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Old 10-21-2008, 12:28 PM   #1
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Question Diana Walstad vs. Greg Watson

So, as some of you know I'm transforming my 46G into a planted tank. As of now everything is emptied out, fish are in a bucket, old gravel is in another, and then today after work I need to scrub the tank walls down. Then, I will begin with the substrate. I will use the Diana Walstad method; top soil mixed with crushed coral lightly covered with pool sand. I won't be using any CO2- the kits are expensive and I feel if I make one myself I will risk dropping my pH and possibly killing all of my fish. It seems a lot of work to keep up with the DIY version anywho. I know I may have ordered some plants that require CO2 in the system but, we shall see how things pan out. I was also thinking about purchasing the Saechems Equilibrium and Flourish Excel. I know the Walstad version means not adding a thing and you don't have to do a water change for about 6months. I most likely won't be adding the fertilizers everyday, more like bi-weekly. Now, since I'm adding ferts does this mean the water changes will have to drastically increase?

Another method of planted tanks is the Greg Watson and using dry fertilizers (KNO3 KH2PO4 K2SO4 Plantex CSM+B FE)and mixing them yourself which saves a crapload of money vs. purchasing the Saechem brand. Although the person that mentioned this method to me didn't inform me of the 50% weekly water changes. I know I wouldn't be able to keep up with that. Does anyone know what the dry fertilizer substitute is for the equilibrium and flourish excel? Is there anyway I could just add smaller amounts of fertilizer so the water wouldn't have to be changed as often?

Is there some happy medium between 50% water changes weekly and water changes every 6months? I just don't want my plants to die off from lack of nutrients when I first start either. If anyone has some suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. Here are some websites that I have already visited relating to this topic:
Watson
http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/Do...g2maez6qeh330u
Dosing Dry Fertilizers
Aquarium Plants and Aquatic Plants - Greg Watson's Guide to Dosing Strateges
Walstad
http://www.aquatic-eden.com/2008/09/...proach-to.html
Walstad method - The Aquarium Wiki
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...a-walstad.html
Goldfish and Aquarium Board Article-Setting up a Walstad Natural Planted Tank
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crazyfishlady View Post
Does anyone know what the dry fertilizer substitute is for the equilibrium and flourish excel? Is there anyway I could just add smaller amounts of fertilizer so the water wouldn't have to be changed as often?

There is no dry substitute for Excel, it is a carbon supplement that is a supplement for CO2.

Yes, less ferts and less water changes, this is my recommended reading:
Non CO2 methods - Aquarium Plants - Barr Report


I have been using this method so far and seems OK. I have also been using excel, I can tell you that it kills algae, but I dont think it does much for my plants to be honest.
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:56 PM   #3
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What an informative website! Thank you.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:22 PM   #4
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I have used both methods and I got better results from the monthly water changes and addition of supplements on an as needed basis. I have dosed Excel and still got the dreaded BBA when doing 50% weekly water changes.

I realized that frequent water changes plays havoc with established CO2 levels in non-CO2 injected tanks and that leads to the levels bouncing...end result is algae.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:15 AM   #5
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personally i am not a fan of the walstad system. i am a firm believer in water changes.

have you thought about getting a python? really it should only take 20-30 mins a week to do a 50% wc. with my 120 i start it do other things once it gets half way i fill it back up. really takes 3-5 mins of real work a few mins of making sure the fish are not flopping or i am not over flowing it again.

a few things to think about.... Co2 isnt a must and ferts isnt a must. maybe you should start with a lower light tank with lower light plants. this would be minimal work load both trimming wcs and effort. one thing i try to get people to do who want the high light high tech tanks is start low and work your way up. if you get a tank and start tossing ferts and co2 and lots of light with out a understanding of the balance to keep everything in check its really hard.

the thing with EI (watson mythod) is you add all the ferts a plant might be able to use and flush them out. its also for a heavly planted tank. if your just starting off i would use 1/4 of what they say and work your way up.
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