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Old 03-11-2013, 11:18 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2009

Alright. I hate this website. Hate it! First im addicted to bettas, then im convinced to get a 10gal tank. Nowafter reading the NPL how to setup, i really want one!!! Look what you do to me

Anyways. Whats the cost of possibly converting my ten gallon to a NPL?
Im pretty sure that i can get a good plant bundle on aquabid + some Trumpet snails. I really want them, OBL said that they airate the soil good.

So mainly i think the factors are the soil and whatever will top it, I think ill use the gravel i have now, mainly because its really nice and natural gravel, not the painted rock i use to have.
I was really hoping i could use my miracle grow soil i have, but thats not natural at all :P

So if i do everything right i dont have to use a filter at all? And does that also mean that the water changes are very very less? Itd be a lot easier to have a tank like this. i think the benefits out way, well any of the risks.

Edit* This would also help me for summer vacation. Ill be gone for two months, and this would allow my tank to just last the one month, then we take a break and come back for a few days, then after that we go back up. I could check on the tank and do maitainance when we come back down. (the fish will be with me in smaller tanks)

Would it work? Could the tank last a month with no human contact or overview? or would algae overgrow it?
I could also put a timmer on the light so it would turn on for 10 hours then back off.

Last edited by Bettafish; 03-11-2013 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:44 PM   #2 
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Also what would be a good soil to use? That fluval stuff seems to expensive.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:13 AM   #3 
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Forgot to thank you guys in advance :)
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:37 AM   #4 
Sea Dragon
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Location: Livermore, California
Haha I was recently addicted to the plant craze :D Im having problems with micro organisms and potential parasites but otherwise its pretty awesome.

Approx cost IME:
Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix: $5
Petco sand 5 lbs: $5 (It was enough to do a .5-.75 inch cap for my 2 2.5 tanks with a quarter left over)
Plants: ~$35 (estimate lol)
6500k Lightbulbs, 23 watts: Varies but I found them for $3 each online

I've had the tanks set up for a couple weeks and I'm having a diatom bloom but I believe those will go away on their own eventually. As for leaving the tank unattended, I'm not sure, I'd wait for a more experienced member to comment on that :S
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:30 PM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Cost can vary from location to location, what you already have and what you want to do. Often you can make most of the things you already have on hand-work.....
If you are sure that the local soil is free of harmful chemical-dig some up-sift it and use or buy top soil or potting soil that doesn't have any added ferts, chemicals, water absorbing beads...etc....The cap on the soil can be sand or small diameter gravel that you already have-The goal of the cap is to help hold the soil down until it becomes water logged, help hold plants in place until they anchor, prevent too much nutrient release into the water column too fast-so you don't need or want that much.

Usually the plants and light are the biggest expense-Both being really important for a successful natural planted tank. You need to have enough of the right species of plant in the beginning and proper color temp lights to promote growth and photosynthesis-otherwise the system can crash.

Once the tank is mature and this can take about 3 months more or less-Then water changes can be limited-this also depends on stocking. Once mature, plants thriving and lightly-to-moderate stocked-with or without a filter-Water changes can usually be done 3-6 times a year-again this depends on several different factors. Some can go longer without them and be fine-while other will need more frequent.

Using a timer will work for your lights, however, the tank might need to be topped off with water and especially if you have a filter-too low a water line might be a problem. I know with my open top NPT-I need to top off every week due to evaporation.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:19 PM   #6 
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Alright thanks :)

im thunking about the miracle grow organic soil since it seems safe because other people have had success. Now did you mean that i need little cap or little soil? And why little cap? How does little cap prevent nutrient release, better then more cap.

As for stocking. all i currently have is a betta and a mystery snail.
But if i get plants on aquabid the seller said he could include some apple or trumpet snails. id get some trumpet snails fir the airation like Ladysaid. Althouh if u look at orange rabbit snails they are really cool!!

Id also stock a few more. probably a shrimp or two.

im a light stocker lol.

so i think i got everything but the lights. im hoping that my choice in my small gravel will help in keeping the diatodes from blooming. i just want to do eveything. fill with plants and water and stock it. in one day hopefully.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:44 PM   #7 
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Location: Wisconsin
Make sure you sift the soil before you use it to get all the big chunky things out!! (like pieces of wood). You want the rich, soft stuff!
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:58 PM   #8 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Yay planted tanks! So pretty, every single one.

Just as an FYI, I set two tanks up three weeks ago as NPTs (Miracle Gro with black sand cap). I have never had any ammonia in either thus far.

However, I am still working on getting the tanks balanced. Had a diatom takeover, that disappeared, and now am fighting off algae of various sorts. Some of that us just part of the natural cycle of a new tank, some is due to trying to dial in photoperiod, plant density, fertilizers, etc. Just so you are prepared to address some issues in the first few months.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:00 PM   #9 
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A good deal for my planted tank?

I want something really nice and rounded,

10 stems of limnophilia aromatica - dont care for it.
10 stems of diandra didiplis dont care for it.
10 stems of mayaca fluviatilis - i sorta like it.
10 dwarf sag plants i like it, seems like amazon sword to me.
5 stems of bacopa carolinia I LOVE THE LOOK OF THIS.
5 stems of rotala indica its okay.
3-5 stems of ludwigia inclinata sp. 'cuba' meh
a few stems of sunset hygrophilia imeh. maybe for the color?
a few MTS (Malaysian trumpet snails.)

So this is the best deal for my ten gallon i could find.

Does anyone else actually know a better site where i can pick and choose my plants and for a somewhat inexpensive price?
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:28 PM   #10 
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Join Date: Apr 2009 - The prices seem very fair. even if the amount is small im okay, because 1. if it dies then i dont feel bad. 2. itll just grow more and more after time - i can wait.

Opinions :)
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