Moving House. Maintenance Free Aquarium? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by UsernamesMustBeUnique, May 10, 2019.

  1. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    So I'm moving house soon, I have a 50 gallon, and it's going to be very difficult to get that tank over to the new house. So I was thinking I might be able to ask my fish store to babysit my fish for me. While that's happening I'm thinking of redoing my aquariums, remaking it into something more green, and instead of sand, have a soil substrate with a lot more plants.

    I came across this video:  

    Anyone have any ideas how I could speed up the process for setting up a new tank? I know I can reuse my filter media, but how will I keep the good bacteria alive?

    I recently randomly lost my Betta's, I tried medications, etc to save them, but it was so weird, they couldn't swim up right and would always fall to the bottom face up. Then while doing a water change my Killi dies out of nowhere. So instead of stressing my fish out I want to give them a completely natural life, well, mostly natural.


  2. nikm128 Fishlore VIP Member

    Well to answer the title, look up the walstad method

    You can speed up the cycle by dosing ammonia and using a bacteria booster, but your filter media should already be cycled unless you let it sit and dry out

  3. oldsalt777 Well Known Member Member

    Hello Ty...

    There are fish tanks, that set up correctly, will never need a water change. You'll just have to replace the water that's lost to evaporation every few days and periodically trim the immersed house plants that filter the water..


  4. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    My filter in my previous tank has been switched off for a while, will the bacteria still be alive? I heard the water needs to be flowing for it to survive.
  5. AngryRainbow Valued Member Member

    How long is a while? Has the media dried out? And why did you switch off the filter if fish are still in the original tank and not in an established walstad yet?
  6. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    I've got two tanks, the one without fish has the switched off filter, I haven't set up a walstad tank yet, I'm going to when I move house, I don't want to stress out these fish anymore.

    My filter media is still wet mostly, there's still water in the filter it's just not flowing.
  7. Cichlidude Well Known Member Member

    As long as your media stays wet, will last for weeks and months.
  8. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    So should I move that media over to the filter for the other tank to keep it alive for longer? I mean, I basically need to redo my tank, which is fine, but I've got a thin layer of sand currently and the walstad method requires dirt, will I be able to just add the dirt over the sand? I'm guessing it doesn't matter if the little snails die under the dirt since it would technically act as fertilizer for the soil.

  9. Cichlidude Well Known Member Member

    Yes that will be fine. Just drop it in the tank.
  10. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    You mean filter? Also I've got a thin layer of sand currently and the walstad method requires dirt, will I be able to just add the dirt over the sand?
  11. Cichlidude Well Known Member Member

    You can preserve your media by putting in your tank and keeping it wet.
  12. AngryRainbow Valued Member Member

    Technically you could put the dirt over the sand. But you will also need to cap the dirt with either sand or gravel. Having 3 layers of substrate may be too thick
  13. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    Ah yes, then any of the little snails(don't worry I don't even know how they got in my tank, there's thousands) will become fertilizer for the plants, assuming they die. My sand at the moment is a very thin layer, so much you see parts of the glass beneath. But for the walstad method, doesn't the fish poop need to fall into the dirt to become fertilizer?? I'm planning on using sand again.
  14. AngryRainbow Valued Member Member

    I have no experience with walstad myself. I'm sure there are plenty of articles on how it works, or you can wait for someone else with experience.

    But I did set up a dirted tank, and without the cap on top of it, anytime you add water you're going to end up with a muddy, dirty, nasty looking tank. Even the first few water changes with the dirt capped with gravel were a mess while all the little particles worked their way out.
  15. nikm128 Fishlore VIP Member

    As far as I know they all use high nutrient soil, though I don't see why sand couldn't work short term. How long do you think it'll be before you get everything all setup?
    Not the plan anymore?
  16. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    No I am still redoing the aquariums. I'm going to pick up the book, I'm not sure how long it will take to set up, I'm doing research and if I want things to work long term I'm guessing I shouldn't go with sand? I read something about clay being a lot better than some other substrate, i'll have to look back into it. I do have filter media with good bacteria so if I can just get the dirt in and move things around, it might not take too long. Currently waiting for Diana's book to arrive.
  17. nikm128 Fishlore VIP Member

    Cool, I think another member that used to go by wintersoldier has a walstad tank. He'd be worth asking questions, so if anyone here knows what he changed his username to, please tag him:)
  18. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    Sounds good, anyone know his username now?
  19. nikm128 Fishlore VIP Member

    It seems the reason I couldn't tag him is because he's no longer a member. I also can't think of anyone else that has a walstad tank off the top of my head.
    Have you gotten the book yet?
  20. UsernamesMustBeUnique New Member Member

    Not yet, it's taking a while to arrive. Hopefully it'll arrive soon.