One Gallon Walstad Bowl

Bignon

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Jul 1, 2019
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San Jose, CA
July 24, 2019
I am aiming for a relatively low maintenance one gallon Walstad bowl with plants and livestock. Everything online points to smaller aquariums being more work maintenance wise, but I've also seen examples that give me hope. My time and labor is cheap and so is a one gallon glass jar.

July 25, 2019
Found a beautiful 1 gallon Polish glass jar from the shelves at work. My boss gave it to me, so I'm starting out on top.
 

Bignon

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Jul 1, 2019
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San Jose, CA
July 25, 2019
Used some Seachem Flourite and pebbles from a goldfish tank to put the Walstad vase together. It is pretty densely planted with Val, Java Fern, Hornwort, Water Wisteria, dwarf hair grass, and Cryptocorynes.
 

tiger15

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Aug 12, 2017
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I bought a couple 1-gal fish Bowles from eBay, and hang them by the window set up for Walstad shrimp bowles. They are on dirt with gravel cap, one planted with dwarf hair grass, and the other with dwarf sag. They are truly zero tech with no filter, light or heater. They have been in operation for two years with dwarf shrimp, snails and all sort of volunteered invert. I feed pellets lightly to the shrimp, and do partial WC twice a month to replace with dirty water from my big tanks. Failure to do so will lead to decline of the plants due to depletion of nutrients in the dirt. The Cherry shrimp are multiplying and the dwarf sag has turned into a jungle.

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Bignon

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Jul 1, 2019
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San Jose, CA
Forget everything else. Nice garden! Thanks for the great info on your experience. I thought I was being clever using my goldfish tank's substrate and water to jumpstart the beneficial bacterias and introduce a healthy infusoria population for future livestock. It just makes sense to reuse aquarium water imo especially if it passes the ammonia test.
 
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Bignon

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Jul 1, 2019
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San Jose, CA
The planted jar getting some sunshine. I added a red plant, but I do not know what it is called. I think it is in the amaranth family with a very nice red/purple coloration. I stuck a stick in there for the tannins.

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Jul 17, 2017
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@tiger15 those hanging containers are amazing!

@Bignon Your jar looks great! One thing to watch for is low oxygen when the surface area is small relative to the volume. I have a 10L vase which is a tall cylinder. I had it stable after about 2 months and then developed O2 problems, even though it had a mini HOB filter, which manifested as low shrimp survival and a diatom explosion and it was quickly spiraling downward. I blundered into a solution when I got a skimmer and everything cleared up quickly which is how I realized O2 was the key. I can't say that you will have the same problem but if you start to have issues you should consider gas exchange might be the cause. If so you could add an airstone as a way to check if that's the cause and if so switch to a different jar or rescape it so that it's only 2/3 full and have some emergent plants or hardscape.
 
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tiger15

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Aug 12, 2017
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I worried about O2 too, because the surface is completely covered with frogbit. At one time, I placed an airline floating ring to keep an opening for air. But it doesn’t seem to make a difference after I removed the ring and just let the frogbit clogged up. Shrimp and snails have low metabolic consumption of O2, and during photo period, the plants and roots are streaming with O2, apparently sustaining adequate O2 even through the night. My Bowles receive direct sunlight through the window for the afternoon, so it may not work if you use artificial light

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Bignon

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Jul 1, 2019
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San Jose, CA
I'm keeping my fingers crossed where oxygen is concerned. I see oxygen bubbles being released from the Val and Hornwort. Hopefully that might be enough. I take the jar out every morning to get some sun, then bring it back in to enjoy at night. It's a bit of a routine, but I'm still enamored enough to continue.
 

Bignon

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Jul 1, 2019
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San Jose, CA
@snarkingturtle I didn't even think about the small opening of the vase being an issue. Ughhh. The next container will have a bigger opening now that you've informed me. I have an extra pump and airstone. If an issue occurs, I'll try your solution. Thanks!
 

Bignon

New Member
Jul 1, 2019
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San Jose, CA
Added 4 Cardinal tetras because 6 would have been pushing the limits of the planted jar. I know some folks will be angry that I put less than 6 Cardinals in a tank and even angrier that I put such a fish in anything less than a 15 gallon tank. This is a learning process for me, and I want to try raising healthy fish in a smaller environment.

So far, the Cardinal tetras are still bright and colorful during the day and paler at night. I think this color change is typical. They swim from the middle to the bottom of the jar. If no one is near the jar, then they swim around. If someone is near, then they hide. If color is an indication of stress, then their level is at bright and colorful.

The tank is getting a 50% water change every 4 days. NH3 and NH4 levels are still at 0, pH is 6.8.
 

AquaGillie

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Aug 18, 2019
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Beautifully shaped jar; jealous because you have a piece from Poland. Before you ask, Yes I am part Polish. Interested to see an update...
 

Bignon

New Member
Jul 1, 2019
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San Jose, CA
I just came back from a week long vacation. The vase is overgrown, but levels remain within the acceptable ranges.
pH 7
NH3, NH4 0
No2 0
No3 5
The water looked relatively clean, but I went ahead and gave the jar a 50 percent water change plus vacuum. Three of the tetras look fine while one looks much smaller and slightly emaciated. I reacted to this change by increasing the usual once a day feeds to twice a day with a supplement of mosquito larvae in hopes of fattening the little guy up. It took 3 days but, the little tetra caught up to his brothers.

My indoor light is not enough for the plants in the jar. They looked stretched and not as vibrant as they did before the trip. I will continue my morning routine of taking the jar outside for some sunshine. I trimmed the plants and removed the stick to give the fishes a bit more space to swim. Picture will follow as soon as I can capture the little guys on camera.

I also replaced the nerite with a bladder snail before my trip. I wanted to see if the fishes would eat the snail eggs. I have only one large bladder snail but tons of egg clusters. It doesn't look like the clusters have reduced in number. I'll panic when I see a population explosion or not. I will probably just feed any little snails to my always hungry goldfishes.

@AquaGillie I buy my other lovely Polish glass jars from Marshalls at half price.
 
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AquaGillie

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Aug 18, 2019
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Careful about those discount recommendations, I already am teetering on the edge of multiple tank syndrome. I just ran calculations on aqadvisor.com and the least of what I want in the drink dispenser is 170-ish percent overstocking livestock. I probably need that pretty vase. ;)
 

AquaGillie

New Member
Aug 18, 2019
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Great Lakes
You certainly delivered! This is such a beautiful display and you have tipped me over the edge. I rethought my 3gal drink dispenser; multiple-tank-syndrome has me in it's clutches. However; I will be going the traditional method, box of water for the next tank. The 3gal Walstad with be for plant grow-out and maybe shrimp fry.
 
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