I think this is the third thread I've started in the NPT part of this site... :/ sorry if I'm getting annoying here...I have so many questions! I just really love having these plants in my tank, and the more I get into it the more I really want to keep them thriving and growing. And I can definitely tell that my fish likes having them in there.
So.... I've made several adjustments to the conditions in my tank to favor the plants - 3500K -->6500K light, 12+ --> 10 hrs a day, adding some Seachem Flourish fertilizer. The plants are definitely still growing (still putting out new leaves/stems), but I'm just not satisfied with how they are looking. Not sure if you can tell by the pic, but the new growth is rather pale, and the older leaves are a touch yellowish and spotty. It doesn't seem that the fertilizer has made a great deal of difference.
I was considering getting root tabs and cO2 to put in there, but then again, I figured it wouldn't be an incredible stretch to start the tank over from scratch with soil and all that.
Anyway, I just want what is best for the health of my tank! So, I would very much appreciate some advice--- should I keep things as they are (1 betta, 1 snail, 1 1/2" gravel, 1 moss ball, 2 dwarf sag, 2 cryptocoryne, rotala, fertilizer), just add the cO2 and tabs, OR take the plunge and make a real NPT? I just need a little help from someone of experience with the weighing of pros and cons...
I vote you just go for it if you can, lol I love my planted tanks, and I'm working up to having all of them completely converted to npts by December lol. Honestly, after the initial set up and water changes, they become very low maintenance and all you have to do is trim plants. My fish have never been happier I'm proud to say, and my snails are quite happy as well. It sounds as if you have the right lighting for it.
Yeah, I'm really intrigued by it... and after reading Oldfishlady's sticky in this forum, I don't think it sounds very hard. But, I'm wondering if it is more difficult than it seems... and I'm concerned about my fish and snail too. Well, I really want to keep these plants looking good, and it sounds as though I could either go the cO2 and root tabs way, or go for the NPT which, if I'm understanding correctly, maintains the plants well without having to put other additives into the water.
I just don't know, I'm still on the fence! From a mere expense standpoint, I know it would definitely be cheaper to buy sand and soil than to buy tabs and cO2...
I'll just keep thinking about it, I guess...! I was hoping to get a variety of opinions, but I'll just try to keep doing research and deliberate...
I'm really tempted to try it though!
I've never had a NPT, but I'm researching it voraciously because I want to very soon. With that said, the more plants you have the better off you'll be. That applies to planted tanks and NPTs because it gives algae less of a chance, and the plants just thrive so much better.
Thanks for your input :)
I've been reading about planted tanks practically all day now and my eyes are all buggy haha... from what I can tell Eco-complete is a pretty good way to go, and I just placed an order for some.
The more I read, and the more I look at my plants, the more I'm (very) worried that they're just going to up and die on me any day now :/. If what I read is true, they should be growing a lot faster than they are... and rotala definitely AREN'T supposed to be spotty...!
Anyhow, I HOPE the substrate will solve my problem, but waiting for it to arrive, I feel as though I need to do something ASAP to help my plants out! *sigh* planted tanks are complicated indeed!
IT took me a good long time before I figured out my planted tanks
Yeah, for a newbie just learning, it is quite nervewracking and engrossing/addicting all at once! And there seems to be no end of detail to it...
Just to illustrate what I mean... these plants really don't look healthy to me... but who knows! A substrate change may just be a shot in the dark and they need something else entirely...
Last edited by Angelafish; 10-22-2013 at 06:46 PM.
Did you try rubbing the brown stuff off? it might be brown algae/diatoms, in which case you can rub it off the plants and they will look nice again. I had the same issue when I first got real plants and I was like, "AAh! My plant is turning brown and dying!" and then after a little while I was like, "Hmmm..." so I started rubbing the brown spots and was able to rub it off because it was algae!
Actually, it looks like some of your gravel may have some blue-green algae, too... and your top pic looks like you have some hair algae. Now that I look more closely at the middle pic, you definitely have some blue-green algae on the plants. That stuff is gross and comes off in sheets and then pieces of it float around in your water. eewwww.
Diatoms come off easily, but hair algae and blue green algae not so much. I've had experience with all 3. Actually I've had experience with pretty much any kind of algae you can think of besides the one that turns the water totally green.
Last edited by OrangeAugust; 10-23-2013 at 10:49 AM.