Walstad method

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What is the Walstad Method?

5 Litre Walstad tank set up in one day with fish

This method of setting up an aquarium tank was made popular by Diana Walstad, author of the book 'ECOLOGY of the PLANTED AQUARIUM - A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise for the Home Aquarist'.

Alternative names

El Natural, NPT (Natural Planted Tank), Walstad Tank.


Principles

Provide an ecosystem where plants and fish balance each other's needs. The soil underlayer ensures that plants grow well enough to outcompete algae and recycle fish waste and toxins (e.g., ammonia, nitrite, etc). Without soil, plants don't grow well enough to do "their job".

Aims

Principle steps

3 Litre Walstad tank set up in one day with shrimp
Soil based compost - John Innes #3

Result

Fine-Tuning


Challenges


Soil types

Diana Walstad has recommended the garden soil 'Scotts Lawn Care - Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Soil' as sold in USA and UK.[1]

Suggested Plants

Diana Walstad recommended the following plants in her interview with aquariss.net

Fast, quick growth

Take longer to establish but then grow well

Best floating plants for me have been

These stem plants have always done well

Who is Diana Walstad?

Diana lives in North Carolina, USA and is technical advisor for the AGA (Aquatic Gardeners Association).

References

  1. Diana Walstad soil recommendation on Aquatic Plant Central - El Natural forum

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