12 Gallon Emergent Walstad
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:06 AM   #1
kwirky88
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12 Gallon Emergent Walstad




My main, high-tech tank has too much light so I was at the aquarium store today looking for a 24 inch tank to put a Finnex Fugeray Planted+ over for a Walstad setup when I came across an unusual tank: 24Wx12Dx10H. It looks like some sort of tiny breeder and being only $18 I picked it up and took it home to set up an emergent Walstad setup. The goal of this tank was to not buy much more in "stuff", meaning it had to be "low tech". The tank was less than $18, it used about $3 worth of potting soil, used equipment I had on hand, and wouldn’t require intensive dosing. I also wanted it to be low maintenance.



There is a layer of Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix underneath inert aquarium gravel as a cap and due to the low height of the aquarium practically all of the plants will end up being emergent. Tonight I put in a touch of macros and micros to give the plants a "head start". I won't dose anything else unless I see signs of nutrient deficiencies.

I don’t exactly know what I'm going to do for fish stock for this tank yet. Maybe a dwarf gourami or beta breeder? Or a breeder for some sort of fish that will enjoy the water parameters (7dKH from tap), plant cover and aquarium size? Whatever I end up doing, because of the incredible surface area and the emergent plants it'll have minimal maintenance and make a great home for whatever small fish I put in there .



My goal is to have 30 PAR of light at the gravel for “low” light and 40-50 PAR at the surface for “medium” light. Based on information I found on the Finnex Fugeray Planted+ I needed to suspend the light 9 inches above the water surface to do this. The added benefit is that I have a very large space above the tank for emergent plants. I may have to figure out some sort of staking system for the emergent plants so they don’t hang over the edge of the tank. I’ll figure that out when I get there. I do plan on getting more low-light plants for the foreground either tomorrow or Monday.

So far the tank consists of the following:

Flora:
  • Crypt Wendtii varieties. Cuttings from my main tank.
  • Crypt parva (not doing well in the main tank, trying in here).
  • Hydrocotyle leucocephala (Brazilian Pennywort)
  • Bacopa monnieri (Baby Tears). Cuttings from my main tank.
  • Alternanthera reineckii (to be grown emersed)

Equipment & Substrate:
  • 24Wx10Hx12D 12 gallon “breeder” style tank, open top
  • 24″ Finnex Fugeray Planted+ 9″ above the water surface
  • Aquaclear 30 with floss, sponge & bio media
  • 1″ Mirracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix
  • 1″ inert aquarium gravel cap
  • 50W heater
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