I recently found a 10 gallon tank in the trash (10x12x20) - thought it was the perfect opportunity to start a tank cause I have always wanted one. I am interested in starting as low a maintenance planted tank as possible. I have electrical experience so making a light of whatever wattage, etc is no problem, but for the size I am wondering what wattage fluorescent I should be using. Alternatively if anybody knows of a good LED bulb for growing plants that would be good as well.
Recently watched a video explaining the importance of using dirt under gravel - just hoping somebody can chime in on their success with using normal dirt from outside and baking it to kill off any harmful germs? Im thinking 1/2 inch dirt under 1 inch of gravel for a planted tank?
As for plants I know practically nothing. - Im hoping someone can advise me about what plants have bigger leaves? also hoping to some small floating plants on top.
I have read about the ammonia / nitrate cycle and as I understand it I should be adding 1 tsp ammonia to my 10 gallon tank and then testing the nitrate levels until they reach zero. I am a little confused on the frequency with which I should be adding the ammonia.
As for fish (and this tank is just as much about the plants as the fish cause I love plants) I am thinking of using 8ish tetras. I have heard mixed reviews as to which tetras are easiest to care for, so if somebody has experience between cardinal / neons I would love to hear it. Seems like it would be mean to put anything bigger than a tetra in a 10 gallon tank. Or if someone has another suggestion for small fish I would also love to hear it.
Some more questions: with this hypothetical setup (10 gallon planted, light fish load, airstone) do I need a filter? And If I dont have a filter how often should I be doing water changes? Also with a heavy plant load and lights on for ~8 hours a day will algae be a big issue.
I know this is a lot of questions, thanks for reading this far. This is also my first post
Hope I dont annoy you guys with all these questions. Thanks in advance -Ethan