Author

Jeff Golenski

September 23, 2021

Low-tech bookshelf nano planted aquariums

While sometimes more difficult to maintain than larger tanks, due to more volatile water parameters, I love how nano tanks look — especially on the bookshelf in my office. In late June 2021, I re-scaped two of my nano tanks. Here are some photos 3 months later.

Currently, the only livestock these tank house is snails. I’ll most likely keep it that way.

Nano low-tech planted aquariums on a bookshelf
Nano low-tech planted aquariums on a bookshelf

Top tank: Low-tech molten glass over wood (<1 gallon)

Nano low-tech planted shaped glass aquarium on a bookshelf
Nano low-tech planted shaped glass aquarium on a bookshelf

Details

  • Tank — Hand blown molten glass on wood. This is a higher quality one from West Elm that was a gift. It has very thick glass (over 1cm thick!) I would NOT recommend using the cheaper versions of this for holding water, like those found on Amazon
  • Light — Nicrew clamp light. Perfect brightness for nano tanks
  • Hardscape — Locally sourced granite. What a pain to get into this bowl!
  • Plants — Anubias nana petite & microcarpaea minima (carpet)
  • Livestock — Bladder snails
  • Other — Walstad method with an air pump for circulation (black tube is not co2). Weekly 90% water change
Nano low-tech planted shaped glass aquarium on a bookshelf
Nano low-tech planted shaped glass aquarium on a bookshelf

Bottom tank: Low-tech 3.5 gallon long

Nano low-tech aquarium on a bookshelf
Nano low-tech aquarium on a bookshelf

Details

  • Tank — 3.5 gallon Seapora “Betta Breeder” (I would never put a betta in anything this small, but it’s perfect for snails and shrimp)
  • Light — Fluval Aquasky Nano light
  • Hardscape — Seiryu stone
  • Plants — Dwarf hair grass (carpet), Anubias nana, Anubias nana petite, some stray riccia fluitans keep showing up
  • Livestock — Bladder snails!
  • Other — Low-tech: Small aqueon hang filter and an air pump for extra surface disruption (black tube is not co2). Liquid ferts once a week. Weekly 90% water change

Here’s an outline of the light settings for the Fluval above the 3.5 gallon tank. With the snails, it’s nearly algae free with this light intensity

Fluval Aquasky Nano settings

September 19, 2021

Shallow desktop planted tank

I constructed a really fun shallow freshwater planted aquascape that sits on my desk next to my work station. Details after the photo.

Monte Carlo carpet in an ADA cube garden 60-F

Hardware:

  • ADA cube garden 60-F tank
  • basic co2 system
  • UNS canister filter system
  • Nicrew light

Plants & livestock:

  • Monte carlo (carpet)
  • Anubias nana
  • Mini coin Bucephalandra
  • bucephalandra purple blue
  • 5x purple rasbora fish
  • 6x hastatus corydoras (the cutest fish in the world)

September 19, 2021

Leucomelas carries a tadpole

Leucomelas are one species within the genus of Dendrobates where the male will carry tadpoles and deposit them into pools of water within the forest. They prefer the cups of Bromeliads, which many poison dart frog keepers provide within their vivariums.

A male Leucomelas dart frog carrys a tadpole within one of my vivariums

Interestingly enough, Leucomelas tadpoles can be cannibalistic. If a tadpole is deposited into a bromeliad where a tadpole already exists, the larger tadpole will eat the smaller one.

September 11, 2021

Bushy Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma after the rain

A photo of my bushy Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma after a rain storm. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma's are commonly known as Monstera "Ginny," but they're actually not monstera plants at all!

A photo of my bushy Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma after a rain storm. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma's are commonly known as Monstera "Ginny," but they're actually not monstera plants at all!

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma alpo known as a Monstera “Ginny
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma alpo known as a Monstera “Ginny”

I grew this outside during the summer in USDA Zone 6. They prefer high humidity and indirect light. I kept it in a shady area and it grew like a weed. It’s about time for a re-potting—you can’t even see the moss pole it’s growing on!

July 23, 2021

Desktop Wabi Kusa

A few days ago I created this small wabi kusa scape for my desk. Inside are a few pieces of volcanic rock and Christmas moss. Within a few weeks the moss will cover the rock.

Wabi Kusa scape with Christmas moss

December 24, 2019

The smallest nano planted aquarium

a tiny nano planted aquarium
a tiny nano planted aquarium

I suppose this could technically be considered a nano riparium, but this nano planted aquarium is the smallest little aquarium I’ve made. Sand in the front, and eco complete substrate in the back for the plants. It houses pond snails, blue leopard ramshorn snails, copepods, and detritus worms. It’s a tiny complete ecosystem.