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Walstad Naturescapes

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Showcase' started by Tim Harrison, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Starting with the oldest...

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  2. Zeus

    Zeus Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Tim

    Very nice, gives us padawans something to aim for

    Zeus
     
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  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Tim

    That is my type of tank well designed yet looks so natural.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  4. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks guys, a couple are a bit warts 'n' all, the latest has largely been left to its own devices; don't look too closely, there's more than a bit of algae:eek:
     
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  5. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Extremely nice. I'm going to ask the dumb question - What does it mean to be a Walstad naturescape?

    Thanks,

    -John N,
     
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  6. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks John. As I understand it, it's a scape with limited energy input; where the substrate is the only source of nutrients and where lighting is often provided by ambient daylight alone, and absolutely no CO2 or liquid carbon.
    Having said that I have to confess that perhaps one or two of the scapes above either started out or finished with a little additional fertz dosing:oops::D
     
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  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Great examples of low energy systems, Tim. Thanks for sharing. Care to elaborate on the details pertaining to any one of the setups pictured? Tank specs. etc? This certainly is not within my realm of experience. A tank without CO2? Not me! :ROFLMAO:

    Diana Walstad's book is a must read for anyone interested in these types of setups.
     
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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    About the Author
    Diana Walstad, a life-time aquarium hobbyist, trained as a microbiologist and spent many years doing medical research at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). Her last position before retiring was as a cell biologist at (NIEHS) National Institute of Environmental Health Science.
    Currently (2016), she is working on Family History of a Doctor's Daughter (1850-1950). Written for a general audience, the book starts with the 19th century immigration of her Scandinavian and Dutch ancestors to America and ends with her father's military service in China during World War II. Book draws on family material (interviews, diaries, letters, etc) that is fleshed out with genealogical and historical research. And while the characters are inherently decent, the book doesn't shy away from allowing them to reveal their eccentricities and "humanness." In following each character's lead, book covers an unexpected gamut of European, Chinese, Burmese, and American history.
    Diana Walstad's Aquarium
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    Juvenile Tanganyikan cichlids in a 20 gal. "grow-out" tank

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  9. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Shawn and Keith, the top tank was only 60x30x30cm, all the rest were scaped in the same tank 60x35x45(h)cm. They were set up pretty much as per my soil substrate how to guide.

    I agree Diana's book is an aquascaping bible...an absolute must read(y)

    I stumbled across some more images on a photo hosting site I haven't used in ages. Quality isn't the best tho'

    One I'd completely forgotten about...
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    Soil works very well with CO2 as well - custom shallow 60x40x25(h)cm;)

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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Tim

    The proof it works is in the end result and you have achieved that.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  11. Shane P.

    Shane P. Moderator Staff Member

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    I love the sand you use. The dark brown one. Looks really nice against darker plants!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Zeus

    Zeus Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Read your article The Soil Substrate Or Dirted Planted Tank - a How to Guide...
    several times when deciding which substrate to go for, its an excellent well written piece off work :notworthy: really helped me on my understanding on what substrate to use and why to use it. Think it should be compulsory for every beginner to read before getting a tank no matter which route they plan. The just use ADA AS route just doesn't cut it for me, need to understand why! need to walk the path of understanding (y)

    Your pics are great beautiful examples of what is possible with a low tech or hybrid technique. Which is a low cost entry into the hobby, think the subject 'substrates' its gets a little overlooked by some folk as they are just after the fast solution which is all too easy to get when at the LFS.

    As to adding a little Ferts when needed - well thats common sense if the tank was showing signs of deficiencies. We have these closed ecosystems, we keep them clean by removing all the detritus so they look good. But its the rotting detritus which if left alone provides many of the nutrients the plants need. Diana Walstad might not be happy, but we appreciate your honesty, as by admitting a little was needed will help others choosing the same substrate.
     
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  13. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys it's very much appreciated:)

    @keithgh thanks, I always feel uneasy advocating something I haven't tried myself. It's great to read other peoples experience as well and have ago yourself rather than just take it as gospel.

    @Shane P. thanks for that, I like it too;) it's actually more black than brown but my T8s feature a grolux type bulb which turns everything shades of red a bit, but it really makes the fish and plants colours ping. It's actually Unipac Limpopo Black Sand - don' know whether it's available in the States though, but I'm guessing alternatives are available.

    @Zeus aw shucks that's very nice of you. With regards fertz dosing, a lot of folks use eutrophic dosing, which is fine, and just scale the amounts down for low-energy. EI is great because it can also be fine tuned.

    But like you said we can also dose when plants show signs of slower growth etc. Some of us use a method known as the duckweed index (after a resident expert on another popular planted tank forum), but almost any floating plant will do. Simply, the floating plant provides a visual indicator of when the plants need fertz.
     
  14. flchamp89

    flchamp89 New Member

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    Duckweed index...? Since floaters have co2 naturally available how are they a fair gauge compared to submerged plants.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Yellowstone

    Yellowstone New Member

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    Congratulations from me !

    Do you ha e a tricks to take these nice photos ? What kind of lights do tuo use ?


    Inviato dal mio iPhone utilizzando Tapatalk
     
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  16. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Yellowstone, no tricks the older images were taken with a cheap old compact. The more recent ones on an iPhone. Most are just posted as is...no jiggery pokery in photoshop etc.

    You're right, floating plants have better access to CO2; they have the aerial advantage which allows them to take advantage of atmospheric CO2 - diffusion of CO2 in water is very slow by comparison and is therefore a limiting factor to growth.

    Access to atmospheric CO2 results in comparatively faster growth rates than submerged plants.
    The faster growth rate means floating plants react to nutrient deficiency more rapidly (in this context nutrients then become the limiting factor not CO2), kind of like the canary in the coal mine; it's an early warning signal that you need to add more nutrients, which means you can feed your submerged plants before they start showing signs of deficiency.
     
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  17. Shane P.

    Shane P. Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been looking for a sand with that color profile for ages. Can't find it


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Try shotblasting grit...grain size is smaller...but it's cheap. You just need to make sure that it's inert material so it won't poison your critters.
    If it's legit it should have a safety data sheet which will tell you all you need to know.
    For example, I checked this out ages ago http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sealey-Sh...Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item43a20d688c
    As far as I can tell it's OK for use in an aquarium, I think some folk on other planted tank forums have used it without mishap.

    upload_2017-1-21_18-51-38.png
     
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  19. flchamp89

    flchamp89 New Member

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    It basically bdbs

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     

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