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Somebody help this Newbie!!!
I am in the process of gathering materials together to set up a planted
aquarium and was wondering about the reliability of many of the products
offered in several mail order catalogs. I've already read through "The
Optimum Aquarium" and the "arm and a leg" pricing of the equipment that
they endorse is a major turn off. Do-It-Yourself (just as in the reef
hobby) seems like a more REALISTIC approach for me. The size of the tank
will be 10 gallons. Yeast and suger water for CO2 and DIY heating cables
or under tank heating pads for the substrate is my plan for weazeling
out of making Horst Kipper rich. I know that this will probably be more
difficult to keep than a larger aquarium due to the lower volume of
water, but I don't want to invest a large sum of money initially into a
hobby just to find out that I dont like the end result. I've done that
with a reef tank. Its way too expensive to maintain in order for it to
seem worthwhile. I enjoyed it but I would have never gotten into it if I
realized how much money I was about to spend. Thank goodness someone
bought it from me.
My main questions are on (1) filters (2) testing equipment (3) Plant
nutrient supplements. (4) Books
Would a Penguin Biowheel be an adequate source of filtration for a 10
gal planted aquarium?
The splash of the biowheel kinda has me worried that CO2 will rapidly
escape but the cost and maintenence is cheap. If there are flaws with
the power filter what are some other options? I'm guessing a Fluval 103
could be another option and I would consider it if the penguin is
(2) Testing equipment
Besides Iron, Carbonate Hardness, pH, and CO2, what testing kits do I
need? Do I even need these? pH i'm pretty certain of but what brands are
the most accurate?
(3) Plant nutrient supplements.
Besides laterite and Duplagan water conditioner, what is needed? Is
Florasan a good product? What is the best nutrient additive and why?
Besides "The Optimum Aquarium" what books are the most informative
regarding environmental conditions for plants and that aren't full of
I know that any answers given are subject to personal opinion, but
opinions are better than trial and error.
Most importantly, WHAT PRODUCTS SHOULD I AVOID?
I trust your opinion of products over a petstore employee's opinion any