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Old 08-02-2011, 07:10 PM   #1 
Pitluvs
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Natural Planted Tanks

I want to set up my spare 10gal as a natural planted tank. I have plants, don't ask me to name them lol I have soil and I have sand. I don't have gravel though, it's about $30 for a small bag here and I really don't have that kind of money. I do have a spare filter as well.

My first question, sand/soil is ok right? And second, I have regular Miracle Grow soil, is that ok since it's not Organic? You can't get Organic here and the season is fastly closing to get soil. And last, does the soil need to be changed at any point? I know my regular house plants have to have soil changed every 6 months, what about NPTs?

Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:34 PM   #2 
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AND... if I do this, how soon can I put fish in the tank?
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:25 PM   #3 
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*flails to find the thread OFL helped on* @__@

Ask OFL! Hers are fantastic and she's super knowledgeable about it.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:28 PM   #4 
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I don't want to bug her haha I'll go look for the topic :) Thanks PPP!
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:54 PM   #5 
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Well OFL did hers in 2 hours and added fish right away. I kinda did the same thing with my 5gal, but no soil. So I added the Danios/LF BNP to the 10gal. It's the same as their old tank, only bigger and now with soil right? Anyways... picture :) I have no idea what the plants are but I was told they were easy. It was a care package from the guy I bought the Danios from :) I have 6 in there, and 1 BNP. I'll eventually upgrade to a 15g I think. But for now, they are quite content in here!



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Old 08-03-2011, 12:03 AM   #6 
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2 hours, yeesh, I probably spent at least that long dealing with little floaty bits, lol. I think you're supposed to have like 75% of the floor with stem plants and like 25% of the surface covered with floaters till it's established to suck up any extra ammonia the soil leaks out, so probably a good idea to add some more plants. I think because the fish waste and dead plant bits are constantly fertilizing the soil is good for quite a while, but not sure how long exactly
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:05 AM   #7 
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Hi Pitluvs, Your tank looks great! I just set up my first planted tanks too. I can't help with the sand and soil because I just use regular gravel. But I purposely chose plants that were totally easy because I just know I'll kill them if I don't - lol. I popped over to our parent site, tropicalfishkeeping.com and read a ton on planted tanks. They have 4 GREAT sticky's on planted tanks. The Super Moderator is from Canada too, so I know he could totally help you with where to buy the items you may need. I know OFL is over there too. Give it a try if you haven't been there yet. I'm learning a ton! Good luck with your plants!
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:24 AM   #8 
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I hate hate hate going over there honestly! lol But I'll take a peek.

Sadly, I would have more plants but these are all I can get right now. Our local pet store has an outbreak of columnaris, I'm not buying anything from their tanks. These guys have been in an uncycled 5gal with these plants for the last 3 weeks and no issues. I transferred the filter from that tank to this one. I plan on doing water changes every 2 days and checking ammonia daily. Other than that, not much I can do since I stole these plants from the Danio tank lol I do have a 10g cycled set up in case things get a little hairy in there. These fish are super small though, grow to 1" max and the pleco is 1" too. Glowlights are in the 10g cycled until this one stabilizes.

You can't see it but I have duckweed at the top of the tank :) Ill put more in tomorrow when I fish it out of the 29g lol

Last edited by Pitluvs; 08-03-2011 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:04 AM   #9 
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Soil based tank are a balance.....a little mini ecosystem that can take care of itself when properly setup....lots of stem plants to start and floating plants.....the soil doesn't need to be changed out as long as you let the tank do its thing and not over clean....the dead plant material, fish food, fish and other livestock waste all become part of the soil to feed the plants and keep the soil alive.......

Lights are one of the most important aspects of a successful planted tank....the driving force....without proper lights the plants will not thrive, grow and keep the water safe...Most planted tank failures are related to the wrong lights, old bulbs and wrong photoperiod......

This is a balanced system-the plants have to be able to out compete the algae for nutrients and light....

Soil based tank are awesome setup and easy to take care of when done correctly.....
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:01 PM   #10 
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Looking like I may scrap this tank already... woke up this morning to everyone at the top of the water trying to get out of it. I can't get more plants, so looks like this isn't the tank for us. Really suck because I wanted to do this for a while now.
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