Newly setup 10 gallon planted tank question


Junior Poster
Jan 11, 2013
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I have a 55gallon planted tank and my plants just don't thrive. I decided to turn my 10 gallon tank into a planted tank, take out all the fish and I can experiment and hopefully find something that works and transfer that to my larger tank.

I set all this up Sunday

My 10 gallon is as follows:
2x 10watt cfl 6500k bulbs
No fish
10-20gallon walmart filter (still has bacteria from when I had my beta in here last week)

water parameters:
PH 7.4-7.6 (out of tap)
KH 10 (out of tap)
GH 10 (out of tap)

I moved some plants from my 55 gallon and they are as follows:
8 newly sprouted amazon swords (came on a vine from one of my old swords)
5 dwarf sag (I could never get them to spread in my 55 gallon, they pretty much look the same as 8 months ago when i bought them)
2 narrowleaf chainswords (never spread in my 55gallon, never seeded)
some moss like stuff that I got from a guy who grew it in mats as floaters (have no idea what it is, just got it last week)

I am not using co2, so I am dosing 2x recommended excel, which comes to 2ml daily.
I started with EI dosing 50% since that is what I read should be done when using excel instead of co2

I started dosing as follows:
2ml excel daily
1/16 tsp kno3 3x week
1/64 kh2p04 3x week
1ml trace 3x week

I wonder if with the tank so lightly planted, plus lots of the plants being babies If I should dose at a much lower level. Yesterday I did the macros and today I did micros. I tested nitrate today it is 60-80 this morning (fresh tap water Sunday and one macro dose yesterday). I just find it hard to believe a single 1/16 tsp dose of kno3 took nitrates to 60+.

So I'm just looking for a good starting point so I don't have to battle algae or have any other problems starting out.

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