Cobfreak's DIY nano cube-like paludariamish thing
I think I built this "cube" tank in 2010. I had never built a tank (and haven't yet built another since) and I had a bunch of 12" square pieces of glass that I got from someone who was going to throw them away. To make a tank out of a bunch of square pieces of glass, without cutting, I had to allow the sides to overlap. It looks weird. Might look cool if I hadn't also been just learning how to deal with silicone when I did it.
When I first made it I started playing with making it an Iwagami-type tank, but didn't get anywhere with that. Then it sat in the garage for a couple of years.
Recently I decided to see what I could make using a bunch of rocks I have around here. I think they're shale but I could be wrong. I've got an unlimited supply. I used silicone and built up a cave structure with a contained shelf on the top, and put that structure into the tank on the dirt substrate I still had in there. From there I added more rock to build up a sort of water fall from the HOB filter I was using.
I've attached some photos. The first one's with a flash which is sort of a full-tank shot. Looks flat with the flash. The other two are closer for detail.
This is very lo-tech. I'm using an old gooseneck floor lamp with a compact fluorescent bulb which is I THINK daylight spectrum. I have it on a timer and I think I keep it on about 12 hours. Gets some ambient sunlight, though not much. Random small HOB that I've recently thrown some plants in (pothos and some kind of mint that isn't doing too well.) I may have added some dry ferts once or twice. No C02.
In the emersed part (filled with about 3/4" of mineralized topsoil) I've got a little bit more of the mint; a stem of what is I think rotala indica; another stem of some ludwigia repens arcuata, I think; a tiny crypt of some sort; a clipping of Anubias Barteria Coffeefolia; some java fern, and some java moss. Most of this seems to be growing well. I love the look of the java moss on the rocks. I'm gradually trying to cover all of the ugly silicone.
Under the water I've got more of the stems that I think are rotala indica, a stem of Persecaria Kawaegonum, a couple of stems of ludwigia sp. red, and various java ferns. Also recently added two small crypt spiralis. There's a side of the tank (right side in the pictures) not visible here that has the outside of all of this rockwork, and the silicone is really visible there so I'm trying to grow a lot of java fern and moss on that side. The ludwigia sp. red is growing pretty much totally green, as this isn't much light.
Livestock here is only a couple of ramshorn snails and one or more pond snails. I tried some microrasboras in there but there wasn't enough swimming space so I moved them into a 10 gallon.
One of my biggest complaints with this setup is that I keep it covered in plastic wrap all the time to keep in the moisture. It's not heated and my house is air conditioned. I hand-mist it at least once a day with a spray bottle. The plastic wrap doesn't look good, of course. I wish I could get around that.
Plans: I'd like to add some shrimp. I've got no idea what kind. The only shrimp I've kept to date are Amanos; I'd like something other than those.
I'm also thinking of adding sand on the bottom, or maybe more gravel, to capt the dirt. Basically it's bare dirt in there right now, and I don't particularly like the look of it. Not sure if I want to lighten it up with sand or get something darker.
Any thoughts on better things to do with this thing than keep it covered in plastic wrap? Shrimp suggestions?