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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The best thing to do when you're getting into a hobby and have a friend with similar interests is to take them into it with you, right? :lol:
So, armed with my free 50lb bag of turface, I offered some to a friend to set up a planted aquarium.
I need help with plant choices based on light levels, substrates, and amount of effort willing to put into maintaining the tank. I'll start with my friend's tank.
1. Tank water volume: ten gallons
2. Tank lighting (type, watts per gallong, etc.): CF 2*13W AHsupply bright kit
3. Tank filtration: HOB whisper filter
4. Tank substrate: peat capped with turface
5. Plants: none, tank currently not set up with plants, has bad "clown colored" gravel with three rummynose tetras
6. Fish: 3 rummynose tetras
7. Test kits used (brand and type): walmart type PH test kit
8. Fertilization regimen (include products used): will use flourish and iron supplments
9. Do you CO2? DIY CO2
10. Water change routine: whenever he remembers (tops off frequently, evaporates quickly, tank at 78 degrees, partial water changes only couple times a month)
11. How long has the tank been set up? set up over a year, had fish initially, all died, has had rummynose for 1 month now
12. Describe your question or problem in detail: Need plant choices. He is willing to do CO2 injection, wants to do it on the cheap but is a DIY whizkid (he's proficient in electronics and assorted tinkering, has been avidly reading DIY portion of site), likes the AH supply kits, although is blanching at the though of getting the deluxe kit with reflector ("they want an extra how much for a bent piece of metal?" ) and is considering making own in his metalshop. Wants minimal maintenance. Wants relatively inexpensive. Concerned about algae, esp upon initial set up. Has access to a walmart that carries otos, no decent pet/fish stores locally. Within 45 min driving distance is a petsmart which carries some basics (ie flourite, etc).
Should this tank be started with fast growing stem plants? Slow growing plants? How many? Good foreground/background choices?


my tank:
1. Tank water volume: 10 gallons
2. Tank lighting (type, watts per gallong, etc.): 2*18watt 6700K
3. Tank filtration: HOB
4. Tank substrate: ecocomplete, thin layer of peat underneath
5. Plants: none yet, tank waiting on choosing plants to set up
6. Fish: none yet
7. Test kits used (brand and type): I have PH and KH, nitrate etc test kits.
8. Fertilization regimen (include products used): I have the flourish kit containing several products including the regular flourish fert, flourish iron.
9. Do you CO2? DIY CO2 ( with bottle, would like more info on DIY tank CO2, ahve local sourse of tanks, I use a CO2 tank driven sprayer when I spray in greenhouses)
10. Water change routine: one a week
11. How long has the tank been set up? not
12. Describe your question or problem in detail: I have had tanks before, but my experience with plants has been java moss and watersprite used when spawning bettas, or when I kept livebearers as a child. I am also concerned about algae. I would like to have shrimp as my algae control, but not sure when it is safe to add them after setting up. Also would like to eventually have some of the blue-eyed rainbows (am fond of celebes rainbow in particular). I am willing to put a little more expense, time, and effort into my tank. I am also willing to change plants as the tank settles in and ages, if I need to start out with fast growing stem plants to prevent algae mishaps, before I can clear space to add slower growers, that's fine. I like the look of mosses, of plants growing on driftwood (I like that petite nana variegated form) and I like the look of grassy foregrounds as well. I don't want to overcrowd my tank, but I have heard that the small blue-eyed rainbows are perfect for smaller tanks (a number suggestion would be nice)?
So, what plants to start with, how do I begin?
 

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One thing many people like to do with smaller tanks is to use plants that have smaller leaves. This helps to make the tank look bigger than it really is. Rotala indica, glosso, and anubias nana petite are the first to come to mind.

I've heard excellent things about the AHSupply reflectors so your friend should definitely think about buying one.

To me one of the best things you can do is start with a lot of plants. Get as many as possible. Medium to fast growing are good. Limnophila sessilfora and sagittaria subulata are two of the easiest and nicest plants I have.

Crypts, anubias, and java fern are all easy to grow but fairly slow growing. They are some of my favourite plants. Java moss is easy but can be a pain to keep under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I like java fern etc, but I know they grow slowly and I was concerned about using them when initially starting up the tank.
I already have some watersprite in another tank I could put in on a temporary basis.
Are there any particular stem plants you recommend when starting up?
What about some of the petite crypts?
 

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iris600 said:
I like java fern etc, but I know they grow slowly and I was concerned about using them when initially starting up the tank.
I already have some watersprite in another tank I could put in on a temporary basis.
Are there any particular stem plants you recommend when starting up?
What about some of the petite crypts?
I would mix plants you want to keep (slow growers) with some you might not want to keep (fast growers). However when starting out I would lean toward more fast grower than slow growers. Some good fast growing plants to start with are: Anacharis, Hornwort, Watersprite, Wisteria, Ludwigia repens (for some red color). Remember these plants will out grow a 10G tank fast, so you will be doing a lot of pruning.
 
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