Hey guys, I read the thread about setting up a planted tank and I just need a little bit of input. I currently have a 10 g, with gravel as the base, 6 moneysworth plants, a large rock, a tetra filter, heater, led lighting, and a air pump with a air stone. Im not sure if I should put soil on the bottom or the rocks will suffice and what I could do to keep my plants from floating. In the tank I currently have a TTHM betta named Aries (I recently changed his name, he used to go by blaster) ,4 Mickey mouse Platys, 1 clown pleco, 2 guppies. and 2 mystery snails. My tank is happy and healthy as now I have baby fish and baby snails. Ill post up pics of the set up and any suggestions are welcome
Moneywort should do fine without putting a good substrate in, unless your adding root plants that benefit more from a dirted substrate. If you do decide to go dirted empty out your tank put soil then cap with gravel or sand. If looks like your gravel is a bit bigger and you might need to cap with a thin layer of sand then your gravel. I Agree with the clown pleco needing at least 55 gal, should be fine for now but it will outgrow your tank and not be happy in there.
My friend has a 55 gal tank to whom I cab give him to if he gets to big. Would you recommend going dirted or leave as is. My moneyworth keep floating up since I can't get them in very deep. If so what type of dirt or soil, should I switch to a sponge filer and should I have a pleco at all in such a small aquarium?
Forgot to mention, thanks for the help and compliments
That's a cute tank. If you can you might want to double check on your bioload for a 10g. I know mystery/apple snails have large bioloads and depending on your types of species it'll depend on how many amphibians you should have in your tank. It's not 100% accurate, but if you go by the inch-per-gallon rule you'll have a rough idea how many you should have in the tank. (ex. Betta's grow to about 2-2.5" and clown pleco's grow to about 4" so 2.5 + 4 = 6.5 and that's already more than half of your 10g. As I said, it's not 100% accurate, but it's still a decent guide to go by so you won't ever do it) If you have more plants, it'll help soak up your bioload, but make sure the ammonia levels don't spike up too high.
Your pleco is a clown pleco, it only grows to 4" so in comparison to other pleco's that grow to 22" long I wouldn't think it would outgrow the tank (but I've never had one, so this is just going off of a logical opinion)... but it is going to be one of your larger species in the tank so as I've said you might want to rethink the amount you have in it. Pleco's also love to dig so it would enjoy having a finer substrate like dirt or sand. The problem with that is they can also dig up some of your plants so that's another thing you might want to consider.
Also, your substrate might be too large. Unless you want to go through the trouble, gravel that size can hold in food and all kinds of things that will make your ammonia levels spike. Not to mention it can trap air bubbles more easily which can create poisonous gas build up over time. You can prevent that by stirring your substrate. Even with dirt, you do still have to worry about that- which is where your pleco is convenient as they like to dig; and therefore will stir up some of your soil to prevent gas from building up. Rooted plants also help to deter gas build up, so that also means if you had more rooted plants, they would help keep it at bay (but again, your pleco might dig those plants up...) If I had more experience with pleco's, I'd be able to give you better advice... but I do know that there are planted tank forums that talk about plecos and goldfish digging up plants so there are bound to be solutions to those problems if you look around.
Clown pleco's are, while peaceful, also territorial. Betta fish are as well, so maybe more plants and/or hidey holes would be a good idea in the tank. It will provide cover and also help disrupt fights that might break out.
Sorry to harp in, but since I was curious I found this. It might help some on your brainstorming.
The Clown pleco can reach a length of 10 cm (almost 4 inches). In young specimens, the dark brown body is decorated with bright orange to white striping. As the fish matures, the base colour becomes brighter.
"The Clown pleco can reach an age of 18 years. The Clown pleco is native is native to Colombia and Venezuela where it inhabits the Rio Orinoco drainage of the great plains.
The Clown pleco should never be kept in an aquarium without wood since it is a wood eating species. Ideally include several types of wood in the set up The Clown pleco does eat algae but it is not the most efficient algae eating pleco on the market. Juveniles tend to eat more algae than adult specimens. Do not force your Clown pleco to rely on natural algae growth only; always supplement with algae based prepared foods. Clown plecos can eat plants, but you can decrease the risk by giving them plenty of vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini, potatoes and lettuce. Clown plecos also need to be given occasional servings of meaty food to stay healthy. Ideally feed your Clown pleco after turning off the aquarium lights, because this is a night active species that prefers to forage for food when it is dark.
The Clown pleco produces a lot of waste and frequent water changes are therefore a must, otherwise the levels of organic waste will sky-rocket."
Hope this helps ya, good luck with your tank ^.^
Last edited by Draug Isilme; 04-09-2013 at 08:47 PM.
Thanks draug!, but now I have some more questions.. Should I switch to sand or a smaller gravel? Should I switch to a sponge filter? and if i do as sand or switch to a smaller gravel, what should i do with my fish, I have no spare tank
I keep a constant eye on anomia levels but my main thing is to make my tank have driftwood and more live plants.
No prob. As far as filters go, so long as it's not causing too much aggitation for your betta fish, it should be okay. Sometimes you'll want dead spots in your tank and your plants don't really need constant circulation (don't ask me why, I just remember reading it in a few plant care forums >.>;;...). Filters help some, but they don't completely get the ammonia that's more of a job for your plants- but they don't feed entirely on amonia so you still want to keep an eye on your levels. I prefer sponge filters, but it's really not a must have.... and if you do get one or make your own sponge filter just make sure it has the right filtration strength for your size tank.
Well, I think if it were me, I'd go with sand. There would be less space for food to fit through and sit to rot in comparison to gravel. You still need to stir it every couple of months, but if you keep your pleco then it'll help AND your pleco will be much happier to be able to dig around in sand rather than gravel. Also when you siphon out debree, it's a bit easier to see the bits and pieces and, to me, a bit easier to clean up than gravel... Plus your rooted plants will have an easier time thriving. If you want to get more heavy root feeding plants, then plant specific substrate works fantastic. Although I'm not sure how your pleco would feel about it, but I'm sure it's less abbrasive than gravel/rocks >.>...
I did a little bit more digging and here's some ideas to help discourage your pleco from uprooting your plants:
"1. bundle your plants in larger groupings, and put excess substrate or a few large stones around the base of each "bundle" this will discourage your pleco (unless he's already pretty big) from digging up the roots.
2 Also observe if he keeps disturbing the same plants. They may be in his territory and he plain just doesn't want them there. I had a pleco that would shred leaves of any plant that was close to his driftwood. I moved the plant, and he hasn't looked at it since then.
3 buy plants that don't taste very good like those "onion plants" the bulb sits just above the substrate and the leaves are long and broad. apparently it tastes bitter and they'll leave it alone. I believe it's a type of lily... but it looks like a spring onion.
4 if you REALLY want a planted tank and this is an option for you... get a plastic grill (like an old under gravel filter cover) to cover the bases and roots of each plant with the leaves poking out the top, and then cover entire thing with substrate so you can't see it. It will help stabilize your plants and protect the roots from being pulled up. This won't prevent him from munching on the leaves though.
5 find your pleco a new home (like back to the LFS) and buy a different type of pleco like a rubberlip or a golden nugget. these remain small, and won'tharasss your plants nearly as much. These plecos are a little more difficult to keep than your commons, so do your research ahead of time!"
Also, I read that it helps to have more sturdy plants as pleco's like to munch on the more delicate kind. If you don't want to keep your pleco or any of your other fish, I think giving it/them to your friend with the 55g tank would be a good idea or giving it/them back to your LFS so it/they have an opportunity of finding a home that can work for it/them.
Last night i ran over to petsmart and bought some plant substrate and a 20 gal long tank. I placed a finer gravel over the substrate and planted my moneyworth. I made my own sponge filter I couldn't find one. The tank looks great but I need to upgrade my heater and find a lid for the tank now. I will be buying more plants and driftwood