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keep the balance of nature - and the appearance

I'm baffled over how much technical gear you can buy for an aquarium nowadays. As I live a quite minimalistic life, I have NOT bought anything, except the thermometer and net. The rest is found in the kitchen anyway. See the Cool Tool somewhere below.

                                                   THE BUILD
I build these small aquariums a bit like LEGO: Finish sections, which later can be replaces individual, or pulled up for cutting.

The background is the first I make. Either a piece of bark or some interesting branches. They might have to be screwed together, but in a way they can twist, to get through the opening. If they float, you have to boil them. One trick might be to take them from the boiling water to cold, a few times. Then they suck a lot of water. Let them cool / heat through each time.
I came up with a great idea for the background: It is attached by a magnet, sitting outside. A screw in the bark make it magnetic. Another way is to screw some branches on, to act as "legs". That way, you can open-up the centre.
The plants
 are treated in several ways. I might drill some 1,5mm holes in the bark and branches, and tie plants to them. That way, the string will be (almost) invisible.
Make sure you find the right place for the plants, with water in a round aquarium! It change appearance so much!
Single plants are attached to a small stone with string as well. Some plants will appreciate a bit of sphagnum as well.
Ground covering plants are placed in 1-1,5 cm deep, transparent pots with their favourite soil; Gravel or sphagnum. You might have to add a few stones to weight it down.
The bottom might no be covered, but you can't see it anyway, in a round bowl or glass. And now, you can "vacuum-clean" it, while changing water.
The light is sitting on a wire, attached to a washer. The washer sit on a strong magnet, glued to the back of the aquarium. Else, the LED light might be hard to keep in place over a wine glass! The bonus is, the light can be twisted to the side, when you want to get into the water, and you don't loose the light.
The wire doubles as core, and another thin one is glued on to it. I use 5V units, fitting any USB charger.
The lit
is 1 mm glass. For the 4,3 L bowl, I have glued some small pieces of glass along the edge, to let some air in. The lit on the wine glasses have one flat side, letting air in. Four dots of transparent glue on the lit, hold it in position.

                                           THE MAINTENANCE
I need to change some of the water from time to time, roughly every second or third week. While I do that, I "vacuum clean" the button of the aquarium as well. This way, some of the added nutrition is removed again, to obtain a balance. Without fish that need feeding, it avoid it for long periods.
Depending on the animals and amount of nutrition in the specific aquarium, I might have to clean the front-glass from time to time. And while it is easy in a glass container, the plastic causes for a bit of attention, not to be scratched. A cotton stick might work.
The plants have to be pruned from time to time, and perhaps attached to a new stone.
Besides from that, I might have to get rite of some offspring from time to time.


A hose with stainless steel straw

A magnet to clean the front

Scissors to prune the plants

Tweezers to reach the deep blue

Sewing thread to attach the plants

A 3L jar for fresh water

A thermometer to check the water

A net to catch the animals

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