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Old 02-17-2013, 12:27 AM   #251 
Sagat
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Helpful as always, thanks! I discovered the hard way that my LFS's tank conditions were different enough from mine that all my wisteria (and almost all my crypts) dropped their leaves. I didn't know whether taking out the dead leaves were a problem or not, so I just left them in.

Is it normal for the MTS to be churning the woodchips up and leaving them on the surface of the cap, like in my screenshot, or did I do something wrong when I planted it? At first, I thought it was from me being sloppy when I planted, but the mulch bed keeps getting larger by the day.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:05 AM   #252 
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Not uncommon, however, I like to sift my dirt to remove any of the larger debris-but the MTS will bring some of the dirt up and I bring a lot of dirt up when I pull a plant-Once the dirt is water logged/starts its life underwater-it usually won't cause any problems. I sometimes will have to top off the cap with fresh sand to cover the exposed dirt and sand that I will sometimes remove when I collect snails to remove and/or to brighten the sand up a bit when it get dingy.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:00 PM   #253 
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If you use dirt from your backyard, do you have to bake it first tokill germs?? Please answer soon cause i need this information
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:21 AM   #254 
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I don't bake my dirt I dig up in my pasture....Never have and never will.....

As long as your dirt is free of harmful chemicals it should be safe to use-Germs wouldn't be an issue IMO/E or the tiny bugs/worms that are in it....They drown and become part of the soil with time. You can bake it if you want....but I don't...
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:21 PM   #255 
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I have a quick question about the need for shrimp/snails. I am seriously considering doing a NPT for my Betta, either in a ten or twenty gallon long tank. Since he does NOT do well with other living things in his tank with him (and the fact that I consider all living things in my house as pets), I would like to avoid adding anything else if possible. Can a NPT work without any shrimp or snails?
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:16 AM   #256 
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They can, however, the idea behind soil based planted tanks-is to create a little ecosystem and shrimp/snails are important parts of that. The trumpet snails help to aerate the soil to prevent anaerobic spot and the common snails consume some algae, dead/dieing plant matter...etc....The shrimp shred the organic so they break down faster so the plants/system can use it for nutrients. Everything has a role.....
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:57 PM   #257 
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Ok, that makes sense. I understand that having the shrimp/snails is helpful and important, I just don't want to be removing lots of snails and killing them, or constantly buying new shrimp if they die. It's not at all that I don't want to do the work, I just care about everything no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Would a Mystery/Apple Snail work? I have had those and they aren't a problem for me at all, and in fact I enjoy watching them. And as far as the shrimp go, how many would be needed for a ten or twenty gallon tank? Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I know what I'm getting into before I attempt this.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #258 
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the more shrimp the better. They are great as you dont need to feed them as the will find enough food in the tank. I would suggest 25-50 shrimp to start with and hopefully they should be able to maintain population levels alright if the Betta decides he enjoys a shrimp snack every now and then. Amano shrimps are a bigger shrimp and a great algae eater and typically are too big for most betta to eat. They also require salty water to reproduce so if you dont want a shrimp explosion then they are your best choice.

I personally have both red cherry and amano shrimp in my tank. I like the colour that the cherry shrimps add to the tank. Also make sure to have lots of moss in the tank for the shrimp
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #259 
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I understand....

I have never kept a mystery snail in a NPT and so I can't comment.

Another option-would be Assassin snail instead of trumpet snails-The Assassin snail has a burrowing habit too, to help with soil aeration-
As well as eating common snails to help keep them somewhat controlled...at least this is what I have found with research. My personal experience with the Assassin snail is limited to about 3 months more or less....lol....

Shrimp-if you started with Red cherry shrimp(RCS)-I would start with at least 2 females and a male or a couple of berried females-This should be a good start of a RCS colony, or as many as you wanted- Provided that you have enough cover to prevent the Betta from eating too many of the shrimpletts-It is expected for the Betta to eat some and IMO-that is a good thing...Circle of life...so-to-speak....
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #260 
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Thank you very much for the help! Hopefully I will be able to come up with a good plan to make the tank successful when I decide to start it. :)
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