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Old 10-02-2011, 08:03 AM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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Originally Posted by Trobar View Post
That is the one...I have two and really like them and they are easy to work with too.....I use poly fill in it so I didn't order any extra filter media...not that there is anything wrong with it....I just have a lot of aquarium....lol....and they are pretty easy to work on too....you have good control of the spray bar and intake hose...easy to hide the canister too......perfect for planted tanks.....

I understand about nosy cats...I have a lot of cats (29).....lol.....many have fallen in the tank and they use one of the tanks on the bottom rack to drink from and the other one to sleep on top of......cat hair, cat spit..etc...has never caused any problems for my tank...they have even pulled lights into the tank...lucky it didn't cause any problems for the cat, the lights and didn't even trip the breaker......

The lights over my big tanks-I use shop lights that I attached chains and hung from pipe I have on hooks over the tanks...works well and easy to move the lights up and down over the tanks with hooks on the chains....
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:29 AM   #12 
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Poly fill as in the stuff you use in pillows and find in the craft dept?

The tank is going to go on the mantle of a fake fireplace and I don't want the little heathens I have dumping a tank/lights or wet cats throughout my living room. and yes they will do that, expecially the orange tabby and the lynx point siamese. Or better yet, they would wait to do this at 2am, get soaked then crawl into my bed. YUCK!!

Will look into the shop light set up, may even have them since hubby does that kind of thing
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:35 AM   #13 
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Yes, that is where I get mine..craft dept......

What is neat about the shop lights other than cheap...you can paint them to match your decor.....and you can get the plant light bulbs in the same dept as the shop lights too...much cheaper than aquarium bulbs and the same thing....6500k 40w bulb daylight...cost $7.00 for 2 -48in-bulbs....that is what I use over all my big planted tanks......
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:36 AM   #14 
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YAY on my way!!

Purchased so far is
20g long tank on sale for $20
glass cover until the plants grow and the cats leave it alone $22
Aqueon quiet flow filter on sale and rebate that came with tank for a total of $10

Also found out that petsmart has the glofish on sale for 2.99 until 10/23 so I have to get hopping on this project of mine. That is a huge saving on those things.

Still need heater, lights, dirt, sand, plants and fish. Think the glofish, snail and betta would be ok to start with? All of these are gonna have to wait until next payday, some pesky bills need paid first like mortgage and car ins.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:24 AM   #15 
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WOW I went to SweetAquatics.

If I order plants, can I keep them in a bucket or something for a couple days until I get my heater and light?

Do I have to put the fish in the same day or can I wait a week?

When I get this thing up and running, do I need any kind of fert or plant food?

Not sure if I want the trumpet snails since they multiply rapidly from what I am reading, Is there anything else to aerate the soils? Hair pick maybe for short term basis?
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:57 AM   #16 
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With soil based tanks-you generally don't need any ferts for really long time and only if the plants look to need it since the soil itself is nutrient rich...by design the NPT is a low care/need system...no added ferts or CO2....the plants function as the filtration and the livestock, plant decomp function as the ferts....as the name states....natural......as close to an ecosystem that can be created in a closed system........

The plants should be fine in a bucket for a few days, however, I would place a light over them if its going to be longer than a few days

When I set my NPT ups...I add all livestock the same day-if the system is properly setup-the livestock will be fine...you have to remember that NPT's are much different than a regular system...

Although the MTS will help prevent anaerobic spot by burrowing in the substrate-they also help the system by eating dead/dying plant material, add ferts, CO2, eats some algae..etc......really good for a NPT....if you are going for a clean aquarium look the NPT may not be the right system for you......

A natural system really needs to have some mulm/debris left in the tank, it needs common snails, MTS and even shrimp are helpful in these system to complete the life cycle...everything has a job.....your job is to enjoy, trim and replant plants weekly, top off with water as needed and make a water change a few times a year once its mature....you don't want to over clean them and disrupt the balance......
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:45 PM   #17 
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Well the shop light will not work where I want the tank so I have to buy strip light.

My main concern about the MTS is the possibility of an overabundance of snails.

As for the plants in a bucket, I am trying to time the arrival of the plants with my days off so I can plant them as soon as I can when they get here. However I have the worst luck in that kind of timing so the thing will probably the day after my day off and of course I don't want to prebuy the fish without the plants here.

When I get to assembling the tank, do I plant first then add water carefully or water then plants?
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:00 AM   #18 
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Since I like to start with everything dry.....I add my soil layer and wet it...not soupy...just wet...then I add the hard scape-then I cap with dry sand...add water...about half full-drain and repeat until clear...you don't need dechlorinator at this point.......you have to be really careful adding water so not to disrupt the soil......
Drain as much water as you can-plant....add water-drain-repeat until clear...be sure the finial fill has dechlorinator....

When I first set one up...I may drain and fill several times until the water is clear...once the water is clear and to temp I add all my livestock....

Sometimes I have to use a handful of gravel or larger rocks to hold stem plants in place until they root

If using HOB filter-be sure and have it setup on the tank before planting and position the overflow so it hits the hard scape....too strong or in the wrong place it may disrupt the soil/sand and make a mess.....

MTS are livebearers and they will over populate...just nature of the beast so to speak.......but are really important to the little ecosystem you are trying to create.....
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:03 AM   #19 
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What about the assassin snails several on this forum talk about. Would they be a good idea to keep the MTS under control or would they eat them all?

I was looking at PLANT PACKAGE #1 at sweetaquatics. It seems decent, I will have to add a few other individuals to finish filling out the list you gave me prior but it seems like a good start.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:25 AM   #20 
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A question for this thread: When planting the plants in a NPT, do you plant them in the gravel layer and just let them root down, or do you dig them down into the soil and re-cap with gravel?
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