1/2g DIY Ecosphere....conceptualizing. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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1/2g DIY Ecosphere....conceptualizing.

In October of 2012 I found this video;

This is what sparked my interest in the planted tank hobby. My attempt (like others, I assume) was a disaster. I had no idea what I was doing, I used pet-smart water for the jars (horrid when I think of the diseases floating around in those tanks), my ghostie died, and let's face it - they look bad. There is unorganized, then there is tacky.

So now my goal is to make one of these. It may or may not include shrimp. It will be no tech (just sit on a window sill), and I will open it a few times before I let it go.

Now I have some healthy elodea, hornwort, moss, a small wisteria plant (it will not stay that way I'm sure), some dirt, and some blasting grit. I want this to be dirted to provide quite a bit of nutrients for the long-haul.

My big question is - water. I could treat some tap water, use aquarium water, or collect some snow/rain. I don't want to get any from a pond because I may end up with a nymph I don't want. I will get some daphnia/cyclopses from the pond when it warms up.

Any suggestions? Made your own?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 02:38 AM
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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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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply! I'm went ahead and planted it last night, nothing to write home about yet. I'm going to poke around the next few days, and I don't want to add any animals (intentionally) for a few months. I'll let the bio-film and algae develop first.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 01:16 AM
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I can't imagine that the guys shrimp lived for very long!

Did you end up using dirt? I'm all about dirted tanks but not sure if it's the best idea for these small systems
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