Walstad Nano questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Walstad Nano questions

Howdy, all. It has been forever and day since I've logged in.

I'm having a "YouTube made me do it" moment, but I haven't actually done anything, yet. The YouTube video in question can be found here
if anybody wants to see it. It is short and to the point.

I've never tried the Walstad method. The moment fish are added to a tank, I immediately jump into it is all about the fishes' health mode while plants become second banana on the scale of importance. I take care of the plants, trim them, ect... you know what I mean. Because I know myself so well, if I do set up this kind of tank, it will be flora only.

On to questions:

Do I have to use 'organic' soil? I'm not going to use soil from my yard. My neighbors have their lawns sprayed with every chemical under the sun. Even though there wouldn't be fish, I don't want that stuff in my house.

How long will it be before the soil needs to be replaced? I understand there is no definitive answer here, just looking for a rough timeline. I'm fully aware that whatever soil I use will have to be capped. I'd be using Carib Sea River Rock for that.

I like to keep a clean tank whether there is fish or not and there is much debate about doing water changes on such tanks. I'm not interested in debate, however, I'm guessing that at some point mineral content will have to be replenished in the water column? Obviously I don't have to change water once a week, but what would be a good schedule to follow for water changes in such a tank? The water from my tap is gross and kills things so I would be using remineralized RO water just as I do in my 40 gallon.

Plant selection is always trial and error as every tank is different even within the same household. Are there any that have a decent success rate regardless of water, light, ect... Maybe tolerance is a better word to use here, I don't know.

Is there a difference between GLA and Tropica plants? Looking at their website, it looks like all them are grown emersed and are tissue cultures. Aquarium Plants - Green Leaf Aquariums

Is a heater really necessary? My house during the winter is kept at 72 degrees. During the summer, we keep things around 77.

Is there anything missing that I need to know?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 06:09 PM
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Do I have to use 'organic' soil? I'm not going to use soil from my yard. My neighbors have their lawns sprayed with every chemical under the sun. Even though there wouldn't be fish, I don't want that stuff in my house.

Most folks, myself included, recommend using organic potting soil because it doesn't have a load of inorganic fertilizers in it that may cause issues in the beginning. You'll eventually need to start replacing used up nutrients with fertilizer tabs, but starting out without them has helped save a lot of people a lot of heartache. I would *highly* recommend using a fine sieve/kitchen strainer to get the coarse particles out and only use the fines. The large particles will wreak all sorts of havoc and are better left outside the tank.

How long will it be before the soil needs to be replaced? I understand there is no definitive answer here, just looking for a rough timeline. I'm fully aware that whatever soil I use will have to be capped. I'd be using Carib Sea River Rock for that.

In theory you shouldn't ever have to replace the soil, but you will eventually need to amend it to replace used up nutrients. Chances are good you'll want to do a full tank renovation before the soil itself is "useless". Another strong suggestion; mix 70/30 moist soil/gravel rather than putting down a soil only layer. This will help prevent compaction and give your plants' roots a better environment which will in turn give them more energy to put toward growing above ground mass.

Obviously I don't have to change water once a week, but what would be a good schedule to follow for water changes in such a tank?

Change the water as frequently as you want. Regular replenishment of waterborne minerals and removal of dissolved nasties is always good for plants and fish. The majority of your plants' nutrition is going to come from the substrate so waterborne fertilization isn't a significant concern.

Is there a difference between GLA and Tropica plants?

Both brands are high quality and both vendors have a stellar reputation.

Is a heater really necessary? My house during the winter is kept at 72 degrees. During the summer, we keep things around 77.

Those temps are well within tolerance for 99% of aquarium fish.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I will keep your thoughts in mind when I get to my nano project.
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