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Old 10-17-2012, 02:05 PM   #1 
twolovers101
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Just asking questions :)

Lol, accidently put this in the wron forum last night (silly sleepy me)

Anyone have any experience with this sand/substrate stuff?
(working on trying a NPT... and this will be my first experience with sand so I don't really know what I'm doing )

Plants I have are:
Anacharis
Banana Plant
Cardimine?? (Looks suspiciously like penny or money wort... very similar leaves to the banana plant)
Wistera (only one of these )

Also toying with the idea of putting in a terracotta pot... but I've heard mixed things about these

The tank is a 3 gal cube.

More questions xD
Will I need the filter that I have? (Whisper filter 10i I think)

Could/should I add maybe a few ghost shrimpies or a snail?
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:34 PM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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Yes you will need a filter and an MTS will help the sand.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:37 PM   #3 
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The thing that worries me with the MTS is how fast they multiply :/
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #4 
ChoclateBetta
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Just get one but something that burrows in sand helps with gas exchange.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:44 PM   #5 
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So... add to above list one MTS... except no where near me has them... anyone willing to sell me one??? xD or know of reputable places to get said snail online? I can check petco (there's not one in the town I currently live in but I'm going to visit my parents this weekend and there's a nice one near them) I'm pretty sure my LFS doesn't have MTS... all they have are mystery snails... petsmart doesn't have any either here... maybe in the other town? Dx
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:50 PM   #6 
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Usually, not always...but most of the pet shop will give you all the MTS you want since they are pest snails. I personally like them and they all have jobs in my soil based planted tanks.

Since you are in Texas, you have several aquarium clubs and you could also check that out for both snails and plants.

As for the sand, I have used that to cap my soil for my natural planted tanks and it has worked well for me. The dark colored sand can really help the Betta color pop.

I use half as much sand to cap my soil in my NPT's.
Your plant choices look good for a soil based NPT.

I don't use filters in my smaller soil based tanks-I let the plants function as the filtration/biofilter. Sometimes I might use a filter for the first couple of months until the soil matures-then I remove it-since its not really needed-provided that you have enough of the right species of plants in active growth. Floating plants-like water lettuce are also helpful especially in your soil based systems and recommended.

Some of the Long fin males can have fin issues with water movement-especially in the smaller tanks. IMO/E-filters are optional with this species and with live active growing plants that will function as the filter to help with water quality.

Proper color temp lights are the most important with planted tanks-regardless if it is a NPT soil based or regular inert substrate like sand or gravel.

What kind of soil are you going to use under your sand, what kind of lights, age of bulbs, kelvin, watts and planned photoperiod.

If you only plan to use that sand and not use any soil-you don't really need trumpet snails, however, I wouldn't use more than 2 inch of the sand or place a wide item on top of it-bury the base to help prevent anaerobic issues. Once the stem plants start to grow-their roots will help pull oxygen into the sand to prevent anaerobic problems. Adding shrimp will be fine, however, unless they have lots of places to hide they might end up as a snack-Some Betta tolerate them better than others. Adding snails are fine too IMO/E and this will complete you little ecosystem.


Look forward to pics....
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:39 PM   #7 
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Wow! Thanks a lot OFL :D
I actually just managed to find an MTS and will be adding it to the tank soon I hope.
What would you recommend for floating plants? My LFS don't carry water lettuce, currently I have some of my young anacharis sprouts floating in QT

I was debating on just using the sand or grabbing a small bag of Flourite to use with it. I currently have a 6500k bulb (not sure on wattage, I can check later when I'm back at my apartment) and lamp that I use, not sure on how old it is :/ The plants have been growing just fine with it thus far however.

I will post pics and updates as soon as I can :D
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:29 PM   #8 
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Or... now that I think about it, should I use regular potting soil for the soil or...? (not really sure what I should do/use)
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:53 PM   #9 
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If you have no soil from outside free of pesticides, or if you do but it lacks nutrients, use organic potting soil. Also make sure it has no manure in it.

Wisteria gets super bushy, so it may not be suitable for this tank unless you want a thick jungle.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:05 AM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfryman View Post
If you have no soil from outside free of pesticides, or if you do but it lacks nutrients, use organic potting soil. Also make sure it has no manure in it.

Wisteria gets super bushy, so it may not be suitable for this tank unless you want a thick jungle.
Yeah... all the soil near me is soaked in pesticides DX my college sprays everything so heavily it kills at least half the monarchs that come through during migrating season... :(

I'll look for organic potting soil though... any good or recommended brands that I could pick up at a walmart, lowes, or homedepot?

Also, I only have one stem of the wisteria, so I'm not TOO worried about it, if it gets out of hand I may remove it
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