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):
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:
More updates and pics forthcoming.