I am new to aquariums, having only cared for my mother's tank for the past few months. (She does her own water changes now!)
I inherited her tank when she upgraded to a 10 gallon. It's a 5.5 gallon (16x8.5x10) with a 10w CF bulb. I want a planted tank but there's so much information I'm having trouble sorting through it all. I'm not even sure if my tank if considered low light or not. I read that the so-many-wpg rule gets distorted with very small and very large tanks but no one has actually explained what that means.
I will probably do a low light setup with Excel or DIY CO2. But what plants will fit my tank? I don't mind pruning but some plants grow very tall for my tank. Other than Anubias and Java Fern, what are my other options for this setup? Crypts?
Should I get a special substrate or would gravel/sand work just fine? I was planning on getting something like Eco-Complete but I'm not sure now.
There's a dearth of plant keeping supplies in my area it seems. There's not much variety plant wise and I can only find Flourite in stores so I will be buying online.
I thought I knew what I wanted but the more I read, the more unsure I am. If any of my questions have been addressed somewhere else I apologize. And a link to that spot would be appreciated.
as you stated planting in a small aquarium can be hard, in not all that good at naming plant etc, but your lighting is being only 10watts is quite low, so i think the plants will struggle to photosynthesis and it would be a waste of time adding CO2 as it will have little affect in low lighting. There are of course plants out there that need little light and these will be able to live on the CO2 that your fish will produce.
As for substrate, that eco stuff will be good as its fertiliser is slow release and will save you from adding so many chemical fertilisers, until of course the eco substrate runs out of nutrients which it will do over time. Also on the other end of the scale if you get small loose normal gravel that the roots can wriggle inbetween and hold onto thatll be fine, then use a fertiliser such as leaf zone from API or plantamin from Tetra i dont think you'll go far wrong.
The amount of plants in your tank will also be a huge factor as they 'soak' light and nutrients of course so too many will be costly and they will brown off an die.
this directory has basic plants on and tells you the difficulty level of growing them.
Hope this helps al little.