Narhay's Jungle Shrimp Bowl - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Narhay's Jungle Shrimp Bowl

After much deliberation, I took the plunge and have started my shrimp bowl.

Here is one of my earlier projects, a 2 gallon Fluval Spec:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...uval-spec.html

The bowl:

$16 at Wal-mart. It was in the home decor section, but had a sticker on it: "Do not move while filled with water, gravel or decorations". I'm assuming it was meant to be a fish bowl. I snatched it up and walked around with it protectively for the next 20 minutes.



11" laptop for reference.

The light:



$10 at Ikea. I must have owned at least 6 or 7 of these by now. I am debating between a 4100K 15W bulb (I have a few), a 6500K 15W CFL (my preference) or a 23W 6500K (maybe too much light?).

The soil:



Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix. I capped with brown play sand from Home Depot. There is about 1" of soil, and about 1.5" of play sand.

Progress:



Filled with soil. I soaked the soil to the point where it was just saturated. I originally put in too much water with the soil and the sand just fell through to the bottom of the bowl. This way the soil isn't dry, didn't have too many bubbles in it but it still held the sand up when placed on it.

Filled with sand, soil and water:




Flora and fauna:

I am leaning towards all cryptocorynes. I don't think I will have any hardscape, just straight dutch. I still haven't decided but I would like your opinions.

I will also be putting in some CRS or RCS in the next few weeks once the plants have been stuffed in there and everything has settled. Any recommendations for either? I've had RCS for a long time but I want to try CRS just because I believe they are more beautiful.

There is no filter or heater. My room temperature is about 22C all day.
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:27 PM
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Neocaridinas are going to be a LOT easier to keep in this bowl.

The way that I judge the situation is that these bowls easily meet the requirements of neos (red cherry shrimp, etc.) and even allow for a decent safety net when it comes to keeping them in good health but Crystal Red Shrimp are pushing the limits of what the bowls can handle.

Newman has been experimenting with keeping crystals in his bowl and I am sure that a few others have tried it and been able to keep them alive.

Basically it boils down to one option(cherrys) being really easy and one option being pretty challenging (crystals).
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:28 PM
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If you are heavily planting the tank from the start (which it sounds like you will do in going with a Dutch scape) and especially if you are willing to use floating plants like frogbit, duckweed, etc. then the higher wattage CF 6500K bulb should not be a problem.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I think I will go with the Neocaridinas. I have another aquarium at work I can put the Caridinas.

I do plan on planting this aquarium very heavily from the get-go. Based on my light choices, what are your suggestions for plants that would do well and maybe not grow so tall or wide (but can grow out)?
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 04:53 PM
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imo you should just use the 15W lights, 6500K because crypts really don't need much and the floating plants will help shade the intensity down to what crypts like.

Also i think you should have planted this as you were setting up - now you may have a tough time planting without bringing up the soil...but it might still work out, its just my guess. I planted mine right after i added the moist soil layer and then i capped with sand.

As long as you wait a good while before adding shrimp, you should be fine. wait until you see your plants really flourishing and growing a lot (here is where floating plants become important too as they grow the fastest and soak up impurities).

Neocaridina shrimp are perfect. if you want to switch to crystals later down the line, definitely go with very low grades such as A grade and maybe S grades. my A-S grades are doing terrific in my bowl right now whereas my SS grades were way more fragile. imo A grades are the best choice and if kept under perfect caridina water requirements, they can really show nice color and look almost as good as S grades. Right now I cant tell the difference between my crystals that were supposed to be A grade and my S grade.

my plant suggestions would be:
Crypts(including parva)
Dwarf Sag
Pygmy Chain Sword
Microsword
Staurogyne
Bucephalandra




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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Newman. I plan to drain the tank down to nothing and then planting and refilling once it is done. I think the planting will go fine as long as I don't uproot things.

I think I will do the 15 watt bulb and will wait before adding cherries.

So far the bowl has cost (rounding up including tax):
$18 bowl
$12 miracle gro...bag will be enough for many projects down the road.
$8 bag of play sand
$12 ikea desklamp
$12 box of 6 15W 6500K CFLs
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 05:56 PM
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and it would cost even less if you already had some of the materials lying around you house like a lamp, and maybe sand. it is a fairly low cost FW nano right?

also add floating plants like Salvinia and frogbit to my plant list. you only need one species, but they are very beneficial.




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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 05:57 PM
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What happened when I planted my bowl with the sand cap in and flooded was the sand being heavier fell through the sand cap and mixed the two... pretty big mess... I was able to suck out the MGOPS and place more sand back in, but it messed up my lower layer by mixing it with the soil... My 2nd bowl, I planted right before flooding and everything went much smoother... best case would be to drain lower than the sand, so the sand stays clumped and doesnt flow down through the planting hole.... good luck, especially with crypts because of the extensive roots to plant ratio....
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 08:19 PM
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I planted with the bowls full because I didn't really think about it ahead of time (or care). I was mostly just testing out the method. I knew that I wasn't in a hurry to add shrimp so I just did what I needed to do and let whatever MGOC soil I mixed up while planting settle to the bottom over a few days.

I didn't test water parameters but I would imagine the water got toxic (to fish or inverts) for a few days. By the time I eventually got around to adding shrimp though whatever soil had been exposed had clearly leeched whatever it was going to. The substrate of my bowls looks sort of like a natural or leaf littery kind of substrate and doesn't look bad, IMO (not that I can see it through the dense planting).

What I did would likely look horrible on a light colored sand though.

I don't recommend doing it the way that I did it but unless you are adding fish/inverts very soon or you have a substrate that will show any tiny impurities then I just want to point out that it isn't the end of the world.

As far as plants - I love the frogbit in the bowls. I have roots on mine that hang all the way to the substrate before I eventually thin them out and move the frogbit to other tanks. Dwarf sag will grow like crazy in one of these bowls and will eventually reach the surface and sort of 'bend' over with the shape of the bowl (and the surface of the water) and looks pretty cool. Crypts should do well especially in the heavily planted and shaded areas.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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I have spent the day thinking of creative ways to de-water the bowl to prepare it for planting. I think syphoning out what I can with the bowl on an angle and applying pressure to the sand with a dinner plate will keep it in place and allow me to remove enough water for planting. I already have the bones for a 15 gallon at work, so learning these things now on a smaller scale is definitely a good idea.

Those plants you have suggested are a good idea. I will see what is available at the lfs because the canadian swap and shop isn't populated quite like its american counterpart.
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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I drained the water last night. It filled up about half a 5 gallon bucket, so I would say the total max volume is right around 3 gallons.

I tilted the bowl, put a plate to press down the sand so it wouldn't shift and syphoned out what I could. I did a test planting and it worked out very well.
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 06:43 PM
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sounds like a good plan, mine was definitely "wet" when planting, almost the same as yours... we just gotta keep the sand from flying around... thats when it gets messy, glad to hear it went well!
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Going to look at a LFS tonight for plants and pick up the lamp. I am interested to see what is available.
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 03:14 AM
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That bowl is amazing. To tell the truth i never really liked bowls but they have kind of been setting in. After reading this i made a trip to walmart for that bowl with no result :/ thats the coolest bowl ive seen!
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 03:19 AM
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Awsome..
Love fishbowls. Love them Love them.
I need ot take apart mine and give it a miricle grow base though as the plants are... Faltering a little..
Nice little bowl man.. cant wait to see where this goes. I always find it challenging to scape a round tank.


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