PICO: 1  4    FEMTO: 1  9

- the world in a bowl, between 1 and 10L

     If I can't get to the world, it have to come to me
For many years, I have escaped the Danish winter, exploring exiting countries around the world. The winter 2020-21 turned out different due to the Covid-19. Then I came up with a different approach: Stuff things, plants and animals from around the world into a little bowl for my desk.
°C:  20-25
pH:  6,9-7,1
PPM:  175-185
µS:  0,5-7,0
µE/M2/s:  75-120
Litre:  4,3
I ended up with a bowl from England, the lit from French glass, a thermometer from Germany and the LED light are from China. The plants are attached to the branch with Indian sowing thread.
The interior is made up of some red granite gravel from Poland and larger black granite pebble from Bornholm. A branch of a Dutch linden-wood make up the background, while the dead leaves on the button is from a Swedish birch.
The few animals are a Mozambique Spotted Nerite (snail), a Zebra Nerite from South Africa, a Blue Diamond and a Red Cherry shrimp from Taiwan (bread a lot), and two Ender's guppies from Venezuela (quite natural).
The plants are Java-moss from Indonesia, an Anubias from Cameron, the "grass" from Australia and the water hyssop is from Mexico. The Lesser bladderwort is from Sri Lanka, while the Marimo Algae from Iceland. The so called New Large Pearl Grass, was found in Uruguay, and the Floating Fern, I saw on Galapagos; Ecuador. The water is Danish tap water. It stands on a modified cork trivet from Portugal.
So far, 22 countries have contributed, although two were ditched.
Read more about the construction, problems and solutions below the photos

              This is MK II, with corkscrew hassle and low plants in the middle.

THE ANIMALS Click on the photo to learn more

Poecilia wingei
, Wild Ender's Guppy, Venezuela

Neocaridina davidi dom, 3 Red Cherry, Taiwan

Neritina paralella
Spotted Nerite, Southern Africa

Neritina natalensis,
Zebra Nerite, South Africa.
THE PLANTS Click on the photo to learn more

Anubias barteri var. nana,
Dwarf Anubias, Cameroon

Taxiphyllum barbieri  'Spiky',
Java Moss, Southeast Asia

Utricularia graminifolia,
Lesser bladderwort, Asia

Micranthemum tweediei, 'Monte Carlo
New Large Pearl Grass, Uruguay

Bacopa monnieri  'Compact',
Water Hyssop, all temp. world

Eleocharis pusilla
Aquarium grass, Australia

Cladophora aegagropila,
, Iceland - Japan

Salvinia auriculata, Floating Fern

Floating Fern, Ecuador


The bowl is 4,3 L, glass

A single magnet to attach the light, and hold the background

Tilia x europaea

Started with common linden

Red granite, Poland

The lit is a 1 mm dish

The light is a singe LED on a wire, glued to a washer

Corylus avellana
Ended with corkscrew hassle

Black granite, Bornholm, Denmark

                                                 THE THOUGHTS
As this was my first aquarium in 30 years, I had to start from scratch. I found some of the gear, plants and animals in pet-shops. I needed a bowl, a thermometer, a net, a tiny hose, some small plants, tiny fish and other animals, food and light. The light was cannibalized from an used lamp.
The branches and gravel was found in the trash-yard of the local cemetery and a friends driveway.
At first, I sawed a fist-shaped branch from a linden-tree into the right shape, and attached the plants to it. When I added water, the plants disappeared, as the bowl became one big magnifier. The plants had to be attached on the branches, near the button, and in the middle.
Next problem was the linden-tree: It keep oozing out milky sap, forcing me to change the water every second day. And that despite I had boiled it for hours, to get it to sink. MK II was made with the great looking branches of a corkscrew hassle; Corylus avellana 'Contorta' from Frocester, England.
While I was at it, I opened up the centre of the bowl, and could now add another ground-covering plant. While I was in the shop, I brought three more of the lovely shrimps, which seems to thrive so well in the bowl.
To be able to keep it clean the button, I first used rough pebbles, but when learned, I couldn't see the floor of the bowl anyway, and I skipped the gravel and leaves. The plants are now in a tiny plastic bowl that can be removed for pruning, or attached to two centimetre pebbles. That way, I can "vacuum clean" it, when needed - once a month  or less.
The guppies soon multiplied, and I retired the parents. The Nerite snails must eat a lot, to judge from the piles of dung they leave behind! One was handed back to the shop.
The lit caused me a bit of a problem, as I had no glass. The local shops were closed for months, due to the Covid-19. At first, I used the glass from a deep-fryer. Then I found a picture frame at the local supermarket, and managed to cut it into a round lit. It sits on five small discs of glass, glued to the edge of the bowl, to let some fresh air in.
The water is tap-water, which is a bit hard, but the shrimps need the calcite. 670 µS/cm, 12-18 dH. I add a small fragment of egg-shell too, just to make sure they don't lack.
It turned out to be rather expensive to start aquariums up again. Everything included, I spend around €100.
Now, I just need the patience to let it all grow into some nice. While I wait, I start on some even smaller aquariums: The Femtos.
I eventually skipped this "huge bowl", and transferred the interior into a smaller glass: Pico 4.

PICO: 1  4    FEMTO: 1  9