Walstad shrimp bowl (my great adventure, or just spit in the wind) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Walstad shrimp bowl (my great adventure, or just spit in the wind)

After months of planning the time had finally come to set up my natural planted Walstad bowl. Some how I took a project that many people spend under $50 creating and managed to spend upwards of $150. I tend to go a little over board and got way more materials than I needed.

I started the bowl 2-24-16, so today is day 2
? I used 2g bowl
? MGOPS
? play sand cap
? desk lamp
? 13w Reptile natural daylight bulb

-flora-
?dwarf sag, cryps, ludwigia, moss balls, Java moss, baby tears (floating) frogsbit, water lettuce, duckweed and bamboo

-fauna-
? MTS
? hitchhiker pond snails

I used water from my established tanks to fill the bowl. The first fill was cloudy so I changed out 60% of the water and refilled with tank water again. That did the trick! By the next day the bowl was pretty clear. In the short 2 days it's been up I've seen some promising plant growth! Tested the water and its aces except for nitrates of about 40ppm (curse you cichlid tank water!) I think I'm going to pick up a couple shrimp today to "test the waters".

I also set up a small glass container I picked up at Michaels. So far so good with that one too. I'll add a picture, not sure if I should set up a separate thread for it. It is pretty cool though! Holds about 3 pints of water.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 12:18 AM
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It looks very pretty. How do you maintain a bowl? I have an empty bowl similar to yours, but don't know anything about ongoing maintenance.
What type of shrimp are you planning to add?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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I added some shrimp yesterday and as of this morning they all seem very happy and alert! I picked up 8 from my local fish store. They attendant gave me a combo of red cherry, rhili and navy blue (probably wont look to good if they interbreed) but he couldn't tell the varieties and it was becoming a long awkward process.

The idea behind the bowl is to be as close to a balanced ecosystem as you can get. Once you reach a balance, they're supposed to be extremely low maintenance! The plants act as your filtration and the shrimp and snail waste and leftover food feeds the plants. I'll be checking my water daily with the API master freshwater kit to monitor water quality and intervene when necessary. Yesterday I changed out about half of the water due to higher nitrates than I'd like and replaced it with water from my planted 4 gallon, who's water tested perfect.

Everything in the bowl seems to still be growing well. I added some naja's grass and ordered some ramshorn snails off eBay. My crypts are starting to melt a little bit but I expected that.

Here's some pics from today
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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I can see now why a lot of these bowls fail. Things can, and do take a nose dive fast! I noticed my shrimp acting odd and hanging towards the surface together so I tested the water.... Holy hello high nitrites! They had jumped to 0.50ppm, a far cry from the 0 they were yesterday. Ammonia wasn't quite 0.25ppm but I wouldn't call it 0 either. Nitrate was at an annoying 40ppm (thanks cichlid tank). To remedy this snafu, I emptied out about 90% of the water and replaced it with established water from a couple of my nano tanks. Presto - ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate 5. Needless to say my shrimp appreciated it. I'm going to have to keep an even closer eye on this little devil. Tricky, tricky customer. So far no deaths or major set backs yet (knock on wood)
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 05:37 PM
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Your bowl very beautiful and is cycling. I love the rectangle container, too! It shouldn't take long since you have topsoil & It is good you are checking. Bowls definitely do go downhill fast. That is why I am afraid to start one up again. Very exciting at the same time.
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