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Old 06-05-2013, 01:36 AM   #1
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Bio-sphere

How can i create a self-sustaining bio-sphere? I can add plants and shrimp but I don't want to have too much maintenance.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:36 AM   #2
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Bio-sphere? Could you explain more about your idea. How big is it?
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:38 AM   #3
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How can i create a self-sustaining bio-sphere? I can add plants and shrimp but I don't want to have too much maintenance.
normally you can't because of most fish tank is a closed system. the only way to come close to a self sustaining system is having a densely planted tank. but even with that, some maintenance is required.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:33 AM   #4
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NYGiants- it is a 1 gallon fish bowl and by bio-sphere I just want it to be a small fish tank that has very little to no maintenance.

HuizHeng- I am willing to do some maintenance please tell me how I could do it though, what plants,fish,shrimp should I Add and what Kim o maintenance are we talking about?
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:18 PM   #5
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NYGiants- it is a 1 gallon fish bowl and by bio-sphere I just want it to be a small fish tank that has very little to no maintenance.

HuizHeng- I am willing to do some maintenance please tell me how I could do it though, what plants,fish,shrimp should I Add and what Kim o maintenance are we talking about?
with only one gallon to work with, the recommended route would be a snail-only tank or one shrimp tank with some water change every week.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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What kind of snails should I get?
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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What kind of snails should I get?
mystery snail, assassin snail, nerite snails are all good choices. they will get from the algae that your plants grow and therefore you wouldn't have to worry about feeding them.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:06 PM   #8
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Awesome! I'll get it started maybe next week.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:39 AM   #9
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Google "Walstad bowl" and you'll find many examples.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:15 AM   #10
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You could do about 4-6 shrimp in a densely planted 1 gallon bowl.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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Thank you for the help guys!
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #12
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Okay guys so things were obviously set back a long time, but I'm still working on it, what kind of plants and shrimp should I use, what is a cheap way to have lighting on it?
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #13
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You might get a clamp on type fixture and put one of the daylight type spiral flourescents in it or even a desk lamp sitting beside it. Make sure it says 65 or 6700 K on the bulb or package. 9 watts would be more than enough for this size.

If the tank does not grow algae, you will have to feed them something. Snails will eat anything, a bit of fish flake or pellet. Shrimp would need one pellet, maybe every two or 3 days, if they are the cherry type of shrimp, quite small. Careful not to give much food, as it will rot if not eaten. Mystery snails can get to be golf ball size and they lay eggs outside of the water. So they may crawl out if they are trying to spawn. You do need both sexes to get eggs though.

Nerite snails also crawl out, but not to spawn. It's just something they do. They can last for a long time out of water, they live on tidal flats where the tide goes out and leaves them exposed. So if you get a Nerite, and it sits on the edge, don't worry unless it falls out.

I would think you would change the water every few days, by scooping out about a quarter of it with a cup and replacing that with fresh water you have treated with dechlorinator first. Same temperature as the tank water is.

Plants will probably have to be trimmed back fairly regularly, as most would soon grow taller than the bowl. But it need not be hard work, just a pair of scissors and clip off the tops when they start to emerge from the water. You can reroot most cuttings now and then if older plants start to lose their looks, which saves buying new ones.

You may have to add a very small amount of fertilizer to the water to keep the plants looking really good. Choose plants that are low maintenance and lower light, they'll be less fussy. A small crypt species would look nice, and not outgrow the space for a long long time. But it would want a fertilizer tab in the substrate a few times a year, as they are heavy feeders. Stem plants grow taller, crypts grow more widely, from a central crown.

Shrimp, if you get shrimp, really enjoy picking at mosses. There are several moss species you could try. Java is common but not the most attractive. Christmas or Flame moss is much prettier and can be trimmed for size and shape.

There are liverworts too that are quite interesting and slow growers, known as pellia. There is a mini type, which is harder to find, the standard type and a very large leaf form called subwassertang that's becoming popular. Mosses and liverworts can be tied to rock or wood and will eventually take hold on them and stay on by themselves, then you can remove the tie. Thread or fish line works fine. A small twig or rock could eventually look like a shrub or small tree with these species.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:45 PM   #14
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oh wow that was very informational, could I use hornwort and a couple of crypts around the outside of the tank? Or maybe just a few crypts? I'm asking because I already have a fair amount of hornwort and would really like to use it in the 1 Gal. Also what type of fertilizer are you talking about? Garden fertilizer or aquarium fertilizer?
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:26 PM   #15
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I was actually thinking of pre mixed liquid aquarium fertilizer. It not cheap but you won't need much and it's relatively weak, so less chance of overdosing so small a volume of water

Hornwort may work but may also slowly dwindle away, it likes a wee bit of current, at least in my experience, and cooler temperatures.. though it may also be that I don't fertilize enough to keep it happy. I have been away a great deal the past year, due to family issues, and the tanks have suffered because of it, plants particularly.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:39 PM   #16
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What do you mean by ore mixed? Mixed with what. Also I don't think my LFS has christmas or flame moss, what would be a good substitute if they don't?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:00 PM   #17
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What do you mean by ore mixed? Mixed with what. Also I don't think my LFS has christmas or flame moss, what would be a good substitute if they don't?
I would assume (s)he is referring to a fertilizer like Flourish comprehensive from Seachem. For a 1g bowl I'd think you'd probably only need a drop or so a week, so even a small bottle would last you a lifetime!
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:04 PM   #18
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Precisely what I had in mind. Flourish would be fine. Ah, subs for moss.. well, you can always try java moss. It is just a bit stringy, so it's harder to get it to look like a tree or shrub. You would have to trim it back fairly often to get it to sprout a lot of new little branches, which it will. Not at all fussy, which is good.

It is possible to buy moss via mail order. Provided it arrives fairly quickly it ships quite well. Pellia would be more difficult, as it is rather brittle and breaks into small pieces easily, but even little pieces would grow, given time.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:07 PM   #19
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Okay I see it now, small crypts on the outside with a rock with java moss tied to it in the middle! Thank you guys for all your help. I'll keep you updated!
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:27 PM   #20
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How many RCS would be recommended?
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