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Old 05-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #1 
LouiMon
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A couple questions before I plan my first planted tank.

I purchased 13W CFL 6500K bulbs and each ten gallon tank takes two. How much lighting is this? What level of plants does this let me have?

I was planning on just using sand and adding liquid ferts, but I read Oldfishlady's post on NPTs and it sounds really interesting. Would it be too complicated for someone who has never even had live plants?
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:00 PM   #2 
colorxmexravyne
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according to the old watts per gallon (wpg) method, that lighting will put you 2.6 wpg (26 watts total divided by 10 gallons), which i think is borderline between medium and low light. there's supposedly a new method to go by now that uses something called PAR but i haven't really looked into it.

and no! NPTs are not complicated at all! in fact, i think they're less work than just a regular planted tank or a tank full of silk decorations. the only thing that's even remotely hard about NPTs is the initial set up, i think. actually setting the tank up was messy and time-comsuming for me the first time, but i've since gotten the hang of it now and it takes maybe an hour, if that.

the only other issue you might run into is an initial ammonia reading because of the soil. but that can be solved by just having tons and tons and tons of stem plants.

so if you get past those two totally trivial obstacles, you're golden. NPTs are totally worth it!
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:35 PM   #3 
jentralala
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Honestly I think that puts you in the medium range. I have one CFL on my ten gallon and I can grow a nice variety of plants in there.

Just be careful with moving plants and filling the tank. You'll want to use a plate and a sloooow stream of water so as not to upset the cap, and generally try not to move plants a lot.

You could also just to sand with root tabs if you wanted, it's all up to you :)
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:18 PM   #4 
fish keeper 2013
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I was under the impression that 2.6wpg is borderline medium and high...
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:42 PM   #5 
colorxmexravyne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish keeper 2013 View Post
I was under the impression that 2.6wpg is borderline medium and high...
it very well may be! i'm just going off of personal experience; i have a 2.8 wpg tank that doesn't grow high light plants very well. could just be some imbalance in my tank though. :p but you're right, it's probably more in the medium range than low.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:36 AM   #6 
Bombalurina
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2.6 wpg is medium. :)

I second the NPT - it's truly nifty having one set up, and they do look fantastic. Mine took hours to set up, though - I spent at least two hours sifting dirt! However, once I'd got the dirt sifted and in, the rest took me no more than an hour and a half to do.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:52 AM   #7 
gorillakev
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WPG usually applies to 20 gallon tanks and up. On smaller tanks I go by par reading. Theres a thread on TPT that had some par results from screw in cfls.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:49 AM   #8 
peachii
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I am horrible at growing plants - real plants outside of an aquarium i cannot grow at all but the aquarium plants are so easy, they are growing obscenely well. So well that in a few months we will have many, many plant clippings for sale. Also will have red cherry shrimp and assassin snails before to long also (hopefully).

We used the Miracle Grow organic stuff under the gravel/sand and it has been really great for the plants.

I would recommend live plants over fake for anyone who can do it, no comparison as to how it looks after they plants grow in.
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