Tiny Planted Bowls and Reef Bowls - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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How many people on this board work with nano aquariums> I have been working with gallon and sub-gallon saltwater and planted systems and come to see if there are any pico planters out there.

Have pics of my planted and terrarium bowls too, but heres a reefbowl for starters. Neat to see a new BB, new to me anyway.

Nice to meet you.

Brandon

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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
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The terrarium bowl has a small circulatory system that pumps nutrient-rich water (out of my 75g planted) into the column. This circulates as a tiny, well-oxygenated waterfall over the driftwood tower and back again as it drips through the substrate (modeling groundwater percolation) down to a tiny powerhead and return hose.

The planted bowl is sealed and has no circulation. Root convection is provided by spacing the bowl over a small candle warmer, lighting is one 13watt Azoo Galaxy light 7700K pc. Excellent little $20 light setup from

www.aquaticeco.com

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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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The reefbowl houses 17 varieties of soft and stony coral and is unfiltered, unskimmed, and non-exported except for bi-weekly water changes. 1.5 years old

Terrariumbowl houses arthropods like pill bugs and crickets as well as a few earthworms. 3-4 varieties bog plants.

Planted bowl has aquatic plants: echinodorus, crypts wendtii and lutea, hairgrass, cardamine, rotala, microsorium, anubias x2. One medium dwarf frog, fed lightly with pellets each week--2.2 years old system. No algae, three month water changes (I am at one with nitrogen OOOOOHM)

Dripped a little Kent Blue and Pink bottles (pro-grow and MN support) every once in a while.

small old reef tank:

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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 04:16 AM
 
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Sorry, but uh...what exactly is the point of these things? No fish, right? Don't mean to sound rude, just not sure why they exist.
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 05:19 AM
 
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Wow, never seen anything like that before! :shock:
Here I go thinking 5g was gonna be small.....

Pretty neat!

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what exactly is the point of these things? No fish, right? Don't mean to sound rude, just not sure why they exist.
Well they are planted, so I think Brandon has come to the right place. Some people are in it for the plants, some are in it for the fish and of course some are in it for both. I think it is neat and would have never thought it possible. Way to go!

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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 11:32 AM
 
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Brandon; I think those bowls are real cool, Especially the mini reef. 8)

Stat: I guess the point is they're really neat to look at.

I don't know a thing about growing coral, but I've got to imagine that growing them in a vase must be a hell of a challenge.


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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hello guys, this is a common question I get asked all the time!

These are experimental systems that are designed to model the dynamics of much larger systems in an aquarium you can pick up completely full and move it to a different table. Keeping stony corals is much more challenging than keeping SW fish, and its easy to deduce that anywhere a coral can grow a fish would happily live. There is less maintenance by not having a fish in the saltwater bowl...

Typically, small aquariums are a challenge to keep vital for years without plagues of algae and plant die-back. The entire goal is removing pumps and filters from the equation to rely solely on biological design to create a no hassle aquarium of any kind, even saltwater. Im not as concerned with having fish to look at as I am in looking at a thriving aquascape (corals and plants). My little dwarf frog has more than enough character and nitrogen output for his system--the fun is in making a one-gallon environment just as stable and life-supporting as any 5-30 gallon out there. You know that phrase less technology, more biology? I have that tattooed on my shoulder. j/k

The longevity of these systems and the ability to support lush, green growth is why I keep 'em around.
Even in my 75g heavily planted tank I could care less about fish. My aquatic turtles have neat behaviors, and all I have for them to munch on is a continually-renewing family of wild-type guppies. I only use fish for a N bioload, never cared much about speciation... but I know many people are the opposite--when they come over they say "wheres the fish?"
One mans ____ is anothers ______, thats how the story goes.

(sigh)
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 12:53 PM
 
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OUTSTANDING !!! :shock:

Thats all I can say... the smaller they are the more difficult they can be and they just dont get any smaller then that ... very nice Brandon !
The neat thing about these is that they are challenging to get the balance with so little water to work with, and a mini reef ? :shock: I didnt think that would be possible!
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Root convection is provided by spacing the bowl over a small candle warmer
This is just Awesome :!:

Very impressive Brandon, thanks for sharing them with us...

Buck 8)
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys and gals (Kelly!) I wish I would have found your site a lot sooner. Googled "Planted tanks" and whamo here I am.

Have been keeping planted systems much longer than SW systems, and this board has tons of neat info. Ill be hanging out here to make up for lost time...

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Perhaps I should post some measurements of my various experimental ecosystems, the ones you see above are in betta-vases bought from Wal Mart. Please escuse the pics of SW systems, I realize this is a FW board but very soon these systems will be linked via capture and drip lines to share water and nutrients between the various bowls/containers--making for one large (or very small) ecosphere where all nutrients are shared and water is recirculated.

For example, as a SW reef evaporates it needs to be topped off with FW to maintain the salinity in check (corals are very picky). The terrarium bowl has almost constant 100% humidity, and this can be harnessed to drip back into the reefbowl (at a controlled rate) to keep it stable while making use of the humidity in the terrarium bowl. Evaporated water in the partially-sealed reef bowl can be routed to the planted bowl and ran through a small custom-designed condenser to get it back into liquified form.

PS, the tiny 9-inch aquarium is the smallest stony coral aquarium ITW. even though it has no fish, Id like to pose the idea that growing acropora in a 1/2 gallon sealed environment carries some merit for the tiny balance...


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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Heres a measure of the reefbowl, the planted terrarium and tank are in the same size container--standard betta vase with lily removed....

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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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And in the expression of utmost irony, Id like to state it is cruel to keep a betta in a Lee's Dual Betta hex but perfectly acceptable to keep a few small corals and inverts (SW) in one...corals are not a heavy bioload in a system so its not much different than a setup with just rock and water. Betta excretion will challenge a setup of this size and stress the animal, although they are pretty touch and can tolerate some ambient ammonia without dying. Corals do not exude nearly a tenth as much waste as one small betta, so even this is a thriving ecosystem.

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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 01:55 PM
 
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You are The King Of Mini Brandon !

Your collection of tanks deserves much more then "Merit" , I am giving you a standing ovation right now my friend... its just real hard to type while standing and clapping ! :lol: :lol:

That last little acrylic one with the pencil next to it is just like the setup I recently saw at my LFS and am considering getting... but I can guarantee you it wont be a reef ! :shock: I will be happy if I get it to stay algae free and healthy! What is a water change in that?.... 2 straws full? :lol:

Those setups are inspiring !
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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 04:32 PM
 
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I really luv the itty bitty one! That is just too cool!

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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks tons Buck and Kelly These systems are much more affordable than larger ones--a main reason I like this kind...

I wanted to highlight a concept I use in the tiny reefs that may work well for pico/nano planted tanks. Each of my system uses a hidden internal refugium to process internal wastes--nitrogen compounds and gases for example. pH shift is a critical factor to be controlled in small aquariums, and planted nanos using relatively soft water will be subject to quite a swing that can otherwise avoided by using a FW refugium. The idea is to light it continually from behind, even opposite of the main frontal display. One might use hortwort for a packing in the reugium part, and just let it fill up the refugium then export it from time to time. The constant photosynthetic activity will stabilize the main display even through the acidic night cycle. The tiny white spots on the inside of the refugium are asterina starfish.

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