10 gallon – week 1 update

It’s been a week since I did the major trim. Not a whole lot has changed, but the newly planted tips are starting to become more established. I did a 50% water change and gently vacuumed the substrate. For a small tank, there are quite a number of guppies and snails producing a lot of waste. I would not recommend keeping this many fish in a small 10 gallon tank without it being heavily planted. I rely mainly on the plants to and substrate to perform the filtration in this tank as the filter in the top, rear corner is mainly for generating gentle water flow.

the start – post major trim
week 1 – post water change

As you can see from the pictures, the plants look about the same. Things are pretty slow growing because I do not have pressurized CO2 in this tank anymore. If I were to hook that up again, you would see the plants grow much faster. But the primary goal of this tank is something nice to look at while being relatively low maintenance with weekly water changes and monthly trims being the most I really need to do.

During the week, some of the newly planted clippings became loose due to the water flow or the fish swimming through them and floated up to the top. I replanted them and we’ll see if they will have an easier time attaching themselves to the substrate this week. All in all, growth seems to be slow but good. I would like to improve the growth and healthiness of some of the plants, but I’m unsure if that’s even possible without pressurized CO2. We shall see.

I am thinking about getting some sort of background for the tank to make the guppies and the plants pop more. I used to use a simple sheet of black construction paper, but that would wrinkle and warp if it got wet. There is something called Plasti Dip, which is a rubber coating spray that can be applied and removed later if wanted. It comes in various colors and can be applied via an aerosol spray can or dipping. If i went this route, I would have to figure out a way to apply it since the tank would be half full. More than likely, the best way to go is to find some kind of laminated black paper or black plastic that I can use as a background. More on this at another time.

I am also thinking about getting some peristaltic pumps to automate the fertilization process. I’ll have to do more research into how much these things cost and whether it would be more economical (including the cost of my time) to build one or buy one. I imagine they could be built using some 3D printed parts and stepper motors controlled via some microcontroller. Could be a fun project to do as well. More research is definitely needed though.

That’s it for this week’s update. Check back again next week to see what’s new and what’s changed. Comments and questions are always welcome!

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