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Old 11-12-2012, 10:10 AM   #31 
sandrac8388
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What if I used a gravel cap instead of the sand? Does that tank need a heater with those plants in them? Should i get better lighting? I'm trying really hard to keep them alive because they were really expensive. The water sprite is starting to brown :( I for sure want a low tech set up. I'm not really experienced for a high tech.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #32 
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stuff like fluval stratum have a higher cation exchange capacity, meaning that they will draw nutrients into the substrate. Sand and gravel are typically inert. dont panic yet..... plants may melt at first when getting used to your water quality, the water sprite is probably just losing its emmersed leaves.
I find that it does better floating than planted.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:07 PM   #33 
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Aokashi! you are going to slash my throat and kill me! I tore down the tank. Everything was just a mess and i hated looking at it! So here is what I did.

I added flourite (it was on sale, and my friend got it for me :D) with some root tabs for a few of the plants.
I added more stem plants (cabomba, baby tears, anarcharis)
I also floated the water sprite
I added some seachem flourish liquid fert.
I changed the light to a 5100K 10 Watt

There are still no fish or shrimp. I think I have two snails from the plants. They are teenie tiny!

I have heard many things about when to add fish. Some say let the tank run for about three days and along with testing you can add the fish. Some say no until the tank is fully cycled and you get the right reading then add fish. What do you guys suggest?

I wanted to know what the purpose of shrimp is? And Snails?

Also i feel as if my lighting is uneven. Should i worry about that?

And, i don't think everything is where its supposed to be. I think the wood is too big maybe? Idk. Lol I need to move things around.



There is no heater in it. Do i need one?

Last edited by sandrac8388; 11-14-2012 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:24 PM   #34 
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wooooowwwww
I like it! did you have fun? I have fun setting up tanks XD
I would wait a week or two and test the water parameters. is this still soil based or just flourite?
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:49 AM   #35 
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Very nice! No, driftwood is not too big...but, again its up to you! I would wait since you added so many ferts and the like...ferts, root tabs, usually don't need to be added right away, but shouldn't hurt anything except might get weird readings on tests...ammonia may have spiked but not for long since you have so many lush plants to suck it down!
Again up to you, but light does look less bright on the right...so far, you've done the right thing by putting anubias there...put plants that like or tolerate less light on that side (anubias, crypts, java fern) and then you don't have to get more light.

The shrimp and snails function as clean up crew for algae, dead or dying plants, and fish poop...they will help break it all down so plants can utilize nutrients better and faster, producing more O2 for fish. In a low-tech ecosystem like we are attempting to create with this setup, we need the plants and fish, of course, but we also need smaller organisms, like shrimp and snails, and then we need microorganisms....all these together gets us as close as possible to our goal of a mostly self-sustaining ecosystem!

You're doing great! It's ok that you tore down to make better...just so you know, flourite isn't needed in a dirt tank, but anything will work. Also, if you removed dirt, then this is technically no longer an NPT but it is a hybrid.
I also noticed that we didn't answer your gravel question: yes, you can use a fine gravel for your cap if you hate sand that bad! Read the sticky at head of NPT section as Old Fish Lady has explained this very well.
Did you use flourite as the cap? If so, you have to tell me how it works. I have used sand, gravel, and a combo of sand and gravel as a cap...they all have issues, especially when rushed.
Congrats on gorgeous lush tank!
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:11 AM   #36 
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No it is no longer soil :( so no longer an NPT! But I did have a lot of fun setting it up and researching this new hobby/passion of mine!

I'm going to let it run until sunday with water changes and water tests. I will also be buying a few snails to clean up maybe. Then I will add Lucy into her new home. How many shrimp should I get? And what type of snails? I'm super excited to get these little buggers into the tank! I'm so fascinated by them

Afterwards i will work on planting a 10 gallon! Is it possible to do a planted tank with a divider? I know I will have to get two small different pieces of wood instead of one big one! Do the plants vary with a 10 gallon? I will have more room for light but would still like low maintenance plants lol.

@ravenwinds..i did not add soil :( I thought about it, but was too chicken to experiment lol. So does making a tank an NPT or a planted tank mean for less water changes? How exactly does this work. I tried to look for diagrams online lol. I know the plants take in the ammonia.

Thank you all for helping me with my new passion! You have made alot of bettas happy and anxiously waiting for their new home!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:37 AM   #37 
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Personally I don't recommend dividers for planted tanks...for aeshtetic reasons. but if you do, try and make it look like two tanks. :). wait for those stem plants to explode then you can do your 10 gallon for cheap XD Despite poplar belief not making a tank NPT does not mean that you need to do more water changes. but it does mean that you will need to use ferts. don't go too crazy with the ferts though ;)
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:28 PM   #38 
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Yea, I don't think I would want a divider but thats how I have one 10 gallon with two bettas! :( I will try and see how it works and if not then just pull the divider out and buy another tank. Lol.

Aokashi can you recommend me a type of shrimp for my 5.5 gallon. And how many? I want to start looking at prices! Thank you!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:37 PM   #39 
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lol today the pics worked for me! how weird. Looks beautiful though! :)

I totally know how you feel though, ive changed my plants around so many times I just decided to put them in pots til I decide LOL

Last edited by Friendlyfishies; 11-15-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #40 
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i would start with ghost shrimp. they start at 33c at petsmart and 50c at petco. try to get the ones that are as clear as possible.

amanos are also great shrimpies. I think with 10 gallons that well planted you can definitely go community. maybe 6 neon tetras or something XD

but let the plants do some growing first.
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