This is my first NPT. I rescued this cute little plakat two weeks ago and decided that he needed his own 5.5 gallon tank once he was feeling better (which he is), and thought I would try my hand at a NPT. I bought the Marina 5 kit off Amazon (just got it in the mail today, in one piece!) and replaced the bulb with a 6500K CFL from Walmart - I found it in the aquatics section and it says it uses 10 watts, so I hope that's enough for my plants. The Marina S10 filter that came with the kit is really nice but seems to have a lot of current so I am going to make a baffle when I get my hands on a plastic bottle (hopefully by tomorrow). I used Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix capped with Petco black sand. Plants: cabomba caroliniana, hornwort (floating), anacharis narrow leaf, giant hygro, water wisteria, some little crypt I found (not sure what species), amazon sword (bleheri), anubais on driftwood, bacopa caroliniana. I'm hoping to get some other floaters soon. Also thinking about adding a rock or something to the left side of the tank to even out the driftwood on the right..hmmm. Oh, I got some free MTS at Petsmart and bought 4 ghosties to put in there too. August is (impatiently) waiting to be released into his tank!
Excuse all the bubbles, I literally just set this thing up like a half hour ago!
Thanks! I am loving the black sand too! I'm definitely partial to black substrate after using eco-complete in my 29 gallon. It really makes the colors of the plants and fish pop. My ghosties are really easy to see on it too. :)
It looks great :) and very pretty boy you've got there <3
I think I have the sam CFL bulb and it's been working out fantastic for me, my banana plant has around 7 leaves now I think? (it dominates the tank)
Oh awesome! I'm so glad to hear that, I was a bit nervous about it, lol. I have some other CFL bulbs that are more light bulb (round) shaped that are also 6500K but don't know if those would fit in my hood so hearing that the one I bought will work is excellent. I will say that my plants have definitely perked up today - most of them had been floating in other tanks before I set this one up so they were twisted weird to get to the light. Now I'm waiting for my crypt to melt....lol I trimmed the roots before planting and am kind of regretting that now. The crypts I have in my other tank are totally melted, it's kind of disappointing when that happens.
By the way, your banana plant is ridiculous (in a good way)! I have one in my 29 gallon which is doing well - has sprouted two leaves since I got it - but the leaves are so small compared to yours! It must be because it has so much further to travel to get to the surface/light.
Hey have you been testing the tank water? Some NPTs, like when I set mine up, have period where the plants aren't actively growing so there is excess everything in the water, including ammonia. Mine went up to 4 ppm, which is lethal, so test 1 a day at the same time for ammonia, you can do nitrates, but ammonia is a much bigger killer. If it starts to increase get him out of the water until it returns to normal. One way to help this is if you add a bit of your filter media from your bigger tank. That will have some bacteria and they will convert ammonia to nitrate if there is a need.
These tanks always look okay at the start, but after, they turn it great tanks. The one in my picture is an NPT as well.
I do have some extra filter media from my other tanks, so I will definitely add some. I haven't tested the water yet since I just set it up yesterday, but I will tonight for sure, thanks for the heads up!
I'm actually pretty impressed with how it looks right now. I know OFL's tanks always look amazing right away, but for my first time I was expecting a muddy mess, lol. Your tank is beautiful too :)