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Old 05-28-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
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Converting a 10 gallon and a 5 gallon to planted

I've been spending a lot of time looking at pictures of people's awesome planted tanks, and now I want my tanks to be just as awesome. =) I've been doing some research but I'm still a bit confused on some things. For substrate both tanks have sand in them right now, would I need to take that out and switch over to eco-complete or a substrate like that? Or could I use fertilizers to push into the sand near the plants?

I'm also really confused as to what to do with lighting. What would I need for a 10 gallon? The hood I have now has little lights that hardly light up the aquarium, so I definitely need a new hood, but I'm not looking to break the bank on anything. What's a good solution to this? I've been looking at some glass covers and fixtures that go above that, but I'm so confused. I found a Nova Extreme Pro T5HO 20in light fixture and lights on craigslist and I know these fixtures are usually super expensive and this one is only $60, would this be too powerful for a 10 gallon or would this work? For my 5 gallon I'm planning on sticking to some low light plants and maybe upgrading the bulb to a higher wattage one (I'm using the stock light now).

I'm planning on doing DIY CO2 for both tanks. I have java fern, anubias, anacharis, and ludwigia repens (which isn't do so well) now, does anyone have any suggestions for some other plants I could use that are fast growing and will fill in both tanks?

I'll attach some photos of the tanks now. I plan on keeping the pirate skull and crocodile skull in the 10 gallon, and in the 5 gallon I'm planning on getting some Doctor Who themed decorations (because Doctor Who is awesome) =P
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by batmansocks117 View Post
I've been spending a lot of time looking at pictures of people's awesome planted tanks, and now I want my tanks to be just as awesome. =) I've been doing some research but I'm still a bit confused on some things. For substrate both tanks have sand in them right now, would I need to take that out and switch over to eco-complete or a substrate like that? Or could I use fertilizers to push into the sand near the plants?

I'm also really confused as to what to do with lighting. What would I need for a 10 gallon? The hood I have now has little lights that hardly light up the aquarium, so I definitely need a new hood, but I'm not looking to break the bank on anything. What's a good solution to this? I've been looking at some glass covers and fixtures that go above that, but I'm so confused. I found a Nova Extreme Pro T5HO 20in light fixture and lights on craigslist and I know these fixtures are usually super expensive and this one is only $60, would this be too powerful for a 10 gallon or would this work? For my 5 gallon I'm planning on sticking to some low light plants and maybe upgrading the bulb to a higher wattage one (I'm using the stock light now).

I'm planning on doing DIY CO2 for both tanks. I have java fern, anubias, anacharis, and ludwigia repens (which isn't do so well) now, does anyone have any suggestions for some other plants I could use that are fast growing and will fill in both tanks?

I'll attach some photos of the tanks now. I plan on keeping the pirate skull and crocodile skull in the 10 gallon, and in the 5 gallon I'm planning on getting some Doctor Who themed decorations (because Doctor Who is awesome) =P
Okay, so doing some more research I realize those lights are probably way too bright (and it seems they are more for saltwater tanks and growing corals) If I did two CFLs in clip on lamps would that be enough to grow just about everything?
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:21 AM   #3
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Okay, so doing some more research I realize those lights are probably way too bright (and it seems they are more for saltwater tanks and growing corals) If I did two CFLs in clip on lamps would that be enough to grow just about everything?
You would be surprised at just how much light it takes to grow plants. I am building my own LED light for my 10g tank. Including S&H it will cost me about $120 for 8 LEDs, lenses, driver, homemade heat sink, wiring, and other miscellaneous odds and ends. Just the lights and driver was $90, I'll let you know how it is when its running by the end of the week.

Two regular t5 lights would probably be just fine on a 10g but most likely you will need to replace the bulbs which can run 10-15 a piece
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:07 PM   #4
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if your interested in in spending like 100 these are great lights

9) Talking about the future of the 26g. It's looking good - YouTube


you can buy them on amazon 16 inch is only 66$
Amazon.com: Finnex
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #5
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if your interested in in spending like 100 these are great lights

9) Talking about the future of the 26g. It's looking good - YouTube

you can buy them on amazon 16 inch is only 66$
Amazon.com: Finnex
Ooohh.. I'm gonna pick one of those up as soon as I get paid. =D Would the 20in be enough for most plants? Also should I change out some of the substrate or use root tabs?

Thanks for the reply =)
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:49 AM   #6
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I use glass versa tops on my 10s, 20 and 29g tanks with clamp on work lights from the hardware store. I use 13w and 23w CFLs in the fixtures.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by batmansocks117 View Post

Ooohh.. I'm gonna pick one of those up as soon as I get paid. =D Would the 20in be enough for most plants? Also should I change out some of the substrate or use root tabs?

Thanks for the reply =)
No. You do not have to change the substrate. However, you will need liquid/root tab ferts. If you want, you can get some dirt/Eco substrate and mix it with the sand.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:59 AM   #8
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I use glass versa tops on my 10s, 20 and 29g tanks with clamp on work lights from the hardware store. I use 13w and 23w CFLs in the fixtures.
In the interest of saving money, do you use one or two on your 10 gallon?
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:01 AM   #9
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No. You do not have to change the substrate. However, you will need liquid/root tab ferts. If you want, you can get some dirt/Eco substrate and mix it with the sand.
Okay, thanks. =) that makes it a bit easier on me then, I'll get some root tabs when I head to my LFS next.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:19 AM   #10
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In the interest of saving money, do you use one or two on your 10 gallon?
One 8.5 inch fixture, which I can move daily or so to make sure all plants get some concentrated light.

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