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Old 02-10-2013, 05:21 PM   #1 
Caii
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Arrow Primary Planted Tank Questions

Hey everyone!

Alright, so I've got an empty 10 gallon tank with no hood and an AquaClear 20 filter. As much as I would like to hurry up and cycle as soon as possible, I have a few things that are holding me back.

Because I intend to give Bo (and a possible shoal of Harlequin Rasboras)the full run of the tank, I would really like to make it a planted tank with plenty of dwarf grass, anubias, and amazonian sword. I've reviewed OFL's NPT tank sticky as well as other various articles and forums, but a few questions persist.

Well, for one thing, I was wondering if I could possibly do it without soil.

I know, I know!!! It sounds really stupid (you can't have plants without soil for the most part, after all), but I was curious because my budget is very, very limited, and I'm not quite sure if I should or should not spend the money on soil when I've seen posts about plants (particularly the anubias and the amazonian sword) who don't require any soil.

So the first question is, is this possible without soil? And if soil is an absolute must, what kind of soil would be a nutritional and economic choice for the amazonion swords and the dwarf grass? (I would leave the anubias to float!)

Another function of an NPT that I would like insight on is the lighting. I'm aware that the plants will require fluorescent lighting, and I've been eyeing the AqueonŽ Fluorescent Deluxe Full Hood found at PetSmart for ~$35. [http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...RatingsDetail] If you would happen to have any experience with this hood, or if you have any ideas for alternatives, I would greatly appreciate your input!

Thank you so much for your time and thank you so much for your response~ have a good day!

Sincerely,
Caii and Bo

P.S.- Bo says hi!

Last edited by Caii; 02-10-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:40 PM   #2 
Bombalurina
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You can have a planted tank without soil, but not the low maintenance type of NPT OFL has made. The soil plays a key part of the whole ecosystem in an NPT. :)
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:45 PM   #3 
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You can have a planted tank without soil, but not the low maintenance type of NPT OFL has made. The soil plays a key part of the whole ecosystem in an NPT. :)
So I don't need soil to grow the dwarf grass or the Amazon Swords?
If possible, I'd like to create a system that kind of looks like this:



The background would be the Amazon Swords and Anubias, and I'd really like to have this sort of carpeting if possible.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #4 
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For carpeting with a low, dense, high-light plant like that, if you don't go soil I suspect you will need some kind of substrate like FloraMax, which is actually more expensive. :(

You could try a java moss carpet, like this: http://www.acumenaquatics.com/gallery.html (2nd picture). It doesn't have the same look, but it is infinitely cheaper and easier.

You can grow swords or grass in small-grain gravel, though they thrive in soil. :)
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:19 PM   #5 
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For carpeting with a low, dense, high-light plant like that, if you don't go soil I suspect you will need some kind of substrate like FloraMax, which is actually more expensive. :(

You could try a java moss carpet, like this: http://www.acumenaquatics.com/gallery.html (2nd picture). It doesn't have the same look, but it is infinitely cheaper and easier.

You can grow swords or grass in small-grain gravel, though they thrive in soil. :)
I actually really like the Java Moss look! ^^
Does that require soil as well?
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:25 PM   #6 
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Nope. Java moss gets all its nutrients from the water. :) That tank (belongs to a friend) is just plain old black gravel. :)
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:37 PM   #7 
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It costs about the same amount to get a small bag of miracle gro organic soil as it does to get enough gravel to fill the 10g.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #8 
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Nope. Java moss gets all its nutrients from the water. :) That tank (belongs to a friend) is just plain old black gravel. :)
Sweet!!! Thank you!
I'll do some research on the Java Moss~ what about lighting? Would you happen to have any recommendations?
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:30 PM   #9 
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It costs about the same amount to get a small bag of miracle gro organic soil as it does to get enough gravel to fill the 10g.
What if I were to mix the two? Would that be a good idea?
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:45 PM   #10 
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haha, no it wont be a good idea. the miracle gro needs a cap to hold it down. usually the cap is made of fine gravel or sand.

I did a npt a while back, it was great :) I now do eco complete /floramax and it's equally low maintainance. so it's really up to you.

I'm doung two types of low tech carpets (without CO2). one is a dwarf hair grass carpet, and the the one is with pearl weed, or as some call it baby tear (hermianthus glomeratus).

I've also previously done a microsword carpet as well.
whilst the above ones do much better in high light, dwarf saggitaria will do very well under low light...

the pearl weed is by far my favorite
(I have a very small tank, but imagine the possibilities in a large tank!)
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