Ismaris' Walstad and Non-Walstad Tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
  • 4 Post By ismaris
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
ismaris's Avatar
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 20
Ismaris' Walstad and Non-Walstad Tanks

I have been a big fan and lurker of this site for about 3 months now, so I think it is time that I start sharing my experiences with my aquariums! Currently I have a 55G non-Walstad tank, and three Walstad tanks, a 10g, 29g, and 2.5g that I will be documenting in this thread.

I got into the hobby in early August when a co-worker sold me his 55g tank, stand, and unopened fluvial 405 for $20. I set it up, bought some plants and put them in, and was dismayed to see 80% of the plants die. That was the beginning of my education in aquatic plants--you can't just throw them in with tapwater and nothing else. Plants need light, micro and macro minerals, and CO2, as you all well know. I have come a long way since then, and am now cultivating various plants successfully. My livestock are currently kind of an afterthought, as I want to get my plant-keeping down before getting too worked up about what type of fish I have.

After reading Diane Walstad's book, I was inspired to set up soil-based tanks, so I will also be documenting the progress on my 10G, 2.5G, and 29G Walstad tanks.

55G Non-Walstad (My First Tank, Pictures in Chronological Order):

Size: 55G
Filter: Fluval 405
Lights: Finnex 48" Planted+ LED light & 48" Aqueon Modular LED Light (Three LED strips, two 'Colormax' and one 'Daylight')
CO2: 24oz Paintball tank, AquaTek regular @ ~8bps, Fluval ceramic diffuser beneath filter intake
Ferts: Green Leaf Aquariums PPS Fertilizer System
Substrate: 5lbs eco-complete, 40lbs inert gravel substrate
Plants: Jungle Val, Ozelot Sword, Anubias Barteri x2, Marimo Moss ball x2, Ludwigia Repens, Melon Sword, Cryptocoryne wendtii x2, java fern x2
Fish: Blackfin Tetra x7, Columbian Tetra x3, Amano shrimp x3, Nerite Snail x2, mystery snails/Ramhorn/MTS, Panda Garra x1, Fancy guppy x1, Marigold Swordtail x9

This tank has been my learner tank. I have gone through lots of ups and downs, and as such it has a special place in my heart. It is currently my only tank with fish. I have had some plants do well in it, and others not so much. I am still trying to dial in my CO2 levels as well as the fert amounts (Currently on a PPS system, using ferts bought through greanleaf aquariums), as I have had burts of black hair algae, as well as some hair diatoms. For the first three months I used Flourish Excel Comprehensive, but decided I did not want to continue paying for it when there were cheaper alternatives readily available.

Brand new, just filled with some water and turned the filter on:

The guy I bought the plants from didn't give me much in the way of information, so I just threw everything in thinking it would be okay...

After some newbie scaping:

Another couple weeks in, after succumbing to the fact I would need some co2 (You can see my bubble ladder):

The hygro certainly started to take off..

After picking up the amazon sword and some spindly ludwigia:

The same spindly ludwigia liked my tank:

This one is about 3 months in:

July, 2015:

More updates and pics forthcoming.

Last edited by ismaris; 07-24-2015 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Added pics
ismaris is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
ismaris's Avatar
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 20
Added some new pictures to my post. I will be posting some updated pics of the 55g and the rest of my tanks tonight. I have been having some issues with algae in my 10g Walstad that is carpeting with DHG and HC. I tried the "one-two algae punch" and it really did a number on the algae, so I am very pleased. I just put the 4 tbsp's recommended 3% h2o2 in with a 400gph powerhead and let it do its thing. It really went a long way since the tank is only a 10g and it has no livestock yet.

I also thought I would post this low-quality picture of my shrimp tank. This tank is Walstad with a sand filter cap. It has about 100 cherry shrimp babies swimming around in there, and is VERY thickly planted with hygro, duckweed, and some burgeoning red root floaters which I think provide a pretty contrast:
ismaris is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
ismaris's Avatar
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 20
I am battling algae still in my 10g Walstad. I have DHG and some HC in here that I am trying to get into a thick carpet, but this green fuzz algae (perhaps someone could identify which algae this is on my hair grass from the below picture) keeps growing faster than the grass. It isn't stopping the growth of the grass completely, but it is certainly growing faster than it.

I did my second "one-two algae punch" in a month, and right now you can see the resulting fizz. I also planted in an ozelot sword baby from my 55, as well as a cryptocorne in the back and some jungle val. I forget the name of the plant on the right, but it has a massive rhisome and doesn't seem to get too large before shooting off babies. Maybe someone can help me out there on identifying it.

I have just had a sponge filter on this thing, but to get a little more flow I also plopped in the little 3i tetra whisper I had sitting around. I have a powerhead that I wouldn't mind putting in as well, but I don't want my 4 amano shrimp and one cherry shrimp to get injured by it. I plan on taking out the tetra whisper once the algae subsides. Grr...

ismaris is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
ismaris's Avatar
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 20
Added a new picture of my tank from this month. Kind of crazy comparing the pictures from recently to the pics from 8~ months ago. It has definitely come a long way. I'm still using PPS ferts and high-pressure CO2. Have struggled with some green algae on the tank walls, but that seems to have died down. I think I had started slacking on my feeding and ferts, and the plants were tapping out all that fish mulm.

I will be ordering a new 60-F ADA tank with AquaSky light and doing a tank inspired by my local landscape (Brown County, IN). Thinking about trying to add some local river slate to it, as I think the reds and greens of the slate could really complement the colors of the plants. I'll be posting pictures as I move that along.
ismaris is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
ismaris's Avatar
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 20
Going to go ahead and update this thread with pics from my ADA 45-F tank. It is my first ADA tank, and I have tried to do that brand justice with the scape.

Tank Specs:

Substrate: ADA Amazonia Aquasoil
Filter: Eheim 2211 with Cal aqua intake and EBay outtake glass pipes
CO2: 10lb co2 tank with aquatek regulator @ 1bps, UP aqua Inline diffuser
Light: ADA AquaSky
Fertilizers: PPS water column fertilization, daily
Heating: Hydor 200w Inline
Flora: Urticularia Graminifolia carpet, Hygrophilia compacta, anubias petite, anubias nana, rotala rotifundia, assorted bucephelandra, and some other varieties I can't recall
Fauna: betta

8/15/2015--First day of planting.

9/05/2015--20 days after initial planting. You can see that the UG is spreading at a good pace.

9/20/2015--35 days after initial planting. UG beginning to take on bushy characteristics. You might notice I was beginning to combat some hair algae on the wood at this point. I spot-treated with hydrogen peroxide, shut off the filter, let it work its magic, and then after about 45 minutes would turn the filter on again. I would have added a powerhead for circulation during these treatments, but the tank is really too small for that.

12/05/2015--80 days after initial planting. The tank has filled in nicely. I continue to combat algae and lifting UG, but I was overall pleased. There is some disrupted sod in this picture, as I had just moved the tank into my new house.
annah, annah, SeanOB11 and 1 others like this.
ismaris is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 01:27 PM
Algae Grower
SeanOB11's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 13
any updates on these? lovely tanks & you nailed it with the 60F.
SeanOB11 is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
ismaris's Avatar
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by SeanOB11 View Post
any updates on these? lovely tanks & you nailed it with the 60F.
I've been out of the hobby for a couple years (mostly), but am now getting back in. Just started back up this 60f again with an iwagumi style layout (First time I've done so).

CO2: 5lb co2 into UP inline diffuser @ 1.5bps
Lighting: ADA AquaSky 601
Substrate: ADA Amazonia Aquasoil Powder
Filter: Eheim 2211 with Cal Aqua intake and EBay outtake glass pipes
Fertilizers: Green Leaf Aquariums PPS micro/macro daily
Heating: Hydor 200w Inline
Flora: Monte Carlo, dwarf hair grass, staurogyne repens

The tank is sitting on an Ikea stand, and at some point I might reinforce the middle with a 4x4 posting, but that doesn't seem to be an emergency given the tank's small size.

Curious if anyone has hot tips on how to clean glass lily pipes that are that small. That algae is pretty damn stubborn to get off. I am going to be setting up an ADA 120 over the next couple of months as well, which will be my largest tank to date (80 gallons). Really looking forward to that!
ismaris is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome