Small Walstad tank

Discussion in 'Planted Tanks' started by Dale-CT, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Dale-CT

    Dale-CT

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    Evening all,

    I am looking for advice, comments or critique on an idea for a small planted tank. I've just finished reading Diane Walstad's book and want to try this method on a 30l tank as a test run for a larger 500l tetra/amazon tank I'm thinking of establishing.

    As with everything on the internet, there are 1000's of opinions out there but few seem to come from folk who have actually tried this. So, has anyone successfully managed to achieve Walstad's aims of balanced tanks with good growth, reduced WC, reduced filtration and little maintenance over a long period of time?
    If yes, do you have advice for soil 'recipes'? plant recommendations or other setup suggestions?
     
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  3. JasonLee27

    JasonLee27

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    Looking forward to the comments on this thread. Awesome Question!

    Sent from my LG-M400 using Tapatalk
     
  4. pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    I'm sure @Boelderbeesty can comment on his guppy tank and I'm sure @ffish has tried it at some point

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  5. f-fish

    f-fish unspecified

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    Go big or stick with store bought substrate, truth is the larger the water volume the more fun you have playing with it.
    Diane Walstad works well for long term tanks, small tanks are seldom that. 500l means more room for error - or rather recovery, a bit of leaching on the 30l is just not fun.

    As for the plants ...full house - the success for any dirt tank is planting it well from day one.

    Later Ferdie
     
  6. OP
    Dale-CT

    Dale-CT

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    Apologies, I did not describe that well; the 30 litre tank is just an experiment to see if I can get the Walstad method to work, experiment with plants, see what grows, maybe try the dry start method, etc, etc. In the book she makes it sound so simple; throw in some soil, add gravel, little sunlight, lots of plants, light filtration, some fish and hey presto! I basically want to test this for myself before committing to a larger tank.

    If this works then I will use the same method to setup the larger tank and revert the 30l to a naked quarantine tank.
     
  7. f-fish

    f-fish unspecified

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    Lol no I get it ... but it is much much harder in a small tank vs just doing it in 500l .. truth is Nano tanks are more complicated than a big tank.
     
  8. OP
    Dale-CT

    Dale-CT

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    :) point taken!
     
  9. BBFish

    BBFish

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  10. OP
    Dale-CT

    Dale-CT

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    Thanks. Interesting article. Is also a simple expiation of how to mineralise the soil.

    As an aside, this seems to be one of the debated concepts on Walstad; do you 'mineralise' the soil before using it, or not? Her belief is that this is only necessary if the soil is going in a deep pot where it will become anaerobic. Many websites seem to believe it is always necessary (or at least they all prescribe mineral soil).
     
  11. BBFish

    BBFish

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    I am not an expert , but from my research it seems that "mineralise soil" is the way to go. The good old "trail and error" method should reveal the best outcome, I'll find out when I attempt this method in a couple of months time.
     
  12. mik

    mik

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    Hi.
    I had also attempted the walstad method some time back. My first tank was a test during 2014, using a 20 litre tank and gromor potting soil. I did not mineralise, and had a fair amount of fish deaths in the first few weeks. Once the tank settled, all was well other than dealing with tanins from the wood pieces.
    My second attempt was a 200 litre tank. Here I used the Aaron Talbot method of mineralisation/potting clay and top soil, http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html.

    Although Diana does not recommend the mineralisation method, I think its necessary in order to minimise fluctuations in the initial stages.

    BTW, D Walstad has been more active on her El Natural forum lately. See http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/el-natural/
     
  13. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

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    Here's mine. I had the light on it over December I think for about 2 weeks and used it somewhere else as it gets enough sunlight for the plants, from 15:00 till it sets, so I'm back on fusion power and it pearls like crazy. Maintenance on this tank is minimal, if I change water twice a year it's many, I only top up. No filter and no ferts also, the food keeps it going. It has a little powerhead that just moves the water around and a waterfall. I had guppies in it but they started to kill of my shrimp colony so I moved them many months ago. The colony is recovering again. It's been running for over a year now. The soil is just normal inert fish tank gravel you buy anywhere. There's 3 different kinds as I used what was lying around from previous tanks. a Better soil will do a better job though but I'm happy with what it's become with minimal effort. It's a 60L. Plants are duckweed, elodea and vallis, all are good nitrate munchers.
    IMG_20171119_110818.jpg
    IMG_20171119_181546.jpg
     
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  14. OP
    Dale-CT

    Dale-CT

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    @BoelderBeestie - many thanks. That's exactly what I am trying to achieve.

    :thumbup:
     
  15. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

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    Forgot to ad, the soil went anaerobic long ago already. The bottom is fully planted so the roots keeps it in check. You can see the gas bubbles. I never disturb it.
    IMG_20180129_162603.jpg
     
  16. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

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    Shot man, I must say I'm very happy with how it turned out.
     
  17. OP
    Dale-CT

    Dale-CT

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  18. mik

    mik

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    I cannot find an image of my first tank when it was inside. But this is a picture of that tank taken in early last year after leaving outside for some time.IMG_20170101_122514.jpg .
     
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  19. OP
    Dale-CT

    Dale-CT

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    Forgot to ask ...
    Did you do all the planting and then just fill with water and add shrimps (and hop the plants would beat the algae)? or did you have a fancier plant-and-fill process?
     
  20. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

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    I planted a hand full of vallis and it filled up very quickly. Just keep the glass clean of algae the first month as the tank settles, after that I had no algae problems. You want to clean it as soon as you see it, it's the green stuff so if left it becomes a crust and you will have to scrap if off. To use the correct terminology I just bliksemed everything together with what was lying around haha. I also double dosed stability the first week, 2 doses in total. I waited a few days and when I saw biofilm I put the shrimp and guppies in.
     
  21. OP
    Dale-CT

    Dale-CT

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    So, it's possible I may be overthinking this whole setup thing!! :lol::lol:
    Perhaps I'll try the Bliksem method as a first attempt.
     

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