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Old 03-15-2013, 08:19 PM   #1 
White Mage
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NPT Sorority drafting! :D

Alright, I mustered up the courage to plan a NPT female sorority. It's going to be 20g. The questions I have are... gravel, sand, or soil? If Soil, what kind of hardscape should I use/how does that work exactly? Would half silk half live plants be best for a beginner? How many water changes would I need for both ways?

How many plants should I get, and how many females should I get? What fish would be good to put in to churn the sand if i go that direction? Thanks!

Oh, and anyone willing to help out with plants? if you have any extras that you would be willing to sell for cheap/give away, I'd gladly pay for shipping! Just no snail hitchikers please DX lol don't want 10000s of snails to deal with... unless they're nerites.

Last edited by White Mage; 03-15-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:27 PM   #2 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Mage View Post
Alright, I mustered up the courage to plan a NPT female sorority. It's going to be 20g. The questions I have are... gravel, sand, or soil?
Entirely up to you. :) Beginner plants all grow well enough in any of these.
If Soil, what kind of hardscape should I use/how does that work exactly?
The hardscape is just the rocks and driftwood that you want to place in the tank. It's pure asthetics, so there isn't a right or wrong way to do it. If you do go with soil, make sure you read OFL's sticky many times. :)
Would half silk half live plants be best for a beginner? How many water changes would I need for both ways?
I would just use silk plants to fill in the gaps until the live plants grow large enough, then remove them and have all live. :) If you have to care for one live plant, you may as well care for more!
Water changes would be dependent on a whole bunch of things - stocking, filtration, what your readings are etc.

How many plants should I get, and how many females should I get? What fish would be good to put in to churn the sand if i go that direction? Thanks!
Anything between 6 and 10 females would be a good starting place. It depends what other fish you want in the tank. :) Kuhli loaches or Malaysian Trumpet Snails are good sand-stirrers.
As for plants, it's not so easy to say, "this many". It depends on the footprint of the tank and what size bunches the plants are sold in, and what types you get. :) I tend to buy by eye. I always end up buying too many, but hey, I cram them in anyway. :p

Oh, and anyone willing to help out with plants? if you have any extras that you would be willing to sell for cheap/give away, I'd gladly pay for shipping! Just no snail hitchikers please DX lol don't want 10000s of snails to deal with... unless they're nerites.
If I could send you plants, I would! I just don't think customs would be too happy. :p
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:10 AM   #3 
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Would I HAVE to add a hardscape, or would just plain soil be fine?

I guess what I'm asking is, which substrate is best for beginners/requires less maintenance?
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:37 AM   #4 
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This would all depend on your budget real soil will be cheaper than the substrate from the pet store, I use soil, then a very thin amount of sand then gravel to cap it with, it is all really personal preference, I have tried using the playsand as a cap I just have never been happy with it, it gets kicked up too easy and you have to dust everything off in the tank and hardscape is up to you I always try to have some sort of theme in the tank be it driftwood, rocks, or atlantis in my big tank. Look at oldfishladys post on how to do it it has a lot of good info
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:49 AM   #5 
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You don't need a hardscape at all if you don't want one. I use driftwood, but that's only because I want something to tie my ferns and moss to. :)
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:00 AM   #6 
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You don't need a hardscape, but I like having them. Adds visual interest to break up all the plants. A nice rock or piece of driftwood is always good.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:36 AM   #7 
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Ok I'm confused... is hardscape something like sand completely covering the coil, or just a big decoration like rock or driftwood?

I was thinking of buying some of the colorful Glofish gravel, kinda the size of pebbles, and sprinkling it around randomly to add some color. Would that work?

[IMG]http://www.tetra-fish.com/uploadedImages/TetraFish/catalog/29085_G***PGBF5lbs_03-12.jpg[/IMG]

Last edited by White Mage; 03-17-2013 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:04 PM   #8 
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What? O.o
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:20 PM   #9 
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Hardscape is the "hard" stuff like driftwood and stone that you use to decorate. For instance, in my 16 gallon, I have one driftwood cave, one driftwood log and a terracotta pot. That's my hardscape. :)

Erm...you could use that gravel if you wanted, but (in my opinion) it is going to look garish and unnattractive with a lovely natural tank. I don't like rainbow gravel, though.
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