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Old 12-22-2012, 12:58 PM   #1 
PaulO
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Talking My 29 gallon build and first NPT :)

First off I would like to apologize for the quality of the pictures ( I know not a good way to start off a new post) unfortunately my potato (cellphone camera) isn't of the best quality but it makes do, anyway here we go. I have had this project brewing for a 2 months when I first bought the aquarium cabinet in around late October, it was a long and fearsome battle with my mom but at last I managed to get "just one more tank ." It took a huge chunk of my pocket money out (reduced to nothing) but at last i had a tank kit, reliable heater (ehiem brand which I heard is good), stand, and some substrate. So a few weeks ago we moved the stand in and leave it there. I go back to it about 1 week ago and what do I find? The floor is uneven!!!! ARGGGHHHH well thank goodness we have a local Home Depot around, I was able to do this. Hooray for Shims!


Hmm, nope not good enough...



Ok there we go, now sand...

BAM






Now These photos show about an inch of sand but theres at least 2-3 inches which I added eventually. Now for just a "little" wood.









Up till this point I was at the 3 hour mark, here's the tank with the lights on.



...and with the room dark and tank lights on.











Heres the soon to be "Cory cave" hopefully...





And some tunnels under the driftwood...





I asked what my mom thought of my project this is what she called it...."depressing"...I originally wanted to make an arch from the driftwood but forgot even with a 29 gallon not a lot of room ,I will admit maybe it is a little depressing but once the water clears up and plants go in I am hoping that changes, anyway hope you enjoyed will update once I get plants in until now not a lot of the Planted in the "nPt" going on but I will just call in my "Natural Tank ". I really want to put some Anubis in that back left corner, I ADORE that plant and also any good low-medium light and maintenance plant suggestions would be cool (I'm clueless). I will probably be ordering some peat moss balls to soften up the tank water as my tap reads 7.6-7.8 after 48 hours bleh . Anyways hope you enjoyed my "Mount Doom" , toodles.

-Paul
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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Semi-aquatic plants in filter.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:09 PM   #3 
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Nice job...I don't think its depressing at all.....I really like what you did with the hardscape...It will really look nice once you get the plants.

What kind of dirt did you use for the natural planted tank, how deep is the sand cap. What kind of lights are you using, age of bulbs, kelvin and watts.

Your pH is fine-especially for most plants...do you know if you have hard or soft water or what is the KH/GH. Most of the low tech/low/mod light plants tend to do better with hard water due to the mineral content. Plus, once the tank start to mature and you get some decomp going on-it will naturally start to produce CO2 and this can drive the pH down a bit-its a gradual process...

Plants-Nice rosettes-crypts are nice and come in different colors for more contrast and vallisneria for height in the back-maybe some chain swords in the front and around the base of the hardscape and sags would work too.

For stem plants which are really important for the NPT soil based tanks-Naja grass, cabombas, rotala, ludwigia and the hygrophila's like-H. difformis (wisteria) H. corymbosa, H. siamensis all work great in NPT/low tech tanks.

Then the all important floating plants-I like water lettuce the best, but I also have frogbit and duckweed.
I also, have had pretty good luck with the lily bulbs in my soil based system.
Then the moss, ferns, anubias that need to be anchored to hardscape items.

Plants are pretty easy to grow-provided that you have the correct color temp lights IME...

Look forward to watching your tank develop into a beautiful planted tank...
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:49 PM   #4 
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It's a great base! I'm sure she only thinks that it is depressing because of the darker colors. Once you put plants in there the contrast will take it from a "depressing" look into something else entirely.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:22 PM   #5 
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I love Pothos in Filters there awesome looking.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:12 PM   #6 
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I know I probably should have done some soil but I panicked at the last minute and decided to just do all sand, is it possible to do a planted tank off root tabs, fish poo, and fertilizer? or is dirt an absolute need? I will probably get a gh/kh kit as of now I am clueless as to what my waters hardness is... If my lfs doesn't have it I will probably get it off Drs. F&S as well as a filter. This is what I am starting off with...
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

I will definitely be getting new lights and I will probably try to scrap the led's that came with the kit and make a homemade ballast. I was thinking of getting a canister filter with low/adjustable flow so this tank will probably be a medium tech tank, anyway here's what I was thinking of, I am stuck between the three.

The 2211 model http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

The C-160 model http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

The F-106 model http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

The lights I want to use if possible http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...8&pcatid=23738

a lot of the links are to petsmart but the anything I buy will be from the site for the lights...(I am addicted to receiving their catalogs )

So can I use a canister filter with low flow and can Cories live in 7.6 water? I was thinking of at least getting it down to 7.0 but I doubt I will be adding any fish for at least a good 2 months until at least half the aqua-scape is done.

So summary: That was the kit I got will be getting lights for it, I was hoping to do something with Marineland double bright led's, Can I use a canister filter?can Corydoras live in 7.6 water? And of the three which filter would be the most reliable/ most space for bb, but it is also important it be quiet.

I am using the filter that it came with as a "work horse" just to filter out any debris and help reduce tannins if they come out (even after a good week soak), I will probably go out and see if I can get my hands on a gh/kh test kit and if not, internet shopping here I come...

Last edited by PaulO; 12-22-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:14 AM   #7 
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You are fine with just sand-but you will need to use ferts-You do have to be careful with too deep a sand beds-due to anaerobic issues, it can compact and limit oxygen and nutrients to the sand and plant roots.

Filters-IMO....all filters are pretty much the same-

Lights-I have never used LED with live plants and so I can't say how well they work.

As far as the corydoras and your pH-if you don't plan to breed-your pH is fine to keep them IMO/E-they will adapt and most likely being kept in that pH at the fish store.

If you add some fresh carbon every week or so to the filter you have it will help to rid the tannins produced by the driftwood..
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:52 PM   #8 
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So quick question how deep can or rather should the sand bed be? Its under 3 inches right now (2.5 at its "peaks") I would rather get it right spot on now while all I have in the tank is wood. The sand is caribsea's tahitian moon which is one of the bigger grain sands (up there with pool filter sand). I knew I would be supplementing fertilizers so another question is the seachem line of fertilizers good? I ask because they are readily available at my local chain and mom and pop stores.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:37 PM   #9 
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Let me make a quick correction about sand bed depth, at its deepest its a little over 2 inches (around 2.2 inches at edges of rank) and averages about 1.6-1.8 inches across the tank.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:59 PM   #10 
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I have another question for anyone who might be able to help, a lot of people talk about the "silent cycle" in aquariums where the plants suck up the ammonia any wastes produced by fish. Anyway the question I have is couldn't the plants starve the bb? Do they coexist or how does this work? If the plants are constantly sucking up the waste then wouldn't this leave little to no food for bacteria? Sorry for the amateur nature of this question it's just something I haven't been able to comprehend. Thanks!
-Paul
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