Paludarium, 1 gallon water space, workable for cherry shrimp?
I have an Exo Terra terrarium sitting empty. It's their 12" cube model. For those unaware, this is a terrarium with a door that swings open at the front, and a small wall area below the door to hold dirt in. They work as paludariums, though.
The water space in this would be 2" deep by 12" square. According to a random online calculator I found, that's 1.2 gallons I could rig up a way to deepen it somewhat, but not too much further in order to not interfere with the aesthetics. Since it's an enclosed space, evap shouldn't be too terrible. Not really any way to work a filter into that, but people don't seem to filter shrimp bowls much of the time anyway.
What I'd like to do is cover the walls of the terrarium in something called Hygrolon. It's a synthetic plastic material meant to grow orchids and other epiphytes on. It's completely inert, and is a sort of expanded mesh that plant roots and moss absolutely love. I'd cover the terrarium walls in this, and grow moss and other plants up them, maybe a water-tolerant vine or two. It will wick the water up to keep itself moist, so the plants on the wall will be able to make use of the shrimp nutrients.
The main problem I can see here is the lack of room for substrate. I wouldn't want to put more than maybe a quarter-inch in, at most. I could certainly rig a couple of teabag-type situations full of dirt to add some minerals for the plants. I don't think I'd grow any plants that have roots into the substrate, of course. The aquatic section would mostly just be Java moss. Maybe I can grow some anubias as if they're tiny mangroves, with the roots reaching into the water.
The other problem here is, how could I transport this? If I make it, I'd have to take it to and from my college dorm at the start and end of every semester. The paludarium itself would be easy enough to move if I just drained it down to half an inch of water, but there'd be so much sloshing in the car, I'd be afraid of all the shrimp getting sloshed to death and/or out. I can think of a couple ways to potentially just take all the shrimp out along with the substrate, but I think I'd leave some behind, snagged in the Java moss. Can cherry shrimp survive unscathed if they spend about 45 minutes in soaking wet Java moss, or do I have to find a way to prevent that?