Pond water aquarium for home

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macnmotion
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Pond water aquarium for home

#1 Post by macnmotion » Sat Jun 17, 2023 1:08 pm

Living in the middle of a big city makes it difficult to regularly find good water samples. There just aren't public ponds anywhere near me. 2 weeks ago I finally decided to create my own small pond water aquarium at home. I found a fishing pond business about an hour away, and for US$3 and 18L of drinking water that I needed to get rid of in order to fill up with pond water, they allowed me to take what I wanted. This included water, a bit of bottom sludge, some surface plants including water lettuce and duckweed, and a small branch that was floating in the pond. I put this all in a small fish tank, topped the sludge with aquarium soil, added a couple rocks and rooted bottom plants, and an air bubbler. When the water cleared I noticed a couple of small shrimp and 2 very tiny fish, along with several pond snails.

Unfortunately the water lettuce started to disintegrate -- apparently it doesn't like having its leaves get soaked and the air bubbler was creating too much turbulence. But other than that everything looked good. So I returned to the fishing pond this week to replace the water lettuce, only to discover it had grown 10 fold in 2 weeks. I added a couple of pieces of that and now everything seems very stable. I keep the tank under my plant lights. The tank/roots are loaded with life: tons of various peritrichs, assorted tubed organisms, Rotifers, Stentors, Trachelius, naked and testate Amoebae, gastrotrichs, various algaes and diatoms, etc. etc. etc. It's a microscopy wonderland. My plan in the future will be to bring back bits from other sources to add to this tank and increase the variety. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a steady source of pond water protists/animals to view. Here is a photo of the tank.
pond water aquarium sm.jpg
pond water aquarium sm.jpg (202.31 KiB) Viewed 4925 times
Last edited by macnmotion on Sat Jun 17, 2023 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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WWWW
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#2 Post by WWWW » Sat Jun 17, 2023 2:49 pm

Macnmotion,

you're starting your own new world !

lorez2
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#3 Post by lorez2 » Sun Jun 18, 2023 2:21 am

Very Nice.

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Scoper
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#4 Post by Scoper » Mon Jun 19, 2023 4:46 pm

Interesting…I would like to see more postings on this subject.

maguee
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#5 Post by maguee » Mon Nov 13, 2023 9:06 pm

Is the Air bubbler required for the Life to survive?

macnmotion
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#6 Post by macnmotion » Tue Nov 14, 2023 4:45 am

I have so many plants, maybe not. But at the start there were fish (still are) and shrimp. I had the bubbler so didn't see a reason not to use it.

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actinophrys
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#7 Post by actinophrys » Wed Nov 15, 2023 6:25 pm

Plants aren't a good substitute for an aerator in a small habitat since they only produce oxygen during the day.

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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#8 Post by Nubee-70 » Fri Dec 22, 2023 4:01 am

Wow. Very encouraging to see your tank set-up. I have been thinking about doing the same thing.
So far I have not yet found a good book, or PDF, about creating a pond terrarium/vavarrium specifically for microscopy specimens. I am sure that info is out there, but not yet found it.
I bought a book Encyclopedia of Terrarium and 99% of the book is NOT about pond life creatures at all, but snakes, lizards etc. Other books about pond life ware based on real ponds, in another country than where I am, and not about aquariums.
But I am sure I will find some related info one day.
Do you have any book recommendations?

Oh; thanks for sharing your post.

PS. At the moment. I am exploring the water creatures found in my balcony herb garden pot dishes.

macnmotion
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#9 Post by macnmotion » Fri Dec 22, 2023 4:31 am

Nubee-70 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 4:01 am
Wow. Very encouraging to see your tank set-up. I have been thinking about doing the same thing.
So far I have not yet found a good book, or PDF, about creating a pond terrarium/vavarrium specifically for microscopy specimens. I am sure that info is out there, but not yet found it.
I bought a book Encyclopedia of Terrarium and 99% of the book is NOT about pond life creatures at all, but snakes, lizards etc. Other books about pond life ware based on real ponds, in another country than where I am, and not about aquariums.
But I am sure I will find some related info one day.
Do you have any book recommendations?

Oh; thanks for sharing your post.

PS. At the moment. I am exploring the water creatures found in my balcony herb garden pot dishes.
I really did little research, I basically tossed various components (listed in my original post) into a 20L tank, added the bubbler, put it under my plant lights, and let it go. I allow chlorine to degas from water before adding it to the tank, and my tap water pH essentially matches the original pond water pH. Algae becomes a problem for me because the plant lights are on 16 hours a day (for my chili plants) so I have to continually remove excess algae. And every once in a while I'll add a new plant from the original pond, just to replenish life that may have diminished over time.

I'm more than happy to answer any questions you have now, or while setting up, as best I can.

Nubee-70
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#10 Post by Nubee-70 » Fri Dec 22, 2023 9:42 am

Thank you @macnmotion for your response, with further encouragement. I will just go ahead, like yourself, and deal with whatever happens.

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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#11 Post by Javier » Fri Dec 22, 2023 11:40 am

Very interesting!

Do you have the chance to make a small birth-bath near your home? I'm guessing adding that water would add a lot of diversity to your aquarium.

It is great that you already have Stentors there, they are beautiful and interesting to observe.

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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#12 Post by zzffnn » Fri Dec 22, 2023 6:09 pm

Nubee-70 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 9:42 am
Thank you @macnmotion for your response, with further encouragement. I will just go ahead, like yourself, and deal with whatever happens.
I would suggest you to simply go ahead and make one. I don’t think there are specific modern books about it (antique books on the topic may exist but would be very expensive). The worst thing that can happen is that your micro ecosystem collapse in a month or two. You can simply start again using materials from an aquarium pet store.

I don’t think your system would collapse though, if you have aquatic plants, light, air bubbler and maybe an aquarium heater (depending how cool you room temperature is [I set my aquarium heater to 72 fahrenheit or 22 celsius).

I made several micro aquariums (without air bubbler or heater and with light and plants) before and have one (with air bubbler, heater, light and plants) now. Previous micro aquariums of mine collapsed in about two months or so.

My current looks fine for now, though I started it only a week ago. macnmotion kindly shared his experience with me this time. I place my entire aquarium in my bathroom near my toilet (along with a LED desk lamp), actually, because my wife doesn’t like seeing it.

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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#13 Post by Nubee-70 » Fri Dec 22, 2023 7:47 pm

zzffnn wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 6:09 pm
Nubee-70 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 9:42 am
Thank you @macnmotion for your response, with further encouragement. I will just go ahead, like yourself, and deal with whatever happens.
I would suggest you to simply go ahead and make one. I don’t think there are specific modern books about it (antique books on the topic may exist but would be very expensive). The worst thing that can happen is that your micro ecosystem collapse in a month or two. You can simply start again using materials from an aquarium pet store.

I don’t think your system would collapse though, if you have aquatic plants, light, air bubbler and maybe an aquarium heater (depending how cool you room temperature is [I set my aquarium heater to 72 fahrenheit or 22 celsius).

I made several micro aquariums (without air bubbler or heater and with light and plants) before and have one (with air bubbler, heater, light and plants) now. Previous micro aquariums of mine collapsed in about two months or so.

My current looks fine for now, though I started it only a week ago. macnmotion kindly shared his experience with me this time. I place my entire aquarium in my bathroom near my toilet (along with a LED desk lamp), actually, because my wife doesn’t like seeing it.
Thank you zzffnn for your guiding response. I now have a resonably large secondhand aqaurium tank, on a stand too, which seems to be leakproof. But I think I will first start with large glass pickle jars to see and learn about starting up such micro ecosystems. Hoping that one day I will be having a system similar to a tadpole (pond) to frog (land) type vivarium.
Oh, by the way, I have found several antique books on the topic of pond life, in PDF form for free, from internet archives:
https://archive.org/search?query=pond+l ... eadable%22

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zzffnn
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#14 Post by zzffnn » Fri Dec 22, 2023 7:57 pm

It would not hurt to keep several micro aquariums of different compositions and sizes too. I was told that they may start about the same, but surprisingly end up looking very differently under the microscope.

tlansing
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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#15 Post by tlansing » Thu Feb 01, 2024 8:29 pm

Very nice that you have an aquarium like this to keep microlife always available. I have a number of jars that I keep, mostly with algae in them. In the book Exploring with the Microscope by Werner Nachtigall, He described how he set up an aquarium. He has a picture of scaffold with a low power microscope attached that allows him to move this microscope all over the outside of his aquarium to see what's going on in the tank. Might be further inspiration for you! This book has a lot of other useful and practical information in it.

Tim

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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#16 Post by Scoper » Thu Feb 01, 2024 9:16 pm

Has anyone reproduced his setup?

I would hearing the details.

Thanks

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Re: Pond water aquarium for home

#17 Post by tlansing » Fri Feb 02, 2024 12:51 am

Here is a picture, scanned from Nachtigall's book, of his setup.
Aquarium Scope.jpg
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