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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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NPT Looking for answers?

Hello!

I have started a project!
I have a 5 gallon tank that i turned into a NPT for my newly bought betta.
I have miracle grow organic potting soil in the bottom about an inch to a inch and a half in some spots (mostly the back)
On top of the soil i have small gravel (smaller than pea size)
On top of the gravel i have some sand.
The plants that i have chosen are:
Anacharis (Egeria Densa)
Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis)
Sagittaria Subulata (Dwarf)
Vallisneria Spiralis 'Leopard' (Italian Leopard Val)
(I also have java moss, amazon frogbit, hornwort, and Bacopa Australis on order to be mailed to me cuz i dont think i planted enough plants)
My light is this light
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.j ... d=11740166
That equals 2wpg which should be good for these plants because sweet aquatics said that they were low light plants.

I also have terra cotta pots in there too.

The tank also has the tetra 3i filter in there too, with no media or anything in there, i just have it for water movement and it works perfectly for this size tank.

My problem is i have a large amount of ammonia in there. I test my water parameters every other day or so to see and last time this is what i got
Ph-8.2
Ammonia- 2ppms
Nirtite- 0ppms
Nitrate- 0ppms

I was wondering if this is normal...
I do not have my betta in there, just fyi.
I would guess that the ammonia is comming from the soil...but i also read that this soil is safe to use.
The ammonia could also be coming from dead plant matter...my plants didnt like being replanted so they shed lots of stuff but i am now just starting to see new growth on them
I have changed my water a few times, to suck up the dead stuff/soil that escaped/get rid of the extra ammonia.

I am wondering if this will resolve its self within time, hopefully not terrible long.

And also if i am doing anything wrong please let me know, i was so excited to start this project and now well i just cant wait for it to be perfect for my fishie!

Thanks a bunch!
Jasmine
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 06:36 PM
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without live stock in the tank the ammonia like you said is either the soil or dead plant matter. Check your tap water to see what you are starting with.

With NPT's it is important to plant pretty heavily from the start to help absorb ammonia and nitrates. I have read that heavily planted means only 25% of the substrate is visible if viewing from above.

If you look at some of the NP bowls you will see the most successful ones are completely jammed with plants.

Check your soil ingredients to make sure you got the right one. Chicken poo is ok, cow poo is bad. I have read reports of the chicken poo causing the ammonia but like I said if you plant heavily from the get go it really shouldnt be an issue.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, i will check my tap water, i know the ph is 7.4 when it comes out but i didnt check anything else, i will do that when i get home.

Im glad i ordered more plants, i guess that wisteria and java moss are better for pulling stuff from the water so i hope that is true.

I will check my soil ingredients, its the same soil that diana walstad referenced in an article of hers, but i hear that sometimes ingredients change due to the geographical region so i will do that when i get home.

Im also glad to hear that so far i havent done anything to bad!

Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 07:15 PM
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until the tank cycles = ammonia, nitrite, nitrate keep your livestock out and wait.
7-10 days should see it complete and you will test zero on ammonia and nitrites with a high nitrate reading. Do a water change and you should be all set.
Changes before the cycle is complete (imo) makes it take longer.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
until the tank cycles = ammonia, nitrite, nitrate keep your livestock out and wait.
7-10 days should see it complete and you will test zero on ammonia and nitrites with a high nitrate reading. Do a water change and you should be all set.
Changes before the cycle is complete (imo) makes it take longer.
I dont recall if diana mentions cycling her bowls. Normally cycles take around 4 weeks, NPTs do take less time though.

I did wait about 2 weeks before I added shrimp. I never did any tests on my bowls so I cant report on what happen in the bowls. All I know is I added dirt, plants, sand then water. Waited 2 weeks, did a 50% water change sometime in there, then added shrimp.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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I checked my soil, and its all chicken poo, no cows.
And im still waiting for my other plants.....sweet aquatics takes forever to process any orders....kinda annoying.
But i do believe that my tank is cycling whether i want it to or not.
I have everything, ammonia, nitrites and nitrate.....

What kind of dip do you suggest for the plants, i didnt do anything with the first ones and i havent suffered from anything bad other than three snails, which i have building a happy family in another tank just for fun =]

Thanks!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjasminex View Post
I checked my soil, and its all chicken poo, no cows.
And im still waiting for my other plants.....sweet aquatics takes forever to process any orders....kinda annoying.
But i do believe that my tank is cycling whether i want it to or not.
I have everything, ammonia, nitrites and nitrate.....

What kind of dip do you suggest for the plants, i didnt do anything with the first ones and i havent suffered from anything bad other than three snails, which i have building a happy family in another tank just for fun =]

Thanks!
I don't bother dipping my plants I just rinse them off first. Don't really recommend it as good practice, I'm just not as paranoid as others.


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