Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Diana Walstad’s “The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium”

Diana Walstad’s “The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium”

What up fishtank people?, Dustin’s fish tanks on a Monday.
I want to bring it to you today. People have been asking me about some good books to check out and I’ve got one. It’s near and dear to my heart and I kind of want to talk about it.
So this book here is big for me. It is “The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium”. It’s written by Diana Walstad, and it is well, you can read it.
It is a tree stay for the whole aquarium.
For me, this is where dirt began. And a little background on this book: I first found this book when I was like 14, and I was looking up information on aquariums. What I did was I went to the library and I found it, and I opened it up and I was looking for pictures and this book has no pictures, so it’s definitely not made for a 14 year old. I almost thing it’s a college level book, maybe a senior in high school.
I didn’t pick it back up for quite a long time until after I got out of school.
It’s all about dirt. Everything you want to know. I mean, it’s allelopathy, it’s plant wars, it’s out of control algae. It’s more then I’ve ever given anyone on a video. I mean it’s very, very detailed scientific names. It’s very, very super, it’s as scientific as you can get. I mean it’s not an easy read.
I’m sharing this because I got this book on 3-5 of ’08. I made a little note to myself. I ordered this book, kind of a personal note, but I ordered this book when I got myself published in the aquatic gardeners magazine for the first time, so that’s kind of a big deal for me.
I bought this book, and it really started the whole dirt thing for me. I mean, it was just, how to do dirt. Everything, and it’s very, very, very, very like this is just a picture of a grain of sand vs. a piece of clay and how clay is better, so.
I’m promoting this book and I think it’s really worth checking out. It’s Diana Walstad’s book “The Ecology of the Plated Aquarium” and the reason that I’m talking about this today is that I woke up this morning with a really, really horrible email. My man Shane, I don’t talk to the dude as much as I used to, but he’s holding it down on fishtanktv. He said there had been an email from Diana Walstad on my channel. I’ve tried to meet this woman. I’ve tried to find her at conventions, I know people who know her, I’ve asked about her. It’s big for me, it really is, it’s big. It’s big to know who Diana Walstad is. So I get this email that says someone had put a copy of Diana Walstad’s book on and she was threatening to pursue legal action. Shane removed it and it’s all good. By the way, I think I know who did it, so don’t be doing it!
But I was really, really, really taken back by that. I almost did a video at 5:45 this morning. Just cause I was like Oh no. Not that I was worried about being sued, but I was just offended. Kind of like violated like one of the prophets that I think of with planted aquariums and dirted tanks. So I was really hurt, as it was someone I’ve always wanted to meet, look up to and admire. And I don’t know if any of you have tried to write a book, but it’s hard shit. I mean you have to sit there and bust it out. I’m one of the worst, but it’s very, very difficult. And to have that book online is like a very violating thing being available for free.
So I was all bummed out, like all day about this. Just eating me. Shane removed it, thank you bro, I appreciate it. By the way, your peacocks are looking sick over there. He removed it and I shot her an email that said basically that I’ve been looking at your stuff since I was 14 years old and I really, really dig your work and it’s the essence behind you know 500 videos and, I’m converting a whole lot of people to dirt. She was a big reason for it.
And I really beat myself up over it.
But there’s a silver lining. She actually emailed me back and I said look I’m really sorry and she emailed me back and she was actually pretty cool about it. Diana, if you are watching this, I appreciate you being cool about this, I really do feel bad about that. And I really think you guys should take the time and opportunity to pick up her book. I mean, look, I’m writing a book. My book is not going to hold a candle to hers.
If you want to get it, go to “Ecology of a Planted Aquarium”. Not a lot of pictures in it, but so, so filled with detail. I mean, you want the scientific version of it, like Amano’s got the good looking tanks in all of his books but her book is just ridiculous.
If you guys could do me a favor. If you guys are members of, can you look up Diana Walstad on there and give her some credit and say thank you cause I’ve kind of just taught all the methods I’ve learned. I haven’t done the research. I simplify a lot of what she says. So drop her a note, look her up. Diana Walstad on Diana, if you are watching this, go to and read all the comments people are going to say to you, cause it’s a big deal. You’ve done a lot for the hobby. I’m sorry if I offended you in any way. Thank you for being cool about it. All you rookies out there, it’s all dirted and looks sweet, definitely go and send her a message on Fishtanktv, who knows, maybe we will get some good feedback.
So that’s really it, got a lot of plant orders going out. Kind of excited about it. Ton of them are combos too by the way, all of them are combos, almost all of them are combos. So that’s what’s up. Diana Walstad touched my site, so that’s cool. Sorry for the reason she had to actually come there, but yea, that’s what we’re doing. Taiwan plants looking good too though by the way.
That’s what’s up fish tank people.

63 comments on “Diana Walstad’s “The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium”

  1. Dustin it would be impossible for your site to get into trouble cos the copy was send by independent email, yeah there was a little write up on the site but since this video there a hell of a lot more. hay at least it got you in touch with her yeah? but i can see why you would be raging and suspend the lad.. good call, thanks

  2. @3mopanda666 someone put her book on fishtank tv. Thats bad cause she made the book and she wants to get paid for it! so if someone puts it up on the web for free she got mad and was threatening to persue legal actions towards fishtank

  3. @scareface1197 ah right i was saying Dustin was misunderstood not you, It was Shane that told Dustin about it, the thing is there was a post in the forum saying you can get the pdf file of the book, there is a lad on fttv who was goin mad about it the day b4 shane deleted the post, now if diana did come across a book being giving away for free she would not threaten to sue at all the first thing you would hear off her would be off her lawyers. lad going mad + email = fake diana, simples

  4. Her book just got the biggest plug it'll ever receive lol. I'm sure it would be very hard for her to sue you as fttv was not advertising or giving away copies of the pdf and who on earth is gonna read all that in pdf o.O . As for you worrying if your book will be any good…don't be, if its half as good as your videos you're good!

  5. Just FYI, treatise is pronounced "tree-tiss" not "tree-stay". A treatise is a paper, or book, writen to encompass knowledge about one very specific subject. They are usually written by people in advanced college or university programs, or by proffesional educated types. Hope that helps in any possible way!

  6. mate it's been given away on fishtanktv downloadable version for quite a few months ,I must admit to my shame I took a copy (which I have now deleted) to see what the book was like read a few chapters and now I'm buying the book this is the kind of book I have been looking for theres nothing else out there like it truely amazing book , going to try read most of it before I dirt my tank

  7. @mybackpocket I think a mod had turned the thread with the link to the download onto a sticky therefore FishtankTV was endorsing the illegal download of the book. He did mention in the vid that she has agreed not to sue though as the link has now been taken down and Dustin has also given a formal apology.

  8. I bought this book when it first was published and was overwhelmed by all the information. I wanted to try a dirted tank then but life got in the way (marriage, babies-haha). Now I am getting back into keeping aquariums again and have started reading Diana Walstad's book. I tried an experimental one gallon tank with a layer of dirt and now want to try it with some 10 gallon tanks, one with garden soil and the other with the Organic Choice bagged soil. Thanks for all your videos on the subject!

  9. Thanks for this video.
    I saw it first a couple of weeks ago and now own the book. I've read loads of books on aquarium keeping but this seems to me to be one of the best. Thanks again…

  10. I have a 100 gallon Walstead, just an airstone tons of shrimp a few saes and otto's on dirt and gravel. 25% water changes every few months with top offs in between. Dustin I love your videos, but you don't have to do so many water changes if you stay out of your tank and don't overstock. It is all about creating an ecosystem, just ask Diana.

    Keep up the great vids!

  11. Knowledge should be shared freely… We can all benefit in being surrounded by those willing to share knowledge. It's silly to fret over greedy and capitalistic endevours. Love your neighbor and share.

  12. I thank you Dustin for introducing us to the Walstad method since then I have been practicing but do not understand it fully but man! it's great my fluval Nano tank blossomed and has been my best tank ever and your vids bro Sick! Lets keep this train going son and everyone else. I want to spend my last moments on this planet with family ,friends and allot of planted aquascapes as many as I can create I would plant the shit out of the world if they would let me GREEN BABY!

  13. Albert Thiel writes about Reef Tanks. Diana Walstad's planted aquarium book is about the freshwater tank – there is a huge difference. Dustin gets this. It is not uncomplicated.

  14. Reminds me of the story about when Bing Crosby sued a radio station for playing one of his songs, citing that people would not buy the record if they could listen to it on the radio.  Two weeks later, Bing quietly withdrew the suit after receiving the sales figures for the city of the radio station broadcast.

  15. How can u charge more than double for ur book then?? This book is less than half orice of ur book I dnt relli care just stating a fact. Ive watched ur videos for a long time n have to say ur 220 used to look great. Plus I have to say here in the uk I can get much better quality plants n for cheaper thing ur a rip off n tbh people shud go elsewere if they want decent plants. Untill u make a few decent looking tanks n have tanks that look half as good as amanos then ill watch them but tbh I honestly believe ur a fraud n a disgrace

  16. Ok, I am only 6 Months into this but already have 2 tanks. I recently was told I am doing the Walstad Method. I am going through a chinese couple in San Francisco who are showing me step by step. And my first tank is freaking Awesome… Beautiful plants, clear water, healthy fish, amazing. 

    My question is, basically what is the Walstad method in a nutshell. My tank has over 5" of course like sand. The idea is that thicker, I mean in inches as in 5 or more inches of sand will hold a lot more bacteria, and 2 different types of bacteria, that eat the ammonia and Nitrites, etc. And you never do a water change at all. You only add water that has evaporated over a week or 2 and add some with a little bacteria. OH and my ammonia is zero and nitrites and nitrates are zero. I don't add prime or anything at all… When adding water I use a little conditioner for the chlorine, chlorine, etc. That's it!

    Is this a Walstad Tank? 

    All I know is this tank is freaking amazing and clean and healthy all the way around. I barely have to touch it or do any work. And it can hold more fish than other systems allow, a lot more! 

    I am ordering her book today!! 

    P.s. this tanks is almost 5 months old now!

  17. I dirt my tank two moths ago, I had brackish water for couple of days but it was clear afterwards. Everything went fine for a week and two then I got ich in the tank. I treated the tank after loosing three fish and rest of the fish were quarantined. I am having a huge problem now as my fish are keep dying every second day. I am doing water changes every week. I tested the water everything is 0 but ph is a bit low. My lfs says that dont do big water change its causing ph decrease. I dont know what to do but really hating the idea to dirt as my healthy tank is now a disaster. I added dual t5 on this 35 gallon dirted tank and now getting a white kinda layer on the glass which goes away if I rub the aquarium walls. Please help if anyone has gone through this. Thanks 

  18. I have been doing a bunch of Facebook LIVE as
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  19. If you want to understand what is happening at and around the membranes of plants roots, Read this book. Thanks for sharing Dustin.

  20. This video is one of those that made me buy the book. Granted, it's Kindle edition, but it is WORTH EVERY CENT! Trust me, if you're serious about aquarium hobbym this book should be on your shelf just above the tank. I will buy hardcopy once I get the chance.

  21. If I I have a Walstad tank and decide to add filtration on top of it, would the ecology of the system then depend on that additional filtration? In other words, if you want to do a Walstad tank is it all or nothing from the beginning?

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