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Old 05-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #1 
shadowpony
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Setting up an NPT, HELP!!

So i have a 2.7 gallon tank ready, and I want to turn it into an NPT. Heres a list of the plants/substrate I want:

Substrate:
Super Naturals Premium Aquarium Substrate fo a sand cap
Harvest Organic Soil for plant soi;
Plants:
Java Fern for floating
Anubius
Sword
Corkscrew Val
Red Ludwiga (is this truly aquatic?)
Green and white Acourus

Is this enough plants?
My tank is actually a clear nail bucket, so no hood, how can I light it?
Whats a good, cheap bulb?
Is this setup good?
What about water changes?
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Soil-make sure it doesn't have any added ferts...sift it or pick through it to remove any large pieces of organics.....

I think this is a sweetflag "Acourus" and its leaves need to be out of the water to do well-great bog plant....

The sword may get too big...change this one to a crypt...a bronze crypt will give you some color contrast....

Floating plants-look for water lettuce or frogbit or duckweed...tie the fern to some driftwood....it will do and look better....

The corkscrew val may get too tall-but its a great rosette plant

You need more stem plants....naja grass, water wisteria and rotala are nice low light plants.

Lights-you want a "Daylight" 6500k bulb no more than 10 watts.....

Since its a bucket-you could also supplement the light with natural light-diffused light from a sunny window-just monitor the temp and watch for algae problems and manual remove excessive amount-but if you have enough stem plants they should help keep it controlled....

Water changes a 2-3 times a week for the first couple of weeks-then decrease as you see stem plant growing-when you do your first plant trim-re-plant them and decrease water changes to a couple of times a month-by your 5th plant trim-decrease water changes to monthly-then every couple of months thereafter......

Look forward to pics.....
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:04 AM   #3 
Sly13Cat
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Smile Your NPT...

I set up a NPT no too long ago and I just wanted to say that it's amazing for the plants. I've never seen my plants grow so fast. Red Ludwigia is truly aquatic (It's the fastest growing plant in my NPT). You seem to have a good number of plants. To light it, just hang a light (such as a lamp with a bendable arm) over the tank and keep it on during the day and off at night. If you do that, have a heater so there's no temperature fluctuation as to not stress the fish. I suggest a cool white bulb with a Kelven from 4000-6000K. Water changes are as Oldfishlady said.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:33 AM   #4 
shadowpony
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Ok so replace the Acorus with crypts, the bucket is tall, 9in. I'm willing to prune. I'll look into the plants, but I'm trying not to order off the internet. Ill do what you said. Also, do I need a snail?

EDIT: oops, I ment the sword. I'll just take out the sweetflag, replace it with water wisteria. Maybe some hairgrass to add, too?

Last edited by shadowpony; 05-08-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:48 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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If the tank is 9in tall the vals should be fine and look really nice...and hairgrass would be nice too....

I like snails and IMO/E the common type are needed to complete the little ecosystem-especially in the soil based NPT's-plus trumpet snail can help prevent anaerobic spots when they burrow in the soil to help pull oxygen until the stem plants start growing well for their roots to bring oxygen into the soil.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:07 PM   #6 
shadowpony
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So I can use a hitchiker or two, if i get one on the plants? I know the reproduce like crazy, so id have to control the population. Ill try to take pics of the bucket, im not buying plants for a few weeks.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:16 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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The common snails most often that hitch hike in on plants are fine and since these are closed systems you will have to manually remove them as they over populate...just part of keeping aquariums....lol....

With soil based tanks and all the plants you need to properly set one up-the bioload of the snails will help the system anyway....its a recycling system of sorts....lol....
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:32 PM   #8 
shadowpony
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Thanks alot! I'm exited and nervous at the same time. Lol!
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:32 PM   #9 
shadowpony
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Ok so I picked up some soil for my herbs (fun!) its organic BUT, it had peat moss in it. Is that OK? Can I pick it out? Also, I was thinking the new fish could live on my sunporch for the summer, its so hot he wouldnt need a heater and theres enough natural sunlight. It stays warm at night too. Should I risk it?
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:56 AM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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Small amount of peat won't hurt, it might stain the water some-but with the sand cap it should help prevent too much leaching.

I keep my Betta outside all summer-just be careful with too much direct sun and overheating a small container.
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