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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all! I have been keeping fish for a pretty good while with mostly good luck.

I think now I"m ready to try a planted tank. So I'm gonna try and set one up for Christmas.

I have a 10 gallon tank, an aqua clear 30(150gph), 2 bags of Fluorite, a bag of sand, and the things to make the DIY CO2.

What I don't get is the lighting.

Right now I have a 20 in florescent 17 watt fixture. Will this be enough light? I was worried about the light intensity, 17 watts just doesn't sound that bright. even for a 10 gallon tank.

I found this one but 4 WPG seems really high to start out with.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+11418&pcatid=11418

Any suggestions for lighting in this situation would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance!!!

Matt
 

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If you read the sticky on Proper Wattage you will see that a 10 gal tank needs around 40 watts of light. The 'Rule of Thumb Lighting' doesnt hold true with small and large tanks.

One bag of Flourite should be enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I did see that, but didn't know if it meant for newbies(like myself) too!

Should the DIY CO2 system be enough with that much light? And What would you recommend dosing at first?

Thanks again!
 

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If the DIY CO2 isnt enuff then you can augment it with Flourish Excel.

Dosing depends on many things. What dosing regimine will you be doing: PPS, EI, PMDD or other. Fishless cycling, cycle w/ fish or no fish ever. You will need to know your GH and KH. I recommend dry ferts except I'd use Flourish over CSM+B. There is probably enuff iron in Flourish so that you wont need to purchase iron for dosing. If you do I recomend the Flourish Iron.

Its cheaper to use dry ferts. Greenleaf Aquarium is a top notch place to order from - excellent customer service. You want Potassium Nitrate (N), Potassium Phosphate (P) (this you may want to mix a solution and dose in liquid form: 1.5 tsp to 250ml water; 1 ml solution = 1.08 ppm in 10 gals of water) and Potassium (K). If your GH is low (ie soft water) then get some GH booster. If you will be dosing GH Booster you may not need to dose Potassium as this is in GH Booster. I order mine w/o potassium, it offers more flexability when dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm really kind of scared to use dry ferts at first. I do want to... just not to start out. Should I just start out with the reg flourish and see what I need after that? Or go ahead and get the whole flourish line?

Thanks!
 

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Flourish alone will not have enough NP&K for proper plant growth.
I do dry ferts and measure it with teaspoons and it works great.
I add it to a container of make-up water to disolve it first and add some in
every so often during adding my make-up water. Its really not difficult and
there is an online fertilator to calculate what you need to add. Just make sure
you input the amount of water in your tank and not the size tank you have.
So I would guess your 10 gal will have about 8 gals of water.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I REALLY appreciate you helping me BTW!

OK, so I guess I"ll try the dry route,is this package what I need? Or should I get them separate?

How do I know how much of what to use and when?

And test kits.. Are there test kits for those ferts I'm gonna use?
I have Nitrate, KH, PH, and amonia. I'm going to order the GH kit with the chems. is that all I need?

Thanks Again!
 

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Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes a GH/KH combo. They have a decent Nitrate (NO3), too. Seachem makes a good phosphate (PO4). A potassium (K) kit is expensive and the only one that is any good is the LaMotte. Its about $50.

Have you decided on the type of dosing method you will try? You may not need the K test kit if you do EI dosing.

Also, if you buy dry ferts you can make your own solutions. I can give you some mixture info if you want.

A good member to tap for fert info is LeftC.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I really don't know anything about the different dosing methods. Which do you prefer? Do you have some links to some material where I can find out more about them?

So that "Green Fertilizer Package: Micros & Macros" from Green leaf is all I will need as far as fertilizers etc?

Sure I'd like all of the mixture info, and any other advice you have. I have started to do this before but always feel like I'm getting in over my head.

Thanks!
 

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i use a 20 inch lighting strip where u can put 2 cfl bulbs. dont use the coralife mini 10 watt bulb..goto homedepot and get 14 watt cfl spiral buld.it will fit and give your tank 28 wpg which basically can grow most plants with excel dosing.
 

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Matt,

You need to know your GH before hand. GH is good around 4 to 5 deg and KH is good around 2 to 3 deg.
If you have soft water around 1 to 2 dGH then you will need to buy GH booster which comes with potassium and iron and therefore you really shouldnt need potassium by itself. If your GH is at or above then you wont need GH booster but will need N,P and K. Your local water dept should be able to tell you both GH and KH.

Go to the Fertilizer section right above this lighting section and go over the stickies. I dose PPS but I like to do the testing. EI doesnt really require testing but you use more ferts.

Good Luck
 
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