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Old 04-15-2013, 11:45 AM   #1 
Rilly10
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Opinions on plant selection for first NPT?

Sorry if this is kinda repetitive from my last post, but as some of you know I am redoing a Evolve 4 and want to make it into a NPT. I am going to be using the organic soil and sand cap. I would like to try the stock light, and if needed I will upgrade the light.

Here are the plants I am thinking of using. I would love to hear opinions and if you think the plants give enough of a balance btw stems/floating/etc. Also is this way too much? I plan on taking all the other decorations out and only having plants.

1- Anubias
1- Echinodrous "Green Ozelot"
1- Camboda Green
1- Banana Plant
1- Java Fern
6- Little clumps of Salvinia

Also, what would you suggest for stocking? Just one Betta?
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:49 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Sounds like a good set up to me! I would even suggest some floating water sprite, grow very fast, easy to maintain and my bettas love to sleep in their pieces. And yes, I think one Betta would be lovely for this set up, perhaps some cherry shrimp as well if the Betta will accommodation them. I would also suggest maybe a small piece of driftwood or mopani wood in there as well!
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:31 PM   #3 
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Monapi wood was the one thing I forgot at Petsmart earlier! LOL! I realized as soon as I got home and my son had had it with errands already! I have Monapi wood in my Spec V and love it! Maybe later I will head back out. I will look into the water sprite too :) Thank you!
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:33 PM   #4 
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No problem! :D
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:32 PM   #5 
Laurenie
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Originally Posted by Rilly10 View Post
Sorry if this is kinda repetitive from my last post, but as some of you know I am redoing a Evolve 4 and want to make it into a NPT. I am going to be using the organic soil and sand cap. I would like to try the stock light, and if needed I will upgrade the light.

Here are the plants I am thinking of using. I would love to hear opinions and if you think the plants give enough of a balance btw stems/floating/etc. Also is this way too much? I plan on taking all the other decorations out and only having plants.

1- Anubias
1- Echinodrous "Green Ozelot"
1- Camboda Green
1- Banana Plant
1- Java Fern
6- Little clumps of Salvinia

Also, what would you suggest for stocking? Just one Betta?
I'm about to start setting up my own Evolve 4 that I got a couple of weeks ago when I saw the great clearance price at Petco lol. I'm still trying to decide which plants are going to go in it, although they'll definitely be ones that fall in the "low tech" category since I'd also like to use the stock light if possible. From various reviews and threads by other owners of the Evolve 4 I've found on the planted tank forum, it really is fine for low light plants, so thats reassuring at least lol. I know that I definitely want black substrate--I'd really like to try Eco-Complete (which also just happens to be black lol), but since funds are pretty limited right now, I'll probably end up using organic potting soil hidden underneath a layer of black aquarium sand. I also *really* want some sort of carpet plant for the foreground (obvs), since thats something I haven't tried yet in my planted tanks, but the lighting thing is definitely going to limit my options.

But about YOUR tank lol--those plant choices all look good imo. As far as the "1" in front of the first 5 choices, are you referring to like, one rooted/potted plant (with the ozelot, anubias, and I guess cabomba--I've really only seen it sold in stem bunches, but that definitely doesn't mean they're not available potted lol). Java ferns are often available at petco/petsmart pre-attached/growing on pieces of driftwood, and then in those pre-packaged tubes containing plants (thats actually where my "windelov" variety java fern came from), and then at the LPS where I get the majority of my plants they have a tank full of java moss and java fern all mixed together thats just sold by the handful. The driftwood is definitely a good idea since you're getting java fern--they have rhizomes and since that actually has to be left above substrate level, you're going to want to have them attached to something. A piece of driftwood with at least a few pieces of java fern tied to it would look awesome. And thats definitely not too many plants, especially if you were planning to do only "one" of each.

I'm guessing in the 3rd one you mean cabomba, right? I did want to mention, just in case you weren't aware, that both require at least medium light, the cabomba will definitely need more than what the stock lighting provides, and I'm pretty sure the ocelot will as well, although I'm not very familiar with that particular type of sword. I do have an amazon sword though (its super small because all the leaves died when it was transitioning to a new tank--usually happens with all the sword species actually, although you start seeing new growth almost immediately, but mine is growing back super slow, but thats my fault since they're heavy root feeders and its in a tank with just plain sand substrate--I really need to get some root tabs for it). It might be worth considering going with an amazon sword instead since they're pretty much the only Echinodorus species that does ok under low light conditions. I'd def go with just one each of the ozelot and banana plant. And like I mentioned above, if you're getting a piece of driftwood already, it would really make sense to attach the java fern to it, but it really looks best when theres at least a few "bunches" attached in different spots on the driftwood, plus its very unlikely that you'd purchase it in any form where it was only "one" plant. The anubias you could do definitely do two, but depending on the species you choose and its size, just one would look fine also. Personally, I might rethink the cabomba--along with its pretty high light requirements, it also utilizes very high amounts of ferts, I think it really tends to thrive best in high-tech tank setups with C02 and all that. Bacopa carolina is one I'd highly recommend if you're wanting a stemmed plant to go towards the back--it does fine in low light and is quite hardy as well as attractive. I have some in all my tanks actually lol. Spiral val (Vallisneria spiralis) is another great background plant, grows very well in low-moderate light--even in low light tanks growth is noticeably fairly quick. The awesome thing though is that you can just cut them to any length desired without damaging them at all, so while they *can* get super tall, they can also make great background plants even in small tanks-you just trim them every so often. I only have a pretty small bunch of this growing in the back of my 5g hex right now but definitely plan on getting more for that tank and very likely future ones as well. I can think of quite a few really lol, so if you're interested I'd be more than happy to share more suggestions. Oh, and salvinia is probably my favorite floating plant <3.

I agreewith lilnaugrim's suggestion of cherry shrimp as well
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:47 PM   #6 
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I would suggest more stems for a NPT ^_^
cant wait to see pics!
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:54 PM   #7 
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Wow thanks so much! That really helps a lot! So other than Bacopa carolina what other stems would do well in low light? That is the part I am really struggling with! And by "1" I mean one clump of each ;) I have a piece of Monapi wood boiling now to attach the Anubias and Java Fern to!

So tonight I got the soil and sand in, plus the water....what a mess! LOL! I hope the cloudiness settles down soon. I plan on doing a ton of water changes to "clean it up" and also to try to battle the ammonia spike I hear comes after soil. Since my tap water tests at a 0.5ppm if the ammonia does spike I am wondering if I should do some water changes with bottled water, or if Prime will be enough to keep it semi under control?
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:57 PM   #8 
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Wow thanks so much! That really helps a lot! So other than Bacopa carolina what other stems would do well in low light? That is the part I am really struggling with! And by "1" I mean one clump of each ;) I have a piece of Monapi wood boiling now to attach the Anubias and Java Fern to!

So tonight I got the soil and sand in, plus the water....what a mess! LOL! I hope the cloudiness settles down soon. I plan on doing a ton of water changes to "clean it up" and also to try to battle the ammonia spike I hear comes after soil. Since my tap water tests at a 0.5ppm if the ammonia does spike I am wondering if I should do some water changes with bottled water, or if Prime will be enough to keep it semi under control?
Heres a link to a really good and comprehensive list of low-light plants: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=56042 (the list is added to and seperated into sections as the thread progresses) and I HIGHLY recommend checking out at least that "low tech" section of the forum as well as the "nano tank" section. Its really an awesome resource for info as well as getting ideas/inspiration, I particularly love the pic thread in the low tech section since there are so many amazing tanks that show you really don't need all the high tech, expensive, and often complicated equipment in order to have a truly gorgeous planted tank. As far as the plants on that list, I obviously only have experience with some of them, but I'll point out some of the stemmed ones I think its worth really looking into: Moneywort--Bacapa monnieri (the stems can be planted in the sub or floated), Red Ludwigia--Ludwigia repens, Water Wisteria--Hygrophila difformis, Watersprite--Ceratopteris thalictroides (can also be floated), Anacharis--Egeria densa, (can be floated) Green Hygro--Hygrophila polysperma (got a large bunch of this fairly recently and *love* it, super easy and fast grower--which means it helps with water quality even more too, and thought I'd mention that they do include Cabomba carolina on the list, but if you browse the entire thread you'll see that theres quite a bit of controversy regarding whether some of the plants on the list (specifically the ones added towards the end), really will do well under average low-light conditions, but the ones I just listed I do have personal experience with so feel pretty confident they'd work out well for you also.

Hmmm, I don't use Prime so I'm really not sure--does the label say anything about eliminating ammonia? The water conditioner I use, and have for quite a long time now, is the Kordon Amquel Plus Ammonia Detoxifier. It removes chlorines, chloramines, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites as well as DOCs in the water.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:25 PM   #9 
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Thanks! I am going to order a few more stem plants from your suggestions! I am still trying to make my final decisions and order, but how many plants total do you think I can fit in here with a piece of Monapi wood before it gets too crowded? I am just scared I will over shop and then not be able to fit it all! LOL! I am still working on adding a few more plants to my Fluval Spec V so if some don't fit, they can go there, but not too many!

So I also decided I am not happy with the look of the sand :( I really want to switch it out for an all black substrate look like I have in my Spec V. What could I use as a cap? Black Sand? I have Fluval Shrimp Stratum in my Spec V, so I will need to add ferts to that one, I do have an extra bag of it too....if I go with that and just use a fertilizer when needed could I go that route and still have the same effect?
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:14 PM   #10 
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Originally Posted by Rilly10 View Post
Thanks! I am going to order a few more stem plants from your suggestions! I am still trying to make my final decisions and order, but how many plants total do you think I can fit in here with a piece of Monapi wood before it gets too crowded? I am just scared I will over shop and then not be able to fit it all! LOL! I am still working on adding a few more plants to my Fluval Spec V so if some don't fit, they can go there, but not too many!

So I also decided I am not happy with the look of the sand :( I really want to switch it out for an all black substrate look like I have in my Spec V. What could I use as a cap? Black Sand? I have Fluval Shrimp Stratum in my Spec V, so I will need to add ferts to that one, I do have an extra bag of it too....if I go with that and just use a fertilizer when needed could I go that route and still have the same effect?
Depends on how big the piece of Mopani wood is and how its placed in the tank :p. Honestly, its pretty difficult to truly over-plant a tank, at least as long as you're using plants of various height, don't have large-leaved plants that block light from ones below them that need it, being consistent with using a good liquid fertilizer in sufficient amounts, and trimming/removing plantlets if and when needed. Out of your original list, only the ozelot sword, cabomba, and banana plant will actually be on/planted in the substrate--thats not much at all, even considering the limited floor space in the Evolve 4. The stem plants are basically going to be your background, and how many will also kinda depend on which ones you choose. Which stems do you have in mind right now and what number were you thinking? The sword is a good mid-ground plant, but unless you want to try some sort of carpet or short grass , personally I'd place it more towards the front. Although I have some other vague ideas, I think thats good to start with. While it can sometimes be a pain, adding more plants later or even switching one for something different isn't a huge deal.

I *love* black substrate too lol. Eco-complete would be perfect, but since you already have the organic potting soil, it would be a bit redundant, not to mention the price. Black sand as a cap would work just fine though, I'm actually considering setting up mine with the organic miracle gro capped with black aquarium sand. I still suggest adding root tabs for the sword, even with the soil. As far as the Fluval Shrimp Stratum, what is it exactly, like composition-wise. If it really doesnt already contain any ferts, then using that along with some root tabs buried in it would definitely work.
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