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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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My Planted desk 'Bowl'

I picked up one of those famous glass bowls from Michael.They're so awesome! 4 bucks. Its pretty small, ranking right under a gallon. This is my first planted tank so I need some input, I plan to keep one or two RCS so no heater is fine? Do I need any specific lighting or can I just plop a lamp over it? Thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 11:58 PM
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If the water temperature gets below 65F then you will need a heater. As for lighting Just go with a 13w Compact fluorescent with a 6000k or above rating.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 01:06 AM
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If the water temperature gets below 65F then you will need a heater. As for lighting Just go with a 13w Compact fluorescent with a 6000k or above rating.
Room temperature is fine. If you are putting it by a drafty window or something then you might need to either move it or add a heater (though small heaters are hard to find).

Some sort of desk light with a replacement screw-in CFL in the daylight range will work for lighting. It doesn't need a lot of light but it does need the light to be in a useable spectrum (5000K-6000K or higher).

Just remember that the plants are what are acting as the filter for the tank so the less plants the less filtering power you will have. IMO a heavily planted Walstad style bowl is pretty robust in terms of easily maintaining a healthy and clean ecosystem in the bowl but on the other end of the scale something more like a traditional betta bowl is going to be harder to balance. Not saying that it can't be done but just pointing out that not all bowls are created (planted) equally so if you have trouble with yours then you probably ought to check some of the bowls that people around here have and see what the differences are.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by CHHB View Post
I picked up one of those famous glass bowls from Michael.They're so awesome! 4 bucks. Its pretty small, ranking right under a gallon. This is my first planted tank so I need some input, I plan to keep one or two RCS so no heater is fine? Do I need any specific lighting or can I just plop a lamp over it? Thanks
Just remember if you use substrate, a filter, a heater you're already taking away from what little water you have in the tank. If you're already under a gallon you'll be at maybe 0.5 gallons, which is next to nothing. Add the volume plants take up and it will be even less.

With such a small amount of water your temperature will fluctuate like crazy, perhaps even greater than a 5 degree change overnight. This will definitely kill RCS or stress them terribly. You also have to consider if you put in a heater it will cause water evaporation. I really suggest to at least start with a 2 gallon vase/bowl if you can. The larger the volume of water the less the parameters will change.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Tested it tonight, its a one gallon bowl. Yes, it will be a walstad bowl (would have labeled it as such but wasn't 100% what it meant). No heater or filter. If this really doesn't work out, I'll just upgrade to a 2 gallon, , but I just want to see how this goes. I have a halogen lamp, is this okay? For substrate I just want a teeny layer of potting soil and then sand covering that.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 03:57 AM
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Do at least an inch of soil.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 04:09 AM
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Halogen lights get REALLY hot, and depending on how big it is and how close it is to the water, it will make the temperature fluctuations even worse.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 02:13 PM
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Tested it tonight, its a one gallon bowl. Yes, it will be a walstad bowl (would have labeled it as such but wasn't 100% what it meant). No heater or filter. If this really doesn't work out, I'll just upgrade to a 2 gallon, , but I just want to see how this goes. I have a halogen lamp, is this okay? For substrate I just want a teeny layer of potting soil and then sand covering that.
Keep the substrate to a minimum, perhaps even put some plant weights and then cover those with substrate so you don't need that much to hold the plants down.

And as another poster said the halogen lamp will cause insane temperature changes. Try to get a daylight bulb, 6500K. You'll only need 5W or less for your bowl.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 02:58 PM
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You can get a 2-pack of 10w 6500k CFL bulbs at Walmart for like, $7 (They're labelled "full daylight") which would be perfect for your bowl.


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