I can't decide on plants etc for my first planted 10g!

  1. redgal Member Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to get my first ever planted tank going and need some advice. I have lots of questions even after doing some research! I just can;t decide on anything! lol. It's a 10g and I'm planning to have some cories, rasboras and maybe a dwarf gourami. I have a nice piece of driftwood and would really like a sharp looking tank.

    I'm thinking about using seachem flourite black sand as my substrate as I like the look ( good for cories I have heard too) and 2 x 10watts coralife mini compact flourescent lights. What do you think of the lighting? That would be 2wpg so low to medium right?

    I was thinking of buying some seachem flourish tabs and seachem flourish for plant nutrients/fertilizer and seachem flourish excel for co2 source. Do I need all three? Do I even need co2? Co2 seems so intimidating to me, do i need to buy something to monitor the co2 level too?

    Most of all , I am finding it hard to figure out the best plants for my tank ( beginners, low-moderate light and small tank) and came up with these: java moss, java fern, lace java fern, narrow leaf java fern, crypts, anubias, hornwort, amazon sword,four leaf clover, hairgrass, wendtii, ruffle sword, xmas moss, vallisneria. But, I have no idea which would look better in my tank, which I should but in the foreground, which in the background or how many i should buy! I will be ordering them online and shipping so I can't really see before I buy and it's hard to get a visual of what they will look like in my tank.

    So, any help, thoughts or suggestions would be really awesome!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member


  3. Beth1965 Well Known Member Member

    Carol has great advice and the link will help out a lot.
    Beth
     
  4. Nate McFin Well Known Member Member

    No need to monitor Co2 levels when using excel. If you go pressuzied or DIY you would want a drop checker. Co2 is not as complex as it seems. Once you set it up you get a better idea of how it works...which helps alot!
    In terms of plants. I like the list you started with the exception of swords. Most swords will get much to big for a 10G
    Best Wishes,
    Nate
     

  5. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    The WPG rule is pretty well out dated these days & in any case doesn't apply to tanks under about 10gal. I would probably be aiming for about 30w as a minimum for the lighting. All of the mosses attach to wood or rock in the aquarium & can be trimmed to whatever hieght & shape you want. Vallis belongs up the back or along the sides. Java Fern can get fairly tall so you may want to use it as a feature plant or keep it well trimmed. Various varieties of Anubius Nana are well suited to a 10gal tank as are some of the smaller crypt varieties. You can add Hygrophilia Polysperma sp 'Sunset' for a little bit of color & Ambulia as well for another stem plant to go up the back area or along the sides. If you do want to have a sword I would go for Echinodorus 'Ozelot', as it is a smaller sword that gets about 25cm high & 25cm wide. It also has a nice red or burgundy shade to the younger leaves. Water Wisteria is another good one for a plant with an unusual leaf shape to offer contrast within the tank.

    I have been reading some bad reports about Flourite Sand lately so I'm not sure if it is a good choice or not. I personally haven't had a problem with it but I use it mixed with gravel so my experiences don't mirror the experiences of others. I would pick Eco-complete over Flourite. It looks very similar, a deep black color & has a nice mix of grain sizes. Eco-complete also comes in a redish color if you prefer that or a mixture of the red & black Eco-complete also looks very nice. Cories absolutley love it to. You should use substrate tablets with any nutrient substrate such as Flourite, Eco-complete or any of the other options. These will help keep minerals available to your plants as the minerals are actually taken up by the substrate for the plants to use when they need them. If you use a liquid fertilizer as well be very careful about how much you use or you may run into algae problems. Liquid ferts will be of limited benefit to your rooted plants but may be required by attached plants like the Java's or anubius nana. You may be better off using a trace mix instead as your attached plants should really get most of what they need from the fish waste & slight leaching from the substrate. Using Excel is personal choice really. It is not an absolute requirement but using it won't usually do any harm either. It really depends on how fast you want your plants to grow.
     
  6. Regal Well Known Member Member

    On the Seachem web site it says that Flourish tabs and liquid Flourish contain the same ingredients. It says you may want to use both if you think you may forget to add the liquid. (Double check my info on their web site to be sure I'm remembering it right) One thing to keep in mind is that some plants don't do well with Excel. Vals and anacharis will melt with excel.
     
  7. cryptfan Initiate Member

    I would not put the swords in a 10 gallon, they grow too large. Also, most sold are grown as emerse (above water) forms - they eventually grow underwater leaves but in the meantime you have a plant that looks like it's dying! The mosses and the ferns are great choices. You may want to go low-tech, at least at first - no C02, no specialized substrate, just some fertilizer tabs and a good gravel with good lighting. I started out in the late 50s with very low tech, growing Sagittarias, water sprite and hornwort in a 10 gallon, they did great - the only fertilizer came from the fish! One person's opinion...