Walstad Nano Tank Using Mineralised Top Soil Method

Balian

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HI All,

I set up a new nano aquarium (20L) this weekend, based on the principles of a Walstad tank but with a mineralised soil substrate as opposed to the typical "Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix". The steps I took were:

1. Purchase some cheap top soil and mineralise it over two weeks or so in the sun.
2. Remove any large particles and twigs (this helps prevent algae). The result is a very fine sand-like texture with no scent whatsoever.
3. Mix in 10% of red clay to provide iron. Add water to form a smooth runny mud.
4. Add a layer of 'muriate of potash' to the base of the tank. This provides the potassium to the substrate.
5. Add a second layer consisting of the runny mud. (1 inch)
6. Top with gravel to create a nice seal. (1.5 inch)
7. Plant heavily to minimise the risk of an algae bloom.

The only thing inside the tank is a heater, no other equipment - no pump, no filter, no CO2, no ferts. It's only been a few days but so far I've seen very few signs of algae and I was shocked to see new shoots growing out of my hornwort already. I've even seen a fair amount of pearling on the leaves after day three!

I've attached some pictures to show how it looks:


Mineralised top soil mixed with clay:

IMG_1031.JPG


First Layer (Potash):

IMG_1032.JPG


Second Layer (Soil):

IMG_1033.JPG


Third Layer (Gravel):

IMG_1035.JPG


After Planting:

IMG_1042.JPG


IMG_1044.JPG


Plants used: Hornwort, Egeria Najas, Rotala Indica, Bocopa, Dwarf Hairgrass


What do you guys think? I know it's early days but I'll post some updates to show how it progresses. It was something of an experiment and I look forward to seeing how it unfolds.
 

Coradee

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Wow if your tank looks this good & you’ve only just started can’t wait to see what it looks like once it’s established!
 

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