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2 Gallon Jarrarium / Planted Jar

Updated on 15 Sep 2016 {Created on 25 Jul 2016} | No Comments

I set up a 2 gallon planted jar on July 12, 2016. The inhabitants are about 6 or 7 red cherry shrimp and a few pond snails.

2 gallon planted jar

2 gallon planted jar (15 September 2016)

The last update was on 15 September 2016. Jump to Updates.

Introduction

This is my first planted jar. Prior to this, I had a 20 gallon Walstad tank that I had to sell last month because we moved. I also sold the 10 gallon shrimp Walstad tank.

Instructions

This is our setup:

Keep the soil ready

Wash the jar and make sure that it is clean. Do NOT clean with soap. You will put 1" Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix at the bottom. You may remove the wood chunks if you want to. I did not remove the wood chunks in my jar.

Wash the sand

Wash the sand thoroughly. I used Black Diamond Blasting Sand (medium grade) and it was a little oily.

Keep the plants ready

I had a bunch of plants from my previous two planted tanks. This was the plant list:

Add the soil and sand

Add 1" Miracle-Gro soil to the jar. Press the soil gently so that it lets out the air. Then, add 1" black sand. You can create sloping effects for aesthetic purposes.

Add a little water

Add water up to 0.5" very slowly. Make sure it doesn't disturb the soil.

Add the plants and lava rocks

Add the plants according to your aquascape design. Keep the stem plants and crypt in the back and middle. The moss ball stays in the middle or can be moved to the front. The Java fern windelov is attached to a rock and stays in the foreground. I also have a bunch of lava rocks spread throughout. Lava rocks are very porous and micro organisms grow on them, which can be a food source for the shrimp. Lava rocks are also great for Java moss to attach onto. Another great thing about my lava rocks is that they were taken from the old aquarium, so they already have beneficial bacteria and thereby help cycle the jar much faster.

Fill the jar with water

If everything looks good, fill the rest of the jar with water. Fill it slowly. If the water disturbs the sand or soil and you see it kicking up, do not worry. It usually takes overnight for the water to clear.

Add snails

Add a few pond snails. They are good for eating the decomposing leaves and other things. I will replace these with Malaysian trumpet snails at some point.

Add shrimp

After 10 days, I added my red cherry shrimp from their temporary residence (a 3 gallon bucket) into the jar. They immediately got to work, and overnight their color changed from transparent to bright red. I guess living in the bucket for 3 weeks wasn't something they liked.

Disclaimer

This is my first time setting up a dirted jarrarium. I was able to cycle mine very quickly because I used media (lava rock) from my old tanks. Your results may not be the same as mine.

Updates

11 September 2016: I topped the jar with water+Prime. I also threw away more guppy grass that had its roots growing all the way into the substrate.

5 September 2016: I gave away a few accessories and plants (guppy grass and duckweed) to a local hobbyist.

23 July 2016: The shrimp are very happy to be in a natural surrounding. Even though their temporary house, a 3 gallon bucket, had a lot of plants, they are obviously more at home with a real planted tank.


NOTE: This is my personal blog and everything on this blog contains *my* personal opinions, beliefs and interests. Nothing in here reflects the thoughts, intentions or plans of my employer.

Updated on 15 Sep 2016 {Created on 25 Jul 2016}

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About Arul

arul john blog

Arul is a Christian application developer, husband, father, Perl and Ruby programmer, tech writer, planted aquarium enthusiast and somewhat ambidextrous. He primarily works as an academic aapplications specialist on weekdays in Washington DC and on various other things on Saturdays, besides spending a good amount of time with his wonderful wife and kids.

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