New user here. Wanted to show you these planted bowls I have been working on. To cut a long story short I was searching the internet one day for planted terrariums (not water bowls) and something called the Walstad method came up. Having a passion for all things plants I thought I would give it a try. So, lots of reading and about 6 months later here are the results. I have to say they make my desk area much more pleasurable but I have to limit the time I spend staring into this little ecosystems otherwise I never get any work done!
The large bowl is about 6 months old now - a sort of Paludarium? I am really surprised how well the umbrella palm does. It is planted in the substrate and occasionally new shoots grow up through the water and open when they are about 6 inches above the water surface. It currently has 3 guppies and a couple of nerite snails. I am amazed at how well nerites do when it comes to getting rid of diatoms.
The second bowl is smaller and has taken on many forms before leaving it as it is now for around a month and just a couple of days ago adding some red cherry shrimp.
I was going to stick with 2 but had to buy this smaller tank when I saw it on offer. This is the only one out of the three that includes a small filter - guess you could say they are all low-tech though. This one has many plants that have their roots in the water in a plastic, clear bathroom tidy thing and seem to all be doing very well. There are a couple of guppies in here and a platy - to be honest the platy is too large for this and will probably be returned, she tends to get territorial and nips the guppies at times. There are also a couple of nerites and my favourite Blue Ramshorn called 'Blue' I think there are hundreds of other snails in here, probably pond snails but I don't mind them (they come out mostly at night) because they seem to leave the plants alone and I am sure they are helping to keep the tank algae free and clean.
And finally! I couldn't resist this little pico tank, it's only been set up a few days with cycled material. No dirt in this one, just some gravel. Makes a nice holding tank for a few guppy fry.
Anyway, just wanted to share these with you for your feedback and also for anyone else who is completely new to keeping a planted bowl. I am not an experienced fish keeper, I do like the fish but for me the plants and the how eco system of a planted bowl are what gives me joy. I do water changes once a week, probably about 25%? I think they could go longer without water changes but I don't mind doing it. Never really clean the substrate or the glass, the countless snails seem to take care of this for me:-)