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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I'd start a little journal for a new tank, I just set up a 16"D Walstad bowl in a dry start. Lots of dwarf hairgrass from my other tank along with a dwarf sag and a couple ludwigia super red cuttings. Added 4 crypt lucens and a narrow leaf chain the next day (that already has a few babies on runners). This is all a bit of an experiment for me, my second Walstad method tank. The hardscape is a petrified wood log, epoxied to the bottom of the bowl. I used J-B Weld waterweld putty and that worked great to attach the uneven petrified wood to the bowl. It's super heavy so I am glad it's secured. There is an inch of Scotts organic raised bed soil with a 3/4" cap of washed Black Diamond blasting sand. Lighting for 13 hrs a day and I've been keeping it covered most of the day and always sprayed/moist. Not sure what to expect as submerged forms of plants convert to emersed growth, but I have my fingers crossed, and don't mind waiting a couple months for it to fill in. Ultimately I'd like a nice carpet between the dwarf hairgrass, crypt lucens, and narrow leaf chain sword, planting additional plants if needed when ready to flood.

Comments, advice, etc. are very welcome. I'll post updates as things progress!


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Welcome to APC!

This will be fun to watch. The plants will have an easier time if you cover the top of the bowl to keep the humidity high. Plastic food wrap will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Michael!

Well, I had a setback. First the good news though! The two weeks of growth has been amazing. The dwarf hairgrass shot runners out and developed nice roots. The other plants are thriving as well. Here are a few pics:

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But... The bad news. The petrified wood came loose from the glass. Because this is a no go, I had to tear it down today, sand the glass, reapply more waterweld, and then re dirt, cap, plant. It took about 6 hours altogether. But its done and hopefully its secure enough now. I will post more pics / another update in another couple weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Six weeks in, time for an update. The redo of the tank stunted the dwarf hairgrass and the narrow leaf chain sword. I also got a lot of algae on the petrified wood so I may have hurt the plants some when trying to scrub it off with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. That was a couple weeks ago and they seem to be taking off again thankfully, I think I'll wait to flood until the dwarf hairgrass really fills in, maybe another month or two.
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That wood has already caused troubles. (Spoiler alert: I'm not a big fan of using wood in tanks.) AND that wood doesn't look petrified to me. Petrified wood is like rock as the organic material has been replaced by inert chemicals; yours looks mealy and crumbly--still organic, sort of like driftwood. It's probably going to leach all kinds of junk (i.e., DOC) into tank--stimulating algae, water cloudiness, and toxins. Why not use a rock or a ceramic wood piece? Both are inert and won't sabotage your hard work and nice plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From the photos it does appear to be regular wood, but it's weight (approx 15lbs) and texture tell another tale. It is certainly petrified, although it has a lot more character than any I have seen previously. Hopefully my troubles with it are over, but if it comes loose again I'll have to reconsider my options.
 

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Admittedly, could be wrong since I'm no expert on petrified wood, just numbed by problems caused by leaky driftwood. Another problem with these large pieces of furniture is that they restrict the real estate devoted to plants. If there's not enough plant biomass and growing plants, algae can become a problem. Maybe your tank will be okay, though, as your plants continue to grow from a temporary setback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Why does something weighing 15 lbs. in a bowl of water need to be welded in place?
I used the JB waterweld because it does not sit perfectly upright and wants to fall down, not because it floats. This thing is literally a rock, and with it being so heavy I was afraid it would tip backward and scratch or crack the glass. By affixing it to the bottom of the bowl, my hope is I can avoid issues with it shifting or soil getting below it and causing anaerobic conditions. Here is a video I took before planting the first time.
Regarding the use of decor, I'm absolutely in love with this petrified log. So far, all the issues have been to my own ignorance in attaching it, along with a bit too liberal use of hydrogen peroxide while killing off algae. All things considered, I am very happy with the plant growth and am prepared to wait longer for the carpet to fill in. At the end of the day, even if this bowl ends up failing, I will consider it a success. Tending to this tank and others has brought a slice of peace, calm, and natural beauty into my home and life.
 

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You put your bowl on a turntable? NOW, I have seen everything. Amazing!

Nice video and your reasoning is sound. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You put your bowl on a turntable? NOW, I have seen everything. Amazing!

Nice video and your reasoning is sound. Good luck!
Thank you, I used a lazy susan bearing and a round wooden cutting board.

I also would like to say thank you for all of the knowledge you have shared, both here and in your book. I'll admit that I had to re-read it a few times, but I loved how you explained the processes in detail, yet left the reader to connect the dots and make their own choices - based on the information presented. It encourages people to invest in some forethought and experimentation.
 
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