View Full Version : Have 10g, Would like to add plants

11-28-2006, 06:38 PM
I currently have a 10g with 2 dwarf gouramis, 1 bristle nose pleco (catfish?), 1 weather loach and 1 kulhi. Before anyone posts it, I know I will be over the 1" of fish per gallon rule, but the gouramis are very small and the loach is on it last legs (lol, loach with legs). I have 2 baby amazon swords and some java moss (I think, looks like a ball of algae to me). I want to replace my fake floating plants with real one and add some anubias nana to the tank. The store near us only has wisteria as far as floating plants go. They run for $3 a bunch ($10 for the anubias, but I'll get it for $5). Has anyone had luck with either plant, any horror stories of wisteria taking over there tank (or house?)? Oh, and my tank doesn't get a whole lot of light, It's only got a 7watt bulb on it and get 4-5 hours of sun during the day.

Lady Hobbs
11-28-2006, 06:55 PM
I think planted tanks are awesome but I'm afraid to even try it. I just can't figure out how a person can clean the gravel with plant soil under it. Knowing me, I'd just have a huge mess but planted tanks sure are pretty. I know in order to have really nice nice that CO2 has to be added and I'm just not too smart for all that. Good luck and I hope it works awesome for you.

I also think giving it a try in a small tank to start with is a good idea.

11-28-2006, 09:16 PM
Well, I'm definitely no expert on plants, but I can tell you what I've experienced so far.

I planted an anubias nana (sp?) about a month ago in my 5 gallon tank. I have a 9 watt bulb in there. That means with the math, I have 1.8 watts per gallon. Not too bad. The anubias doesn't look any different than the day I planted it, so it's alive, but seems to be growing incredibly slow. I also have a corkscrew valisneria that is taking off. At first, I thought it was dying, but it seemed to come back from the dead and is sending out new runners at least once a week. It's a very tall plant, but it provides a nice little canopy over the top of the water.

Now you have a 7 watt bulb on the 10 gallon. That's not even 1 watt per gallon, so maybe the anubias will be ok (but grow soooooooo slow!) and Java Fern and Java Moss. Those are the only ones I know of so far that maybe would live in such low light. I hear that CO2 isn't necessary for low light, so I don't have any in mine.

Here's a link that might be useful:

11-28-2006, 09:30 PM
I have been thinking of tossing a fluorescent light on the tank. I am currently using the light from my .5g Betta tank. I did have a second hand incandescent fixture, but I had a good look at it this morning and the idiot who had it before me put the wrong wattage bulbs in it and actually burned through the metal housing above the bulb! I think I have a bulb for plants around somewhere, does anyone know if they have a life span? I know UVB bulbs for lizards only puit out UVB for 6 months. Are plant bulbs the same?

11-29-2006, 06:38 AM
I have read that you should replace lights yearly on tanks because they do weaken. I don't know specifically if this pertains to plants or fish also. I am guessing the tank light for fish only is for our viewing pleasure, not the needs of the fish, so someone please chime in if I am wrong.

11-29-2006, 08:18 PM
Not sure, But I don't think that the fish need the light very much, unless the room id very dark.

I have been growing aponogetons in a small 5 gal for months with low light.

11-29-2006, 08:50 PM
From what Iíve read on other websites and forums, the watts/gal rule (ie 4 w/g = bright, 1 w/g=low) doesnít really work on tanks 10g and smaller. A bulb will generate a higher light intensity in the smaller tanks. I think this rule applies to/ is more accurate for 20+g tanks.

Abbeys_Mom: Oh, and my tank doesn't get a whole lot of light, It's only got a 7watt bulb on it and get 4-5 hours of sun during the day. Ė The 0.7 w/g would probably produce a low to moderate light intensity in your tank, which should be suitable for most plants.

I donít have any anubias nana, but I do have 2 anubias gracilla (African Spearhead). The anubias species are slow growers and should be fine for you. Another species that would probably do well in your tank are the Cryptocoryne species. Both of these species grow in any amount of light but do better with more light.

An option for floating plants would be tall plants and just let them grow to the surface where the leaves/stems float on the surface. I let my ludwigia repens grow that way in my 5g. It looked pretty cool floating on the surface, and my betta loved resting on the leaves and stems just below the waterís surface. You could also use plants that send stalks/leaves to the surface, like the banana plant, I have 1 in my 28g bow and itís sent 2 stalks to the surface which opened up into lilly pads on the surface.

Hobbs: I just can't figure out how a person can clean the gravel with plant soil under it. - I just use fine (2-5 mm) gravel with laterite mixed in, no plant soil or CO2, and my plants seem to be doing fine. Only ones that Iíve had problems growing so far are 2 banana plants (out of 3), and jungle vals.

Glasstapper: I planted an anubias nana (sp?) about a month ago in my 5 gallon tank. I have a 9 watt bulb in there. That means with the math, I have 1.8 watts per gallon. - I have a 10w compact fluorescent bulb in my 5g and my ludwigia repens grew like a weed and it requires medium to very high lighting (2-4w/g).

11-29-2006, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the info minabird. I had a Cryptocoryne species in my 33g, thick rubbery leaves that looked crimped. It didn't do well because I had larger cichlids. I might try one again. I'm definitely going to look into getting some anubias. I wish the guy at the LFS had a clue about plants. After some research I know to avoid bright colored plants and small thin leaf plants. I am also going to do something about the lighting. Great info guy, I really appreciate it.

11-30-2006, 01:59 PM

Your welcome. Here's a link to a plant guide on PlantGeek.net. It lets you sort plants by different categories like light requirement, difficulty to keep, placement in tank, etc. It also has some pretty good profiles of alot of plants.


11-30-2006, 02:23 PM
Thats great! Thanks for the link.

01-31-2007, 08:57 PM
Mina - yes, you are correct, the wattage per gallon rule is much like the inches of fish per gallon rule. There are many exceptions to this. For instance, I had roughly 1.5 watts per gallon on my 55 and my 10 gallon, and the difference is remarkable (my 55 gallon has plastic plants for now) The different really is the height of the aquarium and the condition of the water (ie if using peat moss/driftwood). I tried out a friend's home-made twin 15 watt tube fixture (so 3 watts per gallon), and succeeded in blinding me and my fish, so I had to switch back.

Hobbs - I was scared of starting a planted aquarium as well, but I just used pure flourite for my substrate with Seachem Flourish Excel (can't justify a CO2 system in a 10 gallon) with great effect in a heavily planted aquarium. It's easy to clean with a smaller siphon, and more or less a maintenance free setup.

02-01-2007, 01:42 AM
I have to agree with the other posters. I've had planted aquariums now for many years and do find them much easier to keep clean. With a smaller aquarium, a smaller siphon is necessary. I used the Flourite up until now (just switched to Eco Complete) and never once bothered with CO2.