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I live in a country
>where we do not get laterite, flourite or any decent substrate. Our currency
>is very weak so importing is out of the question.
If you have sand there about 2-3mm & Kitty litter & Iron filings? You can
also use RFUG's which are very good for water column fertilization methods.
Old fish mulm and old dirty tank gravel works well too. Soil substrates are
another option as are peat etc. Check the Krib etc for more info.
>Up to now I have used plants that do not need to be anchored in the
>substrate and have been feeding via the water column. It has worked for me
>and the growth I have had has been good. I would like to try a 'proper'
>planted tank. I have a spare 10 gallon I would like to use. I will have 1,5
>watts per gallon of light. I know I should strive for more but fish products
>in this country are very expensive as everything is imported.
This is fine and you could also add another 15 watt bulb also. You likely
have those there & that would give 3 watt a gallon and let you grow about
any plant you wish well.
I have read
>extensively on the web but there is so much conflicting information.
Check the Krib and APD archives. They have the best advice on the web for
I am by
>no means an amateur as I have bred and kept various species some of which
>are notoriously difficult to keep. The plant route however is somewhat new
>territory and as I said the information out there is confusing.
Think about the food for breeding fish. Now think about the "food" for
growing plant. CO2 , Light and nutrients like N,P,K,Fe etc. This will help
you as this is what plants need to grow. You'll need to hack and prune etc
to manage this growth though.
>The other question naturally would be what plants do well in the lower light
>Without discovering PMDD I would never have been able to keep my first plant
>tank in the manner explained above.
Well you got this part down then! Let us know what plants are available
where your at(which is where again?). Latin and common names can be used.
Many plants can be used with the 15 watt bulb over a 10 gallon, but every
plant you have access to can be used if you add another 15 watt cheapy FL
light to the hood.
FWIW, I used a 10 gallon with sand and Kitty litter and a RFUG and had
excellent results using 2 x 15 watt - 18 inch bulbs and yeast CO2 added to
the filter intake. It was actually the first tank I had a nice carpet of
dwarf hair grass in. Snails are good for their algae
eating/availability/waste for enriching the substrate.
Perhaps this helps answer some questions?