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Old 02-26-2013, 03:03 PM   #1 
lilyth88
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LEDs

Possibly looking to convert my two 3 gallons into NPTs. They have LED lights. Is this possible to do? Would I need shrimp to sift the sand?

Edit: I should add, there are two west-facing windows directly across from the tanks, so they also get afternoon sun.

Last edited by lilyth88; 02-26-2013 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:30 AM   #2 
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My plants do pretty well under LED's and my tank is next to a window. But I have noticed that where my HOB filter is not much light makes it under. The plants in that area don't thrive as well. So I am going to add in some LED strips to make sure I do not have any dark/low light spots. Here is list of my plants

Compact Swords
Moneywort
Water wysteria
Anubias
mondo grass (it was hidden in my last plant purchase)
crypt root (also hidden in my last plant purchase)
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:33 AM   #3 
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Some LEDs are ok, some aren't. A lot of them aren't bright enough or in the right spectrum for plants. If you stick with low light plants though, it should be fine.

You don't NEED shrimp to sift anything. Shrimp are cool, and they do eat leftovers, but they're definitely not a necessity. If you're concerned about aerating your sand, nothing is better for that than Malaysian Trumpet Snails ... just be prepared for a large population, because they tend to breed quick and easy. They burrow in the sand and keep it stirred up.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:36 AM   #4 
VJM
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I just started my NPT on Saturday with a Deep Blue Solar Flare Mini, so I only have short term info.

My plants love the LEDs. I have to trim almost everything today, except my tiny dwarf pennywort and a teeny crypt. Both have grown, they are just still teeny.

If anything, I need to go to a shorter photoperiod.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:36 AM   #5 
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i was under the impression that snails poop a lot. is this an issue in a 3 gallon?
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:39 AM   #6 
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how do plants do in just gravel? i.e. not a npt.

what are some good low light plants? i would prefer to keep my leds. i love the look of them
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:54 AM   #7 
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they can do fine in just gravel, but you will need to fertilize the plants either with root tabs or a liquid one low light plants are like java fern java moss the moss balls and tons of others......
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:56 AM   #8 
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If you are very heavily planted, and you're watching your water and performing water changes when needed, I wouldn't worry about pond snails, etc ... they are good plant fertilizers.

Do NOT over-fertilize a low light tank or you will have serious algae issues. I wouldn't start any fertilizers (not even root tabs) unless you notice problems with your plants, or they're not growing "fast enough" etc.

Good starter low light plants:

crypts
most mosses
java fern
anubias
dwarf sag

All of those are very hard to kill ... I'd start there.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:59 AM   #9 
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my bf would life a cost estimate. I'd probably be getting the plants from Petsmart. snails too of they have them. anyone have a rough estimate i can give him? 20? 30?

edit, sorry for typos... the Swype on my phone doesn't like me
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:16 AM   #10 
VJM
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I found the selection at Petsmart and Petco to be pretty rough. It varies store to store, but lots of stuff mislabeled, and selling lots of nonaquatic plants as aquatic. The plant tanks were ill kept, as well. I am a big believer in starting with plants in great shape, that are suited to your specific conditions.

If you can, order online. There are lots of places like Planted Aquariums Central that have great plants. Watch out on shipping costs, obviously, and try to bulk order if shipping is spendy. Also, every forum (including this one! yay!) has a classified section with folks selling their plants. I have found them to be usually reasonably priced and in great shape, and you usually get more than you pay for.
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