Well, howdy. I've been lurking for a while and finally got inspired to put together a shrimp bowl.
The "bowl" is a 2.5g jar that floated around work for a couple years. No one wanted it, and a few weeks ago I thought, "Hey, I know a good use for that!"
I had an idea for a little sponge filter for my tank. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the side of the jar, ran a piece of aquarium tubing through the hole, and sealed it with silicon. I put an air stone on the end of the tubing, and I siliconed a coupler for a 1/2" PCV pipe on the bottom of the jar. I cut a slot in the coupler for the air tubing to go into the filter.
I wanted to make this a dirt tank, so I siliconed a piece of plastic canvas around the bottom of the jar to keep the dirt confined so it would not show through the sides of the jar.
I made the sponge filter out of PVC plumbing parts and a Penn-Plax Cascade Bio-Sponge I found at the LFS. (Now for the obligatory apology for cell-phone pics.)
Here you can see the filter inserted in the coupler. The air stone is inside the filter.
For the dirt layer of the substrate I used about 1/2 cup of MTS, about a cup of MGOCPM, a couple teaspoons of a powdered red clay I bought at a local pottery shop, and a few pellets of Osmocote plant food.
I capped the soil with a filter sand I got at a local landscape company.
The DW I had lying around from another project, and the plants I bought at Olathe Pet Shop (Olathe, KS - a great LFS, BTW).
I was excited about getting the plants and forgot to write down what species I bought. I know there's a corkscrew val of some kind, an anubias nana, some kind of crypt, I think some dwarf sag, and some duckweed to help during the break-in.
For light I'm using this LED
in a small shop-light reflector (I painted the reflector black on the outside).
Here you can see the top with the duckweed and the out-put from the filter.
I'm still waiting for it to cycle. I used some squeezings from my 29g's filter - we'll see if that helps.
My parameters are: pH-7.2, NH3-1.0, NO2-0, NO3-7.5, PO4-1.5, temp-69, KH-2, GH-180.
I've been adding 4 drops of Flourish Excel each day. No shrimp until it cycles and settles down - probably a month or two.
We'll see how it goes...