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Old 01-18-2015, 07:41 PM   #1 
BlueSky
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Beginner Planted Tank Questions

I am going to getting a couple of low light easy/beginner plants for my divided 10 gallon tank. I have searched the forum and found answers to most my questions but still have a couple more.


My first question is on lighting. I have have a separate light hood(it is not attached to the lid) that takes the tubular light bulbs. For low light plants is 2500K 25 Watt enough? If not, how to I tell how many Kelvins a light bulb has? I have looked at several different light bulbs and they list the Watts but not the Kelvins.


I know with heavily planted tanks your not suppose to use a gravel vacuum. So, is this when you would want to get shrimp or bottom dwellers to keep it clean? What about the poop how would you take that out?


Last question! My tank lid is a lid for reptiles (I think). It is black with black wire mesh across the middle; should I put saran wrap to hold moisture/heat/humidity inside the tank?


Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:06 PM   #2 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSky View Post
My first question is on lighting. I have have a separate light hood(it is not attached to the lid) that takes the tubular light bulbs. For low light plants is 2500K 25 Watt enough? If not, how to I tell how many Kelvins a light bulb has? I have looked at several different light bulbs and they list the Watts but not the Kelvins.
Most aquarium plants will grow properly if Kelvin rating exceeds 5000K but doesn’t exceed 6800K. Noon light is rated at 6500K. So if you can I would up it a tad, even for lowlight plants if you want them to grow noticably. Things like crypts will basically grow in ambient light, same as anumbias, but growth be be very, very slow. The Kelvins should be on the box, somewhere. What brand are you looking at, and I can try and help with where on the box to find it.

A general rule of thumb is 2 watts per gallon, if you really cannot find the K rating, but it is a very, very shaky rule and will not guarantee good plant growth.

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I know with heavily planted tanks your not suppose to use a gravel vacuum. So, is this when you would want to get shrimp or bottom dwellers to keep it clean? What about the poop how would you take that out?
What substrate are you using? I personally gravel vac mine. When my 20long was heavily planted with gravel, I had to not gravel in the few cms around the base of plants or they flaoted off, but replanting wasnt a massive issue. Now I use soil with a sand cap, i waited for the plants to root (a few weeks) before getting too close with the vaccum, but now I can basically run the plants over with a gravel vac. Once their root network is established, you can get pretty darned close. Especially with sand as the vac doesnt penetrate in, like you do with gravel, a surface clean is all thats really needed (enough to make a bow/wave of sand as you move it, but not so much you have to rescape every week! XD).


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Last question! My tank lid is a lid for reptiles (I think). It is black with black wire mesh across the middle; should I put saran wrap to hold moisture/heat/humidity inside the tank?
This depends on a few things:

- What is your ambient humidity?
- Are their going to be betta (or other labirynth fish) in this particular tank?
- Are you going to try to grow the tank plants so they emerge from the top of the tank?
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:57 PM   #3 
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Most aquarium plants will grow properly if Kelvin rating exceeds 5000K but doesn’t exceed 6800K. Noon light is rated at 6500K. So if you can I would up it a tad, even for lowlight plants if you want them to grow noticably. Things like crypts will basically grow in ambient light, same as anumbias, but growth be be very, very slow. The Kelvins should be on the box, somewhere. What brand are you looking at, and I can try and help with where on the box to find it.

A general rule of thumb is 2 watts per gallon, if you really cannot find the K rating, but it is a very, very shaky rule and will not guarantee good plant growth.
I was just looking at the light bulbs at Walmart -don't remember brands off the top of my head. I am actually getting ready to head there soon, so I will look at the boxes again... maybe I just overlooked it. I am also going to be heading to Petsmart and Petco today I will see what they have. I am thinking I saw a 6100K at Petsmart once when I was there last month.

I haven't actually picked out plants yet. I wanted to get the whole light thing sorted out first then pick the plants.

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What substrate are you using? I personally gravel vac mine. When my 20long was heavily planted with gravel, I had to not gravel in the few cms around the base of plants or they flaoted off, but replanting wasnt a massive issue. Now I use soil with a sand cap, i waited for the plants to root (a few weeks) before getting too close with the vaccum, but now I can basically run the plants over with a gravel vac. Once their root network is established, you can get pretty darned close.
I have gravel at the moment but I am contemplating getting black sand(or gravel if it's easier). I really like the look of the darker substrate colors. Would you say the sand or the gravel is easier to manage?

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Especially with sand as the vac doesnt penetrate in, like you do with gravel, a surface clean is all thats really needed (enough to make a bow/wave of sand as you move it, but not so much you have to rescape every week! XD).
Good to know! XD I was worried about keeping it clean without using a gravel vac, but then again I didn't want to uproot the plants and have to deal with replanting things.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaMummy87 View Post
This depends on a few things:

- What is your ambient humidity?
- Are their going to be betta (or other labirynth fish) in this particular tank?
- Are you going to try to grow the tank plants so they emerge from the top of the tank?
The humidity is 31% today outside if that helps any. I don't really know the ambient humidity in the room though. I live in Kansas. Sorry not much help on this question.
Yes, there will be a betta in this tank (which I know I can't seal off all air supply since they need that)
No, I am not really planning on growing tank plants that emerge from the top.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:11 PM   #4 
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I was just looking at the light bulbs at Walmart -don't remember brands off the top of my head. I am actually getting ready to head there soon, so I will look at the boxes again... maybe I just overlooked it. I am also going to be heading to Petsmart and Petco today I will see what they have. I am thinking I saw a 6100K at Petsmart once when I was there last month.
Not sure about walmart bulbs, but the pet-specific ones should have it on the box. Most household bulbs do too.

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Would you say the sand or the gravel is easier to manage?
Personally? Sand every time! :D

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The humidity is 31% today outside if that helps any. I don't really know the ambient humidity in the room though. I live in Kansas. Sorry not much help on this question.
Yes, there will be a betta in this tank (which I know I can't seal off all air supply since they need that)
No, I am not really planning on growing tank plants that emerge from the top.
Humidity shouldn't be an issue for you then, beyond meaning you *may* have to top up the tank a bit more often than you would with a more solid lid. I use craft mesh lids on my 2 Gals with no real issues. Temp is more important than humidity with the betta in there, the closer the room temp is to the water temp, the better for the labyrinth organ.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:18 PM   #5 
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Not sure about walmart bulbs, but the pet-specific ones should have it on the box. Most household bulbs do too.


Personally? Sand every time! :D


Humidity shouldn't be an issue for you then, beyond meaning you *may* have to top up the tank a bit more often than you would with a more solid lid. I use craft mesh lids on my 2 Gals with no real issues. Temp is more important than humidity with the betta in there, the closer the room temp is to the water temp, the better for the labyrinth organ.
Ok thank you for all the help!

Walmart was pretty low on light bulbs when I went there last so I am going to see what they have today and if I can't find anything then I will just find one at the pet store.

I prefer the look of sand over gravel.... I just might be switching over then! (:
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:47 PM   #6 
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I prefer it too. :D And like you, I love that black sand. :D
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:18 PM   #7 
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Would two 10 watt 6500k bulbs work for a 10 gallon? Those are the only tube light bulbs I can find with kelvin rating higher than 5000K. Thinking about just not using my light hood and use the clip on lights since those are easier to find the right bulbs for.

Also, would it be considered low or moderate lighting?
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:44 PM   #8 
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Also the plants that come in the tubes from petco/petsmart do they need to be quarantined?
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:55 AM   #9 
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Without a meter its hard to be certain, what is the depth of the tank and how hig above the water level would the bulbs be set?

I would hazard a guess at moderate, unless you are mounting them pretty high and/or the tank is deep.

No idea on the tube plants, we dont get them here. :/ I QT the ones in tubs, if it is a species I am worried about. TBH I pop them in with the QT fish, save having multiple tanks running. Be aware there is an ANubias issue the last few years, so any borwning or smell from the rhizome and it should be segregated from all other anubias (Echinodorus species and Hygrophila corymbosa have also been reported to be affected). Dont let it put you off, but maybe QT anubias seperately from any of those other species. :)
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:47 PM   #10 
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I use black sand in my tank and I do have shrimp, but I also use a turkey baster I bought for my tank to clean up the tank as needed. I have one of the hinged glass lids that is always opened and Other than needing water added at least once a week I have no issues with it.
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