What do I need to provide for my plants?

Chuck Wheat
  • #1
Hey guys,

So my 10 gallon aquarium is very new. I'm at 9-10 days after adding a bottle of Tetra SafeStart, so needless to say, my tank isn't cycled yet.

Currently it houses a tall castle, 1/2"-1" green and purple small gravel substrate, and a single dwarf gourami. It was a starter kit from Aqueon, so it has a standard 1-piece hood with lights attached. The filter works up to around 20gal or so, as does the preset heater. The heater is supposed to hold at 78F, but it is more consistently at 76F.

Yesterday, I got a live plant from Petco to try dividing the front pane of the tank because Balthazar is just glass surfing a bit and I want to start adding more plants so that he has more to swim around and maybe to distract him from reflections.

The plant wasn't labeled so I don't know what it is; I'm going to try looking it up later and if I can't find it I'll post a pic here to see if anyone could tell me. It almost reaches the top of the tank and looks kinda like large oregano leaves.

My question is: What do I need to do to provide for my plants? Will it live/thrive in just substrate or do I need to add any kind of fertilizer type stuff that isn't harmful to fish? Recommendations? Or will it be fine for awhile until my tank cycles and I get more fish in there?

I really don't want to put fake plants in there, but he needed something in there sooner than later and I haven't had time to research planted tanks.

Any advice/recommendations for future plants would be great!

For reference I would like to eventually add some pygmy corys, a few ghost shrimp, and a snail...so what kind of plants do those like to have around? I would like to find some type of moss or creeping plant that would grow on the castle. And I would also like to find out about some type of hanging/floating plant that would provide a little surface cover.

Thanks!
 
martini4
  • #2
If It's a root feeder you'll need some root tabs. I have the same 10 gallon setup and I have an Amazon sword, Argentine Sword, Scarlet Temple, green rotala, a Java Fern, Anacharis, and Dwarf Hair Grass growing in mine.

You'll want to switch out the bulbs (if you haven't already) from those horrid halogens, to the fluorescent ones they sell at Petco. That's what I use and my plants are still alive. I, also, use Leafzone and Flourish for ferts, it may or may not be necessary, but it makes me feel better.

Java Fern and Java Moss can be tied to rocks, driftwood, etc, and is easy to grow.
 
Chuck Wheat
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks! I'll check into the light situation. I'm wanting to upgrade tanks eventually, but I'm almost leaning toward customizing this one to my liking before moving on.

This is the current setup:


image.jpg

image.jpg

My water level has dropped a bit but I don't want to top off until the TSS does its thing.

Originally, or eventually, I want to do a more natural looking tank with driftwood and river rock, but I let the kids help me with this one!
 
martini4
  • #4
You're lighting looks way better than mine did out of the box, lol. Did that plant have roots? I'm pretty new to this too, so I'm not to ID them. If it did I would definitely slip a root tab under the gravel nearby so it's getting some nutrients. With a new setup, the gravel won't have detritus in it to provide for the plant yet.



Here's mine
 
Chuck Wheat
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Here's mine

Looks nice. I was curious about how much room I would have for driftwood in a 10gal. I want to add some to mine, but with that overpriced castle in mine it would have to be the right piece to not throw off the feng shuI going on in there.

I scooped gravel up around the tiny roots of the plant but I feel that I need to probably add another layer at some point. I'm kinda working on a tight budget with it right now, so I'm trying to only add what is needed as it is needed. If I don't set up a bigger tank soon, I want to put a higher quality heater in this one.

I live in an apartment so space is limited, but if I had it my way I would set up a 30gal beside this one on the opposing corner until it is cycled, then transfer Balthazar and overtime add a school of pygmy corys, a school of some type of mid to upper level tiny fish, some shrimp and a snail or two. But I'm not wanting to rush into it. I want to have everything I need to get it set up the way I want it before it cycles. Then I would either sell the 10 gallon or use it for plants and as quarantine.That may just be a pipe dream until we move into a bigger place.

You're lighting looks way better than mine did out of the box, lol. Did that plant have roots? I'm pretty new to this too, so I'm not to ID them. If it did I would definitely slip a root tab under the gravel nearby so it's getting some nutrients. With a new setup, the gravel won't have detritus in it to provide for the plant yet.

I believe they're LED. I'd have to double check the packaging, but they're decently bright. I just don't know if they're beneficial or even useful for a planted tank.

I'll check for root tabs tomorrow. Thanks for mentioning that!
 
martini4
  • #6
I believe they're LED. I'd have to double check the packaging, but they're decently bright. I just don't know if they're beneficial or even useful for a planted tank.

I'll check for root tabs tomorrow. Thanks for mentioning that!
They definitely look like LEDs to me from the pic. They should be good enough in a 10 gallon to sustain life in your plant, it will just grow slower.

Looks nice. I was curious about how much room I would have for driftwood in a 10gal. I want to add some to mine, but with that overpriced castle in mine it would have to be the right piece to not throw off the feng shuI going on in there.

I scooped gravel up around the tiny roots of the plant but I feel that I need to probably add another layer at some point. I'm kinda working on a tight budget with it right now, so I'm trying to only add what is needed as it is needed. If I don't set up a bigger tank soon, I want to put a higher quality heater in this one.

I live in an apartment so space is limited, but if I had it my way I would set up a 30gal beside this one on the opposing corner until it is cycled, then transfer Balthazar and overtime add a school of pygmy corys, a school of some type of mid to upper level tiny fish, some shrimp and a snail or two. But I'm not wanting to rush into it. I want to have everything I need to get it set up the way I want it before it cycles. Then I would either sell the 10 gallon or use it for plants and as quarantine.That may just be a pipe dream until we move into a bigger place.
I'm currently working on refurbishing a 55 gallon tank. So I'm using the 10 gallon right now to store some of the plants I want to use in the big one. Keep in mind if you want to use driftwood and you should either boil it or soak it in a bucket of water to get the tannins out of it will turn your water a tea color ( blackwater). It also lowers the pH mine sits at about 6.2
 
Chuck Wheat
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I'm currently working on refurbishing a 55 gallon tank. So I'm using the 10 gallon right now to store some of the plants I want to use in the big one. Keep in mind if you want to use driftwood and you should either boil it or soak it in a bucket of water to get the tannins out of it will turn your water a tea color ( blackwater). It also lowers the pH mine sits at about 6.2

I've looked at some used tanks at a LFS, but the prices don't really seem like a deal. 29gal for 20-30 bucks. It almost seems about $1/gallon on most of theirs, they're all filthy, and some have chips/cracks. To me it makes more sense to purchase from Petco during one of their $1/gallon deals for a brand new tank, especially since who knows what was held in the used tank and what it could possibly have that would harm my fish. I'm sure a good vinegar scrub would make it look like new, but the discount isn't great enough to offset the work involved.

I'm a fan of the starter kit, but I think with my next one I'd like to customize it all from scratch so that I can overkill on things like filtration and heat. If I'm getting a 55gal tank, I'll probably get a heater that goes up to 75 gallon instead of 55g, and same with filters. That way they can under perform without having to strain to keep up. My current preset heater is supposed to be good for up to 20 gallon but it can't even keep the 10 gallon at 78F. I'm considering another small heater to add to it, or upgrade to a bigger and adjustable heater if finances allow.
 
martini4
  • #8
Yeah, going with a new one when it's on sale is the best deal. I would rather have a new one myself, but my fiancee had this one sitting in the barn. I plan on building my own canister filter with a power head and PVC pipe with an inline heater. It's a lot of work, but I feel more rewarded if I can do it right.

You can get good adjustable heaters on Amazon fairly cheap, especially if you have a prime membership, yay free shipping! Then if one stops working at least you'll have a back up to use.
 
Chuck Wheat
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I think I remember reading one of your older posts...unless finances having fish tanks hanging out in barns is a common thing on here!

I agree with the rewards of a buildout. If I have the space, time, and know-how I would really enjoy something like that. I've been watching a lot of youtube videos about building one from scratch. I have a small list of things I really want to do as soon as we buy a house (which is going to be awhile) and I plan on having a shed/garage area that I convert into my man-cave with a sizable several foot tank made from scratch. Good luck with it and definitely keep us updated!! I'd love to see progression pics or something!
 
martini4
  • #10
So how's the plant doing?
 
Chuck Wheat
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Seems to be doing okay. I haven't been able to get fertilizer tablets yet, pet co didn't have them but I might check the lfs. Will plants bring the pH up?
 
martini4
  • #12
I don't think so. I know some rocks will release minerals that raise the pH, not sure which ones though.

Just did a quick Google search, most of what I read is to just acclimate the fish to the pH of your water. Raising the pH too fast can do more harm than just leaving it alone is the fish aren't bothered with the current conditions. Also, using crushed corals or shells in the tank or even in the filter can raise pH naturally, just do it a little at a time and test the water every 24 hours. I, also, read that aeration can help adding oxygen to the water can bring pH up, so I guess with enough plants it could raise pH because they release oxygen lol. Again, just a quick Google search, not an expert here.
 
Chuck Wheat
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I'm not trying to raise it, just last time I check (last night) it seem like it was might have been a little higher than before I added the single plant. From a consistent 7.4 to maybe 7.6ish. I'm not too concerned just yet, just curious. Thanks!
 
el337
  • #14
Your DG would really appreciate some floating plants like water sprite.
 
Chuck Wheat
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Your DG would really appreciate some floating plants like water sprite.

Thanks for the suggestion! I've been looking for names of stuff so that I'll know what to ask for at the LFS when I get back around to them. I was actually looking for a floating plant but Petco didn't have any so I got this one.

I'm hoping to get several more over time, but it will take a little time to find them and afford them.
 

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