I've got bowl fever!!
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:16 PM   #1
Disher
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I've got bowl fever!!


******Updated picture 12-5-12**



******

I've been browsing around forums for about a month now because I want to set up a low budget planted "tank". I almost went with the 7.9 fluval flora but it's a bit pricey IMO. Long story short I came across a string of very successful planted bowls and knew I could pull something like this off, and at the same time make it a decorative piece for the living room if you will. I have 2 reef tanks and a macro algae tank, so I'm not a complete rookie!

I want to get this thing kick started but need some direction. I've got the bowl(2.75 gal), now what?

I have a bag of potting soil I bought for some house plants, can I use it as a base and cap it with gravel or sand? Is it the right kind of soil to use in a bowl?

As far as plants go, I'm not sure about which plants are root feeders and which are leaf feeders. I know this will help me with nutrient requirements down the road. I was thinking about planting this with nothing but bulb plants, the lillie, onion, and aponogeton. I wanted to keep this filter-less, the all natural way!

Any comments, criticism, you name it are welcome. Thanks for the help!
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Last edited by Disher; 12-06-2012 at 10:24 PM..
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:28 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with that specific potting soil but if its got any fertilizer at all you wont want to use it. Also if it's got those little white bits in it you won't want to either. From the picture it says 'feeds plants up to 6 months' so that would make me think it has fertilizer in it.
Either look for 100% organic potting soil or just plain old topsoil with no added anything.
Another tip I've heard is if you don't fertilize your lawn and you've got spots where water collects when it rains then to dig there because it is full of clay which is great for planted tanks.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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I used a miracle gro with fertilizer.. I've also used one with the white bits - fertilizer was ok... the white bits.. Omfg what a freakin mess, they float, they're ugly, they get in the filter they sit at the top, they make a mess, etc. etc. etc. Stay away from anything with the white balls lol. I would think though, if it does have the balls, that for a tank this size, if you sifted it with like a flour sifter (may be a bit tedious but hey...) to use it as a substrate it would work... Then you could cap it with something else and it would probably work out ok might want to wait for a more knowledgeable person to come along and verify that one for you though...
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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Ooh and I LOVE that bowl/vase/masterpiece-waiting-to-happen
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:17 AM   #5
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Nice bowl design! I'd try to find some of the Miracle Gro Organic potting soil without ferts...found mine at Walmart.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:26 AM   #6
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Nice shape
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:52 AM   #7
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Ok, so I will buy the organic soil. I'm thinking of a thick bottom layer for longer lasting root feeding and then capping it with something, IDK what yet.

I saw this lamp on another thread here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...7GGEB892QY2H86

It's 3000k, 4.2 Watt LED. Great look to it, but I'm afraid it may be too yellow. I want to stay away from bulky lights because once again, this is in my living room and would love to please my fiancé with this project.

Are the planted bulbs a good idea? I've used them before and loved them once they grew out. What about fish? I'm not sure about the shrimp thing just yet, no betta for sure. I guess that leaves me with danios and neons maybe?
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:53 AM   #8
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Thanks for the compliments by the way!
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:06 AM   #9
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I wouldn't recommend fish at all. Shrimp and inverts is what I'd do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disher View Post
Ok, so I will buy the organic soil. I'm thinking of a thick bottom layer for longer lasting root feeding and then capping it with something, IDK what yet.

I saw this lamp on another thread here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...7GGEB892QY2H86

It's 3000k, 4.2 Watt LED. Great look to it, but I'm afraid it may be too yellow. I want to stay away from bulky lights because once again, this is in my living room and would love to please my fiancé with this project.

Are the planted bulbs a good idea? I've used them before and loved them once they grew out. What about fish? I'm not sure about the shrimp thing just yet, no betta for sure. I guess that leaves me with danios and neons maybe?


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Old 04-13-2012, 02:23 AM   #10
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That bowl looks awesome! Nice find Start a journal, I'll subscribe for sure
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGonzo View Post
I wouldn't recommend fish at all. Shrimp and inverts is what I'd do.
Ok, good to know thanks. I guess that's the direction I'm headed then! What type of shrimp do you suggest? I just went to the store and saw cherries, bamboo, and a shrimp labeled as an algae eating shrimp. Is that an amano shrimp?

How do I get this moved to the tank journal section? Or should I just start a new thread?
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:42 AM   #12
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I'd start a new thread. Anndd depending on how much you're willing to spend, the choice is really yours when it comes to shrimp! Cherries usually tend to be the most wallet-friendly (here they are atleast).
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disher View Post
Ok, good to know thanks. I guess that's the direction I'm headed then! What type of shrimp do you suggest? I just went to the store and saw cherries, bamboo, and a shrimp labeled as an algae eating shrimp. Is that an amano shrimp?

How do I get this moved to the tank journal section? Or should I just start a new thread?
Cherry shrimp are ideal. They are hardy and easy to care for.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:20 AM   #14
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yes the algae eating ones are amano shrimp. also called japonica shrimp by some stores. you dont exactly want those for a small bowl...you want shrimp that are cherry shrimp size.

there are a few neocaridina choice you can have in that bowl. yellow shrimp(what i currently use), blue pearl shrimp, orange.pumpkin shrimp, rili shrimp, blue rili shrimp, painted fire red cherry shrimp.

depending on how tall that vase is, a small sword plant or crypt can be a nice centerpiece. an elevated blyxa japonica could also be nice, with some low type of carpet plant around it. by elevated i mean try to figure out how to raise it above your foreground to make it stand out and be taller. maybe touching the top of the water.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:01 PM   #15
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A found a cool piece of DW, but the darn thing was too big and wouldn't fit through the opening of the bowl! I had to break it down so it will fit.

My first attempt at adding the soil was a failure, as you can see in the picture I added entirely too much water grrr. I dumped this out and tried again, still too much water!!! I'm letting it soak and evaporate hopefully leaving me with the right mud consistency allowing me to cap it with gravel today.

I would like to tie some moss onto the driftwood but haven't made up my mind yet.
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