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Old 11-13-2013, 03:25 PM   #1 
Chronic Apathy
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How Difficult is a NPT?

Sometime this weekend/early next week, I'll be picking up all the supplies I need to put together a 10 gallon tank for a betta (and later some other stuff). I read through the oldfishlady sticky, and it had a lot of good information, but I still have a few questions:

Would a NPT have a lid? I'm guessing not, since the light needs to get in, but what do you replace it with to avoid the betta or other fish from jumping out?

What all animals can be introduced as soon as the tank is set up, including water, plants, hardscale, etc.? Can I introduce a betta, shrimp, and snails immediately?

What non-fish should I be adding? I've seen a lot about shrimp and snails. What species should I be looking for?

Any other tips not mentioned in the first couple pages of the sticky?
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #2 
Stone
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it can have a hood with lights or a versatop which is a glass lid, I will always use a lid helps with evaperation
Yes you can do it all at once but you have to check/test your water daily, it takes a lot of fast growing stems to handle the first few days and you can use one fo the helper products for cycling tetra safestart ect
snails-mystery, trumpet,nitrite, shrimp you can't add right away they need very stable water conditions but after tank is cycled one of the neos aka cherry and so on
get more plants than you think you need lol some plants might not make it a lot are grown emersed and melt, sometimes they recover sometimes they don't
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:00 PM   #3 
Chronic Apathy
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Thanks! Should I have a filter at first, or can I save money and be okay without buying it?
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:10 PM   #4 
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As long as you setup the NPT correctly.....the right dirt and right species and number of plants-IME-you can add all your livestock the same day you set it up...That is how I have always done mine, however, I have set a bunch of these type of systems up-as well as having a bit of understanding on normal behaviors so that I can pick out/up on abnormal issue to intervene....

I haven't read that sticky in a while and maybe some of the info is missing since it was deleted and then replaced.......I thought I had explained everything...but maybe I missed some info or it might have got deleted some how....

Anyway....with soil based heavy planted tanks-you don't need to worry about the nitrogen cycle per se....It will silent cycle...IMO/E-you don't even need to test the water unless you want to. IMO/E-if you see any problems-make a partial water only change-if you wait on test results it might be too late and you generally will do the same thing regardless of test results anyway...Water change...

If you used enough of the right species of plants to start with-your soil if good and most important...You have the correct color temp bulbs or light in general on the correct PP to support photosynthesis...the system should do fine, however, if you fail to provide the system with the correct lights----- the system can crash...

You don't want to start a NPT up if you don't have all the right things to support the system-Correct lights and enough of the right species of plants being the top two things...Also, good floaters are needed-especially in the beginning of setup...these are the plants that can help keep the water safe for the livestock until the rooted plants take off and actively growing.....

As for a top or hood-I don't use them-all my tanks are open top-The floating plants help to keep the fish from jumping to a degree, I have never had any problems with my fish jumping out-not saying it can't happen-Mine don't...Also, without a top I get better light penetration to the plants and some of my plants I will allow to grow out the top so they will bloom.

I don't use filters in most of my tanks even when I first set them up-I do use filters in my big tanks but they are more for water movement than filtration per se-the plants are my filters....
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:57 PM   #5 
Chronic Apathy
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Thanks for the advice! This is the bulb I should use, right?

Also, how many plants should I use for a 10 gallon? I know exacts won't work, and I'm planning on using the plants from the sticky, but I don't want to spend too much more than I need to, while avoiding understocking as well.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:26 PM   #6 
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That looks like the bulb I use on my 1gal tanks-I missed the watts on that bulb--do you know what it is...my computer is acting up and it hard for me to follow links without it crashing....Anyway...on a 10gal you might need to use 2 of those bulbs to get coverage.

It is hard to give number-with a 10gal dirt based tank-I like to start out with at least 2 bunches of 3-4 different species of stem plants-. I don't count the rosette plants in the beginning-like your swords, cryps, apons..etc...or anubias, ferns and moss.
Floaters are really important for the soil based tanks-In the beginning I like to start with at least 25% of the top covered with floaters-this can be reduced as the stems take off.

You will know the tank/plants are doing well by how soon you have to trim the stems...usually within the first 7-10 days you will need to make your first trim.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:06 PM   #7 
Chronic Apathy
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Alright, I'll keep all that in mind. It's 150 watts at its highest setting.

This is my list. Am I missing anything that I need to get?

10 Gallon Tank
Versa Top Glass Aquarium Top (20")
Miracle Gro Potting Mix
6500K Light Bulb
Lamp
Gravel
Heater
Seachem Prime
Live Plants
Hardscape
Trumpet Snails
Betta
Betta Hammock
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #8 
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If you are looking for a few ways to save money on setting this up - a few recommendations.

Wal-Mart sells a 3 pack of the 6500K daylight bulbs for about 12.00 that one you linked was expensive!

Instead of gravel, if you have a Tractor Supply near you, you can get some Black Diamond blasting sand and wash it good. It's a 50 pound bag for 8.00 and looks really, really good. Much better than gravel in my opinion.

You won't need the betta hammock. We have 10 of them I use for quaratine situations but since all the plants have grown in so well, they use the plants instead of the hammock now.

If you have a Pet supplies Plus store near you, last week we got a hood for 7.00 that was on clearance. 2 light sockets and full hood. The smaller CFL's fit in it perfectly.

If you have problems finding all the plants you need at the local stores, hit me up. I have tons and tons and will be happy to make you a package to start you up of stems, floaters, MTS and a purple mystery snail for 30.00 shipped. (only if you are in the US)(probably ramshorns as well, i have tons of snails in all tanks)
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