Good afternoon all,
I am looking to set up an old 10gal (20x12x10) primarily as a freshwater planted tank which I may add a few fish to later. My only problem is I am about as new to fishtanks as humanly possible. I have the tank, will end up storing the tank under my plant lights for now (4-4' tubes), one aerator and apart from that I have nothing else at the moment. I assume I will need a filter, probably a heater, some kind of suitable plant substrate and goodness knows what else.
I have 2 crazy ideas of what I may want to do with the tank but I'm not sure how realistic they are. My first plan was to set up a tank with one mangrove off to the side, let the roots and canopy grow towards the other side of the tank, keep it pruned and toss in some other plants to mingle around the roots - maybe some pieces of "driftwood" with a nice "aquatic moss" draped over them. I have read that mangroves need (more) Mg and I can see that potentially being a problem but I'm not sure. My other idea was basically the same thing just without the mangrove focusing on a driftwood/moss aquascape with some fish to be added later on. Marimo are also a thought for both setups.
That's the plan, but I don't quite know how to start if it is even possible. Assuming it is, I need to do some sort of cycling with my water I know that much. Not sure whether I need plants in there first or not. Can I cycle with just substrate and the filters? I have done some very basic research and know that I should probably find some kind of substrate other than the coated gravel if I want a planted tank. But again I am not sure what would be best.
I'm going to keep researching and see what I can figure out but I figured some one here might have some quick advice for an aquarium newbie like myself.
Thanks so much in advance!