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Old 08-14-2010, 12:13 PM   #1 
PeiMai
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Planted Tanks??

Ive been recently convinced by OFL that I need to plant this 5 gallon tank that I got. I've been wondering if there are any other people that might be able to explain some of the finer points of setting up a Walstad tank? Like do you have to wait for the water to cycle plants to establish before putting fish in our is it literally, soil plants, rocks/gravel add water followed by fish after a day or two to settle out a bit?
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:38 PM   #2 
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The LFS (petco) was not a real help with info about the plants today unfortunately. I'll be going out to petsmart tonight to see if they can help me out. I stopped by the local organic garden store. They had no experience with a Walstad aquarium but were very keen to help out. They found me the type of soil I needed (100% organic nuetral ph unfertilized topsoil) and even gave me a very nice water hyacinth(sp?) I'll have pictures up either late tonight or tomorrow sometime.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:47 PM   #3 
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ok so here it is. Still needs to settle out but here it is. Can't wait till it clears up.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:59 PM   #4 
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Wow that is really musty lol
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:33 PM   #5 
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Like I said I 'just' got done doing it lol Yeah it still needs to settle out the dirt I probably didnt layer it as carefully as I should have but I think it will be ok
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:31 PM   #6 
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What kind of plants did you end up getting?
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:38 PM   #7 
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Yea... I can't wait till it clears up either! ;P lol From what I can see though its looks pritty nifty!
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:18 PM   #8 
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Um I got java ferns anubias a hyacinth wisteria some white stripey-do and some other type of fern thing and another tall long leafed one yeah thats it lol
and a resin wood look-a-like thing for the java fern to root to.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:24 PM   #9 
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Thats one day of settling not much big stuff left at the surface but what ever remains I plan on skimming off. Just wondering if I am going to run the filter when should I start it?
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:52 PM   #10 
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This is paraphrased directly from Ecology of the Planted Aquarium (First Edition) by Diana Walstad on how she herself sets up a tank, with my additions in brackets:

The easiest way of starting a planted tank is to -

1.) Layer the bottom with 1" - 1.5" of dry soil. [This part isn't in the book, but it helps greatly if you let this layer of soil air out AT LEAST overnight in order to get rid of as much ammonia as possible. Some people actually let the soil sit around for a month. Also, try to get black earth soil - no fertilizer or compost. Also, it would be a good idea to mix in some crushed oyster shells or coral with the soil to serve as buffering agent if you have soft water.] Then cover the soil with about 1" of gravel. [Should be standard medium-sized gravel. I tried using large gravel (pebbles) because I liked the look and this allowed the underlying soil to stain the water. ]

2.) Then add 3" of water to the tank. [Use shallow dish to deflect water so that gravel doesn't get messed up.]

3.) The next day the tank can be planted. [Push plant roots deep into the substrate. Cover any exposed soil with gravel.] More gravel can be added to cover the soil. The cloudy water can be siphoned off and the tank refilled with new water.

4.) Ms. Walstad usually lets the tank run overnight with the heater, lights, and filter on. The next day water conditioner + fish can be added. Water may be initially cloudy but will subside within two days.



^ I went about it this way and had crystal-clear water right away. I didn't add any fish that soon though.

Last edited by RandomFish; 08-15-2010 at 09:09 PM.
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