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Old 03-21-2013, 01:48 AM   #1 
Kuronue
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Location: Chautauqua County, NY - My mind is in my fish tank usually
NPT newbie

I going to be converting my 5 gallon hex aquarium to npt very soon. I've been getting everything together over the past few days. Researching plants, hunting for appropriate soil, getting a decent plant fertilizer. I've been going nuts getting this all together and working on getting it all right.

My tank currently:
5g acrylic hex
1 15w 6500k light bulb
Gravel substrate with tumbled river rock and glass globs on top for asthetic
Petco Power filter (rated for 10g but its an older filter)
25watt whisper heater (preset for 78F)
3 fake plants
1 cave
1 whisper air pump with airstones (not in use currently)
1 happy little betta

What I have so far to add/replace to the current set up:
Potting/or custom gardening soil
5 lbs mosser lees dessert sand
Seachems flourish
4 water wisteria
1 anubis plant
1 lucky bamboo which is tall enough that that the foliage is above the water and there is a gap in the hood that will allow it. No rot!
Note: Plants are all in quarantine because I don't have any bleach to do a dip. We don't really keep steady stock in the house because a house member is allergic (As weird as that may sound) .

My questions:
1. Do I have enough light for my tank? Its technically a tall, but the light socket warning says 15w is the highest it will safely handle.
2. Can someone recommend a good diy Co2 drop system or alternative? I've never done one before.
3. With what I have in lighting and what not, what other sorts of commonly available aquarium plants could I do?
4. Suggestions?

Sorry if this is a lot, I just want to make sure I have everything I need to make these plants thrive and make the betta happy. He's a little more fragile than the others I've owned so I trying to up quality of life as much as I can. I'm babbling now
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:36 AM   #2 
DefStatic
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First suggestion, get rid of the Lucky Bamboo.

Use root tabs. And be careful using liquid ferts.

I question the claims of any light that comes with an acrylic tank.

What are the dimensions of your tank? I would go here and order a better light, anything other than the Mighty Ray 21.
http://www.aquavibrant.com/lighting/...-fixtures.html

Last edited by DefStatic; 03-21-2013 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:43 AM   #3 
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As far as CO2, Petco and places like it have a easy to use kit for $50. But you will end up spending $10+ a month in refills.

There is the DIY Paintball Tank method, which can easy be done for $50 and then all you ever have to pay for is the refills on the tank which is like $5 and last a month easily.

Then there is the Soda Bottle DIY. Cost $10 to $20 to setup, $5 a month to maintain.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:49 AM   #4 
Nothingness
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dont worry about c02 unless your going with a high light source. I have a med light on my NPT 55g and I have never used any C02 and my tank is a jungle. the light you have is a low light option so make sure to stock the tank with low light plants. I would suggest getting a few more plants like an amazon sword and java fern. Moss is always a great option as well. If you want more light look into the CFL spiral bulbs. The low watt CFLs put out much more light then your standard incedecent bulb. I think a 13w CFL is equivalent to a 40w bulb

Last edited by Nothingness; 03-21-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:32 PM   #5 
Kuronue
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DefStatic- I'm a little leery about LED light sources, especially lamp style and your reccomendation appears to be a clip on lamp. Lamp just isn't feasible as I'd have to try to find or make an entirely hood. The light I have did not come with the tank, it was purchased as a replacement for the incandescent that did come with the tank. These are the tank dimensions- 13"W X 11.25"W X 15.5"H

Thank you for your input. :]

Nothingness- My light bulb is a CFL, its not a swirl but a double tube ^^ and I'd do an amazon sword, but my tank really won't be big enough for the full grown plant sadly. I'll keep your other suggestion in mind though, I do want to get some java moss though. My main worry was the fact that I only have one little fish who will be living in the tank and that he may not produce enough Co2 by his onesy and a 5g is pretty limited in what other things I could stock. Especially as shrimp scare me and snails can apparently breed with themselves. ._.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:42 PM   #6 
ao
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The 5 gal he is a little tall, but I think you will be OK if you dont do floaters. The bamboo aint going to help you win any aquascaping contests but it will help maintin water quality.

Miracle gro organic potting mix is recommended as the soil. Pesticide free Garden soil works well too.

Don't worry about CO2 in an NPT. Although i really do recommend allowing in "pest snails". I just dropped a little pond snail in my new 2 gallon to get rid of a reallllly thick protein film and he got to work immediately. Cant keep enough of them around.

In a NPT you want snails and stuff to help break down rotting material. like dead leaves etc. Also some MTS to work the soil....

What are you going to cap the soil with?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:44 PM   #7 
Kuronue
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I just like the look of the bamboo XP I'm good on the dirt too ^^

I'll be capping with sand, was going to do gravel and was deterred :3

Is there any snail alternative? I really REALLY don't want snails.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:35 PM   #8 
Rojoneko
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The lucky bamboo at least fits a theme we're going for (and plus something spiritually relaxing, both for fish and people) . And I'm also agreeing that snails aren't really on the want list to this point ^^;;.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:40 PM   #9 
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well, snails promote a healthier tank, healthier plants and healthier betta XD
but you dont have to keep any if you dont want. make sure to poke the substrate~
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:21 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aokashi View Post
well, snails promote a healthier tank, healthier plants and healthier betta XD
but you dont have to keep any if you dont want. make sure to poke the substrate~

What kind of snail would you suggest? Something that doesn't multiply of course.
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