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Old 09-20-2012, 02:17 PM   #21 
Silverfang
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What are some mini/carpet plants you might suggest for a smaller NPT? I've got a couple of 2.5 G's I would love to turn into NPTS, however most of the plants I've used so far are taller or would be far too large.

Also plan on doing some searching for a new light/6500k bulbs I can modify no AQ specific light fixtures for.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:03 PM   #22 
12thletter
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I am so excited to try this in my 6.6 gallon! Why do you remove the filter in a <10 gallon tank?
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:06 PM   #23 
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Is there any point to adding a CO2 system to my planted tank? I have mostly low-light plants and I use Seachem Flourish and Flourish Excel. My substrate is Fluorite with a sand cap. I guess I'm just wondering how much of a difference added CO2 would make.

Also, I did get some mud in my filter when I first set up this tank, mostly because I didn't wash the substrate first. All that dusty dirt was really light and got kicked up by the filter. I washed the filter bag 3 times or so over the first week (each time shedding enough mud to make a 2 gallon bucket of water opaque and still needed to be rinsed under the tap), and after that it improved greatly on It's own. I also switched to an uptake bubble filter instead of a filter that continuously dumps water into the tank (much gentler current) and have had zero issues with mud or fine particles fogging up the tank. Even water changes aren't causing too much dust to kick up as long as I pour the water onto a plate I've set on the sand. The only thing that really causes clouding now is if I pull up a rooted plant and move it. When I first added water some of the substrate came up out of the sand cap and I was worried they would mix together, but since then they have not mixed further and my MTS are very careful about what they move around. Little ninjas.

Last edited by babystarz; 09-23-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:51 PM   #24 
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Originally Posted by whimsicalbrainpan View Post
Excuse my ignorance (for there is much of it and it is large) but how big of a difference is there between soil or just a sand planted tank, or a gravel tank? What do gravel planted tanks require? If there is a post on this somewhere and I missed it I apologize.

I think it has something to do with the ion exchange capacity... which will allow it to pull nitrogen wastes into the substrate.. whereas sand and gravel does not provide this function...
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:57 PM   #25 
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and after that it improved greatly on It's own.
Aaargh I meant "its"
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:17 PM   #26 
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I think I may want to redo the 20G and add soil after all. Most of the plants are growing like weeds though.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:20 PM   #27 
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Please keep this sticky on topic....Soil based planted tanks.....

As for filters-with the soil based tanks the plants can function as the filtration..

I remove my filters in my 10gal and smaller soil based tanks-because they are not needed.....Once they are mature-the soil is alive and plants thriving the plants will filter the water.

Soil based planted tanks-when setup properly with enough of the right species of plants, soil is mature and plants thriving-They are as close to a natural ecosystem that can be created in a closed system.....

You don't need any added ferts or injection of CO2 with soil based planted tanks.

As for carpet plants-it can be hard to get a true carpet that you see with the high tech CO2 injected tanks-but I can create a fairly nice carpet in my soil based using java moss, pygmy chain swords and another one I can't recall the name right now. I just got back from vacation and will have to look through my log books and post it tomorrow....seems like it was tennulas or something like that.....

Soil based tanks are nice systems-but you have to remember they are intended to be a low tech system and plants will be limited.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:32 PM   #28 
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OFL what kind of soil do you recommend? I've heard people use Miracle Gro, is there a specific type that works best?

Also, I just put some Quikrete Commercial Grade Fine Sand in one of my 5 gallon tanks and I was AMAZED at how it responded to being in water. It's a very fine white silica sand that is 0.6-0.2 mm so it's comparable to pool filter sand, possibly even finer. No dust at all, I dribbled in the first bit of water and after that more or less splashed bucketfuls into the tank and the sand did not move. No floating particles whatsoever. It's beautiful sand, I will definitely be using it in my next NPT. And it's available at pretty much any home improvement store at around $3 for a 50 pound bag. Win.

Last edited by babystarz; 09-24-2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:35 PM   #29 
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When creating the base, you had mentioned using sand or a small diameter gravel as a cap. In anyones experience, what tends to work better? I have a couple partial bags of regular store aquarium gravel that I could use as a cap, or I could go out and buy some sand. Does anyone prefer one over the other?

Also, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned or not, but is it easier to place plants in position before adding the water? Or should I fill the tank with water and then place the plants?

Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #30 
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When creating the base, you had mentioned using sand or a small diameter gravel as a cap. In anyones experience, what tends to work better? I have a couple partial bags of regular store aquarium gravel that I could use as a cap, or I could go out and buy some sand. Does anyone prefer one over the other?

Also, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned or not, but is it easier to place plants in position before adding the water? Or should I fill the tank with water and then place the plants?

Thanks!
I prefer sand, it just looks more natural to me :) It's really down to your own preference though. I will say that I think fine consistently graded sand is easier to clean than gravel.

I'm not good enough at filling the tank for the first time when I use anything dusty to avoid serious clouding so I do not add my plants until that's settled down. I'm cautious about adding plants. I'll put in 1 or 2 after the water is clear and ammonia is testing at 0ppm, and if they do well overnight I add the rest. I know some people can add just a few inches of water, then plants, then the rest of the water also.
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