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So i'm looking to build a 10g tank like this. What would you recommend as a starting spot? i have filters, heaters, tanks, lights ect... i'm looking mainly to have plants and my betta in it. I've been researching different plants but I know very little over all about them.

My usual approach is to jump in after reading a little bit and figure it out from there, but i figured it wouldn't hurt to ask!

i'd eventually like to build one of my larger tanks up like this, but i want a little practice first..
 

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Discussion Starter #23
A good starting point is...lights...often failures with planted tanks are due to the wrong light bulbs, too old light bulbs and the wrong photoperiod....

With NPT-good dirt is important since this is your nutrient base for the plants

The right plants-3-4 different species of stem plants, 2-3 different species of rosette type plants and floating plants to start out with...

When setting up a NPT it is important to start out with enough of the right plants.....the active plant growth is what keeps the livestock safe until the soil starts its life underwater....

Balance....
 

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Tanks looking great as always OFL! I recently set up a 29 gallon... finally starting to see some good growth happening. I don't know about you, but I also get to a point where I notice how clear and good the water looks. I hit that point the other day...
 

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I would love to know what NPT means....
I'm also wondering where or what you use as soil for your bottom layer ??
what lighting do you have ? GOrgeous.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thank you....usually mine are clear the first day...I rarely have cloudy problems...but I do on occasion especially in some of the unfilted NPTs

NPT-Natural planted tank....my soil is from the side of my hill in my pasture...black gold with a little sand and red clay added in this tank...I also use potting soil and top soil with a mix of kitty litter in a couple of the NPT's I keep

Lights are shop light from wal mart ($10.00) with 2-6500k 40w Daylight bulbs (2/$7.00) on a 12h/d-PP-light bulbs will be changed out every 12mo.-
I have the shop light hanging from a rod on hooks with chains so I can lower and raise the lights as needed
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Photo update

Updated pic



Plants growing like mad...have pinched most of the stems back and replanted-water lettuce roots are getting longer-I love that look and reproduced to the point that I can't keep up...lol...... and topped off with water a couple of times...no water changes...prams all at zero and most likely will be for at least a year or longer...often with heavy planted tanks you never get nitrate like you do with regular tanks....the plants use the ammonia first for food and you may not see conversion....water stay perfectly clear....

I have got to get a new camera....lol.....out of about 50 shot only 2 came out clear enough to see....but maybe its me...lol.....
 

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I find it really hard to take correct pictures with 6500K bulbs. My camera just doesnt seem to have the right white-balance/color-balance.
Nice tank.

 

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Looking lovely! Are these pants all from your own trimmings or did you purchase some from somewhere?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Updated Pic

Time for some updated pic


This is the male BN pleco in the tank


Tank is growing like mad....I have to make weekly trims and pull tons of the floating plants out

This is a pic of the 10gal I set up not long ago-it has really filled in
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I was going to add....if you want to see more pic of the 10gal NPT to see how it has grown and how I set it up-that info can be found in my album.....I didn't realize how much it had filled in until I looked at those pics myself.....
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Thank you....I love these systems...so easy to take care of and the fish behavior is amazing in the more natural systems.....
As close to a natural ecosystem that you can create in a closed system.....everything has a job of sorts....lol....
 

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It looks amazing, OFL! I kind of want to try one, but I have heard that they only work when lightly stocked, and I have never have the self-control to only stock lightly. Is that true?
Also, is it ok to use aquarium sand over the dirt rather than play sand?
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Thank you.....and on the sand, I don't see why aquarium sand wouldn't work-all the sand is for is to help keep the soil in place...

Stocking-a few of my tanks are pretty heavy stocked-but I have massive amounts of plants actively growing...just with this 55gal I have about 30+ male guppies and about 20 young Bettas, 2 BN plecos-to many to count RCS and snails....and this was all added the first week I set this tank up and have not had any deaths or issues....I also have a few tanks with just shrimp and snail.....
 

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OFL I am still amazed how you bred the males to live together! I think I could look at your tanks all day lol. Have you ever thought of selling trimmings that have been floating for a while so they have roots on Aquabid?
 

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LOVE IT!!!!
Im so jealous.... I can't wait to move out of my apartment so I can buy a 100 gallon.... I've just started the switch to live plants and Im already in love
 
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