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I have 6 with 4 ember - been there for 3 or 4 months.

I really like the look of the messy tank. All the colors pop, it’s almost like a natural GloFish(TM) tank :D

How many Neons do you have in there? For how long have they been in there? I decided to go with Glowlight tetras in my 5.5. Not sure if it will be big enough for them long term, but for now they seem to be thriving.
 

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I have 4 floaters - water lettuce; frogbit, red root floaters and leaves from a banana plant. A single large water lettuce takes about 1/3 of the surface space - thinking of moving it to a larger tank - the floaters grow really well in this tank unfortunately the roots get 2+ feet long - they hit the bottom - dig into the substrate and go from there ;)


No, it's still a great post. I wanted to ask about the water lilies in @jake37 's 5 gallon tank above you. But, I'm too lazy to retype my question. LOL.
 

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I have 4 floaters - water lettuce; frogbit, red root floaters and leaves from a banana plant. A single large water lettuce takes about 1/3 of the surface space - thinking of moving it to a larger tank - the floaters grow really well in this tank unfortunately the roots get 2+ feet long - they hit the bottom - dig into the substrate and go from there ;)
That's incredible. So, those elongated stems in the messy tank aren't water lilies?
 

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my 10 gallon and fry ecosphere both have floater roots in the bottom of the tank. I need to compost them soon
 

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Well, the term “natural” could lead to many philosophical discussions or heated debates.
I think what we typically mean here by "natural" is relying on plants to maintain a healthy ecosystem, rather than equipment like filters and doing lots of water changes. It's obviously not actually fish living in the wild, but it's relying on processes that exist in nature to solve our problems.
 

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I think Cawafuoshi's tank is my style. Lots of healthy plants. Not too clean.
Thank you Diana for your feedback! :D I was hoping for the leaves to leech more tannins. Probably have to buy more or look for better quality. I can fit another couple of carpeting or low growing plants. All depends on how lucky I get at Petco whenever I go there.
 

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I think what we typically mean here by "natural" is relying on plants to maintain a healthy ecosystem, rather than equipment like filters and doing lots of water changes. It's obviously not actually fish living in the wild, but it's relying on processes that exist in nature to solve our problems.
You are completely spot on. I just got a feeling some fish keepers get hung up on the term "natural" that won't allow for any so slight deviation from an "all natural" approach.
 

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No - banana plant. Kind of weird - i have tried for years to grow them and they always died on me without ever sending up a single leaf. I purchased two from Marcus fish tank and both sent up new leaves in less than a week and are huge. The one in the 5 gallon immediatley sent roots down and anchor it self. Not sure why none of the others over the years have grown. Do i like it - not sure - a few of the leaves in the 40 are convex and frys like hiding in the little puddles created in the interior.

That's incredible. So, those elongated stems in the messy tank aren't water lilies?
 

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No - banana plant. Kind of weird - i have tried for years to grow them and they always died on me without ever sending up a single leaf. I purchased two from Marcus fish tank and both sent up new leaves in less than a week and are huge. The one in the 5 gallon immediatley sent roots down and anchor it self. Not sure why none of the others over the years have grown. Do i like it - not sure - a few of the leaves in the 40 are convex and frys like hiding in the little puddles created in the interior.
That's incredible. I don't think I've ever seen a banana plant with leaves!
 

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The substrate in this tank is way too deep! For such a small tank it should not be more than 1 inch deep. Otherwise the substrate goes severely anaerobic. Oxygen just cannot penetrate such a great depth. Rooted plants will struggle and die, because they cannot keep their roots safely oxygenated. It may also impact the fish by pulling oxygen out of the water. In contrast, the floating plants in this tank are having a field day. Floating plants are not hindered by substrate toxicity and they are gobbling up all those nutrients released by the huge soil volume.
 

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nothing has gone anaerobic yet. There’s a layer of gravel with seran wrap with holes under the dirt
 

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I just bought a 5 gallon tank for my new betta fish Poppy, and I want to do the Walstad method. The tank will be in a room with natural light, but there's no direct sunlight. Here are the specs of the tank:
  • High-output 7000K LED with all-aluminum, waterproof casing for enhanced plant growth and fish colors
  • LED also features convenient touch-start day and night illumination
  • Powerful 3-stage filtration for superior water quality
  • Oversized mechanical (foam), chemical (carbon) and biological (Biomax) media included
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 11.6 x 7.5"
I'm going to modify the filter so it's not as strong because it's for a betta. I'll have a 50W heater that I'll keep around 80 degrees.

Will this tank work for the Walstad method?

I'm also wondering if I'll need aquascaping tools for a 5 gallon tank?

And if I can use this gravel, or if I should get something different: CaribSea Super Natural Snowy River Aquarium Gravel | fish Gravel, Sand & Stones | PetSmart

I have a wonderful local fish store here in Seattle with beautiful all natural tanks, where I'm sure I can buy the soil and plants I need. Hopefully they can also test the water for me before I put my fish in.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
Ive done a dirtied tank in a 5 gallon. Worked fine. I kept the lighting between one and two watts per gallon. Used top soil for dirt. Just normal inert gravel to top off and kept soil layer to rather less than an inch deep. I planted each plant by holding the plant roots to my muddy soil and tipped a little gravel over to hold in place, then once all plants where I want them just gently top off with more gravel. No forceps involved. My water quite hard so I didn’t have to agonise over any additives and just did it really simply. No rocks or ornaments either, just plants. I did use water lettuce initially to soak up the rush of nutrients in the water for the initial period of 10 - 12 weeks and removed them once root growth of the floaters began to struggle as this signalled the tank was now settled. I have a little guppy grass now as a nutrient hoover. Never really had a problem with algae. Hope you get on OK with this. I like a 5gallon tank, very easy to deal with!
 
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