H.K.Luterman Posted May 23, 2021 Share Posted May 23, 2021 (edited) This thread is to document the setup, care and lifetime of my newly created 20 gallon long Walstad deep sandbed tank! I've been planning this project for a while now, and after assuring that the cabinet the tank was destined to sit on was sturdy enough, I took advantage of the latest Petco sale. My husband was a total enabler on this one, which was fun! I've been fascinated by Walstad tanks (and other dirted tanks that use plant-only filtration) since I restarted in this hobby a few years ago, and though all of my other tanks are dirted, none of them have that deep substrate or the no water changes / no filter rule. So this will be a new experience. The planned live stock will be a colony of bloody mary neocaridinas, a vampire shrimp, and perhaps some rabbit snails (among my usual hitchhikers). Edit: It's come to my attention that what I'm doing is slightly different than Diana Walstad's method, but the idea is still the same. After spray painting the back black, I was sure to center the tank and the runner it sits on as best I could. I might have to move that hyena picture above it... it looks off center now! This is the brand of dirt I chose to use. I've never used it before, but I couldn't find the cheapo stuff I used before. I didn't bother sifting the dirt, I just pulled out bigger pieces of wood if I found them. I spread an inch deep layer and pressed it down, and then sprinkled some crushed coral over it, as my water has pretty low Kh. I then sprayed the dirt down with a spray bottle to get it wet, before capping it with two inches of Black Diamond blasting sand - my go to substrate, I like the black color and how cheap it is. I didn't bother washing it, because I'm convinced it doesn't matter. I used a wooden skewer with an inch and three inches both marked off, so I could ensure I had the proper layer depths. Now to fill 'er up! I put a ziplock bag on the sand to soften the water flow. Worked like a charm. As it began to fill, I sorted out the air pump and bubblers. I used Aquarium Co-Op's black airline tubing that they sent me in my care package, and I gotta say it hooks up like butter. Very nice. The bubblers are these fancy ones that came with my Eheim pumps. I wanted lots of flow for the vampire shrimp, so I added two bubblers. Time for hardscape. I'm keeping it simple, and just used some slate pieces I had sitting around. And then it was time for more filling. This time I used a bowl to disperse the water flow. I filled it almost all the way, and then decided it was planting time. I grabbed out a bunch of Val from my 29 gallon. Here's how it looks with the plants in. I do intend to get some moss or maybe Susswassertang. If my new pink flamingo crypt settles in the 75 well I might put some in here too. But for now, I'll let the val fill in The first inhabitant - a pink ramshorn hitchhiker. I'm sure there's eggs on the plants, too. It's getting too warm to safely order livestock here in AL, so this has all summer to get grown in and seasoned. I'll post updates on plant growth and whenever I add a new plant for now. Edited February 16, 2022 by H.K.Luterman 10 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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