One thing I just changed... I couldn't figure out how the substrate got to be so deep, then I remembered looking at the sand and thinking, hmmm... thought I had it just right, so I added a bit more till I had 3/4". Now I realized the water was seeping up so it didn't look like 3/4" anymore so I added MORE!!! It's hard to tell with dirt and black sand so I took a flashlight and I had wayyyyyyyyyy to much sand! Gawd... sometimes I scare myself! Think I should start a journal and name it NPT for Dummies! LOL! Tomorrow I'll drain, refill, drain, then plant!
I just started up my NPT yesterday (ill post pics soon), but I have tiny bubbles in the tank? Not sure why i have these bubbles, and they float to the top every now and then.
Also, do the florescent lights heat up the water of your tank? Like, do you have to adjust your heater for it or idk
Ugh, one last question. I'm waiting till next week to put the live stock in. Should I somehow fertilize the plants since there are no livestock? I'd rather not buy ferts just for a few days, so would adding in algae wafers or fish food work until I get my livestock? Or is it not needed
Last edited by MonteCarlo; 12-14-2012 at 03:38 PM.
The nutrients in the soil should be enough to feed the plants.
By tiny bubbles-do you mean tiny bubbles on the surface areas or do you mean bubbles coming up from the substrate-Both can be normal for new setups and its not uncommon for the soil to burp on occasion years down the road-as long as it doesn't smell like rotten eggs...its fine...
Florescent light can heat the water some-but usually not that much-My tanks are all open top...well, except for a couple and the lights don't seem to alter the temp by much. IME the room temp has more of an impact on water temps.
Look forward to seeing/reading the new thread you start on your natural planted tank with pics, more info and progress....
The tiny bubbles i think are just on the surface. Theyre on my walls and decor/plants. I did a ~40% water change, and the bubbles barely formed back on the "cleaned" top parts of the tank, but they still formed at least a little visibly
And I have a closed hood with the bulbs inside, i hover my hand over it and it does feel pretty warm. I feel as if it does heat the water a degree (or two even), either that or i have to keep playing with my heater since it doesn't work that well at least yet, and ive been doing this all day. (50 watts for my 10gal)
Ok, I finally decided to go all in and get a 20L tank to set up as an NPT. One question though...
I'm going to be away from the 21st to the 27th. Would it be better to set it up now and let it sit for 7days with just plants and (hopefully) snails in it, or do I need to be around the first few days to poke the substrate for gas pockets?
That depends...do you have a timer for the lights so you can stay on at least a 10h/day photoperiod. If so, set it up, plant it-add the snails and if these are the trumpet snail that burrow-no worries about needing to poke the soil-Plus since you won't have any shrimp or fish in the tank-the plants should be fine until you get back- if you did have an anaerobic soil issue.
It is important to have good plant growth from the start-the plants are what can help keep the water and soil safe.
I do have a timer, but it turns out that my LFS no longer carries MTS. So, it'd be at least a week before I can get any (or a suitable alternative) to put in my tank -- a week I wouldn't be around. I'm worried that without anything, I'd come back to a gas explosion
I have never set one up without MTS....so I really can't say what would happen or even if you would have a problem with anaerobic soil. I think as long as you start off with a lot of fast growing stem plants-their roots will take care of any oxygen need of the soil within a few days-provided that they take off growing right away. Anaerobic soil can kill some plants....what you would come home to if you did have an anaerobic issue....is a house that smelled like rotten eggs, black soil and dead plants....