finally-making-it-happen asked: Hi There! I was hoping I could pick your brain if you wouldn't mind or had nothing better to do :P I am going to be getting a 10 gallon tank next week and want to get it set up right. I have seen your posts on planting but I just wanted to make sure I did it right. You said you put aqua soil or something? What exactly is that and do you know where i might get it? And do you put in directly on the bottom? do you just put aquarium rocks over it and what is it's purpose? Thanks!
Hey there! I don’t know if I missed any of your questions, but I’ll answer what I (think I) read!
1. By aqua soil I mean something like Fluval Plant Stratum. Incidentally, that shit is cray expensive, so I go no name brands from LFS. Also, you can buy regular ol’ Miracle Gro (organic only)!
2. When you first put soil into your 10 gallon, you just wet it first with tap water, take a handful and squeeze out the excess water and then scoop it into the bottom of your tank to build a thick enough layer for planting. Rocks and sand on top is optional. I used to do it to stop debris from floating up but has since gotten lazy:p
3. You can get quite a lot of shrimp in a 10 gallon. I say up to 30? I have over 10 in my 5 gallon and they’re pretty chill. As a beginner, go with cherry shrimp or anything from the neocardina family. As for snails, nerites of any kind are your friends. They are FANTASTIC cleaners. Otherwise, apple snails can be fun but be prepared…they’re messy and they can get huge. I personally don’t like pond snails, but ramshorn snails are pretty but breed like rabbits.
4. I always give business to LFS before big chains like petco, petsmart, etc. If you don’t have any LFS nearby, try the aforementioned chains. They have plants usually for cheap.
I know you didn’t ask about this, but after you plant everything and set up your light, don’t forget to let your tank cycle for 2 weeks min. Shrimp are really freaking sensitive and I have lost my share due to impatience.