Self-Sustaining Aquarium DIY

August 29th, 2017

Based on ideas tested in my nano aquarium test-tube experiment, I decided to build my first self-sustaining aquarium.

I use a clean plastic bottle (2 liters).

First put inside a handful of gravel.

Add dechlorinated water.

In this example, I added two types of land moss that have been growing underwater.
This is a fast growing moss.

And this is a slow growing moss.
It has an attractive tree shape.
I tied this moss to a rock.
I have yet to make a video about this moss ;)

I have seed shrimps (Ostracod) in all my aquariums, including this one.
Here you can see them — tiny moving dots.

They are going to the new aquarium.

I am going to add more little critters from this large nursery to my new aquarium.

There are some cyclopes, daphnia, and seed shrimps in this nursery filled with filamentous algae and land mosses.
Algae is a preferable food for all these critters.

Use a pipette to transfer them.

Also, I add freshwater snails to all my nurseries.

Here they go.

Screw the bottle cap back on.

Close it tightly.

Use a thick needle to make 4 holes in the bottle, all about 2 cm above the water level.

The holes allow air exchange (in/out of the bottle), keeping most of evaporated water inside of the bottle.
Algae grows better in warm water that is exposed to direct sunlight.
Little critters and snails consume algae and produce waste.
Algae and moss consume the waste dissolved in water.
I am going to keep this aquarium on a windowsill exposed to direct sunlight.

September 9th, 2017
Evaporated water gets trapped in the top part of the bottle.
Water is clear.

I see cyclopes, daphnia and seed shrimps.
All moss is green.

September 20th, 2017
The water level remains the same.

Strings of filamentous algae started growing in the past weeks.
Apparently, it gets into this aquarium along with the critters I got from the large nursery.
Hmm…let’s see how it grows!
All moss and critters are alive.

October 2nd, 2017
The water level remains the same.

All looks good and healthy.
Filamentous algae grows hair thin.

November 3rd, 2017
The water level is the same.

The web of filamentous algae has spread through the entire aquarium.

December 9th, 2017
Night time is best for observing live in this aquarium.
3 months and counting since the day I set up this aquarium.
The aquarium is alive with all critters reproducing, moss and algae growing.
The water level drops insignificantly.
For how long could this aquarium sustain itself?
It could be years, judging by water level drop rate.

I am gearing up with experiments to build a self-sustaining aquarium containing guppies ;)
Have fun and happy aquariums :)

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