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So I started my first Walstad method tank in a small 2.5 gallon desktop tank and I was reading up more on the method and different variances of the method that people have tried.


For the people that have have done this method before what is your opinion/experience on using a filter or power head to have water moving around the tank.


I am currently following a Youtube channel in which the user has set up a similar 5 gallon tank without a any filter or water flow and had great success and I'd like to replicate those sort of results.


I will be adding more plants after the new year as to avoid the Christmas shipping traffic as I don't want my plants to die in the cold if they get held up.
 

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I'm going to stick my neck out here and say... Do you have previous experience with keeping small tanks prior to this? Depending on your chosen subsoil this could turn messy, become chemically unmanageable and bloom algae like crazy if you're attempting this with anything more fertile than demineralised soil.

I run the raw edge of having algae problems with my 20 gallon running demineralized subsoil that was taken from our yard.

If you're doing this with Miracle Grow Organic Potting soil or some equivalent, note that it contains 'composted' chicken manure and other heavy nitrogenous fertilizers which will leach out and create havoc in your little tank.

Just a precautionary note..
 

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You should really fill it with plants from the start or you will be chasing algae. Try to get your hands on some large floating plants or some fast growing stems so you can out compete it.
 

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In a nutshell, the Walstad method works because there are a lot of plants and very few small fish. This sounds simple, but can really be a 'by guess or by gosh'. There needs to be enough fish to support the plants and enough (medium to fast growing) plants to filter the water....and then there's sufficient light to support the plants, but not so much as to create an algae farm.

We see and write a lot about balance in this forum and it's even more critical in the Walstad method tank. As mentioned, depending on the substrate used, a lot of 'stuff' will initially leach out - so many water changes may be required before any fish are added.
And like all setups, smaller aquariums can be less forgiving than larger ones.

You didn't ID your substrate but it doesn't look like capped earth? Once you deviate from the method, at best we'd call it Walstad Inspired.
 

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You should really fill it with plants from the start or you will be chasing algae. Try to get your hands on some large floating plants or some fast growing stems so you can out compete it.

What he said. I'm guessing OP is talking about Floo the Flowerhorn. If you look at the videos, you'll see that he filled it with plants from the very beginning, including hornwort and duckweed, which are basically the fastest growing plants around.
 

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I’ve done a few of these Walstad inspired setups, they work well but as mentioned previously, you want to start plant heavy. Floating plants were always a saving grace that kept algae away. I’m not a fan of duckweed, look for red root floaters. It gives a little color and the roots look really neat suspended in the water.

PS - Hello from Houston as well!
 
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