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Planted Windowsill Vase

Miss-Pepper

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6 Oct 2012
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I happened on a nice vase in TK Maxx that holds 8 litres so I thought I'd experiment a bit and make something pretty for me to look at in the kitchen! Plan is it'll be unfiltered, unheated and planted up with some nice emergent growth and maybe some riparium style house plants in future. I'd like to put a shrimp colony or some life at least if people have suggestions?

s8uci2sm.jpg

s8uci2s


Did a bit of shopping but didn't find any substrate I wanted, but I did find this OLD (probably 6 years?) unopened tub of TMC soil in my spare tank bits. Is it still ok? Seems damp, but no mould or algae etc visible.

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zozo

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Keep it out of the sun.. Else temperatur will run out of control.. Lots of water changes and strickt maintenance regime is no luxury on unfiltered 8 litres with life stock. It can crash overnight and water just doesn't show it is about to. Long time ago i tried something simular with a 10 litre bowl planted and keeping some viviparus snails in it. On the long run i failed to keep the snails alive, not finding the time to look after it for several days. 1 day to much.. :)
 

Miss-Pepper

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Hmm good point. That windowsill gets a nice amount of light but it's not direct sun, if the free app I just downloaded is right it's Easterly facing and my Orchid has survived several years on there so I don't think it's scorchingly bright. I guess I won't know until I set it up, and put a thermometer in there to see how things go. It'll be a shame if it doesn't work there, as there's not much free room in my tiny kitchen!
 

Miss-Pepper

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Got a bunch of small pieces of rock from my LFS and cleaned them up. I thought they were all similar colours oops! What's people's opinions on mixing rock colours that at least have a similar texture? (Just realised picture doesn't show it being much different, but a few are a lot more red than others IRL)

b3P9h4Rh.jpg
 

DianeC

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1 Dec 2018
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Although no expert at aquascaping (newbie!) I like the mixed colour of the dragon stone, it gives more depth to the scape and it is what I did in my little Fluval spec V
For livestock, why not a daphnia culture and some snails, they are not so demanding as shrimp and give life to the water.
 

tiger15

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14 Mar 2018
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I have two window bowls that receive a few hours direct sunlight daily, and get a lush carpet of hair grass and dwarf sag. They are algae free except for spirogyra in one. Daphna didn’t last long due to lack of green water, but snails, seed shrimp, and other micro critters are thriving. Temp can fluctuate widely in summer, but is still within tolerable range for shrimp because the room is AC and heated.
 

Miss-Pepper

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Thanks Diane and Tiger, the mixed colours are growing on me and I'll experiment with my hardscape soon. I've actually set the vase up on the windowsill with water in and will be recording the temperature several times a day for a while to see how much it swings about. Obviously not entirely accurate results as I can't sit there and watch the thermometer all day ;) but at least I'll have a rough idea.

Forgetting the livestock, how cold is too cold for aquarium plants? Happy to just have plants and snails failing all else!
 

DianeC

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I have a 'selection ' of old flower vases, very large jamjars and even a plastic measuring jug on my west facing window cill filled with java moss, cuttings and broken off stems from my little fish tank and these house my daphnia colony and baby snails that I can't throw away. My kitchen is not heated and they all seem to be thriving. I change a little bit of the water every time I do my tank and feed the daphnia dried bakers yeast.
It is very entertaining when I have help washing up as they look at them and then start looking closer before the 'You've got things living in the water' is announced. Only the special few understand!
 

Miss-Pepper

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I have a 'selection ' of old flower vases, very large jamjars and even a plastic measuring jug on my west facing window cill filled with java moss, cuttings and broken off stems from my little fish tank and these house my daphnia colony and baby snails that I can't throw away. My kitchen is not heated and they all seem to be thriving. I change a little bit of the water every time I do my tank and feed the daphnia dried bakers yeast.
It is very entertaining when I have help washing up as they look at them and then start looking closer before the 'You've got things living in the water' is announced. Only the special few understand!

That sounds just like my kitchen and what I'd like to achieve! I agree...pics! :D
 

tiger15

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Forgetting the livestock, how cold is too cold for aquarium plants? Happy to just have plants and snails failing all else!
As long as the water is not freezing, it's good enough as many aquatic plants originated from temperate or subtropical zones. A few in the list are Ludwigia, Horthorn, duck weed, American frogbit, hairgrass, . . . and so on.

As for invertebrates, I brought in ramshorn snails and daphnia from my outdoor tubs that over winter in freezing temp. So winter temp isn't a problem for invertebrates in indoor environment. Summer temp is my concern if the vase receives direct sunlight, which can raise above the room temp by 5 degree or more. With no circulation in an un-AC room during heat wave, high temp can stress inhabitants by depleting O2.
 

Konsa

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Hi
Ramshorn snails are sound in winter outside.I have them 2 years out now and even under ice they ok.Sth else to consider as livestock although not as eye pleasing as shrimp but defo adding live are Asselus aquaticus and Crangonyx Pseudogracilis (second is a shrimp like thing that even has tolerance to poluted , low oxygen water).Kept them all in decent numbers in a small unfiltered tub on windowsill with some moss and floaters without problems whatsoever
Regards Konsa
 

Marc Davis

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Keep it out of the sun.. Else temperatur will run out of control.. Lots of water changes and strickt maintenance regime is no luxury on unfiltered 8 litres with life stock. It can crash overnight and water just doesn't show it is about to. Long time ago i tried something simular with a 10 litre bowl planted and keeping some viviparus snails in it. On the long run i failed to keep the snails alive, not finding the time to look after it for several days. 1 day to much.. :)
Really??

I didnt touch my 10 litre no tech tank for about a month and it had a full shrimp and snail colony going on....i didn't even top the water off.
 

zozo

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Really??

I didnt touch my 10 litre no tech tank for about a month and it had a full shrimp and snail colony going on....i didn't even top the water off.

Some guys have all the luck.. :thumbup:

It was just an advice, not a golden rule... It's the (or should i say, my) rule of better safe than sorry.. :)

But realy, small water volumes can crash in a very short period.. For example a few dead snails that you don't notice can cause a massive ammonia spike.. Neglect it for a few days and all might be dead. It noth happening for 6 months, is no garantee it not happening the next month after that..

But i'm aware i might have a somewhat nerdy opnion on keeping lifestock.. It's more of a responsebililty than a hobby..
 
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Oldguy

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27 Aug 2018
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a nice vase in TK Maxx
I tried a Vase tank in the lounge, hoped to grow a Madagascan Lace Plant and keep a few red cherry shrimps, I went for a tiny heater and a tiny powerhead with a home made U/G filter. Lighting was from a floor mounted reading light. Looked great but found it very high maintenance. Poor choice of substrate gave rising pH and evaporational loses were high, daily top up was required. Project failed, bucket sized glass vase awaiting new use.

Now have, at no cost, a ramshackle collection of plastic sweet jars which stand in a water filled large plastic plant trough, heated with the heater from the Vase project, in an unheated conservatory. I top up with tank water during water changes. Plants tend to be low light types. No life stock as its a temporary arrangement. Wife would kill me if it became a fixture.

Could be small volume tanks are best very low tech. Otherwise a rod for your own back.

All best wishes with your project. Cannot comment on substrate, always use inert and dry salt fert. the water column.
 

Marc Davis

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Some guys have all the luck.. :thumbup:

It was just an advice, not a golden rule... It's the (or should i say, my) rule of better safe than sorry.. :)

But realy, small water volumes can crash in a very short period.. For example a few dead snails that you don't notice can cause a massive ammonia spike.. Neglect it for a few days and all might be dead. It noth happening for 6 months, is no garantee it not happening the next month after that..

But i'm aware i might have a somewhat nerdy opnion on keeping lifestock.. It's more of a responsebililty than a hobby..

Maybe it's because all my tanks are so heavily planted that dead fish/shrimp/snails don't even dent the ammonia destroying bacteria covering everything.
 

zozo

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Maybe it's because all my tanks are so heavily planted that dead fish/shrimp/snails don't even dent the ammonia destroying bacteria covering everything.

Could be.. :) People also report keeping fish tanks for years without water changes and without troubles.. All oldschool people from before the 1980's didn't know any better, water change was considered a sin.. I also did back then, all the books said so.. Sometimes it worked and when it didn't work resulting in unexplained fish death, obviously we didn't blame the lak of water changes but something else. It took a decade or more to water change our general consensus..

It's just when it goes wrong it usualy goes fataly wrong..
 

Miss-Pepper

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6 Oct 2012
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Hi
Ramshorn snails are sound in winter outside.I have them 2 years out now and even under ice they ok.Sth else to consider as livestock although not as eye pleasing as shrimp but defo adding live are Asselus aquaticus and Crangonyx Pseudogracilis (second is a shrimp like thing that even has tolerance to poluted , low oxygen water).Kept them all in decent numbers in a small unfiltered tub on windowsill with some moss and floaters without problems whatsoever
Regards Konsa

Good to know, I quite like Ramshorns so they'll do! Thanks for the other suggestions but they're a bit too 'creepy bug' looking for my liking :nailbiting: hehe.

Really??

I didnt touch my 10 litre no tech tank for about a month and it had a full shrimp and snail colony going on....i didn't even top the water off.

Yes I've read your journal, and was inspired to try something similar! Love the little videos too. Hopefully I can make it work with shrimp but I'll try it with the snails and plants first I think. Do you know what temperature yours is sitting at during winter?

But i'm aware i might have a somewhat nerdy opnion on keeping lifestock.. It's more of a responsebililty than a hobby..

No no I think you were quite right to point it out. I'm recording temperatures which seem a steady 15C at the minute (as far as I can tell) and won't put any livestock in until I'm sure they'll be ok! I have other aquariums if it becomes inhabitable in summer with the heat so I won't let them suffer :)
 
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