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New set up

Discussion in 'Plants, Ponds & Planted Tanks' started by men_arell, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. men_arell

    men_arell Members

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    i am thinking on setting up a 10 gal tank for the sole purpose of growing plants. I have seachems’ flourite black as a substrate. Do I need to use any fertilizers? This is my first attempt at a planted aquarium. I want to have a large sword plant in the center and surround it with a carpeting plant. Baby tears are a bit above my expertise. What foreground plant would you guys recommend? Also, what is your opinion of liquid co2?
     
  2. b considine

    b considine Global Moderators
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    Fertilizers: yes.
    Plants; Depends on your lighting.

    Blaise
     
  3. Andrewtfw

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    Most swords will quickly outgrow a standard 10 gallon tank. A good carpeting plant for a beginner is chain sword. As for fertilizers, both swords and chain swords take most of their nutrients through the substrate, so flourite will help feed them. As for liquid co2, it will help, but is not at all the same as gas co2.
     
  4. Zepp914

    Zepp914 CCA Members

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    #4 Zepp914, Jul 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    Foreground plants

    I have dwarf sag and pygmy chain swords as my foreground plants. I have them planted in black sand and use root tabs to feed them. They both look similar, but the chain swords have thicker leaves. The chain swords tend to send runners through the sand whereas the dwarf sag send runners across the water. For this reason, I prefer the chain swords as the dwarf sag looks messier.

    Fertilizer
    You don't need fertilizer for mosses and duckweed. If you want more than that, you will need to make a decision. Do you want stem plants that get most of their nutrients from the soil, plants that get their nutrients from the water column, or both? It sounds like you are going for stem plants with that large sword. There are lots of other stem plants to choose from, so if you stick to those you can avoid water column fertilization.

    Liquid CO2
    If you are referring to Seachem Excel or some other cheaper glutaraldehyde alternative, I use it daily. I have never used gas CO2. Glutaraldehyde is a source of carbon, but not really a substitute for CO2. Its extra benefit is as an algaecide. There are some plants that I can't grow (I have yet to find a red plant that thrives) using the liquid CO2 that other people can grow readily with gas CO2.

    Budget
    Lighting is going to hit your wallet. You can get a cheap $30 Beamswork light and grow moss, guppy grass, small crypts, java fern, and maybe some vals. I would not attempt to put swords in that tank or anything else that requires medium light or higher. I was able to grow pygmy chain swords with my Beamswork, but YMMV.

    The Planted+ and Current USA Satellite lights are 3 and 4 times that price.

    Expectations
    After setting your tank up and regardless of what lighting and plants were chosen, you will have to fight at least 3 kinds of algae. The planted tank will not look great for a couple of months. Some plants like Crypts and vals like to rot away when they are first planted. This is ok, they will come back. It doesn't matter where you buy the plants from, you will have snails. You may also get Duckweed. It is very hard to 100% get rid of Duckweed or snails. You will have to do some weekly maintenance. Mulm will build up and you will have to clean the filter (or prefilter) regularly. After a while, the tank will start to look great. Then you will have to trim certain plants before they get out of control.
     

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