Walstad Unfiltered Nano - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Walstad Unfiltered Nano

So I'm new to this planted tank thing still. I got into because I worked for my LFS and knew nothing about it so I decided I'd convert my tank to a planted tank so that I can learn as I go. Well now I'm wanting to do a desktop planted tank. But I want to go filterless. No wires going in or out. Just a glass box of nature. I built a 12X12X12 cube. I'm thinking organic soil, capped with sand or flora max. And I'm going to run a par 38 led bulb for lighting. Possibly no fish but I do want shrimp. Tips and thoughts. Also like the thought of the bonsai look with a carpet all around. Thinking phoenix moss for the "leaves". And maybe micro swords for the carpet.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 11:46 PM
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Are you going for MTS? The organic matter is not what you completely want in your tank as the decomposition sends things a bit nuts and the potential for fertilisers etc. If you haven't already, have a flick through some of the builds on the forum and see what others have done to create a shall we say "minimalist" tank composition. Plants do need to be kept at a certain temperature to thrive also, I believe it allows them to take up nutrients easier.
Considered creating a false back perhaps to try create a feel as though there isn't any equipment, its just hidden?
Either way I hope it all goes well! Put up some pictures also, the people love the pics hahah. Good luck
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 12:10 AM
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I've had a two-gallon no-tech Walstad setup running for about two years with an HC carpet. One inch of Miracle-Gro Organic Potting Soil (not mineralized in advance) with an inch black sand cap, 3w LED, shrimp and snails only. The only drawback to the tank that made me change it a couple weeks ago is that lack of flow has caused hair algae time and time again, so I added a tiny air pump that got rid of it. Also, in order to do the carpet, I did a dry start and allowed it to establish ahead of time so that it didn't melt when I added water. Initially, there weren't too many tannins in the water, since I'd done the dry start for a while, but I did a few water changes to completely remove tannins, and it seemed to run pretty well.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 11:09 AM
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in my experience no filter is a huge pain and some kind of black magic only people on the internet can achieve
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 01:11 AM
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"No filter" is easy - for me anyway.
Here is a desktop "Walstad" dirted 2 gallon planted betta bowl sitting right here next to me.
You don't need a filter on any properly set up planted aquarium - it's surprising how few people around here realize that.
ESPECIALLY in a small tank like this.

"No filter" is a misnomer anyway, and I'm tired of reading that term on a planted tank forum of all places.
Plants are a filter, they utilizes the waste products you're trying to remove with filtration.
I use a little duckweed in this bowl to pick up the slack of the slower growing Crypts.
Duckweed and water lettuce are fantastic processors of organic waste.

I have a HOB on my 40 gallon, but just for water circulation and to hold the Purigen which removes the tanins from the wood.
A filter is useful to achieve clearer water, and less of that "natural" look, but but they are far from a necessity, and a tank without
one, especially a small/nano tank is simple indeed if that is your wish.

This betta bowl does have a small heater - bettas like warm water.
It requires almost zero maintenance. A 3 minute water change every few weeks.
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