Good plants for walstad startup

Joshaeus
  • #1
Hi everyone! I am working on setting up a 5 gallon 'walstad' setup (I think this deviates slightly from walstad methodology) and wanted some suggestions on aggressively growing startup plants to keep algae at bay until the tank matures (after which some of these plants would be replaced with more ornamental species). What are some good species for that task? I was thinking of guppy grass, vallisneria, and frogbit (I want to avoid hornwort due to its shedding tendencies, which would be counterproductive). Thanks

(PS...I was most likely going to use a 575 lumen, 2700K BR20 led for 4 hours on, 4 hours off, 4 hours on. I was also not going to dose any nitrate or phosphate, but was going to dose a small amount of iron and flourish excel over the week. Once the tank is set up it would receive 40% water changes every 4 weeks; during the 2 month setup period they would be as often as twice a week depending on ammonia and nitrite levels. Water change water will be dosed with enough calcium chloride dihydrate, epsom salt, and potassium bicarbonate to get KH and GH levels of 6 and 7 degrees minimum respectively).
 

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Chanyi
  • #2
sagittaria subulata
any myriophyllum
hygrophila polysperma (if it's legal in your area)
those are the fasted growing plants I've ever kept.

Toss a bunch of moss and floaters in there too
 

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Cherryshrimp420
  • #3
WilburTheGoldfish
  • #4
Nah, Rotala Indica, it is basically a good looking hornwort and grows almost at the same speed!
 
Joshaeus
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Nah, Rotala Indica, it is basically a good looking hornwort and grows almost at the same speed!
Indica or rotundifolia? The two are routinely confused due to a naming mix up in the 60's.
 
AcornTheBetta
  • #6
Indica or rotundifolia? The two are routinely confused due to a naming mix up in the 60's.
Hornwort. I suggest you watch this (Foo the Flowerhorn):
 

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WilburTheGoldfish
  • #7
Indica or rotundifolia? The two are routinely confused due to a naming mix up in the 60's.
Indica, Indica turns red if you make it happy, and mine's a turbo red
 
Chanyi
  • #8
Indica, Indica turns red if you make it happy, and mine a turbo red

Indica does not turn red, rotundifolia does turn red under very high lighting and with nitrogen deficiencies.
 
Joshaeus
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Indica does not turn red, rotundifolia does turn red under very high lighting and with nitrogen deficiencies.
Speaking of lighting, do you think my 575 lumen, 2700k bulb would be sufficient for the tank?
 
Chanyi
  • #10
Speaking of lighting, do you think my 575 lumen, 2700k bulb would be sufficient for the tank?
For low light plants yes. It might come across as fairly yellow in colour though at only 2700K. The plants won't care though, that's just personal preference.
 

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Joshaeus
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
For low light plants yes. It might come across as fairly yellow in colour though at only 2700K. The plants won't care though, that's just personal preference.
You think 5000k would work better? Also, would there be any benefit to CFL over the LED light?
 
Chanyi
  • #12
You think 5000k would work better? Also, would there be any benefit to CFL over the LED light?
I personally go with 6000K and I still find it too yellow (so I add supplementary adjustable LED strip lighting).

Yes, there will be a difference, as to which one I would go with - CFL - Offers more spectrum for plants, and you can increase the wattage to 23 watts if the 13 watt doesn't cut it (assuming the curly screw in type bulbs here).
 
Joshaeus
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Do you think that a poor choice in light could contribute to algae problems?
 
Chanyi
  • #14
Do you think that a poor choice in light could contribute to algae problems?

I think so.

Some say light that un-usable by plants can be used by algae, which could make some sense. I'm not a lighting guru just yet.
 

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BlackOsprey
  • #15
Pretty much any low light plant is a good choice and works splendidly in a walstad setup. I'd highly recommend pearlweed, dwarf sag, corkscrew val, crypts all kinds of mosses, and most kinds of floating plants. Vals and sag and crypts are especially good for putting down really strong roots to keep things from going sour in the soil, and the first 2 also grow pretty quickly.

Also, use any kind of small floating plant. Fantastic pollution sponges, prevents algae even if your light's a little bright.
 
Joshaeus
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Pretty much any low light plant is a good choice and works splendidly in a walstad setup. I'd highly recommend pearlweed, dwarf sag, corkscrew val, crypts all kinds of mosses, and most kinds of floating plants. Vals and sag and crypts are especially good for putting down really strong roots to keep things from going sour in the soil, and the first 2 also grow pretty quickly.

Also, use any kind of small floating plant. Fantastic pollution sponges, prevents algae even if your light's a little bright.
By 'small floating plant'. do you mean frogbit, or something even smaller like azolla? (I hate duckweed)

I think so.

Some say light that un-usable by plants can be used by algae, which could make some sense. I'm not a lighting guru just yet.
Would these do? https://www.homedepot.com/p/EcoSmar...L-Light-Bulb-4-Pack-ESL13T-5K-4-ESM/206135430
 

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Joshaeus
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Could CFL's be used for a small high tech tank if I ever give one a go again in the future?
 
Chanyi
  • #20
Could CFL's be used for a small high tech tank if I ever give one a go again in the future?
Yes:


kqFN4Ey.jpg
 
Mouska
  • #22
Pearlweed grows fast and can be used as a carpet and Christmas moss is very durable and grows at a decent rate.
 

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