If soil leaked out I'd vac it out and make sure the sand is thick enough. As far as water changes, do you have a strainer? I got one recently and it makes all the difference in the world. The silicone ones are great because they are soft and they collapse. Mine looks like this one and I set it across the tank from rim to rim and pour water in as fast as it take it. https://www.amazon.com/Strainers-Foldable-Silicone-Collapsible-Colanders/dp/B07G59RBB1
Agree about the pests. What I'd do, is go ahead and add some fenbendazole to the water now. It will kill any planaria in there. Figure out the max dosage for the amount of water in there, leave it in for at least 3 days. Then, do a water change. The fenbendazole doesn't hurt plants.
As far as the math, I just used 1/2 gram for about 3 gallons yesterday for a tote I quarantine plants in. This morning there were just a few still moving around, this afternoon can't see any. Stuff works really well. I use it as a preventative now and quarantine plants with it. Won't hurt fish. Didn't hurt my shrimp, either, when I've treated a community tank, but better safe than sorry.
This is what I bought to use. Comes in 1 gram packets:
I use this Beamswork light https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019YXYO1E/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_ZtHodCI9VeN73
Probably wouldn’t be enough for some more delicate plants, but it’s more than enough to grow easy plants. It’s also very cheap. I’ve dropped it entirely into the tank while it was plugged in, and it kept working perfectly. I don’t use a Beamswork timer, since I wanted one with more programming options, so I can’t speak for that.
I've got the Finnex Planted in three sizes and love the light it puts out, as well as the ability to program sunrise, siesta and sunset. The tank aesthetic transforms beautifully throughout the day. Only downsides are the clunky programming remote and the timing for the program only has 3 hour increments, so not quite as much control as I'd like. But for this price, it's hard to complain.
$1 topsoil. Blasting Sand cap. This light bulb...
GE Lighting BR30 Full Spectrum LED Grow Light Bulb for Indoor Plants - 9W, Full, Balanced Lighting For Seeds & Greens https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NN6SVG6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_nNkfFbRS3JWZ7
Tank is a 3 gallon Aqueon rimless from Petco. Came with a glass lid. Light is from Amazon, originally meant for my indoor terrestrial plants, exact light is here: Plant Grow light. Substrate is organic garden soil, sifted to remove large chunks, capped with black aquarium sand from Petco.
Some plants are from Petco (rotala, ludwigia, hornwort, and the big green foreground plant next to the dwarf hair grass, can’t remember the name). The rest of the plants are from r/aquaswap and include Anubias nana, dwarf hair grass, vietnam rotala h’ra, cryptocoryne wendtii. Floaters are salvinia and dwarf water lettuce also from r/aquaswap.
Driftwood is from my local fish store. Betta from local fish store. No name yet. I originally had some red cherry shrimp from eBay but my betta decided they were snacks so there are no more.
After adding the shrimp my water parameters never changed from 0/0/0. Added the betta about 2 weeks later, I tested the water parameters every day and had one day where ammonia was maybe barely 0.25ppm. I did a 50% water change. Since then I have tested the water every day for the last 20 days and it’s always been 0-0.250/0. I’ve done 3 water changes to get rid of some detritus plant matter at the bottom that was bugging me.
I use mesh bags sold to protect fruits while they're still growing on the tree. I don't sift anymore, it's a waste of time and energy. I bag it in these bags (sold on Amazon, US link), fold instead of pulling the drawstring, lay where I want, mush it into place, then cap with the sand.
It's this one.
It's really very bright. For the size of bowl I'm operating, floating plants are a must and I've covered the light in baking parchment in an attempt to dim it a wee bit.
Can't deny it grows plants well, though!
I glued them to my shelf. They work great for growing plants
Here's a generic example. There's a lot of other products like it, they're all basically the same thing. Foam is foam, just buy the most cost efficient one.
I got some of the zippered bags, not cheap! Then I realized that my fruit bags (also mesh, but not zippered) will work just fine, too. And you get a *lot* more for the money. Yeah, they're white and the red string but those could be considered to be features more than bugs. Super easy to pull out the string and use fishing line or similar instead and I use pool sand fairly deeply on top of the soil. Works a treat!
Look for fruit bags or apple bags to protect from bugs.... errr.. it's been a couple of years and no coffee yet, this is the link.
OMG this is GORGEOUS.
Have you tried this grow lamp? I just use electrical tape to cover the LEDs I don't want (yellow & red), but I admit, I haven't been able to use it for very long. I may end up using it for some orchids.
Plain old pool sand is doing a very good job for me. Inexpensive, inert, CLEAN right outta the bag. I have been using it non-Walstad with Osmocote and in my 'accidental' Walstad capping a mesh bag of garden soil I dug and sieved.
This stuff. (Oh DANG it's cheaper than when I bought it!)
I'm new to Walstad tanks, but from my limited experience, I believe you're screwed. It will take months for the urea to biologically process out, plus your substrate may go anaerobic due to its depth. You're sand and substrate has already mixed; no getting past that. When I built mine I put a garden soil/organic potting soil mix in aquarium media bags, which were then placed at the bottom of the tank, followed by a fine gravel cap. Works like a charm! These are the bags I bought on Amazon:
If the size isn't to your liking, there are quite a few offerings on Amazon for various-sized media bags. Leave a little room around the inside edge along the glass to place your sand in to hide your substrate.
Not the same poster, but I have used this one for the last 2 years without any issues. It is currently less than 3 feet from me at my computer and I can't hear it at all. It has variable pressure, so it works well in a variety of sized tanks. If you don't need the second outlet there are single outlet models, but I just pinched off the second outlet with a binder clip as I am still looking at getting another tank started at some point.
Thank you!! The light is just a Nicrew Planted Clip on light. NICREW Aquarium Clip-on Light, Fish Tank Light with 2 Lighting Modes https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QRB8ZWH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_ND41E2PEBEZBHP8MW1NB
And the stand/base is a wooden lazy susan I bought a looong time ago. I dont remember where its from but Amazon has a very similar one.
Copco Bamboo Wood Lazy Susan, 10-Inch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BLW6BJ1/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_VSY165FKM02R23ZFVBR2
I have full spectrum LED grow lights that are on for about 14 hours, and probably gets about 3-4 hours of indirect sun (10 in away from a north-facing window). The plants are growing, but is it possible that these lights aren't enough? Here's the link to the lights I'm using:LED Full Spectrum Grow Lights on Amazon
You could try a powerhead like this one from Aqueon. I have one and it’s basically silent, so you shouldn’t have a problem with it running at night in your bedroom.
> ...cycling a Walstad takes ~6-8 weeks
This is absolutely incorrect (or at least very misleading). Provided you use the correct kind of soil, an adequate gravel layer, and enough plants, a Walstad can be ready for livestock in as few as a week or less. I usually wait a couple weeks to let the plants get rooted and do 1-2 90% ish water changes in that time to get rid of excess nutrients suspended in the water column. If you reading NH3 after a couple weeks in a Walstad, then the likely culprit is an inadequate gravel layer that is letting soil/nutrients into the water column, a soil that has added fertilizers or other additives, or not enough plants to uptake the NH3 (floaters are the best for this, especially early on).
Sure, you can definitely wait 6-8 weeks for it to cycle and that is totally fine. All I am saying is that a "by the book" Walstad can be ready for livestock within a week or two.
Get a USB air pump and a cheap filter. Those 2 together are less than $15 and could be at your door by tomorrow.
Shrimp can be quite hardy, but I would not have added them in for another couple of weeks because keeping them alive (through frequent water changes) is counter to cycling the tank. Beneficial bacteria aren't just in the soil, they are also in the water, so every time you remove 30% water, you remove 30% bacteria.
Basically, hard water is good for plants. Soft water plants can do well in hard water but hard water plants do not survive in soft water. I highly recommend Diana Walstad's book 'Ecology of the Planted Aquarium' for detailed information on that and many other areas of the Walstad method.
You can keep the heater where it is if you get something like this. PULACO 50GPH 3W Mini Submersible Water Pump for Aquariums, Fish Tank,Wave Maker Pump, Pond, Fountain, Hydroponics https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SJGKFT7/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_eAYNV2MXcwb77
I have this in one of my tanks and it has made a difference I. The over all health of the tank. Also don’t get down if you struggle to get your tank balanced. Sometimes things just don’t work out. You just have to try it again.
Why don't you want them? Just the aesthetic view?
I have a bunch in my aquariums and I think they are helpful.
Panacur C would probably kill them and most of the snails.
You could also try planaria zero.
I personally would just leave them alone and cut down on feedings.
I would just recommend getting a cheap thermometer to monitor it for a couple of days. You’ll probably hover around 78 degrees depending on how warm the room the tanks is in stays at(at least in my experience)
If you don’t have anything to circulate water I would highly recommend getting something. Having a pump in my tank has made a huge difference in temperature regulation (and overall health of my tank. I’m using this super cheap fountain water pump and it works great. I don’t even have to turn it up all the way. PULACO 50GPH 3W Mini Submersible... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SJGKFT7?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
Do you think something like a nano Hydor Koralia Circulation and Wave Pump would be even better? It doesn't suck water but only pushes water with a rotor.
I have an AquaClear powerhead on the side in the back pointing slightly towards the middle. I have it as high as it will go without actually breaking the surface, so just making ripples. I also have it attached to an AquaClear Quick Filter. No other filtration. I have been very pleased with this setup!
Edit: 10 gal tank
Edit 2: This is a setup that Diana actually recommends.
So you’ll need some kind of circulation - when I set up my second tank, I didn’t have any and started to get some algae. As soon as I installed a nano circulation pump, that cleared up.
I also made the mistake of buying very cheap power heads or filters which did not last at all. Wish I had just spent more from the beginning. You want something that moves the water but does not break the surface. Diana Walstad recommends a power head with QuickFilter attachment. I am a fan of the circulation pump.
Edit: this is what I have
I would try scrapping them off with a brush. I had them and used this one and it worked well. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000255NH8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I also stopped feeding as much and added a bit of aquarium salt that seem to stop them from coming back. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N3DXRG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I am not sure what the big thing that ended them was, but I am guessing adding the aquarium salt.
I successfully grew some plants in a bowl with this - currently it's in a desk lamp over a 3 gallon bowl with aponogeton bulbs in it. Successfully grew out several aponogeton bulbs and lilys that were later moved to my main aquarium.
I have had success with the Hydro brand heaters.
I'll post the smallest one I know of below.
Hydor Submersible Glass Aquarium Heater - Original https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006JLPG8/ref=cm_sw_r_sm_apa_i_eWIKFbHJSAB4F?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
I use this stuff. It will kill snails though.
I will second this. There is no mention of LEDs in her book, likely because even the most recent edition (2013) was before LEDs were an affordable option. CFL work, but LED is much more efficient and cost-effective these days. I personally have the Beamswork 6500k LED and it has worked fine. https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01N4FS6ZU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fab_XFCHFbFE0M74C
Looks kinda like: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VX7L5H6/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A14CIHE0YP9ZU0&psc=1
I have my eye on that for my micro bowl
Two other things not mentioned -
Some kind of Aquascaping tools (at leas one with scissors/tweezers) will make your life easier, and an API Freshwater test kit to make sure your tank is cycled and safe for critters. It will last forever.
Thank you, it is an 8 gallon bowl. I got it at a local home goods store. However I think this is the same one.
You can also buy pellets so you don’t have to worry about breaking up a larger dunk.
Summit Responsible Solutions Mosquito Bits
Bonus! The mosquito bits also work on fungus gnats if you have house plants. Just sprinkle a layer on top of the soil!
This may be one of the smallest hang-on-back filters you can get. It says it's suitable for up to 3.5 gallon tanks, but I'm using it for circulation more than filtration, so it seemed appropriate to me for my 10 gallon. It helps to maintain that "still water" feeling that I wanted from my walstad. I left the sponge filters in that came with it. It's very quiet.
You could also get the Mignon 150, it's a similar price but rated for up to 30 gallons. The flow is adjustable on mine, I keep my Mignon 60 set about halfway.
I hope it helps, it definitely seemed to work pretty quickly for mine. When I was fighting the green water I also reduced the light time down to 4 hours in the morning and 4 in the evening. Once my water cleared I increased my light time back to what it was (5 in the morning and 6 in the evening, with a 4 hour pause in the middle) and it's been fine since then.
I second nicrew. I have mine over a 24 inch deep 65 gallon tank.
Edit: link is now .com instead of .ca
Amazon! Link it below!
Also, go search for foo the flowerhorn on youtube and on his video about his no filter betta bowl set up, on the description he have links on different bowls of different sizes as well!
oh, I had that box there because I forgot to put it away (I live in a tiny studio-type place). Not sure what cfl is. I went for what I know, and a friend who keeps a big planted tank (with full CO2 setup and whatnot) helped me look for a lamp I could afford and would do the job. He showed me that lamp, and it had good reviews on amazon. People in the comments mention how the lamp works well in their 10g tanks with plants, so that's why I bought it.
link to the lamp. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C84SLRO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1
I’m not sure you can attach a sponge filter to the intake. I’ve used the aquatop one in a 20 gallon setup, it works really well for high flow. My rosy barbs loved it. Amazon has them, just pricier: https://www.amazon.com/AquaTop-Power-Aquarium-158-Gallons-8-Watts/dp/B004GFMMQ0.
The nice thing is maintenance is really easy. Once a week turn off the pump, rinse out the sponge in a bucket of tank water, and reinstall.
For fluorescent light I know she recommends 1-3 watts per gallon.
I'm not sure what is the equivalent watts in LED since It can be different depending on manufacturer.
In this book the author also uses the walstad method and he measures the necessary light using lumens. He says that most aquarium plants need up to about 120-160 lumens per gallon of water to grow their best. Not sure if this information is correct.
Have heard good things about this one:
Also if you don't have the latest version of the book, she has updates with a section on LEDs on her website: