Planted Bowl

After years of aquascaping and planted tanks my most successful tank so far is the bowl I keep on my desk at work.  Everyone loves it, maintenance is a breeze, and I never have any algae problems.  I wish all my tanks were this easy to maintain.  I think all credit goes to the quality of San Francisco Hetch Hetchy water.  I use all the same products at home and have all kinds of problems, er, opportunities to grow as an aquascaper.  I was gathering pics for this post and it looks like this bowl has been set up for 3 years now, crazy.

Here are the details:

  • Bowl - 1 gallon from Joannes Fabrics
  • Substrate - Mostly ADA Aquasoil powder, a bit of Mexican pottery clay (maybe 1 tblspn), a sprinkle of osmocote fertilizer (maybe 1tspn), capped with pool filter sand.
  • Original plant list -Monte Carlo, Rotala H'ra, java moss, AR Mini, and Fissidens Fontanus
  • No CO2 - I tried it, it was not worth the effort
  • Light - Torchstar 5000k LED bulb 8w
  • Fertilizer - Occasional, maybe monthly, it has changed over the years from Seachem Flourish to Thrive recently.
  • Inhabitants - I have tried neocaridina shrimp on three occasions, a few die immediately, one or two live for months but they never reproduce.  I will probably try again at some point but am in no hurry.  There are a few ramshorn snails in there.

The plants are looking a little yellow these days, I need to beef up the ferts as the aquasoil should be pretty much depleted at this point.  It is pretty obvious after looking at all these pics I need to get the rotala growing up and over again.


This has to be pretty close to day 1.  It took months of daily to weekly water changes for the ammonia levels to drop.




Here we see pogostemon erectus and blyxa japonica growing well without co2, crazy.  Check out that AR Mini



This was my workplace DIY Co2 rig.  Water bottle, airline hose, gum to seal it, and a chop stick to make small bubbles.  It worked but really was not worth the effort.









Monte Carlo is getting too thick, the lower plant will rot, time for a trim




Here it is today.  The color on this photo is wonky but photography is not my thing.  The rotala is going strong, threatening to breach again.


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