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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would i need to turn a 125 natural?

So far i have gathered:
-cheap top soil with no fertilizers
-imestone or cruched coral for lowering the acidity from the soil (my tanks ph is just above 7 already so how do i know how much to add to lower it just a bit?
-sand or pea sized gravel to top off the soil
-clay like found outdoors (what about from a riverbank?) How much to add?
Lightign will probably be 2 36" 2x55w (1.7wpg)

I read dont add laterterite but is there anythign else i SHOULDNT do?
 

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Hi Sean,
If this is your first NPT, I would start out a little smaller. There might be subtle characteristics to your tap water which you (and us) cannot imagine yet. I would do a 10 gallon test tank first, then extrapolate that experience to your 125 gallon. I have four NPTs and though I have tried to normalize them as much as possible, every one has a distinctly different character.

I'm not sure I would add any limestone/coral either. My tap water is 7.3 - 7.4 ph and that seems ideal for plants and fish, from my perspective. According to Professor Walstad, submerged soil ph tends to equalize over time. Then you can add calcium and magnesium to the water afterwards, if softness is a problem. That's where the plants prefer hardwater nutrients - from the water and not from the substrate.

Another thing you will need is some form of water circulation, either from a filter stripped of it's media or a submersible pump. Unlike aerators, either one will work without removing essential CO2 from the water.

Hope this helps and Good Luck!!!
Jim
 

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What would i need to turn a 125 natural?

So far i have gathered:
-cheap top soil with no fertilizers
-imestone or cruched coral for lowering the acidity from the soil (my tanks ph is just above 7 already so how do i know how much to add to lower it just a bit?
-sand or pea sized gravel to top off the soil
-clay like found outdoors (what about from a riverbank?) How much to add?
Lightign will probably be 2 36" 2x55w (1.7wpg)

I read dont add laterterite but is there anythign else i SHOULDNT do?
Hi, Sean,

I pretty much agree with Mightymac that you would probably be better off in starting with a smaller tank. This would be true of all kinds of setups, not just NPT's.

It's safe to say that most people - not all - think that fine grained sand is not a good topping. I used 2mm - 3mm gravel. Others use pea gravel.

I wouldn't add anything to change your hardness or ph unless there is a problem. If there is, GH can be better changed with Equilibrium or GH Booster. They give better control over the amount of GH being added.

You don't need clay. What it provides should come from the soil and the fish food/fish waste.

Good luck!

Bill
 

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:mad:
What would i need to turn a 125 natural?

So far i have gathered:
-cheap top soil with no fertilizers
-imestone or cruched coral for lowering the acidity from the soil (my tanks ph is just above 7 already so how do i know how much to add to lower it just a bit?
-sand or pea sized gravel to top off the soil
-clay like found outdoors (what about from a riverbank?) How much to add?
Lightign will probably be 2 36" 2x55w (1.7wpg)

I read dont add laterterite but is there anythign else i SHOULDNT do?
I agree not to add the clay and maybe start out with a smaller tank (you can use this to get more plants for the big tank). Its summer, and you can probably set up a small tank outside where you won't need a heater or artificial lights.

I'd try substituting Bone Meal for the limestone. The phosphate will stimulate root growth (my book, page 106), and Bone Meal will also provide plenty of calcium.

Make sure you start out with plenty of plant species, know how to work with soil (see Dataguru's excellent "step-by-step"), and finally, have a 12 to 13 hour daylength. You can keep lights continuously on 12-13 hours per day OR you can give plants a 2-4 hour afternoon Siesta.

In my book, I didn't emphasize substrate phosphate and the importance of a 12-13 hour daylength. It will probably be in the next printing of my book. We are all learning! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the replys.

Would a 5.5g work for a trial tank? It only has incadesent lighting but its great for growing java moss and other low light plants.

Would "black earth soil form homedepot be good? It is 100% natural with no chemicals added. It contains peatmoss and other organic ingredients. If i should not use this, what ingredents should i look for/ look to avoid in substrates?
 

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thanks for the replys.

Would a 5.5g work for a trial tank? It only has incandesent lighting but its great for growing java moss and other low light plants.

Would "black earth soil form homedepot be good? It is 100% natural with no chemicals added. It contains peatmoss and other organic ingredients. If i should not use this, what ingredents should i look for/ look to avoid in substrates?
The soil sounds fine. The lighting sounds iffy. Lighting that works fine for Java Moss may not be enough for many rooted plants, especially if they're in soil. Unless you have window lighting or set the tank up outside, you may need about 30 watts of incandescent light.
 
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