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Old 03-12-2013, 11:27 AM   #1 
Nicci Lu
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Location: The Boonies, Arizona
Is My New NPT Viable?

My husband went to Phoenix and brought home a "surprise": 4 false bandit corys (2.5 inches max size) for our 10 gallon. There goes my plan to increase my group of otos from 4 to 6. I've tried telling him about shoaling and bioloads, but <sigh>, deaf ears. Can't take them back, if I want a bigger tank I'll either have to wait for my birthday or a miracle from God (and I have to admit, these guys are just cute as the dickens), and I'm pretty sure this is doable with the right tank setup.

So, emergency NPT makeover! I didn't have the time to prepare like I would have wanted, and was limited to the plants I already have and Petsmart's selection. I'm paranoid about whether I did it right, so I'm looking for confirmation about my tank's viability as an NPT from the experts.

Livestock:
1 VT
4 otos
4 false bandit corys
1 assassin snail
1 ramshorn snail + whatever babies survived the transfer
6 malaysian trumpet snails
(expecting the snail population to decrease due to Mr. Assassin)

Plants:
7ish leaves java fern
4 stems anacharis
6ish stems red ludwigia
6ish stems rotala indica
2 Amazon swords
9ish stems cabomba
floating hornwort
frogbit

Substrate:
Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix- bark and large pieces of chicken poop removed
pool filter sand cap

Pictures:


You can seen where I mixed up the sand and soil a bit in the front of the tank- siphon accident when setting up.





Thanks all!

Last edited by Nicci Lu; 03-12-2013 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Heh- gotta change my sig
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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It looks good and with your stem and floating plants-along with some water changes-you should be okay, however, you are pushing the bioload in an immature NPT. Once it is mature it will be much safer.

What kind of lights, age of bulbs, kelvin, watts and photoperiod

Do you have a test kit, if so, what kind and what are your baseline numbers on the source water-with and without additives and tank.

How many days has the tank been setup and running and type of filter if one is used.

Go check out the thrift shops-sometimes you can find pretty good deals on complete setup...Sometimes you have to go to several different ones several times-since stocking can changes almost daily....lol.....I have found some good deals on complete setup with extras for under 10 bucks.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:19 PM   #3 
Nicci Lu
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
What kind of lights, age of bulbs, kelvin, watts and photoperiod
I have 2 6500K mini screw-in CFLs at 13 watts each. They're about 1 month old. I leave the lights on 11 hours per day.

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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Do you have a test kit, if so, what kind and what are your baseline numbers on the source water-with and without additives and tank. How many days has the tank been setup and running and type of filter if one is used.
I use the API liquid tests. My tap is .25 ammonia, 0 nitrItes and 5 nitrAtes. Before the conversion, my tank was running for a little over 2 months, not yet cycled. 1 week ago I purchased a new filter- a Penguin biowheel 100 and I put half of the old filter cartridge in the new one. When I tore down the tank, the filter and decorations went into the QT tank, so no BB was lost. Right before the tear down, my tank's water was at .25 ammonia, .25 nitrItes and 10 nitrAtes. The .25 nitrItes had never shown before and was always before at 0. Either I was at the nitrIte spike stage of the cycle, or it was due to an accident in the tank involving too much Repashy Super Green and my betta who decided to play in it and made a whopping mess. After a water change it returned to 0.

The day after the conversion, my water was .25 ammonia, .5 nitrItes, 10 nitrAtes. A 50% WC brought the nitrItes to .25. I have a 1/4 teaspoon salt in the tank to prevent nitrIte poisoning. Today, the second day after, I've got .5 ammonia, .25 nitrItes, 10 nitrAtes. I usually dose a full 10 gallon dose of Prime daily to detox (plus, of course, WCs when ammonia is over .25, or nitrItes are present). This morning, however, I instead added Tetra Safe Start in a desperate gamble that it would speed up the cycle, thus allowing the BB to work until the plants and soil can take over. You are not supposed to use Prime or do WCs while using TSS- however, I'm not going to put my fish at risk, so if the TSS is not making an improvement by later today, then I will do another 50% WC and continue with WCs as needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
however, you are pushing the bioload in an immature NPT. Once it is mature it will be much safer.
I know, and it's just really terrible timing considering the nitrIte spike- I don't know if it's because of the stage of my cycle or the newness of the NPT. It's going to be a lot of upkeep until my system is mature, but I'm prepared to do what needs to be done until then. So far, everyone one in the tank is doing good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Go check out the thrift shops-sometimes you can find pretty good deals on complete setup...Sometimes you have to go to several different ones several times-since stocking can changes almost daily....lol.....I have found some good deals on complete setup with extras for under 10 bucks.
That is a good idea. Except it's not the money- my husband is just adamantly opposed to a new tank. He thinks it'll feed my addiction, but he's the one who got the corys- go figure. If my fish start suffering, then I'll put up the fight needed to get one, but if I can make this work, I will.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:22 PM   #4 
Nicci Lu
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Update

This is interesting. 5 hours after adding the Tetra Safe Start, my ammonia is back to .25 and nitrItes are just a shade lower than .25.
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