag especially. Also, adding some floating plants like Water Lettuce will help with the absorption of excess nutrients your soil will release into the water. For the fish you're considering I'd shoot for temp somewhere in the low to mid 70's. And pH of 8.2 seems high. Have you measured the pH of your tap water?
Thank you for the suggestions, I will look into getting more plants this week. I haven't measured the pH of my tap water but can do that and report back. What is the acceptable range for pH for the tank I have built and considering the fish I want to add? So there's no way around the water changing color with the wood piece?
 

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Thank you for the suggestions, I will look into getting more plants this week. I haven't measured the pH of my tap water but can do that and report back. What is the acceptable range for pH for the tank I have built and considering the fish I want to add? So there's no way around the water changing color with the wood piece?
The wood will temporally change the water color. Give it a few weeks and a couple water changes and it should clear up well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll never understand why people think that adding 5 pounds of gardening soil and $100 worth of melting plants won't change the color of tap water.
I'll never understand why anyone would be frustrated by a beginner asking beginner questions on a beginner thread. Are there not more advanced threads that could use your expertise? I'm coming to this community to learn and you are welcome to not comment if you have unproductive things to say in the future.

It was my understanding that the soil would remain under the substrate. The color change in my tank is most likely due to the wood piece - which when I bought was told it had been pre-soaked and wouldn't change the tank color.
 

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I'll never understand why anyone would be frustrated by a beginner asking beginner questions on a beginner thread. Are there not more advanced threads that could use your expertise? I'm coming to this community to learn and you are welcome to not comment if you have unproductive things to say in the future.
Oops. Sorry. Wasn't meant as a personal attack. Should have attached an emoji. 😁
(I was the first person to reply to your post, btw.) But it was meant to open up a wider discussion of why so many hobbyists (not necessarily yourself) are obsessed with crystal clear water when natural ponds and lakes (depending on the climate) are very often brownish, yellowish and greenish? It's an honest question.
 

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Hello There,

My name is Carmen, and I have been researching your method for several months now and was finally able to set up my tank a couple of days ago.

Here are the details:
Tank - 10 gal
Filter - Sponge filter with "whisper" air pump
Heater - Oase HeatUp 25W
Lighting - Leddy Slim 10W/8000K
Soil - Better Homes & Gardens Natural & Organic Professional Container Mix (1")
Gravel - Spectrastone aquarium gravel (0.75")
Water - Tap water treated with Tetra "Aquasafe" de-chlorinator
Plants - 8x Vallisneria, 2x Lobelia Cardinal, 4x Sword Compacta, 1x Crypt Wendtii
Decor - 1 medium-sized Mopani wood piece

Here are the questions:
I added the plants to the tank yesterday with 2 teaspoons (as directed) of the de-chlorinator and this morning the tank has a more greenish tint and is slightly cloudy.
1. Is that normal when first starting out? Any guesses on why this is happening?
2. Should I have the heater on? My tank is at about 69F. I haven't looked into how warm the tank should be for the marine life I plan to add. I'm thinking guppies and tetra.
3. As far as lighting - I was planning to do the siesta method. 6 hours on, 2-4 hours off, and 6 hours on again. Does that sound right for the plants I have? And do you think the plants I chose go well together?

Thank you!
Carmen
1. Yes, it is normal for the tank to be slightly cloudy and have a greenish tint when first starting out. This is usually caused by the initial cycle of the tank, as well as the presence of bacteria and other organisms in the water.
2. The heater should be on, as the ideal temperature for guppies and tetra is between 72-78F.
3. The siesta method of lighting should work well for the plants you have chosen. The plants you have chosen should go well together, as they all require similar amounts of light and require similar water parameters.
 

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Accurate, but pedantic and soulless.

"m" is almost certainly not a person. Instead it is a pseudonym for a CHatGPT, a type of artificial intelligence algorithm that can imitate the prose style of any author.

M, I challenge you to a duel. The weapons will be our humanity, or lack thereof. Answer this question: why does a woman need a man like a fish needs a bicycle?

If I am right, your creators should take a bow. M is pretty damn good.
 
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