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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I'm totally a newbie here, but I've become obsessed with the Walstad Method and planted tanks. I just planted out a 10 gallon yesterday and would appreciate some advice. I've learned a ton by reading these threads the past few weeks.

I've got the Miracle Gro organic soil as she recommends, capped with sand and some gravel. Planted it out with Creeping Jenny, Anacharis, A bit of Cabomba, Java Ferns, Anubis, and pygmy sword. I'm floating Duckweed and a clump of water sprite that covers about 25-30% of the surface. And there's a Marimo moss ball. Note, I pushed the dirt back and put sand in front to get rid of the layered look which is why you can't see the dirt in the the front.

For light I currently have one 8.5" metal clamp light with a 13 watt CFL (equivalent to 60 watt) 6500K temp. It's clamped to a shelf above the tank and is giving light from the upper right side.

I moved my apple snail (Pomacea bridgesii) and pair of ghost shrimp from their bowl because I figured with that many plants and careful monitoring (I have the API Master kit), I could keep the water safe for them and the bowl they were in was over-planted, and I wanted the creeping Jenny out of it for the bigger tank.

So is this set-up sustainable? Should I add a sponge filter? I'd like to get more shrimp and add White Cloud Mountain Minnows for a full sub-tropical set up.


 

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Anacharis is a floating plant.Any part you bury in the sub will rot, but it may take a while.
It'll look like a bush if you just run it under a limb of a piece of driftwood.
Any piece of rock/wood that sticks out enough to hook it under.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anacharis is a floating plant.Any part you bury in the sub will rot, but it may take a while.
It'll look like a bush if you just run it under a limb of a piece of driftwood.
Any piece of rock/wood that sticks out enough to hook it under.
huh. I was reading this site: Anacharis Plant Care, Leaves, Roots & Propagation can you point me in a different direction for care of my Anacharis

Looks good. Water movement and filtration is good for the fishes.
Thanks! I'm looking at filters, though I mainly want the plants doing that job. Have you done a Walstad tank? I'm looking for recommendations as to what makes the best back up filter.
 

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Sorry I got that plant confused/w a floating Hortworth.
That is the plant which will rot if placed under the substrate.
Once I looked at the Anacharis on the link you gave it made me realize I was thinking of another plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry I got that plant confused/w a floating Hortworth.
That is the plant which will rot if placed under the substrate.
Once I looked at the Anacharis on the link you gave it made me realize I was thinking of another plant.
No worries! I keep confusing cabomba and hornwort :p for a while I was sure I had hornwort but it was cabomba, lol. Haven't actually seen hornwort in any LFS or pet stores but there's s huge LFS on the other side of the city I haven't visited yet.
 

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I use a small canister filter for my 10g dirt tank. I've found over the years that a filter is need to keep the fishes healthy. The plants will do fine with nutrients in the substrate. You don't want surface agitation so not to lose precious CO2 so a HOB is out.

I have another dirt tank (5g) where I only have a small in the tank powerhead just for water movement. I only keep inverts there.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I use a small canister filter for my 10g dirt tank. I've found over the years that a filter is need to keep the fishes healthy. The plants will do fine with nutrients in the substrate. You don't want surface agitation so not to lose precious CO2 so a HOB is out.
What brand do you use? I was considering getting a Lustar Hydro Pro sponge filter because it's highly rated and I've been running possible stocking scenarios with it on Aqadviser and I've got a couple different ways I could stock and be all good according to them. But I'm super new to filters, what are the pros and cons of a canister filter? I was concerned about surface agitation and from what I read the sponge filter won't do that.
 

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What brand do you use? I was considering getting a Lustar Hydro Pro sponge filter because it's highly rated and I've been running possible stocking scenarios with it on Aqadviser and I've got a couple different ways I could stock and be all good according to them. But I'm super new to filters, what are the pros and cons of a canister filter? I was concerned about surface agitation and from what I read the sponge filter won't do that.
If I can add, I don't see how a HOB filter will cause that much of a CO2 dispersal problem, *if* you keep the water level high enough that the outflow 'ramp' of the HOB filter is in contact with the water surface and the water flow is coming in at a flow without disturbing the surface unduly. Little canister filters are a lot complexity, more expensive, plus the bigger HOB filters like the Aquaclears allow you to use the filter chamber like a vivarium for immersed terrestrial plants with your pendant light.

You do get a lot more of filter media area with a canister, I just think they're a bit overkill for most tanks under 20 gallons. At any rate if you plan on keeping more shrimp, especially ones that might breed in the tank like Crystal Reds or Cherries, I'd consider installing a sponge pre-filter on any of these filter's intakes. The prefilter of course will need to be pulled and the mulm/dirt flushed, along with your filter's maintenance schedule so your flow isn't impeded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I can add, I don't see how a HOB filter will cause that much of a CO2 dispersal problem, *if* you keep the water level high enough that the outflow 'ramp' of the HOB filter is in contact with the water surface and the water flow is coming in at a flow without disturbing the surface unduly. Little canister filters are a lot complexity, more expensive, plus the bigger HOB filters like the Aquaclears allow you to use the filter chamber like a vivarium for immersed terrestrial plants with your pendant light.
I was thinking of possibly adding red cherries, but was thinking of getting 3-4 females so they wouldn't breed. But I do love the idea of using a HOB as a vivarium, I only just figured out that's what people were doing. Do you have any pics of that set up? I've seen pics with plants growing out of tanks and I assumed they had to be in the filter but still haven't seen any close ups.
 

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I was thinking of possibly adding red cherries, but was thinking of getting 3-4 females so they wouldn't breed. But I do love the idea of using a HOB as a vivarium, I only just figured out that's what people were doing. Do you have any pics of that set up? I've seen pics with plants growing out of tanks and I assumed they had to be in the filter but still haven't seen any close ups.
There's this thread..which I'm completely failing to find using search HOB, paludrium, or Vivarium it's a big thread, lots of examples, hiding somewhere in this forum, sorry best I can do..
 

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Thanks, I'll search some more! I thought maybe you had pics on your own set-ups and it would be easy to find, lol.
Well there's this from my cool-water native mosses and ferns experimental tank. Somewhat tiny Jebo 501 filter. I'd be using an Aquaclear 20 or bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well there's this from my cool-water native mosses and ferns experimental tank. Somewhat tiny Jebo 501 filter. I'd be using an Aquaclear 20 or bigger.
I just realized I didn't reply. Thanks! You've inspired me to try the HOB, especially bc I'm battling biofilm (scum) on the surface and I don't want to skim every day, lol. I'm keeping it at bay by hand. I decided to try the Marina S10 with Seachem Matrix Bio Media instead of the included filter media. That and I might have gone ahead and added the minnows, and I can't quite get the ammonia to drop all the way, it's hanging out at 0.25 ppm and I'm having to do daily 25% water changes. Fish are fine, shrimp are fine, but adding the fish caused a mini-cycle I guess and the plants weren't established enough to handle it. So I'm going to give Seachem stability a try to jump start the bacteria. Wish me luck! My plants are all happy except some of the Anacharis is melting a bit, but all strands have new green growth on the tips so I think it's rooting okay. All the Java fern babies are growing bigger and the anubis is happy. The Creeping Jenny is evidently bomb-proof as it didn't bat an eye at me transferring it to a submerged life a few weeks ago, no melt, no nothing, it's growing nicely. Cabomba is happy too, I wish I'd put more of that in, it's dense and pearling regularly.
 
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