Walstad Method- Book says no waiting after set up? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Walstad Method- Book says no waiting after set up?

So I've read our sticky on setting up a tank. I have also checked out Ecology of the Planted Aquarium from the library. So she says (with dry soil) "Layer the tank to depth of 1 to 1.5 inches, next cover with gravel so the substrate is about 2.5 inches deep. Add water so the substrates is convered about 3 inches deep. The next day the the tank can be planted, more gravel added to cover the the soil, the cloudy water drained off adn the tank filled with new water. She lets the tank run overnight with the heater, light and filter all hooked. The next day I add water conditioner and then add the fish."

I've quoted this pretty directly. So our sticky says to wait 3 months .I was wondering why the difference? Is it just two different methods?

I am planning a sorrority and the Walstad method seems to be the way to go. Any feedback on her instructions or doing a Walstad tank with sorrorities is appreciated. Thanks!

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 02:21 AM
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our sticky says to wait 3 months? o_O
I'm pretty sure oldfishlady herself stocked her NPT tanks from day one. lol
The walstald method, can be stocked from day one, if done properly.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 07:58 AM
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Problem as I see it ,Is the miracle grow potting mix,and some other soil,substrates ,can release ammonia for a few week's from organic content of the soil.
After a few week's,,the bacteria will have had time to establish itself in and on the substrate, but to add more than one or two fish to small bowl's,or tank's less than five gal,will require substantial investment in enough plant's to keep ammonia from poisoning the fish.(one or three plant's may not cut it).
Believe (my view) this is why Walstad does not place many fish in these small affair's, and it would in my view,,be wise to do likewise.
Plant's can easily use up ammonia from fish,and perhap's that which may leech from the soil,but it takes a fair amount of plant's from the outset.
Do also keep in mind that plant's often need time to establish themselves or adapt, to submerged condition's after being grown emmersed (root's below water ,leaves above) and during this time ,they may not be as helpful at removing,assimilating ammonia produced by fish and or organic content of substrate.
Every body is alway's anxious to place fish in their tank's ,(me too) but letting the tank and plant's get esablished,and mature a bit,,will make condition's more livable for fishes,invert's. IMHO.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 08:21 AM
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I added my fish to my NPTs right away and then checked the water often and did at least a 25% water change anytime ammonia or nitrites got up to .25. It's working out great!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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I am going to do a 20 long or perhaps a 29 gallon so there will be several females. I do have one empty 5 gallon I'd like to try it with. Either way it will probably be a month before they are stocked anyway but I found it pretty amazing that you could start right away.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 08:46 AM
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I used Oldfishlady's instructions and didn't finsh setting up until late at night so I added 2 red cherry shrimp, 3 ghost shrimp and turbo snails to start burrowing in the soil and stem plants. The next day I had to go buy more plants because I wanted to be sure I had enough and once they were planted I added a baby betta. Everything is growing. I set it up in 5/3/13 and did a 50% water on 5/5 and 25 % on 5/6. The first week I did 2-3 partial changes and then 1-2 weekly.
I think the 3 month information is when the soil takes a life of its own which is what you want to happen. As long as you have enough plants you should be able to add fish as long as your temperature is correct.

Forgot to say I have a 10 gallon with 2 6500k light bulbs.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Deanna01 View Post
I added my fish to my NPTs right away and then checked the water often and did at least a 25% water change anytime ammonia or nitrites got up to .25. It's working out great!
This. I did and am doing this. Going on week three of my own NPT and no fishy deaths and plants are growing like mad. Probably gonna do a trim at the end of this week! The biggest thing about this way of doing a NPT is dedication to water testing and water changes.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 01:46 PM
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I added my fish the same day after a bunch of water changes to reduce cloudiness from the sand/soil. I just kept an eye on the ammonia for a few weeks and changed it whenever there was anything other than 0. They've been running since March now, and there is never any ammonia at all.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 01:51 PM
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If you set up a planted tank or an NPT properly, you shouldn't be getting ANY readings of anything from day one that you get your fish/inverts. That's the point of the plants. And as far as water changes, you shouldn't have to do that nearly as much as a tank without plants, again it's the point of the plants to clean and act as a buffer against any levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 02:19 PM
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Hm. Well, I did get nitrite readings, for sure. I actually don't remember seeing ammonia. But I was getting nitrates by day four, which was great. Someone posted and told me that I was getting the nitrites from the plants still being in shock from planting, though I don't know.
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