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Tanks by Diana Walstad?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by fishtk75, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. fishtk75

    fishtk75 Prolific Poster

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    Any members use the setup she has?
    How is it working for you?
     
  2. paludarium

    paludarium Guest

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    I did set up a natural paltend tank after reading Diana's book 11 weeks ago. It's a 42 gallon tank with 2x39w T5-HO lights. The plants are growing slowly but tremendously. I didn't really do any water changes, just top off. The only plant I ever pruned in the past 2+ months was Ludwigia ovalis which is not well identified in the picutres. There are also GSA and BBA in the tank but seem minimized now.

    20061022002.jpg

    000000.jpg
     
  3. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    I have three "Walstad" type tanks going, one for more than 2 years. They are all different. One needs nitrate nutrient dosing every few months; the others less frequently. (I determine when more nitrate is needed with a test kit.) All get some Flourish occasionally.

    I am quite satisfied with that approach. My main problem is that some of the plants spread too fast (crypts, E. tennelus, and S. sublata, among others) and I do not like to prune. Over time this results in a natural but messy aquarium.

    I also have experienced algae problems, particularly in the first month or so.

    My soon-to-be-set-up next tank will be a soil-based tank, but I am also experimenting with inert substrates and water column dosing.

    Bill
     
  4. Sintei

    Sintei Lifetime Charter Member
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    Paludarium: what kind of mosswall is that?
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    AC added in the first month will solve a lot, as will packing more plants into the tank asap. Zeolite can be used as well and boiling(10 min)/soaking the soil(3 weeks) can help also.

    I use a water column fert method and I can grow most any plant species this way.
    Then I know the rates of uptake and have no plant species issues.

    It's less messy also.

    I dose once a week.
    Most everything else is the same.

    Messy is, as messy does.

    My tank is small, but pretty.
    It was even prettier at one point.

    Many of the older Dutch scapes from the 1940-1950's where non CO2 and looked quite nice.

    Diana was not around then...........:rolleyes:

    I'm not sure it's her method anymore than adding KNO3 is my method.

    What parts work and why I've taken a few steps beyond what she has done, some seem to suggest other hypotheses than those she put forth, but many of the observations are the same.

    The method works, not doing water changes, rich or nutrient poor substrates work well, less nutrients= more required from the water column to support continued plant growth etc. Moderate to low light, lots of plants from the start, algae eaters etc.

    It's not complicated.

    cube1.5galnano non CO2.jpg

    killifish2.jpg
     
  6. morphriz

    morphriz Junior Poster

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    Hi,
    I've got a 90L Walstad/Lowtech/El Natural up and running and a 160L that I'm about to do a test with soil only substrate.

    The 90L is having some iron problems. I've been trying to up the input of iron via foods since I'm trying to keep the balance without dosing ande there is some improvement. The tank is about 4 months and I used potting soil for cacti. The soil might be the problem since I soaked it and it was already low in nutrients. On the upside there were hardly any algae at all during startup.

    The 160L is basically a test to see how the walstad method does without the special redox situation that comes from the soil/gravel combination. I'm going to use soil, 5-7.3cm=2-3" and some clay in the bottom, 1cm=2/5". I'll cover the bottom with leafes. I'm going to add live tubifex to the substrate, keep some detrivore bugs and have malaysian trumpets to airate and mix the top layer. Hopefully the critters will move the nutrients-to-be-recycled into the substrate for better chemical processes.

    All in all, I think low-tech is a great variation. It's a not so time intensive and generally slower to react to input tank. Good when there isn't time to keep tabs on a high-tech tank where one can totally devastate the tank if one misses a single day.

    If anyone is thinkting of staring a lowtech the only advise, apart from the many availavle, is to initally stock the tank with inhabitants that can hadle O2 going very low. That would be snails like Pomacera Bridgeesii(Applesnail) and labyrith fish, Bettas, Guramis et.al. That way there is more room to experiment with low surface agitaion so you can keep CO2 levels higher. Remeber that the substrate generates CO2 in a lowtech.

    Ah well, my 2 cents worth...
    cheers
    Mattias
     
  7. paludarium

    paludarium Guest

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    I had the moss, Anubias barteri var. nana, Java fern, and Microsorum pteropus 'Windeløv' nailed on the background. That's it. The plants occupied the whole backgound within 2 months and I love that aquascaping. The mosswall also provides hidden places for the shrimps.

    What role does the biological filtration play in a non-CO2 tank? Do you recommend a canister filter or just a submerged pump that just circulate water?
     
  8. fishtk75

    fishtk75 Prolific Poster

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    In her book readshe uses power heads only with filter or as you said just a submerged pump that just circulate the water.If you have as I have she said to clean the canister more often and remove the fine filters in it.
    I new to this also that is why I ask who using one for input.Tom Barr must have more insite to help both of us on this.

    Now is there anyway without tearing down the whole tank to put in soil?
    maybe thinking out of the box nylon sockings filled with soil put under the gravel I have as small patches! or does it has to cover the whole bottom of the tank?
     
  9. fishtk75

    fishtk75 Prolific Poster

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    what background is made of?
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    See my article on cork aquascaping, goes way back..........
    I used it to attach various plants to and it's siliconed tio the back wall or to a piece of rock/plexi etc and then added anywhere, you use 18 gauge galvinized wire and make "U shaped nails" to attach the plants to the cork.

    You can add soil to any pre existing tank easily.
    Add soil to a little water, mix, makes => mud.
    Add mud to ice cube tray, freeze for 2-3 hours.

    Add mud cubes deep into the soil, when they thaw, the soil will be down there.
    This is suitable for spot enrichment.

    If you want to redo a whole tank, best drain it and clean it complete tear down etc


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. fishtk75

    fishtk75 Prolific Poster

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    Thank again
    OK then can I ask is there soil media to use and not to use?
    Also the soil media have to cover the whole bottom of the tank.

    I was thinking out of the box fill nylon stockings and place them under the media I have and plant the plants over the were the bags are so the roots will grow throw the nylon in the bags of soil as under media clay pots.
    Or freeze them as you said as mud spots.
    Thank you very much for that.
     
  12. fishtk75

    fishtk75 Prolific Poster

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    How do you upload pic as you did?
     
  13. paludarium

    paludarium Guest

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  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Greg's nagged me to do the same thing, so I suppose I will use the photobucket thing:p

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. fishtk75

    fishtk75 Prolific Poster

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