About to start a Walstad....looking for helpful critiques! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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About to start a Walstad....looking for helpful critiques!

So I've had a non-planted tank (driftwood, fake plants, plastic decorations, gravel substrate) and a planted gravel substrate (mostly bunched plants with a laterite/gravel substrate) in a 20 gallon high tank. I also have a gravel planted 5 gallon tank with a Crowntail Betta in it. Now when I get home from college for the summer I'm planning to turn my 20 gallon high gravel planted tank into a Walstad tank. Below are my blueprints for: fish, plants, and the nuts and bolts of the tank that I plan to build. I would love some criticism if you guys have any to give! I have read over Ecology of the Planted Aquarium many times and this is the ideal setup that I hope to build.

7 Neon Tetra
1 Crowntail Betta (Already in possession in a 5 gallon gravel planted tank)
Possibly thinking about a school of Corys?


Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata)
3 Green Crypts (Cryptocoryne Wendtii)
10 Jungle Val (Vallisneria Americana gigantea)
1 Amazon Sword Plant (Echindorous bleheri)
Maybe some floating Water Sprite?

9” tall piece of driftwood

1.25 inches of Organic Potting Soil topped with >0.5 inches of fine black sand

Nuts and Bolts
Lighting: Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium Led Light Plus Moonlights -24”
Filter: Aquaclear 20 Power Filter
Heater: Eheim Jager 75 Watt Heater
Background: Black Construction Paper

Foam Pad for under tank for stabilization
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 06:30 AM
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looks like you've done your homework.

i think these tanks are challenging in the first couple months until the system stabilizes, floating plants help during that phase to absorb extra nutrients. I'm in the 6th week of my walstad but i cant trust my tank. amazons are doing good. crypt is doing nothing (its static, not growing, not wilting), cabomba - cant say. another stem plant is also not doing too well. i lost a guppy for unknown reasons - must be bad water or spikes. my tank gets partial sunlight off and on during the day, i dont have any algae, water is clear.

walstad recommends soil layer thickness not greater than 1inch after you've pressed it down. maybe you want a 0.75 inch sand cap? reason is that if its not thick enough the soil will want to come into the water. also think on the lines that you will not be able to move plants around much after everythings setup - it gives up too much mud into the water, not that you cant deal with it.

I wouldnt add fish until your water params read right. I've had 1 fish death. But the reason could be that I dont have Miracle Gro available in my country, had to use garden soil, no other option.

i cant comment on your lighting. IME a smaller lamp, with smaller surface area is better than a lamp with larger surface area of the same wattage/lumens. then you are imitating the sun. my plants have done well with the smaller surface area lamp.

your fish & plant stocking lists sound right. good luck, do keep us posted, you can PM me too.
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dirted, planted, walstad

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