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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I have a ten gallon tank and I want to set it up as a heavily planted tank with some shrimp,snails,fish and i was wondering how i would go about that?
I have a good idea but the cycleing is kind throwing me off so any tips on that will also help out alot.

thank you.
 

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get a 6700k light blub, eco complete substrate for planted aquariums. Then get easy stuff to plant get a java fern and attach it to some drift wood or a rock, amazon swords are really easy, anubis grown fairly well, moss might over run a 10 gallon tank. Its a smalll tank so like 5 plants and some dwarf grass might cover the entire tank. Set up some drift wood and some rocks. Read a thread on how to cycle a tank, 10 gallon should go pretty quick, i usually cycle a 10 gallon wtih a hearty fish like 2-3 red eyed tetras. Do regular water checks and changes. Dont add too many fish all at once and most important read more than just the responses to this post. Do research, see what you wanna keep and make sure it will all work together. 3 corys and 3 red eyed tetras or maybe cherry barbs seems like a good set up to me others may disagree
 

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you will most likely neeed a very small heater, for a 10 gallon i would go with the smallest one you can find. I go to local pet shops and look for my plants, i try to get the newest, best looking ones. Clean them in warm water and snip the roots on a slant before you plant them. Im sure there are websites that sell plants but your not going to get to see exactly what your getting just a file photo. Even chain places like petco and petland get plants, if that is all thats in your area, ask them when they are getting new plants and pick them up on that day.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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You can cycle a tank with plants in it. My suggestions is forget the sword as it will quickly outgrow your tank. I would stick with crypts and java ferns for plants that look like swords. dwarf chain swords or dwarf hairgrass makes a good ground cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i cant find substrate at petco im going to try pet smart tomorrow. any other suggestions for substrate.
 

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TylerT,

You have started off on the right foot by asking questions before diving in.
The hardest part of cycling is the waiting. There are many articles about the process on the net, read several of them to see where they are the same and where they are different. Then develop your own plan to start your system.
A 10 Gallon tank is not very large, this in itself lends to certain issues. Your bio load has to be low with only 10 gallons. What that means is that you will be limited in the number and size of the fish you have. A rule of thumb is one inch of fish for every gallon of water. Remember this is the size of the fish full grown and not as you buy them. Many people stay well below this number to keep their system in tune. To start off I would recommend one inch of fish for every 2 gallons until you have a good handle on things. As you can see this does not allow many fish. Snails and crabs do not count as they are a benefit to your system as they help clean-up the tank. Another issue with a small tank is that a slight change in water quality makes a big difference to the fish due to the lack of size of the system. One of the hardest things to learn is to not over feed your fish, we all do it, just ask my wife, she believes they should be as fat as me! I don't mean to discourage you in getting started with your current tank, but keep your eye open for the opportunity to get a larger tank where you can apply the knowledge gained with your first tank. The bigger the tank the more fish you can keep, and keep healthy. Keep your 10 gallon to use as a quarantine tank, that's another issue for you to research. Having a tank to just sit and watch can be very therapeutic, I can watch mine for hours at a time.
Good luck and keep everyone informed of your progress, ask questions before you take any big steps with your system and remember we all like pictures!
 
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
raimond,

that helps alot thank you. so i guess i should update yall on the equipment i have so far.
i have a marina s10 filter, aqueon water conditioner,API stress zyme, and some brown gravel, along with the tank and the hood with the light witch by the way is a 15w and it puts off this blueish light. no water in the tank but the gravel is in it and i washed the gravel really well.

OH yea and i also have a API fresh water master test kit.
 

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I agree wtih Raimond, dont over feed, sure its fun to watch them eat and the bottle of food says once or twice a day but i usually feed my fish every other day. It helps reduce waste 2 fold, 1 the fish arent producing as much waste and 2 less food settles on the bottom so you greatly reduce the bioload on your filter. For a 10 gallon i used a marinland penguin biowheel for about 5 years and i still have it as my quarentine tank and its still a good filter.
 

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Queen Platy
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You can buy 6500k CFL pigtail light bulbs from lowes and put it over the tank rather than buying a fixture for a 10gallon. Because later on you will want to upgrade larger tanks and you will need a new fixture. Just get something that holds 2 bulbs of the 13W CFL or 1 bulb of the 23W CFL. I would use Eco-complete, it doesnt cloud the water and easy to replant without clouding, also, you dont need to rinse it like you have to do with flourite. I bought mine at petco. But not all petcos have it so look online. My current tank in my signature, is grown with Eco-complete.

For the cycling, you need to grow 2 sets of bacteria. One is ammonia-to-nitrite converting bacteria and the other is nitrite-to-nitrate converting bacteria. One cycling is done, and you test the water. It should read 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some readings of nitrate.
For Ex.If you have high ammonia levels, with 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate, it means you have not grown the 1st set yet nor the 2nd set. And this usually occurs in the beginning of cycles.
Another Ex. If you have 0 ammonia, high nitrite, 0 nitrate, it means you have successfully grown the 1st set which converts ammonia to nitrite, but not the 2nd set, kinda get it? This usually happens midway along the cycle
Last Ex. If you read 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some readings of nitrate. It means you have grown both sets and you tank is cycled.
 
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Insert cool title here
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wow, this is really good info im glad he asked these questions cause your all answering a lot of the same ones i had *w3
 

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Queen Platy
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wow, this is really good info im glad he asked these questions cause your all answering a lot of the same ones i had *w3
Yea, I realized there was 3-4 topics about Cycling so I just copied and pasted to every one of em :)
 
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Discussion Starter #19
thank you nurse

im a real big fan of your tank btw,
so im going to give a step by step of what i think i have to do.

step one: substrate on bottom then gravel. then put a plate over it and add the water(can i put tap water in? and then use the water conditioner i have?)

step two: put plants and drift wood where i want them(will the dwarf grass grow from a patch? or do i need to just cover the bottom accordingly?)

step three: go to the pet store and ask them for some gravel out of one of there tanks so i can do a cycle with out hurting the fish.( i have read that over and over again in some places and it seems to hold true.

step four: wait and test the water every day.(should i use my stress zyme in the process) and should i have the light on and a temp at a certain degrees?

OH yea do i still need to *** ammonia even tho i have the bacteria culture from the gravel?
 

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Queen Platy
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Thanks a bunch :).
Your steps sound fine. Im assuming this is going to be cycled with fish? The plants will be good with the fish because it will soak up the ammonia and nitrite and prevent dangerous spikes. But you will need a lot of fast growing starter plants such as anarcharis, water sprite, hornworts, wisteria, etc.

Bacteria culture from the gravel doesnt contain ammonia, but it does contain bacteria that breaks down ammonia. So you will still need a source of ammonia. Add a small amount of fish to help it cycle. I never used stress zyme so I have no personal thoughts about it. Raise the temperature to 80F to help the beneficial bacteria multiply fast. If you have liquid testing, you dont have to test everyday. It too costly. I would test every 2 or 3 days.
 
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