My Walstad style bowls - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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My Walstad style bowls

Finally got around to taking a few pictures of my two Walstad NPT style bowls (inspired by Newman's).

Started them the last week of August. Miracle-Gro Organic Complete Potting Soil capped with black Tahitian Moon Sand. Primarily Dwarf Sag with Java Moss glued to the hardscape and frogbit to help prevent algae. I haven't gotten around to adding the shrimp yet but that is more laziness than anything else.

Those are 28 watt daylight desklamps from HD (discontinued I think). I tilted them away from the bowls a bit to get a better picture. I can normally lower them to right over the top of the bowl and not have algae problems (though the evap does increase). I originally was only using one of the lamps but when I set up the second it did seem to increase growth rate. The whole thing seems to be very worry free so far. The only thing that really went wrong is that I ended up with more substrate depth than I had planned. By the time that I felt I had a significant 'cap' of sand the total substrate layer had increased beyond what I had expected or planned for. Doesn't seem to hurt anything but just took away water volume.





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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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I mostly just posted this thread to demonstrate another successful example of the NPT bowl method. The bowls are pretty boring in terms of aquascaping. I was worried about getting them cycled and establishing the plant mass and am going to rely upon the eventual Red Cherry Shrimp population to provide the primary visual appeal. I have an expanding fire red population in one tank and a standard (but surprisingly high quality) RCS population in a 10G tank and I will move some of them over as soon as I get the time to net out some shrimp and move them.

Before I thinned out the frogbit in order to spread it to another tank it had gone nuts in these bowls. I have the same strain of frogbit and the same batches of Dwarf Sag in other tanks and the growth in these two bowls of both plants just went crazy. The frogbit roots actually were touching the substrate.

I would assume that the organics released when the tank was started are what was behind the rapid growth of the frogbit because I have high light in my other tanks (but inert substrate) and it does not grow as quickly or look as healthy in the other tanks. Perhaps the lack of surface agitation helps too. For the dwarf sag the nutrient rich substrate is obviously the likely factor behind the accelerated growth.

The only ferts that I have added are if I have left over water change water from the big tanks and I add it to the bowls to top them off but that is rare.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 08:05 PM
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nice!!


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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 08:15 PM
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Looking good!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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nice!!
You were one of the inspirations.

My original plan was to have a german hybrid sword plant growing emersed out of one of the bowls but when they arrived they were fully grown which put an end to that idea.

I think that I may have to pick up one of those 4 gallon tall cube vase things that a couple of people around here have been using lately and try again.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 04:05 AM
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these look nice. they do remind me of my own =)

I think the more red shrimp varieties would really look great in here!




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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 03:33 PM
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What plants are you using? How often do you change the water?
I would like to have this kind of success after just two months. That grew in very fast!
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 09:36 PM
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I'm really digging this bowl concept. I can't believe how healthy your plants look in there.

-Sean


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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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What plants are you using? How often do you change the water?
I would like to have this kind of success after just two months. That grew in very fast!
I have frogbit and duckweed floating on top (the duckweed I would love to get rid of though).

I have dwarf sag planted all over the substrate and that is what the long stalks that are bending over near the surface are. Then I have large amounts of java moss glued to hardscape. One bowl has a piece of driftwood completely covered in java moss and the other has a granite stone that you can't even see because it just looks like a giant ball of java moss.

There are a few stem plants in there somewhere that I grabbed from other tanks and there are a couple of crypt wendtii green in one bowl and a red tiger lotus in the other bowl but the mass of plants makes both hard to see.

Neither the dwarf sag or the frogbit grow anywhere near this lush or fast in my other tanks (with filtration and with sporadic fert dosing). The combination of the miracle gro organic complete potting mix at the bottom of the bowl and just letting the water and chemicals stew in the bowl really seemed to make the plant growth go crazy. The first two weeks growth was sort of slow and normal then it just went nuts.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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What plants are you using? How often do you change the water?
I would like to have this kind of success after just two months. That grew in very fast!
I have never changed the water - only topped off.

When I add shrimp I will probably start topping off with distilled water so that I don't get a mineral build-up in the tank. I probably ought to do SOME water changes as well at that point just to help protect the shrimp but in a bowl this densely planted there is only so much you can do in it without messing up the plants and scaping.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 02:01 AM
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you can always trim up the plants and moss (trim the dead or yellowing leaves on the dwarf sag)
that should free up some room. dont trim too much at once or youll get an algae bloom, but I trim my bowl's moss once in a while and it does good for the bowl - improves oxygen circulation etc.




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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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I finally got around to adding some Red Cherry Shrimp to the bowls 4-5 days ago. So far they seem to be doing fine but to be honest I don't pay much attention to them other than dropping in food every other day or so.

I will update this periodically in regards to the shrimp health and population which I plan to just let run wild. People seem to be interested in how the shrimp will do in these heavily planted bowls so I figured I would test it out a bit.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:06 PM
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you should be successful as long as you keep the plants from choking out the shrimp lol! I find that to be a problem in my bowl; i need to trim my taiwan moss very soon...




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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:07 PM
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How do you keep the water from stinking? Every time I have tried the NPT method I get horrible smelling water. I've had to throw every try away.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:32 PM
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what kind of glue did you use to glue down the moss?
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