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Freshwater Ecosystem
July 26, 2009
11:28 pm
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Danny.temperley
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Hi All,

Im Looking at changing my 290ltr tank to an ecosystem rather than mechanical filtered.

I understand the whole set up, however Ive done some research and I slightly confused to how long my tank will take to establish. Some have stated I can add fish day after, some say it will take a week before adding?

If anyone has set up and can give me some info on this I would greatly appreciate it..

Danny

July 27, 2009
9:05 pm
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Eyrie
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Is this the Walstad idea of heavy planting and low stocking?

Not something I've ever considered due to having water that is softer than the Andrex puppy.

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July 27, 2009
10:10 pm
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Danny.temperley
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QUOTE (Eyrie @ Jul 27 2009, 09:48 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is this the Walstad idea of heavy planting and low stocking?

Not something I've ever considered due to having water that is softer than the Andrex puppy.

Yeah the Walstad system,
Simply cause im breeding dwarf Cichlids and they like softer water conditions. Dwarf Cichlids are also recognized as being non destructive to their environment, which means they are suitable to be kept in planted aquarium.

Many species seem to prefer a planted aquarium and thrive much better in this environment.
Also extremely soft water also seems to aid in fin development, with fish raised in very soft ware producing much more extended fins than those raised in harder water.

July 27, 2009
10:43 pm
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Matt
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I'd say wait a few days to allow the plants to establish a bit. How do you calculate stocking for a tank like this Danny?

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July 28, 2009
12:36 am
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Danny.temperley
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QUOTE (Matt @ Jul 27 2009, 11:26 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd say wait a few days to allow the plants to establish a bit. How do you calculate stocking for a tank like this Danny?

Hey Matt,
They State 1" per gallon is a good rule of green thumb for fish stocking levels.
Have you ever tried this method or do you know someone who has been successful with it?

July 28, 2009
8:42 am
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Bluedave
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I've never tried it, there are far easier ways of keeping planted tanks IMO. It's on the list to experiment with it one day though - got Walstad's book somewhere, lol.

I have added fish directly to a non cycled tank before though. The tank was VERY heavily planted, about 85% substrate coverage. I left the tank about a week, maybe ten days to establish and then added a mid sized SAE (Crossochelius siamensis). A week later I added a shoal of ten tetras. Then left it for a couple of weeks before adding more fish. The tank was 190 litres. Had no ammonia or nitrite present (tested every day). Not something I would tend to do as a habit but I think i'd just read Walstad's book and thought i'd test the theory.

Would love to see a diary of this one though. What cichlids you looking at keeping, will it be a biotope, with just south american plants etc?

July 28, 2009
4:33 pm
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Danny.temperley
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QUOTE (Bluedave @ Jul 28 2009, 09:25 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've never tried it, there are far easier ways of keeping planted tanks IMO. It's on the list to experiment with it one day though - got Walstad's book somewhere, lol.

I have added fish directly to a non cycled tank before though. The tank was VERY heavily planted, about 85% substrate coverage. I left the tank about a week, maybe ten days to establish and then added a mid sized SAE (Crossochelius siamensis). A week later I added a shoal of ten tetras. Then left it for a couple of weeks before adding more fish. The tank was 190 litres. Had no ammonia or nitrite present (tested every day). Not something I would tend to do as a habit but I think i'd just read Walstad's book and thought i'd test the theory.

Would love to see a diary of this one though. What cichlids you looking at keeping, will it be a biotope, with just south american plants etc?

Hi Bluedave,
yeah ive found some interesting stuff about the walstad method, im looking to get things up and running within the next week or 2 in my 290ltr juwell, before i do so im doing some tests prior in a 20ltr tank. I will be keeping a diary of progress in the 290ltr, I'm also looking at 85% substrate coverage with lternanthera reinecki "Red",Lilaeopsis novae zelandiae, Echinodorus Osirus, Echinodorus tenellus, Mayaca fluviatilis, Myriophyllum elatinoides, Heteranthera zosteraefolia, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Echinodorus latifolius.

So I should have some awesome pics to upload. can i ask? you said you added fish directly to a non cycled tank? what were your fish and qty mate?

July 28, 2009
8:48 pm
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Eyrie
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QUOTE (Danny.temperley @ Jul 28 2009, 01:19 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
They State 1" per gallon is a good rule of green thumb for fish stocking levels.


That's usually quoted for a normal tank rather than a Walstad tank, and should be ignored for any fish above 2". After all, eight harlequins have the same 12" length that a single clown loach does, but have nothing like the mass and waste production. A better rule would be 1 cubic inch per gallon, but even that ignores issues like waste production, territoriality, sociability and predation.

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July 29, 2009
8:34 am
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Bluedave
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QUOTE (Danny.temperley @ Jul 28 2009, 05:16 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
you said you added fish directly to a non cycled tank? what were your fish and qty mate?

I put that in the original post mate, lol.

After about a week/ten days of leaving the tank fully planted to settle I added a single mid size (about 3") SAE. A week later I added 10 cardinal tetras. Left it then for a couple (maybe three?) of weeks. Then added some more cardinals (5 I think) then a week later 10 rummynose tetras. Then 6 corys, 10 amano shrimp and 4 otocinclus all a week apart. Waited about 6 months and added 3 discus.

Tank was a Trigon 190.

I work on 75cm2 of tank area per 1" of fish - and always end up going over a bit!!

What lighting and ferts are you looking at? Are you looking at using CO2 as well. I only ask because the reinecki needs quite high light levels and does much better with CO2, I've found in the past that it falls to bits wothout CO2. Also the tennelus likes a bit of light if you want it to grow into a carpet. I've always found that the juwel tanks never have enough light in them (they work out at about 1 WPG usually). I have always ended up having to add more light to them - used to be in the form of interpet compact T5's and then in the end I took the lif off the Trigon and used a Mercury vapour fitting.

If your heavily planting then ferts are a must. You will get away without CO2 if you keep the lighting levels in the juwel but you will find the reinecki will struggle and the lilaeopsis and tenellus may get a bit leggy rather than spread.

Hope that helps. Can't wait to see the pics!

August 20, 2009
6:13 am
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Bluedave
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How's it ging Danny? You up and running yet, would love to see some pics.

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