Originally Posted by a123andpoof
I have been talking to OFL about doing one of these. I love the idea and I can only imagine how much better it must be for the fish! And they look amazing. This is the plan for me new tank. Around how many plants will I need to get this started so it actually works? And then would a 25w bulb work or will I need more or less? And what is that grass like stuff you have? I love it. I would like to get away with no fertilizer or CO2. And I also plan on going filter less. And just having the heater.
25W might even be TOO much for a 5g. Talk to OFL about that, for sure. There's more into it than just wattage and I know she has/has had 5g NPTs without filters. She can probably tell you the exact brand name of the bulb that would work best.
Sky is absolutely FLOURISHING in his NPT... you wouldn't even know he's 2 years old, because his colors get more vibrant everyday. It's so stable with perfect water quality for them.
You'll need quite a few fast growing stem plants to start out with. Frogbit, anacharis, hornwort (I hate hornwort and don't particularly recommend it), java moss, wisteria, water sprite would be good starting points with that (you can go with just one or two of those types, of course). There are other plants you can use, too. If you Google and research walstad planted tank or natural planted tank you'll get a longer list and some pictures that show just how much people used. You'll need a decent bit, but not a tankful.
I have 3 types of grass, haha. The tiny hairy stuff is dwarf hair grass (http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...-dwarfhg01.htm
). I got it last month and it's starting to grow like crazy. I want it to carpet the whole bottom, and it's on its way to doing that.
The mid-size grass is dwarf sagittaria (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...827&pcatid=827
The tall, crazy growing grass is vallisneria (http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...nt-itval03.htm
). GET SOME! XD It's REALLY good for a NPT to keep the anaerobic pockets down, because it spreads like wildfire and each tuft has a pretty extensive root system. Root systems eliminate the pockets. I also recommend amazon sword for that (that's the huge green plant in my picture on the right side). You might not like how big it gets in a five gallon, though... it gets huge, as you can see. Can always prune it down.