Set up a Walstad-style shrimp bowl today... livestock to follow - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Set up a Walstad-style shrimp bowl today... livestock to follow

Inspired by a bit of reading from Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, I decided to use some leftover gravel and some soil to set up my own Walstad-style shrimp bowl, to be filled with native shrimp and possibly a few more native plants...

1 gallon Anchor Hocking bowl. $6 at Walmart.

MiracleGro Organic Potting Soil. $4 at Walmart for an 8 qt bag. Hardly any used.
  • I "washed" this stuff first. I mixed handfuls thoroughly with two gallons of water, allowed it to settle, and took only what had sunk. Figured it would be easier than picking out the floating bits later.
Natural river rock gravel, leftovers from 8g. Otherwise $5 for 5 lb at PetCo.

El cheapo clamp-on desk lamp with a 26W CFL. $2.50 at the flea market. Minimal heat, minimal cost, lots of light. (26W/gallon! Phew!)

Hygrophila costata
  • Collected this from a pond on campus. My professor told me that the edges were weeded every few months. Well, that was all the permission I needed. I then proceeded to walk across campus with a handful of weeds. Got plenty of strange looks, but I hope they'll be beautiful and lively in my bowl. Probably going to add some more once I have time to walk down to the pond again, and this time I'll be prepared with my bucket so I can grab even more!
Palaemonetes sp? - Ghost shrimp
  • These guys aren't in the bowl yet. I'm going to give the plants a little while to settle in, then add them. I didn't know until pretty recently that ghost shrimp were native to my region! Cool!
Still hoping to add some floating plants once I can find some. Might be time for a trip to the local state park. Any suggestions from this page? I've heard duckweed is good, but the water fern is really pretty, too.

Overall really pleased with this little guy. I'm excited to watch the plants grow in and take over the bowl.

EDIT: Probably not a good idea to leave the windows open and the lamp on at night. Being attacked by moths who left the lamp as soon as I turned it off and are now discovering the lovely glow of my laptop screen...

I'm a marine biologist, not an entomologist, dangit!

Last edited by leafythegreat; 09-25-2012 at 11:01 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 09:13 AM
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Looks like you're having lots of fun with this! :) I would go with water fern, personally, although the duckweed might have a nicer aesthetic look with the plants you already have in there.

Best of luck!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 11:24 AM
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I love these! Used to set up a bunch of them in those clear cookie jars with the clamp lids. I might have to go do that now... yours looks lovely cant wait till it grows in

Blog of my Betta endeavors:

Take care of the water,
the fish will follow

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 03:57 PM
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I am sure you seen this already since you have Walstads book-but for others that might be interested in setting a soil based shrimp bowl is a nice link with a pdf article with step-by-step instructions....
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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I can't believe how big the plants are getting! You see there that they're hardly brushing the water line, now all of them are over the rim of the bowl.

I knew Walstad's method was supposed to be good, but dang!

Definitely wanting to add more Hygrophila now, of course. Will keep an eye out for floating plants, but the pond I took those from is pretty well managed. My school's a huge football campus, and the pond is in the middle of a park that's often used for tailgating, so the university keeps it in tip-top shape and clear of plants. Really a shame.

I'll have pictures up tomorrow; already in bed and I don't want to wake my betta and the cories up by turning on the adjacent lamp.
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