10-gallon planted freshwater aquarium - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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10-gallon planted freshwater aquarium

A friend of mine is giving me a 10-gallon aquarium complete with filters, hood, and lamps. All I need is a stand and a heater. I've found a stand I like and a heater. I still need to purchase them, though.

What I would like is a heavily-planted aquarium like the ones at http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.or...tegory=0&vol=0. Does anyone here have any experience with this sort of thing.

I'd like to get it planted and then add my betta. When he goes (which I'm expecting in the next six months or so) I'd like to put in 7 or 8 neon or cardinal tetras.

I know it takes time and some work and I'm willing to do that, but there's so much info to, pardon the pun, fish through. I'm hoping someone here has the experience, knowledge, patience, and willingness to walk me through what sorts of substrate to buy, whether or not I need fertilizer, and what sort of plants go together well.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 06:39 PM
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I have a lot of experience with tropical fish, but not so much with live plants. I haven't had a ton of success with them. I'm willing to help in other areas.

Jeanie and Zalensia are two other members that immediately come to mind that have good knowledge on the subject - and I'm sure there are others too.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 07:21 PM
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all I know is that lighting is key. They (plants) can be very tempermental. You'd have to research which plants to combine, and what you'll need for lighting.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 10:33 PM
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AmberD(new member) is an expert when it comes to Betta fish! I got me a betta fish and aquarium for christmas. She told me what to look for in finding my fish and such.. I added 1 plant so far, and my fish LOVES it.. My snail loves EATING it.. I'm going to be slowly adding more. This one needs trimmed, it's sticking out of the water and the part out of the water is DEAD... Anyway, you may want to check out petfish.net! It's AWESOME!
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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I went a little overboard last night and purchased a 20 gallon long aquarium with stand. It came with the lighting, heater, filter, fish food, substrate, and dechlorinator. I rinsed the substrate (a light natural-colored fine gravel) and put it in the aquarium along with two rocks I bought as decoration. I filled it up and got the filter running (a penguin 120 biofilter). I've also got the heater in place, but I'm a little nervous about it because I've got the aquarium filled to capacity and it still doesn't reach the minimum fill line on the heater (it's about 1/8 to 1/4 inch beneath the fill line). And when the heater is securely attached to the aquarium, it touches the glass. I know the heater itself is glass, but I'm uncomfortable with it actually touching the side of the aquarium.

I've read that I need to buy many live plants and put them in after the tank's been up and running for a while so the plants take hold and keep algae from growing. I've read how to make my own CO2 injector and I'll probably get that going too before I add the plants. Now I just need to buy plants.

I'm going to head to the pet store today (I hope, we've got freezing rain right now) because I need to get more cat food and while I'm there I'm going to see if they have any java moss and java fern. I think I'll start with that because they seem like good beginner plants.

I still appreciate any help you're able to offer.

Thanks, Aonir. I will check out that site today!
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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The pet store had only high-light plants. I think I'll order some plants off the internet.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 01:31 PM
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Not to burst your bubble, but a 20 gallon tank is rather small to have a successful planted aquarium. Don't even get the 10 gallon. The smaller the tank, the harder they are to maintain. Some plants grow rather quickly, so don't "fill up" the tank with plants. Keep your fish population down to a minimum and get some otocinculous (sp) as a "cleaner" fish instead of plecostomus (sp). The plecs like to eat the plants. I did a planted 55 several years ago but I got some floating plants that grew like crazy and started blocking my light. Make sure your light source can go all the way through. Good luck and keep reading books on the subject! Also a good substrate fertilizer and weekly fertilizer inputs are a must.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 08:58 PM
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I agree. My ten gallon tank was the first I ever had. The plants died very quickly. The floating plants lasted longer, and the plecostomus couldn't bother them. I used a special lamp. That just caused algae. I would settle for a natural rocky base and a natural looking substrate. I stayed in the hobby for about 10 years and raised literally thousands of fish, including Pearl Gouramis and Black Angels. but I found plants to be a pain in the neck. As for the heater, I completely agree with you. Talk to the aquarium where you bought it. It could crack from overheating and having the water hit the part that is not immersed.

I was surprised to see that the owner of the aquarium where I traded fish for supplies did not use a dechlorinator, so I never used one again. It's possible that I kept my tanks a bit too clean for the plants. I had an automatic water changer-a blessing for anyone with many aquariums. I also moved Angels for breeding to a newly setup tank with no preparation other than clean, warm, water, raised the temp., and they bred. No problems. Then I took the parents out as soon as I duplicated that clean water situation in the 55 gallon tank and moved the parents. Only a sponge filter is safe for most egg layers' fry. They're tiny!

But I paid my dues. As I went along I read about ten years worth of TFH and I had a large reference book, which I also studied and referred to. When I first started, I did everything I was told. I bought inexpensive fish and a catfish to get the filter "going." I left it for days, everything according to instructions, and EVERY fish died. I consider that "my dues." I replaced the fish. Oh, Corydorus (catfish) lived through that. He was my longest living fish, and Don Juan, a male Angel was the next to oldest. I was upset when each of them died. I never thought anyone could get attached to a fish!

That was the last problem I had. However, if you get any tetras, don't just float the bag; acclimate them by gradually changing the water in the bag with the aquarium water. I have seen them hit the water and nose dive to the bottom of the tank. That's because the store might have a different PH from your water supply. It's wise to do this with all fish, of course. Good luck. Don't spend a lot on plants, please. Wait until you are more experienced. You'll be more successful.


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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 10:23 PM
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go to www.fishforum.com all of your questions will be answered there.

You do know about cycling a new tank? Which fish are usually used to cycle? For how long? Is CO2 good for plants??? You will learn the answer to these questions there, they are good people.........well most of them are anyway............I am also a member there.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 10:48 PM
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sorry I forgot the "s"
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