The Planted Tank Forum banner

Newbie questions for 1 gallon bowl

1427 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Silmarwen
I've been browsing for a while and decided to (finally) register to ask some questions since I'm fascinated by all of your nano tanks.

I scored a charity shop bargain of a thick glass 5 litre bowl that I want to use as a cherry shrimp nursery for stocking my larger 58 litre (15 gallon?) tank since my guppies tend to snack on any babies that sit still for too long.

I want to go filter less if I can, and want to know how heavily planted I need to go to get this? Would some Christmas moss and a few stems of wisteria cut it, ot do I need to cover the tank in greenery? And would sand alone work as a substrate to keep things simple?

My other question is if it would be a good idea to get a small heater to ensure a stable temperature or if just being in a warm room with a lamp overhead would be enough. I don't want to cook the shrimp in an undersized tank, but don't want to freeze them to death either.

Finally thank you all for the inspiration to try it his out!
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Follow this template and you should be golden. It's the basic "natural planted tank/Walstad method" type of bowl. There are also a few journals on here that will give you great inspiration and guidelines to follow.

Rule of thumb is, you want to put as much greenery in there as possible and things that grow as fast as possible, so pack it full of stems, some dwarf sag and maybe some moss afterwards. But at the beginning, the faster it grows, the better it is. And variety because not everything will grow well so you need to be able to adjust. And you'll be much better off with some organic potting soil under your sand because it'll provide nutrients for the plants without polluting the water column (if it's capped right, unlike my attempt at doing so).
Thank you for the tips! The guide seems to break it down to idiot proof terms which is great for someone like me.
For stems I'm thinking the wisteria is going to be a good choice then given how quickly it seems to establish itself. I will get a few cutting rooted over the next few days ready to try out.
I will have to try and find an online source for the dwarf sag, I have tried a few times to track it down at all 4 of my LFS without any luck, stems are easy to find here, but anything that carpets or falls into the moss category is impossible unless it's a moss ball.
Since you're in the UK, this might be useful to you: I actually bought my mosses from some online sellers in the UK off the auction site that shall not be named on these forums. Try a Google search for "aquatic-plant-enthusiasts uk" and they should be among the top results. I'm sure they'll have much more variety for someone in the UK, as opposed to Canada. The moss I received was top quality, and both individuals I spoke to were very friendly and personable.
Thank you for taking the time to reply, it really is appreciated. For stems I can propogate from my larger tank, I've got the previously mentioned wisteria, blood stargrass, cardamine, and pearl weed. Would these be suitable or should I be looking for somthing more robust?
I will definately be keeping an eye on the seller you mentioned for moss, although the £99 per ten cherry shrimp was a suprise to see!
I have no clue what prices are like in the UK, but the moss was a good price for me shipped all the way here to Canada and the quality was definitely worth it.

As far as what stems will work, I'm honestly not very knowledgeable beyond the basics. My attempt at a walstad tank failed terribly, but any fast-growing stem that doesn't forcibly require CO2 should theoretically work. The more variety, the better, so I'd say try with what you have and if you start seeing problems, try adding different things as well.

Hopefully one of the smarter bowl gurus will chime in and be able to offer more concrete advice! hehe
Oh don't get me wrong the prices are good, they just seem to have some bizarrely priced items too, 10 cherry shrimp woul usually cost about £15 after shipping, so seeing them for just shy of £100 was odd. Over here the fish and plants tend to be cheap but the tanks far more expensive. For example my 15 gallon was the cheapest I could find and that was £85 where as I've seen the same selling in America for the equivalent of £30.

As for knowlage, the basics are what I need right now so the advice you have given has been invaluable.
I've bought moss from that seller before. Really good stuff and sold as safe for shrimp tanks :)

I also noticed some really strange prices in their listings, must be a mistake.

Good luck with your tank btw :)
Thank you! At the moment I'm just staring at some well lit substrate while I wait for my plants to arrive. I'm playing with propagating my own moss, and once I get it down I will order some from them
To add a different perspective...

A couple weeks back I picked up 24 cherry shrimp culls. Since I had so many and there were quite a few pretty tiny ones in the mix, I decided to try an incredibly simple set up:

Stemmed wineglass with spherical bowl: 4.5"dia x 3" h.

Set it up with 1/2" washed fluorite with some shredded bits of driftwood and three pieces of granite: a slab in the back that rests against the rim (the shrimp can easily get behind it to hide) to define a back wall and two in front to create a sort of valley look. Added 5 1" dwarf baby tear clippings, a few strands of xmas moss, some frogbit and two small pond snails. No filter, no heater, indirect light from nearby window.

Topoffs as needed, 2x week 25% wc. Fed sparingly with home-made algae flake, smashed baby snails and a bit of tropical flake.

At first, there really wasn't any movement and they spent all their time hiding. Other than basic care (food, wc) I pretty much ignored 'em.

Around day six, I made a point to check on 'em. All three still there, showing a bit of growth, still staying hunkered down.

Now, day twelve, all three have doubled in size, show excellent color and are very active--climbing all over the rocks, picking thru the moss, and swimming around the bowl.

Now, I'd never try this with any of the more delicate shrimp, but it certainly goes to show how simple the process can be and still succeed.
See less See more
Oh a wine glass? What a neat idea! Have any pictures? I think all manner of Walstad bowls are awesome. I have 2 set up and ready, just waiting on my shrimp.
Oh a wine glass? What a neat idea! Have any pictures? I think all manner of Walstad bowls are awesome. I have 2 set up and ready, just waiting on my shrimp.
Haven't uploaded pics of this one yet, but you can see a number of my no-tech bowls/vases in my albums.
Haven't uploaded pics of this one yet, but you can see a number of my no-tech bowls/vases in my albums.
Looking at your bowls has actually been a great revelation, and inspiration. All of the bowls I have seen up until now, we're so heavily planted that quite a few ended up looking quite unatractive. Looking at your bowls and jars though has opened my eyes to the fact I don't need to "green out" the whole thing.
I had an email this evening to say that my pants are on their way so will be posting the results soon. I already had a first try using cuttings from my existing setup that I fell out with almost right away since I made mistakes in every step, but now I have a decent idea of where I'm aiming I can't wait to get playing with it now.
Plants arrived today, unfortunately I'm due at work in an hour so won't get to do anything until tomorrow.
I was just checking in to see if you had an update?

I actually was fairly inspired by this post and found myself in possession of a gallon glass bowl (entirely by accident, of course, it just appeared on the conveyor belt and it's ever so embarrassing to return an item that far along, right? Right.)

I'm looking at some examples and reading up, and I really want to get going on something like it, so it'd be nice to have some more new experiences to hear :)
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.