Talk:Walstad method

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Don't try this unless you are a very experienced fish keeper (5 yrs or more) It's only my opinion but its very hard! Adam2307 12:47, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

"potting soil (or "top soil")" - potting soil =/= top soil. Potting soil is usually a peaty mix with some vermiculite or perlite, perhaps with some (nitrogen heavy) fertilizer. Top soil = loam, mineral fines plus organic material. Huw Powell 21:30, 15 February 2011 (EST)

This whole thing reads as loony to me, but that's just me. In places it says no water changes required to provide trace elements for fish (huh?) in others, it refers to water changes. I suspect some more of a "review of idea" tone might be useful here - as Adam said above. Huw Powell 21:35, 15 February 2011 (EST)

No one has answered the "potting soil vs. top soil" question. Which is it? Huw Powell 22:43, 27 February 2011 (EST)
A quick peruse over the links show the same nomenclature issue. You are correct in that potting soil with vermiculite or fertlizer should NOT but used. I think it would be best to recommend only top soil with a low amount of organics (wood chips etc.). --Brian 08:47, 28 February 2011 (EST)

Not hard[edit]

Can't imagine why he thinks it's hard. I've been making up Walstad tanks for years now and the difference it makes is incredible and so easy to set up. I set up a 500L tank for a mate in an afternoon and had fish in it that same evening.

In an ideal Walstad you don't need to do water changes for a very long time. Typically 6 months. This is because there is no build up of toxins that you get with a traditional aquarium. But there are times when you may wish to reduce the level of tannins in the water or the water is becoming too hard as you top up the tank as water evaporates. All valid reasons for a WC. But these are still rare events. I've got several tanks on the go right now that I've not performed a WC for over 6 months. I top up with de-ionised water.

Regarding trace elements, it has long been established that fish, like all animals, need trace elements in their food to stay healthy. But it is still a 'recent' discovery that fish also pick up elements from the water. In a traditional tank they don't get these. Which is why Tetra and others sell additional minerals in bottle form as a supplement. But in a Walstad tank as the bogwood or peat in the soil dissolves, it releases these trace elements and so the fish tend to grow better. People are always commenting on the size of my fish and how healthy they look. My mollies for example are over 5 years old. When I raised a goldfish in a walstad tank, it grew to 10" within 2 years.

Works for me. :-) --Quatermass 13:10, 17 February 2011 (EST)

I think I'm going to give it a try when I set-up a tank in my cube here, wanted to put RCS in it. --Brian 14:15, 17 February 2011 (EST)

Neither 5 year old mollies or a 10" 2 year old goldfish are difficult, in fact they are almost trivial, if you will forgive my wording, accomplishments. No one has yet even addressed the issue of potting soil versus topsoil. 6 months without a water change is also no big deal - unless you try to add new fish. Deionised water is not an "easy" product to find, at least where I live. Why don't fish get trace elements from the water in a "traditional" tank? Huw Powell 22:01, 17 February 2011 (EST)

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