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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I recently set up a new 2.8(ish?) gallon bowl that will eventually make it to my office desk. I'll try to keep track of its progress and post some pics as it goes.

I've been itching for some sort of tank at work that can avoid cubicle madness. Boss basically doesn't like wasted energy so anything with wires is out, like the filter and heater, but I think I can get away with one desk lamp. Right now this guy is sitting in my living room until it is lush enough to take to work so no one can claim it's an eyesore.

I did research (a lot using this forum hehe) on Walstad tanks so this is the direction I went in with a few alterations. Used plain aquarium sand because trying to put soil in there just was not working. It kept floating or I'd stir it up and then I'd curse like a mother. So just sand it is. One piece of driftood wedged in there with a dragstone rock. I'm hoping for lush greenery and, though doubtful, some carpeting by the Hemianthus.

Substrate- CaribSea Super Naturals Premium White Sand
Lighting- 23-Watt CFLs (1450 lumen, 120V, 6500K)
Chems- Prime (new water), Stability (1xday for a week)
Water- Nitrates and Nitrites are low, but Ammonia is fairly high still in this new cycle.
Starting Flora-
Hemianthis callitrichoides
Eleocharis parvula
Ceratopteris thalictroides
Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Rotala rotundifolia
Starting Fauna-
3 MTS to sift through the sand and eat...stuff
Unknown type baby snails

I am open to any ideas and suggestions. The questions I already have are these:
1. Since there is no garden/aquarium soil under the sand, should I be dosing with some ferts (Excel, NPK, etc?). Liquid or tabs? I don't wan't to kill the snails or any future shrimp I may have in there.
2. Is the lighting too much? Too little? Too something?
3. Do you have any suggestions for fauna combinations in there? Shrimp? Crays? 6 Comet Goldfish?
4. How often should I be doing water changes (before and after shrimp) since this is not a 'true' walstad?

I will be posting pictures later too.

· Registered
2,350 Posts
^^ I think that floater is Frogbit.

Pretty scape! I'm surprised the boss is ok with a light, but not a filter. The tiny pumps used in small tank filters use just a few watts, generally. Barely a nightlight. A light will use a lot more juice. A Fluval Spec is a great little office tank that hardly uses any juice (the LED light included is also just a few watts, so combined, still much less electricity than your 23w CFL uses... and that's actually a really strong light for such a small tank). But your bowl is very pretty, so you're probably fine as you are.

I'd stick to shrimp, which don't need a heater, and produce very little waste. Bettas should have a heater, and goldfish will outgrow the bowl very quickly (plus they're filthy). You might want to add Seachem Flourish as a water column fertilizer for the plants (just a few drops per week, most likely), and possibly Seachem Potassium. One or two root tabs, too, perhaps. Should be shrimp-safe.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Perf. I will look into those.

About the Spec 3, I actually have one that I got a little bit before the bowl. Planning on posting pictures of that in a thread at some point. Not too much going on in it and finally got some plants in there. I think the bossman thinks the filter etc would be more energy than the bulb and it's usually best not to argue. I'm going to keep the spec at home and the bowl at work so hopefully that'll satisfy me until I can get the 125 gal of my dreams...*wistful glance into the distance*
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