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Discussion Starter #1
My order of plants came in today, which was a surprise because the company never sent out a shipping notice, and I am super excited to have them in my tank!

I also didn't realize that the pots would have two plants each, so I ended up with twice as many as I was expecting- definitely not a bad thing!

So that's six Anubias Nana, six Java Fern, and one big bunch of Egeria Densa. I still want to get something to fill it out a little more vertically- possibly an Amazon Sword?- but I'll grab that locally. The only wrinkle is my light is only a 12" Stingray and I have a 10g tank (bought it before I decided to upgrade), but I'm crossing my fingers that I can squeak by with that lighting.



I'm pretty happy with the company I bought from, the plants arrived well packed and very fresh looking, buuuuuut I also ended up with at least one snail hitchhiker. I found it crawling on my hand while I was tying the plants down! With that sort of spirit I just couldn't kill it, plus there's probably more that I didn't see, so it's also in the tank now.



To be honest I'm kind of hoping it manages to survive, I like snails. :)
 

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congrats on the planted tank! I love live planted tanks. it changes every day. =)

haha I have those pest snails in my tanks too. though I have a clean up crew in mine. pea Puffers! so the snails don't last long when the puffers are on the hunt.
 

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If you keep your Anubias to the outer edges of the light and other plants in the center you *might* be okay. But if you notice problems you may have to either go to another 12" and off-set them. Or a 24". I would go with a new 24" and also use the 12".

An Amazon Sword could well get too tall for a 10 gallon. Some good vertical plants which don't get too tall would be several Cryptocoryne including Cryptocoryne Retrospiralis, Wendtii, Giant Hairgrass, Giant Sagittaria Subulata, Myriophyllum (Green or Red), Hygrophila Lancea 'Araguaia', Regular Sagittaria Subulata. Of course, any stem/bunch plant. I like to weight the bunches in the back corners.

Edit: You could also let Anubias float to give a vertical element.

As long as you don't overfeed you shouldn't have issues with the snails. Or, you could get an Assassin Snail or two.
 

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Your tank is really taking shape. I think Russell is right about the lighting. I too feel that a 24 inch Sting Ray would be better. (I can't say enough good things about Finnex lighting).

I use stem bunch plants in all of my tanks to fill in the back and rear corners. Mainly I use them to deflect the discharge flow from my filters. ( they work well for this) I weight them and plant them in most cases, and they do well for me. The ones I float I try and keep right beneath the filter.

I did notice from the above picture your substrate is a little lacking for planting. If you can I would add at least another inch to the substrate. It will be beneficial for your plants root growth, and also help in keeping them in place.

With all this being said the tank looks really nice and you have a great start.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your feedback guys!

Yesterday it was bright out and the light looked pretty good, today it's dark and rainy and I can see that it's probably not going to cut it. Bummer. So I'll be upgrading that pretty soon. Would y'all really recommend the 24" over the 20"?

And thanks for the list of potential plants Russel, I am so bad at keeping track of plant names! I think it was Crypts I was thinking of, but my fingers decided to go with the Amazon Sword. :)

As for the substrate, hmm. I used ten pounds of sand, so I was pretty sure that would be enough. I will keep an eye on it and see if I need to get some more, or possibly even switch it out completely for dirt + sand, which I almost went with but decided against at the last minute to keep things simple.
 

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The reason you need a little more depth in substrate is so the roots have somewhere to grow! :) It also helps so they can anchor themselves. You shouldn't need that much more. :)
 

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Yes, 20". I can never seem to get that a 10 is 20" and not 24".

A general rule is 2# of substrate per gallon. I have found it works very well. I use sand and love it. I am trying a new fert (both liquid and substrate) and am very happy with it. Called Niloc.
 

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Quick update: I upgraded my light, deciding against another Stingray because price, and also because I'm not sure I like having only a single row of LEDs even in their larger sizes. So I decided to go with a 20" Aquaneat, because if it stinks then I only spent less than $10 on it. :)


 

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Looks great! The lights really brighten up the tank. :) I did the same haha, I got a NICREW light instead of the stingray cause I'm cheap :p
 

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Your tank is so lovely. Like you, I wasn't fond of a single light on my 10 so I eventually added another.

For anyone looking for a Stingray, here is the Finnex site where I found the least expensive. $5.00 shipping.

Welcome to AquaVibrant -
 

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I decided to take out the pond snail that hitchhiked, but unfortunately I must have missed some eggs when I tried to clean off the plants because there were six in my tank today that had to be squished. :/ If they'd stayed down in the substrate I wouldn't have minded but they were all on the glass, which I was not very fond of.

But yesterday I finally found some Julii cories!! The store only had three, so I'll go back and get some more to have a full school, but I couldn't pass up on finally nabbing some. They're already zipping around the tank like mad, it's adorable! And my boy Felix doesn't seem to care about them at all which is fantastic.

The ends of the Anacharis started rotting, I assume because of the week they spent with inadequate light, so I took the bundle apart and am letting them float, which Felix seems to like. I added a "compact" Amazon Sword in the back corner because the store didn't have any Crypts and I was impatient to add a taller plant, hopefully it lives up to the claims of staying on the short side!

 

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Looking good! I can see why Felix loves it. :)

Just cut off the rotting parts of the Anacharis. Dying parts of plants deprive the other, healthy and growing parts of needed nutrients. So the minute you see yellow, get rid of it.

Those snails will eat detritus from plants and leftover food. They will not really multiply unless you over feed. However, I like Assassin Snails in my planted tanks. They rid them of pond and bladder snails. I've not had any issues with them and Mystery, MTS or Nerite Snails. As I understand it, that only happens if you have a gang of them. They only reproduce one baby at a time and only if they've been overfed.
 

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Thanks! I'm pretty happy with how it's shaping up, to be honest. I've never done much decorating with my tanks before. :3

I did take off the rotted ends of the Anacharis when I pulled the bundle up, but I'll go through it tomorrow and see if anything else needs to be trimmed. I didn't want to hurt it by being overzealous.

I will keep assassin snails in mind, I did add in a trio of trumpet snails when I was getting the cories because I've read that they're good when you have sand, so it'd be a bummer to have those all end up being food also. I don't mind snails when they're pulling their own weight in the tank I was mostly just reacting to my surprise at seeing so many after I'd gone through and gotten rid of all the eggs I could find! I doubt I managed to get them all anyway, so I'll just keep an extra strict eye on how much I feed my fish in the future to stave off population booms.
 

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The tank looks really god. Sorry to hear about the snail problem. I really hate pest snails. I n the past few weeks I have found 4 in both new tanks. But they always meet their fate when they show up. It's really hard to get rid of them with out the help of assassin snails. They do a marvelous job in such a short time. I've been known to keep transferring them around the tanks I have. With my community tank I also use loaches, They do a real nice job on the snail population.

You'll find the Amazon sword will grow slowly but the leaves spread out to give good hides and rest areas. Java fern and Asian water fern do very well in tanks and are medium growth rate. Right now I'm looking for just the right shaped Anubias for a front hide in Little Bee's tank. I know what I want it to look like so it may be a while before I find it.
 

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Its looking good!

My amazon swords always look fab when they arrive, then go through a phase when the big leaves go yellow and die off, but then they start growing properly again, and get thicker and bushier than when they started. They also usually end up a good couple of inches shorter than they started. Maybe my lights are different from the sellers'.

It used to really bother me, but I've learned that it is quite a common thing as they adjust to the water/light conditions in your tank, so if it starts happening to your plants, don't worrit about it, and don't throw them out because you think the plants are dying. Just trim back the old leaves and try not to disturb the roots, and they will start producing new leaves from the centre of the crown.
 

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My Assassin Snails haven't made a dent in the MTS population. ;-)

I never plant stem plants when I get them. Instead, I use weights to hold them down and let them self-root. I have found this prevents rotting. And never plant Hornwort; it does not develop roots and will rot.
 
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