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Water Changes and Walstad's Book

 >2. Her methods require small tanks (<30gal) and some natural sunlight
 >(therefore, tank size and placement of tank must be considered).
 >In summary, her methods must be followed completely, from scratch, and
 >cannot be combined with other methods, the choice of plants will be 

This isn't a flame - just my own experience - I have two tanks that are 
sorta Walstad.  They are both small, a 7 and 10-gallon, but neither gets 
any sun.  I do water changes more like every couple of weeks or month, 
because of the image of fish living in their own toilet someone mentioned 
their grandmother talking about in a recent post.  I also add Steve 
Pushak's recommended amount of fertilizer to the water column at water 
changes.  Other than that I'm following her methods "completely."  ;-)

The way in which they are completely Walstad tanks is that the 7-gallon has 
no algae eaters except snails and has never had a trace of algae in its 8 
months of existence.  The 10-gallon (also no algae eaters excepts snails) 
gets a bit of soft green stuff on the glass that wipes off easily now and 
then and had a couple of spots of BGA after about a month that disappeared 
the first time I siphoned it away and never came back (not my previous 
experience with BGA), but its only a few months old.

I'm very new at planted tanks, set up my first 18 months or so ago.  I now 
have 4 tanks - the 7G at work and 3 at home.  All use the same water but 
they have different kinds of substrate.  Vals grow like weeds in the first 
one I ever set up - which has a substrate from PetsMart that buffers like 
Onyx - I didn't know any better when I set it up.  In the others vals 
survive but do not grow like weeds.  I seem to remember Walstad's book 
reporting an experiment that showed vals did better in harder water and 
wonder if that's why they only go crazy in my one tank that keeps it own 
water hard.

Ellen O'Connell
Parker, CO
mailto:oconnel4 at ix_netcom.com