new to freshwater. have a few questions.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Tanks' started by Gexx, May 8, 2011.

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  1. Gexx

    Gexx Giant Squid

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    ive had saltwater tanks for around 2 years now and decided i wanted to try out freshwater also.

    my questions are:

    what kind of substrate should i purchase for my planted tank?
    how many fish can i have in a ten gallon tank?
    are T8 lights enough?
    what are some easy, hardy, and low light plants i should start out with?
    i have a filter (biowheel for the 55 gallon) that was used a while ago, i have since cleaned most of the coralline off it, can i use it for my freshwater tank?

    thats all the questions i have for right now, but im sure ill have more in the future.

    thanks a bunch,
    Gexx
     
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  3. Gexx

    Gexx Giant Squid

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  4. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Gexx

    substrate - people used to just use fine gravel, but there are much better options nowdays , fine sand is a nice looking choice and does give plant roots an easier time than gravel would do
    there are some specific plant substrates available these days, they provide a good base for the roots and they also contain required nutrients


    with tropical freshwater , 1 inch of fish per gallon of water - thus 10 inches of fish would be a general guideline

    T8 lighting will be fine IME

    Cleaned filter from previous saltwater set up - also fine IME , if the media is in good condition I would even use that after a good cleaning or boiling although getting new sponges or ceramic rings for it, would also be a good idea IMO

    I will stay away from the plant types - as most of the ones I chose for my 18 inch tall tank seem to want to grow out of it! LOL
     
  5. Gexx

    Gexx Giant Squid

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    steve, you just made my day lol

    would clay be acceptable for a substrate in a planted aquarium?

    thanks again for all your help,
    Gexx
     
  6. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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  7. Gexx

    Gexx Giant Squid

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    so if i used clay i would be fine? thats what it sounded like from the article...
     
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  9. Gexx

    Gexx Giant Squid

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    will play sand be fine for a substrate?
     
  10. tharsis

    tharsis Peppermint Shrimp

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    Play sand works great for a planted tank and I find it aesthetically pleasing. But you may want to use root tabs to fertilize it since it is completely inert. You can buy roottabs or there is a cheap DIY option.

    You can buy a container of Osmocote plus at any hardware store, this has all the macro and micro nutrients your plants require. You can then buy some gelcaps size 00 from amazon.com or if you have a health food store nearby. Then you just stuff the capsules with the osmocote pellets and insert into the sand. space them every 4-5" and add new ones every 3 months and you are good to go. For ~$15 you will have several years worth of fertilizer for your substrate!

    As for plants, go with javaferns, crypts, anubias, swords and some easy stem plants.
     
  11. tharsis

    tharsis Peppermint Shrimp

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    You don't want to use just clay, BUT mixing clay with playsand and topsoil is a good DIY choice for mineralized soil. It requires several rounds of wetting and drying though until all the organics have broken down and been mineralized. ~2 weeks of wetting and drying.
     
  12. Gexx

    Gexx Giant Squid

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    i have 25 lbs of gravel in the tank right now. should i add some play sand or just let it be? no tank inhabitants yet, when i get them ill let you know.