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Re: [APD] Walstad

-----Original Message-----
From: Stuart Halliday

I believe Wojciech J. Pilat wrote this email section below:
> Wow that's something new I've never heard of. Does the large amount 
> plants keep toxic levels down? thanks again Vaughn

Plants and a good soil.

See http://theaquariumwiki.com/Walstad_method
Hi Stuart and all,
I strongly recommend reading Walstad's book several times if anyone is going
to attempt this, as I see some misleading information (as I interpret
Walstad's book and this Wiki) at this website:

1) I don't think that Walstad is much into water testing.  After you know
the chemistry of the local tap water, and determined that it isn't poison,
it shouldn't be necessary.
2) "At least 2 Watts per gallon", "More light, more plant growth, less
algae", and "replacing tubes every 9 months" is more in line with a high
tech tank requiring CO2 injection and adding fertilizers.  Walstad's tanks
about 50 gallons in size appear to normally have about 1 Watt per gallon of
low tech fluorescent lighting.
3) Adding a powerhead is unnecessary and can reduce the available CO2.

I guess my regime is a modified Walstad scheme.  I gave up on soil
substrates after about 3 years of experimenting.  I couldn't get a soil
locally that was either not contaminated or wasn't so hot in nutrients.  The
water was always yellow and I guess I was always ending up using too much
soil in the mix.  I finally went to 100% Schultz Aquatic Plant soil and
waited for the substrate to get really dirty, and am using a couple of
hundred Endler's to fertilize the tanks.  The type of gravel shouldn?t be
too important, as how dirty it is.  The tank essentially makes its own soil
over time.  My previous amount of light is estimated to be about ½ Watt per
gallon as compared to the two new AHS 96 Watt CFs that I just put on the 125
gallon tank.  That's 1.54 Watts per gallon with the new lights, and its many
times brighter than the old setup.  The algae did not go away and the plants
would not grow well until about a year ago when I purchased a glass top for
the 125 gallon tank, and then the tank appeared to magically transform
itself.  I figure with the glass top I was now conserving CO2 much better.

Also, whether it is a high light-high tech tank or a low tech tank, the
plants in either case are purifying the water.

Steve Pituch

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