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Native Pond in a Vase

Bufo Bill

5 Feb 2009
Did you all see George Farmer's Biotope in the November Practical Fishkeeping? Well I set up my own version, the difference being that my "aquarium" is in fact a rectangular glass Vase which holds about half a litre of water plus the plants and decor. I know people make smaller "aquariums using off cuts of glass or plastic boxes that are so tiny you can only just fit in a few tiny HC stems, but my vase houses not only native plant species but also some inverts.

It has a substrate of Blagdon pond compost covered with a layer of Unipac Limpopo sand.

The plants are mostly from friends in Wales. I have two species of moss, one looking like regular willow moss, the other a bit more "fuzzy" and has more branches. There is Intermediate Water-Starwort (Callitriche hamulata), which is apparently very common, but I have never heard of it before. I anticipate problems with this, as it may grow too big and may die off in winter. I also have some Eleocharis acicularia from Maidenhead Aquatics @ Mere Park, Shrops., and some Lemna species duck weed from my own pond, which is either L.minor or L.minima.

The inverts are also from my pond at home. I have some juvenile Crangonyx pseudogracilis, a Gammarus like shrimp (not technically a native, but as good as, these days) and for the mid water area some "Water Fleas", actually about three different species of completely unrelated crustaceans.

For food I am currently feeding small amounts of yeast solution and crumbled JBL Novoprawn pellets, and plan on introducing some "green water" on a regular basis.

As regards my ethics with this set up, the livestock always comes first, and I am including nothing rare, and am going for shop bought materials where available (although not much has been available from shops so far).

I set it up on Monday, and will post pics as soon as I can take a decent shot.

Let me know what you think if anything strikes you in the meantime.

All the best from Bill.
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