Low tech lily bowl

Tresbling

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15 Feb 2008
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Thought you might like to see this bedside 'pond'. It is my favourite tank due to extremely low maintenance/success ratio! Inhabitants are 6 crystal reds, 4 amanos and 1 small plec (not an intentional resident, rehomed). There are also small populations of snails and planktonic calanoid copepods that live around the roots of the Lemna.

I never used to feed the shrimps but have started giving them spinach, and they have started to breed in response. They certainly go nuts for it. No dosing, CO2 or heating, just small internal filter with flow diffuser. 12v halogen desk lamp. Occasional small water changes, filter media rinses and plant trims. It has been around for over 2 years and the substrate has not been disturbed in that time (except by the plec!). The original gravel is well covered in a natural layer of shrimp poop and plant matter, with many unidentified tiny beasties moving around in it. I'm sure this is key to the success of the tank.

As a biology student its rewarding to have a balanced 'picosystem' on my bedside table. Just waiting for the moss to cover the filter completely, and baby CRS to crawl out of the moss. I would be interested to know if this is El natural/low tech/Walstead etc?
 
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Tresbling

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Im pretty sure its a clown plec- fully grown at <2inches.
Tank volume is ~7 litres.
I know its not a great idea to have fish in such a small tank, but I think this is more of a plec biotope (wood, moss, dark places) than my larger, 100% planted tanks. It seems pretty happy, I hear it making rasping noises at night :D

Cheers
 

hydrophyte

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That is so pleasing--very nice and simple. The lotus goes really well with the moss.
 

Tresbling

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Thanks for the comments!

I have done a bit of pruning and rearranging, and poked a 'cave' in the moss which I think looks cool :D

The moss is covering the filter quickly too...

Here are a few recent pics with a black background (makes all the difference), should be resized too. Apologies for the poor photography - I blame the lens effect of the bowl over my own lack of skill ;)

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A couple of my driftwood pieces had been held together by cable tie for about 2 years. I took it off the other day, and this raised ridge of was left underneath...

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Just shows how much your aquarium wood shrinks over time! I wonder if this is bacterial degradation or direct grazing by shrimps and plec? Weird eh?
 

aquaticmaniac

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The shrimp, red and green contrast, natural looking; to me, this is heaven :woot:

Where did you get the container?
 

Tresbling

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Thanks for the comments-

Can't remember exactly where the bowl came from, Ive had it for years. I think it was just a goldfish bowl from a garden centre or aquarium shop.

The plants have grown so much in the last two weeks, its unbelievable how good the desk lamp is for growing (some) plants! Here are some recent overgrown photos, i'll put some more up after the next trim.



 

Wraithio

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thats really effective! cant let my mum see it or she will want one for her front room... then again :twisted:
 

Tresbling

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Show your mum! I reckon you could set up the whole thing from new for under £100 if you shop carefully, you get a good effect with mimimal maintenance. I also just left it for a week while I was away and it was fine when I came back!

I like the overgrown look too, Im delaying the next pruning session... :D
 

Wraithio

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haha i might have too! then again another tank on the list of 5 while im away at uni... i think she may want to put bleach in them some time :lol:
 

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