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Old 03-27-2011, 05:42 PM   #11 
KayDowson
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will do... sounds great thanks so much... im so xcited! Ill make sure to hit u up with anymore questions im sure i will have... Stay awesome
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #12 
Oldfishlady
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Dang I hate having computer problems......I have a lot of information to give you on successfully setting up a natural planted tank......

First-understand that NPT need about 3 months to mature or for the soil to become water logged and start its life underwater....the soil will be alive in a sense and will take care of the tank.....even a closed system if it is not overstocked...a lot of things happen and a lot of folks don't understand the science and can get confused.....

You have to start out with lots of plants.....75-90% of the floor planted with stem plants...fast growing stem plants are really important for success in a dirt based tank....stem plant are usually sold in bunches...stems of 6-10....you also need floating plants 20% floating...frogbit, water lettuce, duckweed are all good for this

You have to have lots of right kind of plants to start or the tank can crash......adding trumpet snail are also helpful to help prevent anaerobic spots until the stem plants start to actively grow sending roots and oxygen down into the soil or you can poke the soil bed until you get proper growth of stem plants to keep the soil safe

Soil-at least 1in and half inch of either sand or fine gravel to cap the soil to help keep it in place....you don't want to use peat or no more than a hand full per 10gal of water

Add soil-wet-about 1/2 inch of water-cap with sand or gravel-plant-add hard scape-fill with water-drain and repeat until water is clear....make sure and use dechlorinated water on the finial fill of water-make sure the filter is setup before you plant so you know where the water will flow and place hard-scape under the water flow so it doesn't disturb the soil/sand layer

You may have to make daily to every-other day water changes as needed for the first week or so and then a couple of times a week...then a couple of times a month and then 2-3 times a year as the tank mature and plants grow....water changes are based on stocking and plant growth.....when properly setup weekly plant trimming are needed and top offs with dechlorinated water

Once mature 3+ months-remember that as the tank ages and you have natural decomp going on with live soil.....the pH will natural drop....so be careful making too big of water changes

Other than the soil and plants the driving force behind a successful NPT are the lights....proper lights are very, very important for plant growth and the the success of the tank....New bulbs of 6500-6700k are needed.....the plastic or glass panel that separate the bulbs between the water needs to be kept clean or removed for best light penetration to the plants...this is very important....photoperiod of 10-12 hours to start....this is a balance....you have to get good plant growth to out compete algae and to keep the chemistry safe for the fish/livestock.....

If setup correctly it is safe to add livestock the same day you set it up

Low tech-low light soil based tanks.....plants function as the filtration, fish/livestock/fish food as the ferts and CO2 as well as shredder, cleaners etc.....little ecosystem in a glass box.......when done correctly they can be self care.... nearly.......nothing special is needed to set one up...just dirt, sand or gravel, lots of stem and floating plants and the right kelvin lights on for the right amount of time......
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #13 
KayDowson
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thank u so much... i heard u were the xpert... I really do appreciate it... I hope to get mine all set up and healty... itll b great for the fish too i heard... also i do believe bubblenest is looking for u... he has a sick fish and would really like ur advice... again thanx
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