I'm just posting this so there will be less accidents.
I see a lot of your lovely new NPT tanks out there, with one common issue.
it is not well planted enough.
I highly recommend you all read OFL's sticky on NPTs... very thoroughly.
In reality you need 70% plant cover....enough fast growing stem plants to keep the nitrates down and floaters to pull nutrients from the water column.
keep this in mind, as a NPT that is improperly stocked at first will bring about a lot of problems. you will defintely get dead shrimps and maybe even dead fish. or the water may stink up with fungi and bacterial blooms etcetc.
so read the NPT sticky properly before starting one!
Thank you for posting this. I just shoved a bunch of "easy to grow" plants in and wondered if I had over planted. It's nice to know that I didn't. I've never had much luck with non-aquatic plants. I hope it will be different with the plants in my tank. At least I can't over water them.
With the soil based tanks it is important to start out with enough of the right species of plants and this includes floating plants-Otherwise you risk a crash and livestock deaths.
It is different with inert substrate like plain gravel or sand-but with the high nutrient load and the byproducts produced by the soil itself-until it is mature the mass amount of stem and floating plants are needed to help keep the water safe.....
Good thread aokashi-soil based tanks are much different in terms of setup, care and needs
When a soil based tank is setup properly-using enough of the right species of plants-On the correct photoperiod using the correct color temp lights to support plant growth-the water is safe and as the plants grow will function as the filter/bio-filter-Then along with water changes-all livestock should be safe.
The soil based is as close to a natural ecosystem that can be created in a closed system. Its all about balance......Everything has a job-working together to help make a safe environment. But its still a closed system and will need care-The more mature the soil based the less care it needs-provided that you have balance....
When I set my soil based tanks up...I add all my livestock the same day....Fish, shrimp and snails....they have a job to do....lol....