10G Walstad planter - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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10G Walstad planter

I (my wife) decided it'd be a great idea to get one of the 10Gs lying around and turn it into a Walstad-esque planter, so we can start the plant propagation/growth process.

Not sure why some people think I'm patient...I took the 10G I was de-rimming (after leak testing it), dumped the spare MTS I had into it (was sitting out in the garden) with the usual stuff, and it's now on my desk. It has decided to be rather cloudy - probably because in my haste I decided the gravel cap was not required.

Protip...acetone and glass cleaner do nothing to silicone. Razor blades is the only thing that worked.

My original thought on lighting...

MTS build
For those who haven't browsed the MTS process...this pictorial skips over 95% of the work. So go look it up. (you people saying it's messy/time-consuming...haha you're right! but worth it)


MTS I had written off...note the regular garden soil on top, and MTS below - very dark.

Sprinkling of 'muriate of potash' (bacon bits) and dolomite.

Clomps of dirt.

I didn't get a pic of the mud part - mud and expensive cell phones do not mix - but basically just add enough water to make sloppy, break down chunkies, bring inside. Once inside, I filled it up but poured the water onto a plastic divider that was handy and waterproof. That it still got cloudy is evidence of how fine this stuff is.

Where we at
No inchworms were harmed in the making of this tank. O wait. Ya, one drowned. (trust me) Hopefully tomorrow I can get things planted. Whee. Fun evening project...

I'm sure it'll clear up by tomorrow. This tank will be 100% plants, so no need to do filtering/pumping...if you were wondering where those section headings went. If the ammonia and whatnot works out, I'd love to do a betta. I'd name it Frank.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 06-18-2013 at 02:46 PM. Reason: no drug references
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:24 AM
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Looking good so far! I just set up a NPT for my betta. Good luck and have fun!!

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:24 AM
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Cool start and looking good! Can't wait to see your updates.

55 gallon Rainbowfish species/Harlequin rasboras community Dutch scape low-tech planted tank
60 gallon Bala shark low-tech planted tank
250 gallon Community Tiger Oscar/Red hook silver dollar/Silver dollars/BR Parrots/ PB Jack Dempsey/Clown loaches/Tinfoil barb/Roseline sharks/Barbs Monster fish tank
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Much clearer this morning, guessing by tomorrow all the sediment will have fallen to the bottom. No pic...rushing off to work!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:57 PM
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That'll make a great betta tank! I suggest you get a dragonscale. They're sold as young bettas in pet stores, so though they look full-size, they have short fins. They can grow twice as large as regular bettas, and boy are they spectacular!

My adventures in keeping Indostomus crocodilus, the crocodile toothpick fish. AKA armored stickleback, paradox fish, and freshwater pipefish. Care is (to the best of my knowledge) exactly the same as Indostomus paradoxus.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Was clearer when I got home, but still appeared like it'd take a looong time to settle. So, I added a thin layer of gravel (which reversed progress) and hooked the XP1 up to this tank. I'd guess it's been on for an hour, and clarity levels are back to where they were after work. Figuring if I leave it overnight, should be a big improvement tomorrow morning. If not, well I'll have taken the vast majority of floaties out of the tank, so win-win.

Also discovered that not just one inchworm, but at least 3 have given their lives. I look at it as starter ammonia.

Did some more work on the 20G, but mostly just a waiting game now...once things are clear enough...we plant!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2013, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Betta132, thanks...I was in a meeting that perhaps should not have involved me, googled dragonscale betta on my phone. Very cool!! I think a few shrimp and a betta would be perfect. ...must research bettas now...
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2013, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hokey Dinah...is this for real? http://www.ultimatebettas.com/index.php?showtopic=18097

I'm going for low maintenance...bettas appear to be the polar opposite! Great article on general fishkeeping though, and some really interesting info for betta newbies. If that info is legit and applicable (re: feeding/illnesses) to this specific tank...I think I'd have to stick with shrimpies or look at something else.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Woot! The filter has done a great job clearing things up quickly. I ran a net around the inside to see what I could stir up - only organic debris, which I netted out. The vast majority of the cloudiness was sucked into the filter.

Plenty clear enough to plant...so plant I did.

I didn't get a chance to do 'in-process' pictures, but with my cell cam would have been pretty pointless anyways. There isn't really a theme...red plants in the middle where the light levels are highest. Green plants surrounding. I'm thinking this planter will be used to propagate plants into the 20G project once that's going.

Really wasn't sure how to plant the java fern...a few barely had any roots below the rhizome, so I jammed them in here. No clue about this plant, so we'll see how it does semi-emersed.

At the back, water wisteria on the left, mini-round stuff on right. Red plants in middle. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that each 'plant' I had purchased was actually a half-dozen to dozen individual plant stems.

Red plant. The seller threw it in as a freebie, he was curious to see how it would do in MTS.

One of the Java ferns I managed to 'plant'...the red line is the substrate surface...rhizome might be too buried?

Lotsa plants.

I want to find out what the plants in front of the wisteria are called. I really like them.

At this point, job done. I will post updates on how the plants do. The last item, once the water clears, is to remove the filter/spray bar and perhaps add an airstone. Whenever we get close to shrimpies-time, I'll start looking at water parameters and cycling. Until then...if the plants grow, I'm happy.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quick update...things are much clearer today. A few of the really fine-leaved plants in the back left have some brown leaves, but I frankly expected a lot of die-off. I'm giving them a super-long photoperiod (5:30am to 9pm) for the first week, just so they get through the shock period with plenty of light. Bad idea?

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update...still have to upload pictures.

Plants are growing, new shoots at the base of many bacopa, new java fern leaves sprouting, wisteria growing quickly.

I've just been reading about trimming, so will be starting that on all tanks. Also need to get these lights onto a timer.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 09:48 PM
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The red plant is a barclaya longifolia I think; getting rarely nowadays.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 10:42 PM
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Your tank is starting to fill in nicely! You still thinking about a betta?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Well that barclaya longifolia is surviving...no immediate growth obvious. The guy I bought it from didn't expect it to live...fun freebie. Thanks guys...I'm starting to really get into this plant growing thing.

Updates!! I'll have to start updating more frequently as the plants begin to grow. I think I'm going to start trimming the stuff that has growth. The trimmings will get re-planted, then eventually moved into the 50G.

At this point, I don't think I'll be doing a betta...they sound like fairly high-maintenance fishies. Probably just add shrimpies. I have noted a snail in this collection of plants...have to pick him out next time I see it. Fairly sure it's a bad snail.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 03:48 PM
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Interesting that you'd find that bettas are more high-maintentance than shrimp. In my experience it's definitely been the other way around.

Tank is looking good so far!
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