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Old 02-10-2013, 11:23 PM   #1 
Bombalurina's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Australia
EXTREME NPT challenge

Hi all

So, I have an empty 1 litre jar sitting around looking like I ought to throw it away. My first ever rescue fish came to me in it. However, I have a much more exciting idea than throwing it away - NPT!

So, my plan is the usual, to get a little soil, cover it with a cap of sand, and plant some stuff in it. What I was wondering is: would a couple of ghost shrimp be ok in such a tiny space? It would be planted beyond belief, but my main worry would be temperature. I would keep it either on my desk or in my room, without any artificial heating or filtration. If all I can have in is is plants, that's cool, but I would love a couple of shrimp. Alternatively, I'd be happy to try an Australia native shrimp or even a snail. Of course, I wouldn't even consider putting a fish into it.

Could anyone advise me which plants might be ok in this space? It needs to be low-light, as this jar would only be recieving natural light. I realise that typically you do need artificial light for an NPT but this is just an experiment, and I have seen some Walstad tanks without lighting. :)
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:38 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Without heat and filter, I'm reluctant to say that a ghost shrimp would be ok... from what I've read they are extremely sensitive to water parameters and are kind of finnicky about temperature. I'd go for a snail instead :)
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:02 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: North Central, OH
what is your room temp? I'm not sure about celcius, but in farenheight they do well anywhere between 65-82*F so as long as your room temperature is more than like 68*F I'd say they would be okay. Plus they have a much lower bioload than snails.

BUT you could also go with a single snail. They dont really have any specific requirements. I've had some living in a bucket in my basement for about a month now with no issue. (they sit in front of a window and theres some old plant clippings in it)

I'd go for some java moss and look at stem plants since they are easier to keep short. I have a couple tanks that only get natural light and they have cabomba, moneywort, java fern, wisteria, and frogbit in them --These are all clippings from my main tank that I moved into these 2---But they are growing fine!
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:06 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Celsius, that's about 18-27* (so room temp of 20 or more)
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:06 AM   #5 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NYC
go for it, lol.
you will want stem plants. I've done small jars (1L and less) with naja grass, myriophyllum mattogrosense. but I'm pretty sure any other fast growing hardy stem plant will work. for a 1L I wouldn't bother to do an NPT. I would let the stems float with a thin layer if substrate (why? I have no idea, it has always worked well for me)

if done right, this has the same effects as an NPT (no need for water changes etc.) or, you can always opt for duckweed based ammonia sink. ;)

"cycle" the tank with snails first. when the water paramters stabilize, a small exo system will establish and you should then be able to stock shrimp.

shrimps do very well in cold water environments. infact they are comercially bred in outdoor ponds. I currently have my yellow neos in a 64F tank.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #6 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Two or three cherry shrimp would be more interesting than ghost shrimp ... a little more expensive, but worth it! Of course, I'm partial to cherry shrimp ... but they're much more active and fun to watch (not to mention easier to see!). They do great in planted, unfiltered, unheated vases and bowls. Just make sure you get all males or all unberried females, or have a plan on what to do with babies!
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:15 PM   #7 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Sounds like a neat idea to me...but I also plant just about anything that holds last 10gal NPT that I setup sprung a leak and it wouldn't hold but about 4 inches of water and since the plants are doing so well-I left it to see how well it would do-plus it has about 20 or more RSC-I unplugged the heater since the water wasn't deep enough and the water temp stays around 60-62F at night and roughly 68-70F during the day with the lights on. The shrimp have tolerated this temp and have had babies and the plants are thriving as well.....IMO-native shrimp would most likely do well-especially if your weather varies a lot.

You may have seen this pdf article on NPT shrimp bowls-but just in case other have it is...pretty good read written by Diana Walstad
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:33 PM   #8 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Oh since we're talking about pico tanks here. I started a pico that is about 0.6 gal, its currently cmostly carpeted with Fissidens fontanus as foreground, and glosso as middle and some dwarf hair grass as back ground. Theres a tiny java fern runner in the center.

I was wondering once it all grow in, if i can put 1 or maybe 2 shrimp in there? its only 0.6 gal =<
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #9 
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Location: Boston, MA
or maybe 1 or 2 cherry shrimplets, and i'll put them back in the colony (different tank) when they are adults?
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:24 PM   #10 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Coon Rapids, MN
Funny I have a glass jar I got from winning grand champion in English Pleasure at a horse show once. It never does anything but sit on my trophy shelf downstairs. Maybe I can plant it with some nice live plants and this year at the horse shows set it out on our table as a nice decoration? Do you think stuff like red ludwigia would be okay if I set it on the window sill? might throw in one of my baby pond snails just so I can keep another one xD and you know....he she can keep the plants happy and healthy too you know <.<
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