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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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starting a planted tank - any tips?

I have decided to start a planted tank, because i think fake plants look corny, and i like the idea of having real plants. I bought a new tank yesterday, a kit with a filter and heater and everything, 10 gallons. I bought 4 live plants, although they didn't look very good, I chose the nicest looking ones, but they still don't look great. i've been doing some research, but i'm still confused about cycling. i want to do it without fish, do i put the plants in first and let them help the cycling, or do i add them afterwards?
I plan on keeping a small school of neon tetras, and one betta (still debating male or female, but leaning towards female, to help avoid fin nipping from the tetras). I thought I'd want a bottom feeder too, but don't want to take away the nutrients that the plants would need, so maybe i should go without? I'm new to the whole fish thing, and i want to get everything set up perfectly before i add live fish.
Should I start with all the plants i plan on having, or would it be okay to add more as i go? I know that the four I have aren't enough, I want a really densely planted tank, i think it would be really pretty, and would be fun for the fishies.
I'm sure i'll have a ton more questions, hopefully someone here can help answer some of them for me!

4 cats: Radar, Oscar, Mackintosh, Qwilleran
1 dog: Daphne
3 rabbits: Barbarella Bunny. DC's Lucy, Ricky
1 daddy-long leg spider: Spidey
8 assorted tarantulas
1 madagascar hissing cockroach: Lady
3 chickens
1 ball python: Eve
1 corn snake: Charisma
1 California kingsnake: Honey
1 tortoise: Charlie
2 Mali Uromastyx: Nick and Nora
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-11-2007, 12:02 AM
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Add them right away, having plants will speed up the cycling process . You can add more as you go along. Just look up the kinds you buy to make sure you have the proper lighting and whatnot. Also beware of non-aquatic plants. A lot of petstores sell random terrarium plants as "aquatic" when in fact they aren't. They just slowly drown and die =/.

I would add the neons first so that they can get used to the tank and won't let themselves be bullied by the betta (which sometimes, but rarely, happens). I would add two or three when the tank is first cycled and then add the others a week or so later. If the tank continues to stay stable add the betta.

The best bottom-dwellers for a planted 10-gallon are probably cory cats. You'd want three since they like to be in groups...but adding more then that would be over-stocking. Oto cats would work, too, but they are more sensitive. Once again, three is a good amount. Don't add any until the tank has been running with the tetras and betta for a while, though, as you don't want to crash the cycle.

I think it's great that you're asking questions and researching . I can't wait to see the tank once it's set-up.


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cory cats, neon tetras

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