Hello all! I have a 58 gallon 'Walstad' style tank that I'm currently running a fishless cycle on. Substrate is 1 inch of Miracle Grow Organic Choice with a 1 inch gravel topper, and a ton of plants. I know you supposedly don't need to cycle Walstads, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Currently running a Fluval 405 with a Foam/Foam/BioMaxx/Carbon+Floss tray setup (Carbon just to get rid of the tannins, once they're gone the carbon is coming out).
I'd like to stock with sunfish. My original plan was to stock five sunfish, one each of Dollar, Orangespotted, Bluespotted, Banded, and Bantam, plus six red belly dace and a madtom, but after further thought, reading, and calculation, I realized that would be WAY too many fish for a walstad. I've since reduced my stocking plan to three Dollar sunfish and a Madtom, but now I'm wondering if that's still too many fish for this tank. As you can see from the pics below, its a "tall" 58G tank. As I understand it, Dollars can get up to just over 4 inches in length. Is this too much fish for a walstad? My concern is having more fish than the plants can handle the waste for. They look sparse now, but I dont plan to stock until the plants have grown in and shot runners everywhere. If this IS too much fish, what alternatives do I have? If I can't do Dollars, I'd prefer to do a variety of sunfish, e.g. three sunfish, each from a different species. Which three could I jump on that would play nice together? Also, can a madtom work in this setup? Or will it try to tear out all my plants and dig out the soil layer? Thanks!