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Old 12-26-2010, 01:05 AM   #1 
LucyLoofa's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tennessee
Post LucyLoofa's 2 Gallon Walstad Setup

I thought I'd start a thread about my two gallon tank I plan to purchase and turn into some lucky betta's very own little ecosystem.
I'm currently working over this base on my first fleshed out concept image, but for now everyone gets to see my lame base because I'm tired from lack of sleep for the past 3 days and am (at this exact moment) completely ready to just give up and pass out.
You'll probably see Concept 1 some time tomorrow night.
If I'm lucky I'll get at least 5 done by next Thursday so I can render some out in Maya after I download the student version.
here it is, marvel at it's sheer simplicity and staleness:
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:02 AM   #2 
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picture isn't posting... i'll try again in the morning
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:49 AM   #3 
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Just a pointer, you'll want at least a 5g for a walstad. A 2g will fill up with ammonia too fast and you won't be able to fit enough plants.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:12 AM   #4 
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I have a 2.5 and 3 gallon Walstad doing well. I know Diana Walstad does 1 and 2.5 gallons herself for shrimp.

Here's an article about her nano tanks.
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Old 12-26-2010, 12:27 PM   #5 
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That's the same article I was reading actually.
I hope things go well.
I'm trying to get absolutely every minute detail planed and executed before I buy my fish this time.
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Old 12-26-2010, 12:43 PM   #6 
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As long as you start out with enough of the right kind of plants-stem and floating.....the plants will function as the filter and keep the water safe, however, until the plants start to actively grow partial water only changes are needed-floating plants like water lettuce, frogbit, duckweed, hornwort will use ammonia up pretty fast in a 1 fish, few snails and shrimp in a 1-3 gallon containers IME
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:50 PM   #7 
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Do either of you have advice on what method to use?
I was thinking of putting a cherry shrimp and a malaysian(?) trumpet snail in with the betta... maybe a mystery snail as well and I knew that the shrimp would like the carpet plants a lot and it would look very lovely at the bottom of the tank.
I want the entire bottom of the tank covered if possible, the more plants there are the better my betta and the snails and shrimp will be.
I wanted to use Dwarf Hair Grass and Hemianthus Callitrichoides as the carpet plant and get a small bunch of Mexican Oak Leaf as my stem plant with Frogbit as the floating plant.
Here is the picture of the tank since it isn't working on other people's computers:

I have re-crated it in illustrator (without the hood) to show how I will be planting it.
I'm still working the concept out for the first concept which I will post tonight. (it's tedious pen tooling all of those leaves. uhg.)
As you can see it is a vertical hex 2 gallon so I think 1 large stem plant will do as long as I have frogbit floating at the top. Which, by the way, I think looks very charming! I've just never seen how long the roots grow before so I'm worried it will be a problem for my betta. I still want him to be able to reach the surface for air.
anyways! gtg! I'll be back to post with more info soon!
Any help would be appreciated!
I love hearing what you guys have to say! :)
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:35 PM   #8 
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We used to have a tank like that... I think it was a 4-5 gallon because it was tall...

I called it the 'Death Hex' because when I was little fish never lasted a week in it... my parents were not knowledgeable so it was filled with horrid hard plastic plants... it really was a death chamber XD

Before I got Drax tank my mom was like... "HEY! Don't we still have that old tank?"

I was like. "No..." (Midnight that night I slipped into the storage room and dug it out and destroyed it and threw it in the dumpster so it would never kill again XD).
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:24 PM   #9 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I have a hex tank just like the one you plan to use and it works wonderful as NPT...

You will need a lot more than one stem plant..more like 20 or the beginning I would only plant one dwarf hair grass-it will reproduce pretty fast by sending out runners and cover the bottom in a month or two...... you need the stem plants for their fast growth and root system to help pull oxygen into the soil to help avoid anaerobic or dead spots....adding the trumpet snails will also help with this-they are wonderful snails for the NPT due to their burrowing nature, some common snails like pond or ramshorn are also good and will help keep some species of algae off the plant leaves as well as eating dying/dead plant material and left over food but you have to keep their population under control...shrimp are great too and will help shred dying/dead plant material to help speed the decaying NPT you don't have to add food for the shrimp and snail per se...just an extra pinch of food for the Betta and what it doesn't eat the shrimp and snails will and what they don't eat the plants will use for food/ food is a good plant food too......I add extra just for them on

In the NPT you need to cover 75-80% of the floor with stem plants-if you start with too few plants in a soil based tank you can risk a crash....NPT are planted tanks not an aquarium with some plants...the main focus are the plants and the fish and livestock are extra....NPT should be low stocked for them to function correctly otherwise the plants can't keep up with the byproducts...especially when first set up

You need at least 10-20% floating plants to start and then you can thin them down once the stems start to actively grow-frogbit is really light weight and the Betta will not have any trouble getting air from under them.

Since your light is going to be coming from the side that should help with any hair/thread type algae that can often become problematic with over head lights that are too strong or too for this and remove as needed-this can cause problems for the Betta getting to the air due to the mats they can sometimes form

Speaking of lights----what kind are you planing to use..... watts and kelvin....with NPT they are low to mod light set ups and so you need to be careful and not use too much but still enough for good growth...sometimes you have to play with this as far as distance, photoperiod, penetration etc..... balance is the key and tweaking is needed on a regular basis...these are little ecosystems-low tech-no CO2 or added ferts are needed, just an extra pinch of fish food on occasion, waste from the livestock, lights and even the decay and decomp of plant material are important you have to be careful and not remove too much of the mulm, waste, dead plant material...some needs to be left for the tank/soil/microorganisms to convert for the plants and over all health of the water...everything works together...once mature few water changes are needed....however, this can take 3-6 months......

Here is my little 2gal Hex-no filtration, 2wpg-6500k, 7.5w preset heater-plants: naja grass, hygrophilia, wisteria, ludwigia, rotala, water lettuce-1 adult male Betta, trumpet snail, pod and rams horn snails, red cherry shrimp-substrate: potting soil with black sand cap

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 12-26-2010 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:00 PM   #10 
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Fishlady -beautiful tank!

Lucy - can't wait to see the tank up & running.

If I have room someday this type of tank is HIGH on my wish list!
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2 gallon, betta, betta fish, planted tank, walstad

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