Wallstad tank

Badgerfan338

Member
Okay so I have kept fish for a few years and I think I’m up for the challenge of trying a wallstad tank. ( is that how you spell it?) What size tank should I start out on? What tank would be good to use? What plants should I use? ( no ferts or co2)
 

SayaBetta

Member
I think Diana Walstad recomended to start small tank with shrimp first. She has an article on her website for small tank with shrimp.

For plants that always work is hornwort, but it is killer plants in hard water. It can grow so fast and take all the nutrients from weaker plants. Almost all floaters will behave like that tho.

For carpet, my favorite is hairgrass, it semms that walstad tank is perfect for hairgrass. I'm successfully growing monte carlo, but it take trial and errors.

Plants that always work in hard water will be vallisneria and sagittaria. They tend to stunted in soft water, possibly due to lack of Ca, Mg, S and K in soft water.

Other plants that work for me are h. tenellum, cabomba, amazon sword and cryptocoryne.
 

FinalFins

Member
I think a 20 gallon is a good size to start.. Usually you want to cram as many plants as you can in there to suck out nitrates/ammonia. With so many plants I think it is nessacary for ferts for the plants to do well. You need to plants everywhere and you can only stock very low.
 

Argos

Member
I will respectfully disagree with some the previous post.

20 gallons seems reasonable, and also you want to add as many plants as you can afford as stated (this to soak up all the nutrients so as to avoid algae outbreaks). However, you don't need to add ferts to a tank that is dirted as the plants will uptake nutrients through the roots and in addition, the soil will release large amounts of ammonia. (organic soil) That is the huge benefit of doing a soiled tank. If you dose substantial fertilizer you are only encouraging algae.

It is a common misconception that you can only stock very low. This is completely false. The soil will release large amounts of ammonia which over time will be converted by beneficial bacteria. This will allow you to have a very sizable stock if wanted.

Normal recommended plants for a soiled aquarium are fast growing plants. (again to absorb the large quantities of nutrients in the water) Hornwort, floaters etc are all good choices. Just make sure it is fast growing. Swords love soiled tanks. Cypts won't do anything to outcompete algae as they are slow growing. If you like some slow growing plants I would suggest adding only fast growers until the tank gets established then you can slowly add slow growing plants to taste.
 

Ssnaaiil

Member
What is a walstad tank???
 

FinalFins

Member
Argos said:
I will respectfully disagree with some the previous post.

20 gallons seems reasonable, and also you want to add as many plants as you can afford as stated (this to soak up all the nutrients so as to avoid algae outbreaks). However, you don't need to add ferts to a tank that is dirted as the plants will uptake nutrients through the roots and in addition, the soil will release large amounts of ammonia. (organic soil) That is the huge benefit of doing a soiled tank. If you dose substantial fertilizer you are only encouraging algae.

It is a common misconception that you can only stock very low. This is completely false. The soil will release large amounts of ammonia which over time will be converted by beneficial bacteria. This will allow you to have a very sizable stock if wanted.

Normal recommended plants for a soiled aquarium are fast growing plants. (again to absorb the large quantities of nutrients in the water) Hornwort, floaters etc are all good choices. Just make sure it is fast growing. Swords love soiled tanks. Cypts won't do anything to outcompete algae as they are slow growing. If you like some slow growing plants I would suggest adding only fast growers until the tank gets established then you can slowly add slow growing plants to taste.
Argos I get what you are saying but a walstad tank revolves around lots of plants and no (or very few) water changing. If you are not water changing then you must stock low, or you WILL crash the tank.
 

Argos

Member
I could very well be mistaken, I have read the book several times but I don't think she ever advocates for no water changes.

Regardless, I think we can both agree that water changes are necessary no matter what method you are using. :)
 
  • Thread Starter

Badgerfan338

Member
Oh, I was think like a 5-7.5 gallon tank like foo the flower horn does.
 

Sauceboat

Member
I have two 3 gallon bowl walstad tanks with shrimp, no water changes. Just make sure you plant heavy from the beginning and have a reliable light source and you’ll be fine. Any size tank will be fine so long as you stock accordingly and accommodate water changes to suit that. It’s really simpler than it seems. For plants I adore Drawf Hairgrass and it really thrives in walstad setups, stem plants are always good especially because of how fast growing they are, java fern and swords are in both of mine and they’re doing great. I’d definitely recommend some floaters though.
 

Argos

Member
Badgerfan338 said:
Oh, I was think like a 5-7.5 gallon tank like foo the flower horn does.
I have seen those videos. Pretty neat. However, you have to remember that they are youtubers. It works great until it doesn't. *not that they don't know anything, just that they don't show the tank 5 or so years down the road, nor the ill effects if something happens.
Sauceboat said:
I have two 3 gallon bowl walstad tanks with shrimp, no water changes. Just make sure you plant heavy from the beginning and have a reliable light source and you’ll be fine. Any size tank will be fine so long as you stock accordingly and accommodate water changes to suit that. It’s really simpler than it seems. For plants I adore Drawf Hairgrass and it really thrives in walstad setups, stem plants are always good especially because of how fast growing they are, java fern and swords are in both of mine and they’re doing great. I’d definitely recommend some floaters though.
I actually am a relatively firm believer that you can do a no water change system (just top offs) with just a small amount of shrimp. The issue is when you add fish. Water changes aren't just there for nitrate removal. Water changes, among many other things, are also needed to remove buildup of trace elements that can be harmful in the long run. Sure you might have a no water change tank for 3, 5, 8 years until it crashes out of nowhere. Water changes also help the balance of beneficial bacteria and the dominant taxonomies.
 
  • Thread Starter

Badgerfan338

Member
Okay, I was thinking of doing what he did, do a 5-7.5 gallon tank or bowl, heavily planted with dwarf hair grass, Rosetta sword, and maybe a few floaters. Only thing is my water is VERY hard. Did a water change yesterday and test, hardness was between 200-300
 

Argos

Member
Badgerfan338 said:
Okay, I was thinking of doing what he did, do a 5-7.5 gallon tank or bowl, heavily planted with dwarf hair grass, Rosetta sword, and maybe a few floaters. Only thing is my water is VERY hard. Did a water change yesterday and test, hardness was between 200-300
No worries. Most fish will do just fine and adapt to hard water. A bubbler can help lower the pH. Shrimp will like it.
I would strongly recommend water changes. Your plan sounds great. Follow what he does (plus water changes) and it will turn out great. Walstad tanks are very easy to care for as you rely on the plants to do a lot of the work. Also don’t have to worry about purchasing a lot of fert. I think it’s actually the easiest way to go.
 
  • Thread Starter

Badgerfan338

Member
Okay, thank you everybody that responded.
 
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