3.8 Gallon Walstad Bowl

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I wanted to try my hand at a completely low-maintenance tank, and this was the result. It’s gone through many phases, but it currently sits as a dark, tannin rich environment with crypts, cabomba, and floating plants. It once had far more plants, but over time I began transplanting these into other tanks that needed more cover. It also once had a far brighter light, but that, too, was given to another, more demanding tank.

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During a planaria culture – easy, free, live fish food!

One huge benefit of having a tank without any inhabitants beyond hardy plants is that I can play with the tank as I wish. One of my favorite ways to use this tank is to intentionally grow planaria for food. Many smaller fish and picky eaters will eat planaria – but having planaria in your tank is usually a sign of excess, uneaten food and poor water quality. Thus, I can add food to this fishless bowl, let the planaria grow, and siphon them out to use as food.

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This tank is far different from most of my tanks, as it has no filter, no heater, and no living creatures I intentionally added. Yet it is also one of my most unique environments. I really love the dark, tannin rich water, creating beautiful silhouettes out of the cabomba and wood in the tank.

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Right now I only ever really bother to top off this tank with conditioned water. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and do an actual water change on it in the future to lighten the water color or prepare it for more plants or even some snails or inverts. But for now, I’m enjoying the evolution of this dark and still world amid the other brightly lit tanks with constant water current.

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