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Advice for starting a planted tank

Updated: Aug 23, 2020



While getting into the fish keeping hobby can be easy if you're interested in a 10G freshwater tank with artificial plants, it'll inevitably leave you wanting more. If your goal is to have a thriving planted tank in your home, carefully planning your tank before you get started can increase your likelihood of success. The basic components of a planted tank setup are:

  • a tank

  • substrate

  • LED lighting

  • filtration system

  • carbon dioxide supplements

Often individuals want to "try" keeping fish but are unprepared for the learning and commitment it takes to experience success. This often results in frustration and people leaving the hobby.


Fish keeping can be expensive, often due to replacing stock and plants. deciding to upgrade after having mediocre results, and buying products to try and fix preventable problems. If you are determined to start a planted tank, we recommend setting out a budget and then making investments in the best quality lighting, carbon dioxide system and filtration system you can afford.


The problems most newcomers to the hobby encounter when starting a planted aquarium are:

  • Not enough light

  • Not enough CO2

  • Incompatibility between plants, and stock

  • Difficulty with plants rooting in substrate

  • Wrong substrate

By making investments in the best products upfront, you'll reduce the amount of disappointment and frustration you experience, and get closer to enjoying a stunning planted aquarium in your home. In future blog posts we'll address these problems individually but this blog is intended to highlight that the 2/3 ingredients for photosynthesis are directly related to the equipment you choose for your set-up.


Up front, you should be aware that plants can be expensive. Filling your aquarium up with plants can cost as much as (or even more) than your fish! That's why, we recommend setting yourself up for success by making sure the conditions exist for your plants to thrive. Take the time you need to follow these steps before starting your planted aquarium:

  1. Develop a budget (be realistic)

  2. Determine what tank size you would like to have

  3. Research the costs of quality LED lighting

  4. Research various carbon dioxide supplements

  5. Select a filtration system that meets your needs

By following these five steps, you will be able to estimate and adjust your budget to determine whether or not a planted aquarium is realistic for you. While cost isn't everything, fish keeping is a passion of patience and your investment and effort is sure to provide you with satisfaction and success if you stick to it!


We're here to help! Follow along with the blog and we'll make sure to help you get closer to enjoying a planted aquarium!

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