(DIY)22 Gallon Long - Walstad Method - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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(DIY)22 Gallon Long - Walstad Method

Well I'm back. After moving into our new house, getting a dog and just living life in general, I started up again. I let my other tanks go before we moved, I just could not keep up with trying to get things setup in our new place and maintaining the hobby.

It started earlier this year, we had visited my brother. He has the most amazing goldfish tanks. Something hit me inside. I was starting to get the aquarium feeling again...

Trying to decide what was best for my current self and what amount of work I was willing to do. I did not want to go high tech. Didn't want to go very low tech either. Somewhere in between. Walstad Method was what I ended up choosing.

I looked into used aquariums first. I told myself that I do not want to spend a small fortune on this. Every other day I'd check to see if anyone had anything for sale. For the longest, I've been wanting a rimless tank, a 22 gallon long to be exact. I finally found something interesting online. Someone was selling sheets of glass. What struck me the most was the dimensions, 12" x 36" x .25~".


Googled everything there was to know about building/assembling an aquarium.





I didn't like how the seams came out, so I scraped and cleaned them off and reapplied the silicone.





Bought a Fluval 3.0



Quick mock up.



Googled how to build a fish tank stand.



Went nuts with the Kreg Jig...





I got the plans from another forum.







This is the stand semi finished. With doors!





Then came time to find organic potting soil.. I tell you. Miracle gro organic potting mix is a myth. I couldn't find it anywhere. Took me 2 weeks to find something suitable. Bought something from Home Depot, labeled as organic garden soil. It was nothing but twigs and smelled so bad. Finally found Miracle gro Raised Garden Bed soil. The bag states its 100% organic. Once I started sifting though, it was a different story. I wish I had taken pictures. There were glass shards, magnetic pieces and plastic bits.



I used a dollar store Oil Splatter guard to sift.



Took about a week to sift through. Mind you I did an hour here and an hour there whenever I had some time.

Got some privacy film for the back of the tank.





Installs fairly easily. Can be removed easily as well.

Bought an eggcrate diffuser from lows and cut it down to size. Also put the dirt in.



By this time, the I had already stained and sealed the stand. Sorry no pictures of that.



Plumbed in the canister filter. Inflow/Outflow.





Played around with the scape.







Ended up like this.



Left side seemed bare. Found some more Ohko stones in my garage.



Plants arrived finally.



I'm not good at plant placement.




Here's how it looks filled with floaters.



Here's an overall shot.



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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 04:05 PM
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I can't believe you made your own tank! Amazing. Following -- really cool build so far. Looking forward to seeing how it progresses.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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This was two days ago. I raised the light since it had a weird angle.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 08:13 PM
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Just beautiful! And very inspiring--- to think, this was a DIY from top to toe!

Thank you for sharing your very excellent project.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Just beautiful! And very inspiring--- to think, this was a DIY from top to toe!

Thank you for sharing your very excellent project.
Why thank you. I'm aiming for shrimp just like you! It will be a long while. Been reading through your recent posts and everyone else's. Taking mental notes of do's and dont's.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Here are today's pics.



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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:31 PM
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How are you finding the Walstad method tank so far? Did you do a lot of water changes when setting up? I am getting ready to start my own so definitely interested in any insights.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
How are you finding the Walstad method tank so far? Did you do a lot of water changes when setting up? I am getting ready to start my own so definitely interested in any insights.
Well so far, very easy. I did have a lot of plants melt and never recover. A lot of the hardier stem plants survived and are thriving.

Water changes are sparingly for me. Just trying to keep ammonia and nitrites to about 1 ppm. I've done maybe 3 x 25% water changes so far. I have my light setup 5 hours on 4 hours off. And just today, I let my tank bathe in sunlight for a couple hours.

Not going to dose any ferts nor add any excel, trying to keep true to the Walstad method for the most part. I'm not saying I'm following it 100%. But trying my best to keep it as is as much as possible.

When you decide to set yours up, please take your time. It gets tedious and very easy to rush through something only to regret it later. I suggest using the miracle gro raised garden bed soil. Its 100% organic, has a little bit of chicken litter compost and peat. So far so good.


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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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So I'm coming up on my fourth week now. Cycling has been very slow. I know it's working since nitrites were always high. Last night I dosed some ammonia, read about 2ppm. This morning it was at 1ppm so there's more progress at least. I'll continue to dose seachem safe daily and keep the ammonia up to at least 2ppm. To my understanding, Safe will save the BB from dying out due to high nitrites? I'll assume it's working since ammonia goes down.

It's probably too early to tell, but I'm leaning more towards neocaridina. I'd really like some CRS but I don't think my parameters will let me in the future. I guess really only time will tell in another month or two once my water stabilizes. Water parameters so far have been around 4KH 6GH 7.4-7.6 PH. I'm not about to try to fight a losing battle with my parameters.

I had a slight bout with hair algae and decided to use metricide to get rid of it. Sadly my hornwort, dwarf water lettuce and salvinia minima were not happy about that. Most of the algae went away at least. I did do a 50% water change after several hours to get rid of most of the metricide. Now it will be a waiting game, hoping my hornwort bounces back and hoping my water stabilizes so I can make some choice decisions on what I can stock.


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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Just an updated picture. You can see the hornwort was demolished. The tips are growing back. I'll wait til it fills up a little on the tips before I trim and replant.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the cycle is finally completed. Now I'm just going to keep challenging the BB with higher levels of ammonia.

It's funny the test showed there were signs of nitrites. I walked away for a few minutes and when I got back it's 0.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to post some updated shots. Really slow growth, but growth nonetheless.






I know the first picture is Monte Carlo? I think? The last one is S.repens for sure. Those were just before a water change.

Here is a whole tank shot after a waterchange.


Here is a before photo for comparison.


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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 07:06 PM
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how do you like that light it's gonna be my next one
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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how do you like that light it's gonna be my next one
Very versatile light. All in all, I love it for the setup I have. Make sure you update the firmware on your light when you do get it.

I would suggest to shop around to get a good deal. Most of the time, you can find the Fluval 3.0's for 15% cheaper.


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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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So weird thing happened. My cycle was complete. Was mainly using tap water to cycle it through mixed with RO water.

Decided to change out about 80-90% of the water to get it closer to the parameters I want. 100%RO water with some homemade remineralizer. Next day I dosed about 3-4mL of ammonia to keep the BB fed. Now it's taking longer to cycle.

I feel that I should've done partial water changes to get it to the parameters I wanted. Lesson learned.


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