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Innovative Marine Aquariums

Interested in a semi self sustainable nano.


Douten

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Hello all. Total new comer to the world of aquariums here. I've been reading around a bit and I feel comfortable enough to ask for some input on my idea. I've written to some member who I thought might be able to help, but wanted to make a thread for all as well. Again, I am new to this so please bare with me.

 

What I'm aiming for is a small spherical bowl shaped (with opening) low maintenance, very self sustainable nano aquarium. The bowl I'm getting is this http://www.amazon.com/Nature-Pure-Sphere-G...m/dp/B004Q3XWIY it holds about 2.5gal. I don't mind tipping the water off and exchanging water but I don't want any mechanical filter system. I'm hoping water exchange will remove excess nutrient as well as nitrate?

 

From what I've read fish is a big hazard to this type of environment because of their waste, so I won't be including any. For live stock I'm thinking a few(3-4) shrimp, one hermit crab, 2 snails, and perhaps a small starfish, they seem hardy.

 

Of course this bowl will look like a mini ghetto aquascape more than anything I imagine since I'm reading that lots of plants will be needed to create a balance with the waste. I don't mind that, actually I'd like it. But the question I have is which plants do I get for a marine based bowl? I like the small one that can be planted across the whole looks like a grass field. Is that recommended? Also would adding live rock or a tiny coral be hazardous to this environment as well?

 

My goal is to have a pretty self sustainable ecosystem. I don't mind exchanging water, etc. I also don't want to have to feed the live stock, I hope the algae and other small micro organism is enough for the cleaning crew. Anyone with any experience/knowledge on this and have some tips I would be very grateful.

 

Thank you for your time :)

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altolamprologus

First off, you are way too ambitious. Even an experienced aquarist would have a difficult time doing what you want to do in that small of a volume. I know you don't want to hear this, but I suggest having a regular saltwater tank first to learn the basics.

 

You say you don't want to feed the livestock, but what will they eat? Micro fauna is a great natural food source, but they need food too. The inhabitants you want wouldn't eat them anyway. The only way I could see this working is if you had just micro algae with maybe a hermit crab and a sexy shrimp, with possibly a stomatella snail. That's about all you could support in something that small. The only starfish you could do would be an asterina. All others get waaaaay to big or have special diets that wouldn't be supported by such a small volume.

 

I'm currently working on a self sustaining tank at my college, but it's 29 gallons and has been in the making for several months and still has no livestock. It takes an extreme amount of time and diligence to balance the ecosystem. IMO you just can't do it on that small of a scale. If you really want one, you should just buy one of those eco-sphere things. It took them years of testing and a lot of money to finally get the ecosystem balance right.

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Thanks for the reply. I do agree it is an ambitious project, but I like the challenge it poses, trial & error, etc. I think it'll be a good lesson for me to learn of how different element works in the aquarium too.

 

Indeed the live stock you list are the one I want to get. When I mentioned shrimp I meant small ones like cherry, I just don't know the marine equivalent for it. I'm iffy on the hermit crab as well since they are omnivores. I'm not sure if they'll just survive on food produced by the plant like the shrimps can, I need to do more research on that. Since my space is small I won't be having much live stocks, and I don't mind that at all. Though I want something other than shrimps&snail that plays similar role. I think what I should do is have the plants in first for awhile to let them create some oxygen before introducing live stock slowly one at at time. Would this be a good approach?

 

I also actually have a small ecosystem like you mentioned from BlueIQ, it is different from the Ecosphere as it is open and it contain pond snails. That's what got me interested in this. I think closed environment are too sterile. At least with an open bowl & plants I get to trim them now and then :) I wanted to follow the similar concept by it, but do on salt water instead. Thanks again, any more thoughts would be great.

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From what I've read fish is a big hazard to this type of environment because of their waste, so I won't be including any. For live stock I'm thinking a few(3-4) shrimp, one hermit crab, 2 snails, and perhaps a small starfish, they seem hardy.

 

But the question I have is which plants do I get for a marine based bowl? I like the small one that can be planted across the whole looks like a grass field. Is that recommended? Also would adding live rock or a tiny coral be hazardous to this environment as well?

 

I have something similar set up in my room. What I suggest is putting an inch of white live sand on the bottom and adding mangroves. Mangroves will grow slow, but with the sand encouraging root growth they will slowly suck up nutrients from your tank. Plus adding beauty as they develop leaves and grow tall.

 

Growing macro algae is a difficult task in small tanks. Most people have success in bigger tanks where they can control nutrient levels easily. In small tanks, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate can easily go up and down. Plus all those trace elements people test for. Invest in prime. It will help keep your tank from becoming toxic.

 

The grass you are talking about can be found on this site in threads. It is not easy to grow, even for advanced macro algae keepers. If you want to take a try at it, no one can physically stop you. I have no experience with it so I can give you no tips.

 

Have you considered a canister filter? I understand you are looking for a sleek looking tank. But if you had this one hidden under the stand or table you are putting it on it would still look good. Adding a filter will keep the tank cycled and the excess nutrients low. This means less ugly algae growing on the glass.

 

You have to have some flow in your tank. Either add a canister filter or put in an air stone attached to an air line. I suggest the canister filter because it is less noisy and will not create salt creep.

 

Adding coral would not be hazardous to the tank. The tank is hazardous to the coral. The beautiful coral you are thinking about requires pristine water quality. I would try xenia, as I have heard it likes to such up nutrients from the water. Either way do your research. Adding rock to a tank never hurts.

 

Find a good source of RO (Reverse Osmosis) water. I mix my own salt water. I purchase the RO water from the water dispensers at my grocery store for 20cents a gallon. I bought my 50 gallon mix salt bags on sale for $10 a bag. This means I spend $0.40 a gallon for my salt water. A lot cheaper than what my local fish store, who sells it for $1.25 a gallon.

 

Why use RO water? So you do not get ugly looking algae blooms in your tank. If you use regular tap water, your bowl will be covered in slim. Smoothing all your plants.

 

Do 50% water changes every sunday. Drip the new water in using an IV bag. If you just pour in the new water you will send the inhabitants into shock and kill them.

 

Heater and lighting is standard equipment.

 

Live stock recommendations: Sexy Shrimp, Copepods, Micro Brittle Starfish.

 

Thank you for not trying to cram a fish into a bowl.

 

Nothing is impossible. Just do your research, and educate yourself. No reason to go into any thing blind and dumb.

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Self-sustaining Nano

ecosphere%20round.JPG

 

It's called an ecosphere. Completely enclosed and never needs feeding. Just keep it in the proper temp range and give it light.

 

I bought one about 15 years ago and it had 3 shrimp. Today, one still lives. By far my single most successful aquarium. :D

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my brother had a 1 gallon set up with just some sand and a snail, mussels & a hermit from my creek. he had a type of butterfly fish that migrated from down south ( less tha half an inch), but donated it to my local high school.

 

he has no filtration what so ever, but changes water religiously after a feeding to the hermit and weekly. imo, the creatures you want will in no way survive with the amount of work you are willing to do. no filters means that you become the filter.

 

i agree that an asternia star is basically the only star possible, being that stars are finicy, and moderate to hard to keep at all due to most's diet.

 

how would you heat this bowl?

 

this bowl is also very very expensive/ i bought one just like it from marshalls for my sisters beta and it only cost 3 bucks.

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Thank you for all the reply guys, and thumbs up for all the suggestions cupid :)

Indeed I don't want to have any mechanical looking things attached to the bowl, yet I do understand it seems to need water flow if I something beside shrimps in it. A small filter would add some live to the bowl too so I will look into it.

 

The reason I mention small starfish is because new-b-reefer seems to have success with his enclosed ecojar. http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=286502

 

I do not mind exchanging water weekly in exchange for a more lively ecosystem. I will definitely have to do more research though as I prefer not to feed any stock inside. It's nice to know that they 'provide' for each other.

 

I like this bowl design, just a sphere with a cut, but I will visit Marshalls and like stores and see the choices before purchasing this bowl, thanks for the tip patback.

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i agree that an asternia star is basically the only star possible, being that stars are finicy, and moderate to hard to keep at all due to most's diet.

 

+1

 

I am not sure why or how you are not going feed this aquarium, yet still do religious weekly water changes. That one stumps me. It is like being in a self cleaning cement room with a potato plant. Yes, I can grow more potatoes from that one potato, but what happens when the soil is depleted of nutrients and I can no longer grow potatoes. Dead.

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I think the easiest way for you to achieve this would be by volume. If you just put a couple hermits in a 50g system, you'll spend more time maintaining the equipment than you ever will doing water changes. What you really want is simply low-bioload. In truth, I think we all want that. :) Best way is to focus on corals, then easy inverts. The lower your bioload and the greater your volume, the more semi-self-sufficient it will be.

 

Good luck!

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Quite a bit's been said already. I would keep all fish out, and absolutely minimal waste producing inverts, and you have a running shot at making it work. Also, I wouldn't put any soft coral or gonoporia in there. You need to avoid any coral that uses chemical warfare as it's defense mechanism.

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