5 Gallon Walstad Bowl - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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5 Gallon Walstad Bowl

So, I used to have a 20 gallon long aquarium but I got tired of it and eventually took it down about a year ago, I think. I broke my arm 10 days ago, and in my boredom, I decided to start looking at aquarium stuff again. I came across some Walstad-style bowls and was intrigued, and I remembered that a few years ago I found a 5 gallon glass bowl in my neighbors trash when walking past their house. I, of course, picked it up, and it's been sitting in my basement since. Anyways, to the actual tank. I got some organic potting soil (wasn't miracle grow... Vetego? Vegero? Can't remember the brand) and play sand at home depot and stopped at meijer to see what aquarium plants they had. GO TO MEIJER! Apparently nobody ever buys plants there because they had HUGE plants in their tanks for normal price, because they'd been sitting there forever.

Here's the blank slate:


I found some hardscaping materials in my basement. Petrified wood and bog wood. I didn't end up using the bogwood, it took too much room.


Soaked the dirt and skimmed off the floating pieces, which was mostly a perlite-like material. Plopped it in the bowl. Probably should have strained it more, it was a little too wet.


Broke the plants out. Don't know what the stem plant is, but that's a gigantic Crypt wendtii bronze (I think) and a gigantic java fern. $5.49 each.





Hitchhikers! So exciting!


I started breaking apart the java fern and ended with 31 individual plants. I didn't even split the rhizomes, that was just plantlets that had grown.



Found some fissidens in the roots, I was hoping that would happen.


This is pretty much where I stopped taking pictures. I got into a rhythm and just forgot. Anyways, here's the finished product. Lamp is temporary, I'm going to order a 6500k LED lamp tomorrow.


There's a big chunk of java ferns floating at the top. I'm hoping the Crypt will melt and regrow as a bit more of a carpet. I've read that with enough light they do that. We'll see, I guess. I have no idea what the stem plants are, any ideas?

I'll keep this thread updated.

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5 Gallon Walstad Bowl

Last edited by sombrerobanana; 07-28-2015 at 08:48 PM. Reason: forgot a few words
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post #2 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 02:56 PM
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How 'fun' was it setting up a tank with only one hand?
Your stem plant appears to be creeping jenny. Great versatile plant can be below water, above water, and even in your garden outside, does well in medium light.
That's some big crypts! Wish I lived near you do I could raid the plant section!
If you ever get sick of this tank I'll take the bowl off your hands ^.~
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post #3 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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How 'fun' was it setting up a tank with only one hand?
Your stem plant appears to be creeping jenny. Great versatile plant can be below water, above water, and even in your garden outside, does well in medium light.
That's some big crypts! Wish I lived near you do I could raid the plant section!
If you ever get sick of this tank I'll take the bowl off your hands ^.~
Setting it up was alright, tying down the java fern on the other hand (pun, haha) was the worst part. My arm is still somewhat mobile but it has no power.

And yes, I believe that is creeping jenny, thanks.

If I ever take it down I'll keep you in mind!

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post #4 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Also, if anybody has some weird creepy crawlies that are good for Walstad bowls, I'd be willing to trade some of my many java ferns for them. I'm talking detritus worms, planaria, nerite snails, etc.

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post #5 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 04:48 PM
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Be mindful nerite snails have a large bioload (monstrous in comparison to detritus worms and plarnaria). Also nerites do not eat algae wafers and not all of them will eat blanched veggies so you should wait until the tank has aged and gotten covered in diatoms before getting a nerite snail. Aaannd if you get a female nerite getting the eggs off the glass/rocks is a pain (nothing eats the eggs and they take months to break down).
You can put up a thread in the WTB or Sales/Trade subforums to try to get some of the stuff you want.

Last edited by AquaAurora; 07-21-2015 at 04:49 PM. Reason: typos
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post #6 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
Be mindful nerite snails have a large bioload (monstrous in comparison to detritus worms and plarnaria). Also nerites do not eat algae wafers and not all of them will eat blanched veggies so you should wait until the tank has aged and gotten covered in diatoms before getting a nerite snail. Aaannd if you get a female nerite getting the eggs off the glass/rocks is a pain (nothing eats the eggs and they take months to break down).
You can put up a thread in the WTB or Sales/Trade subforums to try to get some of the stuff you want.
Sweet, thanks for the info.

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post #7 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 10:08 PM
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Boredom

I often tell my kids "if you're bored it's your own fault" -- and I try to live by it too. Your case in point- you solved your own boredom, and in the process, will have something to occupy your time for a good long while!
Kudos to you for doing the work almost one-armed.
Results should look good once the growth starts and the water clears some more. I love small tanks and bowls.

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Last edited by Daisy Mae; 07-21-2015 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Added more comments
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post #8 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Results should look good once the growth starts and the water clears some more. I love small tanks and bowls.
Yeah, I'm hoping it ends up looking good. With the dirt I can't really uproot plants without a huge cloud of muck so... Not much I can do if it looks bad.

The only thing I'm really worried about are the crypts. I hope they melt and regrow as more of a carpet, as I want them as a foreground plant.

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post #9 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by sombrerobanana View Post
Also, if anybody has some weird creepy crawlies that are good for Walstad bowls, I'd be willing to trade some of my many java ferns for them. I'm talking detritus worms, planaria, nerite snails, etc.
Detritus worms? Planaria? I'm subbed for the weird.
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post #10 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Detritus worms? Planaria? I'm subbed for the weird.
Haha yeah I'm looking for as diverse a bowl as I can get.

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post #11 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 02:56 PM
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post #12 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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New pics. All the dust has settled. I'm thinking about taking out the crypts and putting in some sort of foreground plant like Hydro sp. Japan or some Glosso or something. I like the crypts but they kind of obstruct the view of everything behind them.

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post #13 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 03:44 PM
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Hydro sp. japan will grow upright unless you take a little time stuffing the stem back down into the substrate, eventfully it will start naturally staying down but with no care it tends to grow vertically instead of horizontally. You can do the same with hygro sp. tiger (did this in my 7g for a log while)
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post #14 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hydro sp. japan will grow upright unless you take a little time stuffing the stem back down into the substrate, eventfully it will start naturally staying down but with no care it tends to grow vertically instead of horizontally. You can do the same with hygro sp. tiger (did this in my 7g for a log while)
Huh, I didn't know that. Maybe I'll look into glosso a bit more. Or get used to the crypts haha

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post #15 of 67 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 03:34 AM
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I like the crypts

Quote:
Originally Posted by sombrerobanana View Post
New pics. All the dust has settled. I'm thinking about taking out the crypts and putting in some sort of foreground plant like Hydro sp. Japan or some Glosso or something. I like the crypts but they kind of obstruct the view of everything behind them.
Normally, I like a clean look, but this just looks so lush and I like it! I can see fish or shrimp being very happy in here.

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