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Walstad Method

Discussion in 'Tropical Chit Chat' started by fishperson100, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. fishperson100

    fishperson100 Fish Fanatic

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  2. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    I know for sure that @WinterSoldier. Has tried it, and has a tank set up with that method. ;)

    It does work, and is cool to watch the plans grow really fast! :)
     
  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I have not personally tried Diana's method, but I have researched it quite extensively. I have her book, and belong to her forum and have read most of her articles.

    I usually suggest fish tank aquarists (meaning, tanks holding live fish) not bother with this, as there are risks (to the fish) and the benefits (to the plants) few. As you are doing this with shrimp and snails, I will just mention the main risk is ammonia during the first several (up to six) months.
     
  4. fishperson100

    fishperson100 Fish Fanatic

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    Do I add a source of ammonia to the aquarium to cycle it or do I use a snail or hardy shrimp?
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    One of the basics of the soil method is that there is no need for cycling. The plants need nitrogen, and aquatic plants prefer this as ammonium (ammonia) so with sufficient plants they will readily take up most if not all of the ammonia. The nitrifying bacteria will still establish but "behind the scenes" as it were, which is why this is sometimes termed a "silent cycle."

    As an aside, I should mention that this occurs in any new aquarium if sufficient plants are present. I have never "cycled" an aquarium in 30 years because I always have live plants and I always include floating plants; these are fast growers so they naturally need more ammonia/ammonium and that provided by the first few fish would easily be taken up.

    The problem with soil substrates is that the organics in the soil can rapidly break down which causes a significant ammonia spike and this is why most followers of this method will advise no fish in the tank for up to six months, and/or a "dry" start. [I have never seen the benefit of going through all this because with sufficient floating plants, I can add fish to a new set-up and never have issues.] Shrimp might have issues with high ammonia, so I would get advice on this aspect from the shrimp experts.
     
  6. WinterSoldier.

    WinterSoldier. Fish Fanatic

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    Oh yeah, I've tried it. Several times. I can say the most difficult part is long term success and keeping the whole thing stable for years.
     

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