High tech and walstad questions. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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High tech and walstad questions.

So I have a 5 gallon walstad tank with a few shrimp at school with me, which is holding most of my plants. Back home I have a 20 gallon long that I want to convert into a Walstad and ditch the 5, but the problem is I would only be home for a week to oversee the transition. So I've got lighting all set, I've got about 2.5 watts per gallon of CFL 6700k lighting on the 20. However, that tank only has regular sand as a substrate. I want to switch out the substrate, but I feel like dieting a tank takes lots of time to set up and settle, which would leave the current stock of guppies, cories, otos, and a rubber-lipped pleco in a 5 gallon for far too long while the water settled. So I was wondering about simply switching out the Sand with Eco complete, but people have told me that it's good for plants, but soil is better.

Current plants I have are:
Water wisteria
Dwarf hair grass
Ludwigia repens
Green foxtail (I believe)
One amazon sword
And a thin leaf Val, not sure of the exact name.

So what kind of substrate should I use, or should I just keep the regular sand? I have people who would be able to make sure the tank is alright, but they're inexperienced with planted tanks, or aquariums in general.

Also an unrelated question, is it possible to dose CO2 and ferts until the plants have grown out and are nice and full, then lower the lighting and SLOWLY take away the ferts and CO2, transitioning into a walstad tank?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 08:31 PM
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Who will be taking care of the high tech tank once it is set up? It is not a 'set it and forget it' plan.

The Walstad method is a lot easier for non-aquarium people to deal with, if the 20 is going to be left at home.

On the other hand, if you will be bringing the 20 back to school with you, do the change there. You cannot transport a 20 fully set up.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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High tech and walstad questions.

The high tech method is for another time, I just figured I'd ask now so I could plan ahead.

No, I wouldn't be taking it back with me. Do you think if I dirted it then covered it with Eco-complete it would be okay to stock immediately? In her book she said to stock immediately, I'm not as concerned for the fish dying as much as I am with the water being dirty and cloudy as soon as I leave.

That tank is over filtered as it is, and the bacteria would still be on the filters. It would disrupt the system I'm sure, but not beyond repair, right?
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