I thought I would show off a pico aquarium I set up two weeks ago.
an 8 oz glass. The 'lid' is saran wrap (not pictured) that I keep loose to allow for some air exchange. This helps slow down evaporation and prevent escapes.
white decorative sand.
Light: an LED desk light.
locally collected agates (some of you rock people might know where I live based on the agates XD).
a fossil snail.
sticks that were collected out of my backyard.
and some sort of random floating plant. I'm pretty bad with names.
The plants were all collected from my other aquariums.
A largish aquarium snail. Not sure of the species, this is the typical snail that rides in on aquarium plants.
A male (?) cherry shrimp.
They were added a week ago.
I don't feed very often so the snail and shrimp pretty much just eat whatever algae or micro organisms are growing in the aquarium. When I do feed the animals I do so a hour or so before I do a water change to prevent the buildup of wastes.
Ferts are handled by using water from the tank I got the shrimp from, a Fluval Flora. I use Aqueon Plant Food, which contains a pretty good range of minerals and metals (such as iron) but no copper. I'm a bit too lazy to mess around with individually dosing ferts, and that would be a pain for such a small aquarium in any case. The tap water here is very pure, containing very little in the way of minerals. I change the water twice a week by pouring off 80% of the water and filling it back up with water from the shrimp aquarium.
Because I use water from an established tank the pico is already cycled. I tested the water today before doing a water change, 0 ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, with a pH of 7.6. The shrimp has molted once since being put in the pico and is active, spending much of his time munching on stuff in the java moss. The snail looks happy for a snail.
Total cost for everything was $19.97, ie, the cost of the desk light. I had everything else on hand.