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Old 06-13-2012, 03:48 PM   #21 
Aus
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I love plants in general.. and aquatic plants are my new obsession, lol. I'm creating a couple of small bog-plant dishes and also experimenting with Walstad/NPT style tanks soon..

I've seen so much photographic/ anecdotal evidence of these tanks not only causing plants to flourish madly in a relatively short period of time but also sustaining a healthy balance in the tank for years, with many fewer water changes that a regular sand-substrate tank. I have all the things I need to get my empty 8-gallon going, but I'm not sure whether I'm moving house or not, so.. it has to wait!

Twilight, I LOVE your floating planter! Organic potting mix or clean topsoil with no added ferts or water saving stuff.. sand on top to keep it from floating up.. is the advice I've had for planted tanks, so I'd suppose the same goes for water features. I'm using organic mix, as I live in the city and don't trust my topsoil to be free of nasty stuffs. You might be interested in some of the clay bead things riparium people use in their floating cups.. they're very clean, okay with fish in the tanks, and the plants seem to do well in them.

I'm also trying a recipe invented by a poster on another forum for a soil base that creates a natural carbon release, using Blood & Bone and a little crushed marble under the main substrate. Reports from other members who've tried it are great - and gosh, incredible plant growth, plus the stuff apparently lasts for around ten years before breaking down - the only problem being when too much B&B is used and the tank gets stinky.

I haven't tried any bulbs yet but it was good to read about the bulb dropping off and it all being fine.. these hints and tips are so valuable!
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:49 PM   #22 
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It was so fun trying to bury the new crypt I have, it had one root runner that was 6+ inches. Yep.. when she pulled that one out of the tank I said I'll take it! Even if the leaves are the best, the roots are awesome.

In the middle of doing up my npt as we speak. I have to get some advice about my driftwood, then I can finish planting and filling.

2 nice sized swords, 1 val (seriously, I have no luck with them...) half a dozen java fern rhizomes (there was a mass die off of the leaves over the past month, due to bad storage conditions during the move). 2 or 3 anubis, 3 bunches of cabomba (I LOVE IT!).

Well that's all I really have for now. I'll probably pick up some ludwiga and money wort, might try water sprite/wisteria one last time... I Can kill that so fast.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:39 PM   #23 
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Aus thanks! I might look into building a couple if I can get sheets of floating foam cheaper then buying some of those nice ones. It looks like the planter is just a foam circle with holes in the bottom then rings stacked up and glued together. It's not anywhere near as fancy as that nice one I pictured from DrF&S. That was the only one that was similar to the used one I got. The planter was sitting outside in a pile of pots in her yard for probably 8 years so it needs more then a bit of cleaning love...

Someone should write an NPT guide here with step by step pictures and sticky it. OFL said they work in a container as small as a liter of water I think. Also the cheapest way to go about the amount of stem plants needed would be helpful, while maintaining the water quality needed for the mini ecosystem....

Silverfang- kfryman has water wisteria and it's really successful in their tanks. Maybe PM them and get some tips. The water wisteria is one of my all time favorite aquatic plants but I can't find it locally atm. (it seems to always be sold out at Petsmart and Petco when i'm there!..)

BTW I forgot about ripariums.... basically they ARE an indoor bog. I found this video and it makes me wonder why on EARTH i'm using pots for plants considering I have almost all of the plants she has in her 1 aquarium LOL!!! Those clay beads look beyond amazing.... BUT I can't bring myself to pay that much money for them considering the amount I would need.... I will need to find organic soil.... Do I need organic potting, or topsoil? Is there anything I should keep away from when choosing the dirt?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYg3b...=youtu.be&hd=1
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:45 PM   #24 
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still pondering an NPT for my 5 gallon divided. what kind of soil would i use in it? i know organic/clean topsoil, but what brands?

also i might just...not x3
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:13 AM   #25 
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Quote:
BTW I forgot about ripariums.... basically they ARE an indoor bog. I found this video and it makes me wonder why on EARTH i'm using pots for plants considering I have almost all of the plants she has in her 1 aquarium LOL!!! Those clay beads look beyond amazing.... BUT I can't bring myself to pay that much money for them considering the amount I would need.... I will need to find organic soil.... Do I need organic potting, or topsoil? Is there anything I should keep away from when choosing the dirt?
I can't youtube right now.. dammit. Slow net.. But if you google 'ripariums' you'll come up with a few enthusiast forums, I've been reading them for a couple of weeks now. They're loaded with brilliant info, and some people give how-to's for neat DIY alternatives to the more expensive doodads.

Organic potting mix - I hear Miracle Grow is a really good brand. Clean topsoil. Stay right away from anything that has added ferts or water retaining gels, or if you collect the soil yourself make sure it's from somewhere free of nasties (if you live in an urban area or near crops, you may need to 'go bush' as we say here when tooling about in woodlands..)

OldFishLady ought to be a national treasure. She's amazing with advice for NPT's, try reading her threads for tips and hints.

I bought a new, slightly longer-stemmed small cryptocoryne and my first bit of blixa today. :)
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:26 AM   #26 
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Becka - if the tank does not take the tubes, walmart also has normal light bulbs in the fish section that are floresent. They will fir in hoods that take incondescent light bulbs
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:59 PM   #27 
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thanks tiki ^-^
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:25 AM   #28 
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Thanks Aus :D

That was another thing I thought Id ask here since it isn't totally clear should I be looking for organic topsoil, or organic potting mix, or organic fruit tree mix..... *pulls out her hair*

I did find an organic fruit tree mix at a store, but it had aloe vera in it and a couple other natural additives. (chicken manure etc)

I generalize "dirt in a bag" that you have to buy, usually as potting soil, like I say cotton swabs are Q-tips, plastic cling wrap as suran wrap... you get the idea....

Is there a certain kind of dirt I should be specifically shopping for? I am not sure I will be able to find miracle grow organic anything by me now. As popular as the brand is.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:05 AM   #29 
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I'd just look for regular potting mix, no fancy additives, ferts or water savers.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:22 AM   #30 
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No manure either.. It's just too much ammonia and you'll have to wait a long time to add fish. Most organic mixes have manure, or perlite, which is annoying. OFL said she's used dirt with perlite and the things just float to the top if you don't pick them out. So look out for those.

My sunset Hygro is melting to nothingness. :(
Also my Aponogeoton's roots rotted, smelled bad, so I cut off the dead roots, and now the plant is dying. :(
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