Microbe aquarium

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Sauerkraut
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:07 am
Location: Oregon, USA

Microbe aquarium

#1 Post by Sauerkraut » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:26 pm

My pond is a little out of control, microbe-wise, so I thought it would be fun to start an indoor aquarium. This one is more of an aqua-terrarium that makes pleasing fountain noises. Is anyone else growing an indoor microbe farm? Any tips, thoughts etc.?

This one is not established yet - just arrived today and is not even in its proper place. There is a live plant at the top from the garden - figured it will grow since they won't die when attacked with garden tools. All the rest are fake plants for the time being. This tank is too small for fish (inhumane) but due to an unfortunate judgement call, I have some baby shrimp growing in a temporary tank that might tolerate this arrangement.

There's duckweed in the regular pond but perhaps too much algae would transfer to the aquarium. I'm interested in adding moss but maybe from seed/spore to avoid transferring all the bugs and etc. that thrive in collected moss.

As far as the regular pond goes, everything in there came on its own. Nothing was intentionally added to increase the plants or microbes. That's quite the testament of the adaptability and portability of microbes. Water is life.

One tip on a small pond like this is it's highly recommended to use a UV filter unless you like wasting a lot of time and resources doing complete water changes due to algae overgrowth. And fish keep the mosquitoes at bay.
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MicroBob
Posts: 2216
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Microbe aquarium

#2 Post by MicroBob » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:15 pm

Hi Heather,
you seem to have a very different situation there with your algae over growth compare to Germany. What water temperatures o you have in your outdoor pond?
I have two plancton aquariums and no real problems with them. In summer I had to install an air pump and let it run for a couple of hours each day as the water started to become green. Occasionally I have to cut back the water plants with long scissor and pinceps (aqua scaping set from ebay).

What I can recommend is a stereo microscope on an articulating arm. This allows observation through the side wall or on the surface. I have posted links to a couple of videos I made this way.

Bob

Sauerkraut
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:07 am
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: Microbe aquarium

#3 Post by Sauerkraut » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:47 pm

Bob,

The pond is currently at 67 F (apx 20 C). Maybe the algae is due to the pond being man made and rather small at perhaps 200 - 250 gallons. But the non-motile algae thrive so wildly that they live in communal clumps on the sides of the pond, making it hard to tell one species from another. We've had an unseasonably cool summer here and still there is algae so hot or cool does not seem to matter. The free floaters need the UV treatment or it goes green and bad for the fish.

Do you keep fish in the plankton aquariums? This will be my first aquarium where growing - rather than deterring - microbes is the goal. It just seems like there still needs to be levels of growth control so that the aquarium does not get out of hand. And how do you introduce specific plankton, or did you just let them arrive on their own?

With too many other wish list items queued up, I'd better not get another stereoscope, but that articulating one sounds like a cool idea.

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Crater Eddie
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#4 Post by Crater Eddie » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:59 am

I like that indoor setup. How big is it and where did you get it?
CE
Olympus BH-2 / BHTU with Olympus E-P1 MFT camera mounted
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Sauerkraut
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#5 Post by Sauerkraut » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:23 am

Amazon has them:

https://www.amazon.com/Penn-Plax-Terrar ... way&sr=8-2

I went with the medium. There are some negative reviews but so far it seems like a decent set up. The main mistake people are making is trying to stock them with fish.

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Crater Eddie
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#6 Post by Crater Eddie » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:03 pm

Thanks for the link. Keep us updated on progress.
CE
Olympus BH-2 / BHTU with Olympus E-P1 MFT camera mounted
LOMO BIOLAM L-2-2
LOMO POLAM L-213 / BIOLAM L-211 hybrid
LOMO Multiscope (Biolam)

grahamma
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:38 pm

Re: Microbe aquarium

#7 Post by grahamma » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:24 pm

I hope it's ok to post to this old thread, I was wondering how this aquarium turned out. My goal is to set something up inside that I can take water samples from to view under my microscope and I really liked the look of your setup along with the flowing water element.

DonSchaeffer
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#8 Post by DonSchaeffer » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:19 pm

Mine is just in a jar--a fistful of old leaves in water.

grahamma
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#9 Post by grahamma » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:51 pm

DonSchaeffer wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:19 pm
Mine is just in a jar--a fistful of old leaves in water.
Ok, I'm not sure I should confess to my past crimes against microbes, but here goes anyhow.. I've been collecting about a pint of pond water along with some plant life and there's very little left after about a week; lots of bacteria, some worms, some very small stuff. Initially, there is plenty in the water (including all sorts of stentor) and I would like to figure out how to keep the stuff around for a long time. I saw someone post about a small aquarium with a bubbler running a few hours and occasional fish food additions.

You just throw some stuff in a jar and you have cool things to look at for a long time?

MicroBob
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#10 Post by MicroBob » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:36 pm

grahamma wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:51 pm
You just throw some stuff in a jar and you have cool things to look at for a long time?
No - but there is a good simple recipe:
- 2-3cm garden soil
- a layer of paper tissue /paper kitchen wipe
- 2-3cm of fine gravel
- fill up with pond water
- set water plants into gravel
- top up occasionally, add a bit of stamped rice grain or hay sparingly

This works very well with little attention. The paper tissue acts as a filter layer so the water doens't get muddy when filling up.
Tanks from 0,5l up are usable, the bigger the more stable.

Bob

DonSchaeffer
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#11 Post by DonSchaeffer » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:06 pm

The bonus is that I can watch changes in the environment like the formation of biofilm and its effects on the organisms. The growth of the bacteria population. The downside is that I get little variety or range in the kinds of organisms. It's the kind of organisms that cling to grass not the ones from open natural water.

Chris Dee
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#12 Post by Chris Dee » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:43 am

grahamma wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:51 pm
--snip-- I saw someone post about a small aquarium with a bubbler running a few hours and occasional fish food additions.
Probably my post grahamma. The tank is 18 months old now and doing well. Tank contents all came from lake/pond (silt, root mass. stones, plants, water squeezed from aquatic plants etc), no filtering but runs a bubbler 12hrs on 12 off. Kept on a windowsill that doesn't get direct sunlight. Full of critters, this is what it looks like now.
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I keep it topped up with rainwater and feed it with one green algae fishfood wafer per week (not noticed anything special happening since I switch from regular fish food). If you can build your own I highly recommend it, you'll have a large variety of specimens to study. HTH.
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grahamma
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Re: Microbe aquarium

#13 Post by grahamma » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:02 am

Yep Chris, it was your tank I referenced and I think I'll be giving your setup a try; thanks for the additional pictures / info. I thought the "falling water" setup posted by OP looked nice, but I guess I should go for "functional" if I want interesting microbes to look at.

Thanks for the advice / comments everybody, I now have a plan!

Chris Dee
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:02 pm

Re: Microbe aquarium

#14 Post by Chris Dee » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:16 pm

Yes, not pretty to look at but the critters love it. Btw, leave any top-up water in a jug next to the tank for a few hours, that way It'll be at the same temp. Good luck with the project, keep us updated grahamma.

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