Originally Posted by LCsMum
i was thinking about planting out the 10g, but have never had a full planted tank. any advice would be great.
If your planning on a planted tank. Research first what types of plants you would like first. The most important thing is first cycle your tank BEFORE adding any plants. IF you have already cycled it then you can move on to the next step. The second most important thing is lighting. This is probably your biggest up front expense. Depending on the plants you want to keep, you'll need a fluorescent fixture. I don't know how familiar you are with them but heres just an overview:
Compact Fluorescent for incandescent hoods- I believe you have probably seen this in stores. The bulbs are like the spirally ones that are sold to save energy. I had an incandescent hood before like the one you have on your 10 gal
, and inserted 2 13W compact fluorescent bulbs and worked wonders for my sword plant while also adding liquid Ferts every week. This is a cheap alternative to buying a new hood. It'll work for really low light plants and liquid ferts or root tabs.
T8- Basically, it allows to run moderate wattage bulbs with a good spectrum of light. Regular fluorescent fixtures are of a single bulb ranging from 13-20W bulb capacity. This is a better alternative if you want to keep a couple low-med light plants. Hood= $40 Bulbs= $7-10
T5- I just recently learned about this one after buying a T8 strip
Basically, this fixture can hold single, double, or quad bulbs. Depending on how heavily planted you want your tank to be and the type of plants you want ( low light-high light) this is a good standard for the planted tank. The bulbs wattage range from 18W- 36Watts each with spectrum of 5,000-10,000k. Where getting pricey here, talking $60 easy for fixture. $10+ per bulb.
(High Output)- This type of hood is ultimately the best. It's identical to the T5 but just carrys the current capacity to allow higher out put bulbs. The fixtures are more pricey $75+ and bulbs aswell $13+ although you can shop around and get them for $10 each. I'm currently looking into buying a quad for my new 29 gal
When you think of doing a planted tank, think of how plants grow outside. They need lots of light I mean come on, the sun? LOTS of light! You need to come close to replicating that indoors. Depending on the plant of course. Now i'm not saying you need the sun in your living room, no. But you do need to meet the minimum to keep your plants alive.
Other things you need-
Substrate- There is different ways of providing good substrate you can buy it, make it, or not need it. I personally didn't use substrate on my 10g back then because I couldn't afford it. I think if you don't use substrate you'll need to up the anty on liquid ferts and/ or root tabs. If you buy good substarte like eco-complete, soil, or fluorite then I think you can scale back on root tabs and maybe add trace for liquid first since your substrate is full of iron.
- I personally haven't used this in any of my tanks but i'm planning on doing it with my 29. I know you can buy pressurized tanks, make your own or use supplements. I know it does help with enhancing your plants but I'm not to familiar with it. I do know if you choose not to use this method go buy Seachem Excel and use it with your plants. Theres something in it that helps with providing CO2
That's all I can say for now. I'm in the process of doing my first aquascaped tank in a 29. Ive always messed around with live plants but I never really had a complete tank setup for them to really be vibrant. Tell me how it goes.