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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post so let me first introduce myself. My name is Brett and I live in Miami, FL. I stumbled across this website while googling. My main forum of choice is ReefCentral but they don't have a FW subforum ;)

I've had freshwater tanks in the past but they never kept my interest. In 2004 I started a 10gallon SW tank. I had an Oscellaris Clownfish, snails and a starfish. Eventually the starfish made it's way to the powerhead and while I was sleeping, nuked the whole tank. Now in 2008 I've got a 55 gallon SW tank that I'm slowly turning into a reef. Right now it's got two Oscellaris Clownfish, an African Midas Blenny, clean up crew and a Xenia and Hammer Coral. Tomorrow I'm adding a Green Star Polyp and Yellow Polyps.

The 10 gallon I mentioned earlier is sitting in my garage. I'm thinking about turning it into a planted FW tank. I really like the way FW planted tanks look like with a bunch of tetras. I'm wondering what can be done WITHOUT CO2. I really like the 'grass' look with a line of taller plants on the back wall and a piece of drift wood.. Real nice. I don't know any FW plant names so please help me out here as well!

In SW tanks anything under 10,000 Kelvins is looked down upon because of the algae growth. So I'm wondering what you guys do to get rid of nuisance algae?

PS: How many tetras can I get away with in a 10 gallon without stressing them out/creating too high of a bioload?
 

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How many tetras? What kind of tetra? They vary in size a lot. Most people put nano fish and or shrimp in 10g. FranksAquarium has a great selection of nano fish for some ideas.

You could do a low tech, low light tank. Take a look at the plantfinder and you will see plants listed as low light. There are many. You want to be from 5000K-8000K for your light. Plants don't like the higher kelvins. They don't use the blue spectrum. You can use Flourish excel as a carbon source or you can go El Natural. There is an El Natural forum here. You might want to do some basic research about planted tanks. Look here

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/basics/pages/index.html
http://beginneraquarist.petfish.net/Beginner%20Aquarist/Home.html
 

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Welcome to APC! Good to have another fellow Floridian. There's lots you can do without CO2, especially with smaller tanks. As Texgal mentioned, Excel is an excellent carbon source which you can use here instead of CO2. With moderate lighting and Excel, you can grow lots of plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the neon tetras. I used to hate them in FO tanks but in planted it looks so.... serene.

Anyway I'm wondering what kind of lighting options are available for a 10g. I know you can use T8 fixtures, which would be great if I was setting up a 55g again (4ft) but I don't know any that are only 2ft long. If going with T8's (regular shop lights) is using 2-3wpg still viable? Or is that only used for T5 and MH lighting?

I really like the look of this tank:


What are the plants in the foreground?

Also one more quick question. When I was a kid I had a 10g FW tank and I had a pleco in it. Looking now on LiveAquaria it seems like these fish need a LOT of room. Is this because of their size or because they need adequate algae to feed on, something only a larger tank can provide?
 

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Check out www.ahsupply.com for some great retrofits. For 10's you can go with 2x13W, which works very well with Excel dosing. It will allow to grow a good variety of plants. You could also go with a 36W outfit, but I would suggest CO2 with that much lighting.
 

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Don't be afraid of the DIY aspect of the AH Supply stuff....Kim provides great directions and it's easier than it may seem.

I did a retrofit 10 for starters. (his stuff retrofitted in a plastic hood).
Next, for my 72 gallon, I bought a 48" ready-made hood, and 4x55 guts from him and assembled it all...
and for the third project, for a 20 long (1x55), I made the hood too!

I was so proud of myself. Everything is beautiful and works great.
 
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