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Jarquarium!


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Hey all!  So... I bought some preserved peaches from Costco and it came in this big oval jar that was too nice to just throw away (roughly 0.6 to 0.7 gallon).  So naturally, I do the logical thing all of us do with empty containers and imagine what it would look like if I stuffed some substrate, plants, and animal life in it... Jarquarium!  I want to do full biological filtration as the jar isn't big enough and I am not handy enough to rig any mechanical filtration devices.  

I know you would need a lot of plants if you go this route, but I don't know what "a lot" would constitute.  I've got a small sword, an anubias nana, and some baby dwarf tears already present (thanks Coop!).  I'd like to add some sort of animal life to the jar, but I don't think I would be able to sustain anything more than maybe one shrimp or a couple of snails.  

Can anyone give me an idea of your own experiences with such a set up and what level of plant life you used and the corresponding amount of animal life you were/are able to sustain?  If needed, my wife grows a lot of sweet potato vines and I could always plop one of those on top as well.  I just don't want to snuff out any critters due to lack of O2.  

Also, if you have done this, any tips on how to put in root tabs without absolutely tearing up the mini-scape?  Those root tabs are so light and airy they break out of the substrate and float to the top, but to get them deep usually ends up uprooting the plants.  😥

Thanks to everyone as usual!

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Posted (edited)

My jarquarium is smaller and simpler, but it might help you think through your project.

I used a flower vase that holds about 6 cups. The bottom has less than a single layer of gravel (so any food I drop in can't get lost and rot). I stuck about 6 total inches of hornwort into the water, and a 3-leaved stem of pothos on top. Everything was from existing tanks, so the bacteria was ready to go. I stirred in some Easy Green too. 

The animal life was 3 small snails - but bright colored so I could find them. I gave them 1 piece of food every 4 days at first, gradually increasing as they grew. The first time I fed them, I added a splash of liquid bacteria.

The vase sits in the windowsill of a window that has that white bumpy glass instead of getting direct sun. 

After a while, I saw that I somehow also had a good number of micro worms and copepod(s) hanging out near the bottom. 

My main suggestion is just to put it together in a way that you can easily redistribute the contents to tanks if you need to. That'll keep it low-stress. 

Edit: Yeah, forgot to add that I put a few specks of duckweed on top too. That quickly sealed the surface of the water, so maybe don't do that. 😂

Edited by CalmedByFish
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Thanks @CalmedByFish!  I didn't think some hornwort and a pothos would be enough plant life, so thats good to know.  I've used stuff from my main tank as well so hopefully everything sticks.

@Patrick_G, those look great!  I hadn't considered usage of several vessels together for a unified look.  Awesome job!

After some consideration, I may need to consider a different jar since the mouth is only big enough to fit my hand through but the base us rather wide by comparison.  That's one of the big factors as to why I'm uprooting everything just to make adjustments or add root tabs.

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