Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Don't add animals until the tank is fully cycled
I have two, 2 or 3 gallon bowls, and a number of smaller vases set up as low tech (or no tech) biospheres. They all have a bottom layer of MGOPS (Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil) capped with about 1 inch of gravel. I use aged water from my aquariums to fill them. The bowls are open to the air, but some of the vases are sealed with plastic wrap. I found that for the first month, it was not a great idea to add any animals. I added snails to one vase a few days after I set it up, and they all died within an hour. If I waited at least 2 weeks before adding snails, I didn't have this problem. I only added shrimp to one bowl after it had been running for more than 20 days. After the sealed vases are cycled, and I add animals, I cut a small hole in the plastic wrap to let air in. The evaporation is still very slow, but I think the air is necessary for creatures. I would suggest to plant the container fairly heavily, and wait a few weeks or longer before adding any creatures. Keep the creatures to a minimum; one or two shrimp per gallon, and a couple of snails. I remove all large snails from my vases, and let the really tiny newly hatched snails fight over the minimal food available. I am intrigued by all the small creatures that just appeared on their own, possibly from eggs on the plants. I have copepods, hydra, flatworms, and some sort of small, black flea sized water bug. I find myself spending more time looking at my bowls and vases, than my 55g aquascape tank.
Why is the "next" tank, always the most interesting?
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