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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First planted tank. Thanks for all the info on here. Walstad method in full effect. Hoping to get a low maintenance jungle with some CRS eventually.

Aquarium: Twelve inch bowl from Michael's.

Substrate: Inch and a quarter of sifted Miracle Grow Organic Choice Porting Mix, topped with a quarter to half inch of CaribSea Super Naturals Premium Aquarium Substrate. I used a pasta strainer to remove all the large possible floaters from the soil.

Lighting: 5,000k, 14 watt CFL for now. Hoping to find a 6,500k at some point. I do 10 hours on a split cycle.

Decoration: Lake Erie drift wood that I boiled for about an hour to remove the tanins or possible chemicals and such. I had some river stones holding down the wood and contemplated using some for around the tank, but I think it sits well without anything but the wood and plants.

Flora: Microsorium pteropus, Spathiphyllum wallisii, Hygrophilia difformis, and Ophiopogan japonica. Added some Salvinia on 10OCT2011.

Fauna: Hopefully a few CRS after I use Cherry Reds to cycle it and check the water parameters. (I added three cherry shrimp on 11OCT2011.)

Info: I set this up on 09OCT2011. I did a fifty percent water change today on the the 10th, and plan on doing one every week for a month at which point I will test the water and see if it is cool for some shrimps. I'm using straight up tap water for now. No chemicals at all.

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Current FTS:



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Ok so these are all terrible phone pics. Sorry for the quality. I hope you enjoy them anyways.



The view from my bed like 12 inches from my smiling face.


Opposite side away from my bed.


View from the front.


A closer look inside.


Feel free to say things if you wish.

Rick from Buffalo.
 

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looks wicked man. once the stuff grows in about 4 months down the road it will look like a rainforest.
if those sword plants grow out of the bowl, that would look even more amazing. leave them in there to see what happens.

The bowl wont completely cycle unless you have some animal matter in there producing ammonia. Which is why i recommend that once you see your plants growing very well (about after the first month), you should introduce a few cherry shrimp. you can then switch the cherries to crystals like i did and keep the bowl cycled without a problem!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Newman the Great, thanks for the comments and cycling info. Noted. I estimate I have at least two gallons of swimming water in this beast. How many cherries to cycle and then CRS to keep do you recomend?
 

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you could introduce a male+female pair of cherry shrimp (and inevitably breed them for more) to keep the tank adjusting to higher bioload and cycled. Then I'd say you could get about 5-7 crystal shrimp to start. that number guarantees that you'll get both males and females (as most breeders will sell you unsexed juvenile shrimp).

Good luck with this!
 

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nice bowl, Im glad these are taking off, such a cool concept...wondering if I made a mistake adding my shrimp too soon, I have 3 cherries soon to be 2 in one gallon of water, the 8.5" michaels bowl. the third is going into my betta tank... these shrimp are tiny and seem like they could be happy in this little bowl, 2 gallons could definitely hold more, be careful though, they will reproduce like bunnies and your bowl will fill out with a lot more if you keep them happy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Added some Salvinia to float on top today. I also declorinated the water as I'm sure the cherry shrimp at my local fish store want to be in my bowl much sooner than a month lol.
 

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Very cool tank! That will look cool most definitely 2 months down the road.

HOWEVER, two of the plants you got in there aren't aquatic and will die if you don't take them out. Those two are; Spathiphyllum wallisii and Ophiopogan japonica


If I were you, to replace those plants, I'd get ricca for a carpet and then add some hygrophila polysperma 'sunset' to the back. It'd be epic. Ooh, maybe get a 12" tall 'lucky bamboo' Dracaena sanderiana. (Note; this plant is also not aquatic, but grows tall and looks cool growing out of a bowl)

Great start :)

Get some cherries in there soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice Plant Man. I knew i would have to take the Lilly out a few months down the road but I've read a few accounts of the monkey grass stuff doing well in aquariums. I will be sure to update the progress on this every week if i can. I'll probably end up getting a plant package from someone on here a little ways down the road to replace the lilly at the very least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Couldn't help myself. They had one regular sized cherry and two tiny fry at my LFS. I got all three.



 

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looks wicked man. once the stuff grows in about 4 months down the road it will look like a rainforest.
if those sword plants grow out of the bowl, that would look even more amazing. leave them in there to see what happens.

The bowl wont completely cycle unless you have some animal matter in there producing ammonia. Which is why i recommend that once you see your plants growing very well (about after the first month), you should introduce a few cherry shrimp. you can then switch the cherries to crystals like i did and keep the bowl cycled without a problem!
I don't see why you couldn't 'feed' the bowl even if there are not shrimp in there. In a shrimp only tank the food seems to add way more waste than the actual shrimp waste anyways.

Also I was under the impression that the decay/mineralization of the potting mix will be creating/releasing ammonia and/or various forms of nitrates anyways.

I will try to test my bowls tonight to see what they read. Then when I add some shrimp I will try to see if I get a spike but I would be pretty surprised if the existing bacteria and the plants soaking up nutrients aren't enough to mask any sort of mini-cycle anways. I have a lesser strain of RCS that I got an LFS that are breeding like crazy now and that I don't mind testing with.

edit: not so much arguing as thinking out loud.
 

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yes he could simply feed the bowl, but shrimp are more fun to feed haha :p

the soil probably releases such stuff. i always though ammonia cycling in a bowl seemed a bit overboard so i just used shrimp once the plants got going. I remember is still got a 1ppm nitrite spike after i added my two cherries :0 But a water change fixed that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i'd test weekly and change the water now...they're hardy but not ammonia/nitrite proof.
Thank you once again for the advice. Did about a 60% water change. I'll have to pick up a test kit asap. Vacuumed out the shrimp clothes on the floor too.
 

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shrimp molts could be left in there but tap water helps the calcium uptake too.
as long as you dont stress the shrimp, you could do weekly WCs from now on and your bowl should grow smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
These little guys are so captivating. Always busy doing their thing or swimming around the bowl. I have this moveable hand lens set up so I can view them magnified whenever they come by my side of the bed. It's awesome. Bad news is now that I can get a good look, I don't see a saddle on any of them. Just my luck I end up with three males. Hard to get good pics though.





This is right through the hand lens. The shrimp is dead center in my bowl and crystal clear to the naked eye.



 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Take the ferns rhizome out of the soil! Your gonna kill it.
I want to. Can you quote the picture you see it in and point out the location of my error please?

Any of you Gurus want to send me a plant package that would be perfect for his bowl? A female would Cherry Shrimp would make my day too. I can paypal. PM me.
 

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I want to. Can you quote the picture you see it in and point out the location of my error please?

Any of you Gurus want to send me a plant package that would be perfect for his bowl? A female would Cherry Shrimp would make my day too. I can paypal. PM me.
Below is your picture from your op post. I have circled the java fern. The rhizome is the horizontal piece that the roots and leaves both grow off of. This piece needs to be above the dirt or else the java fern will slowly die. Hope that helps!

 
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