The Natural Aquarium: Looking To Native River Systems for Inspiration

Bamboo Shrimp

I recently viewed a short film produced by National Geographic, which shows freshwater shrimp living in tropical streams. These streams in Puerto Rico have developed diverse populations of crustaceans in relatively small pools of water. These shrimp constantly feed on organic debris that collects in the pools, keeping them clean and clear. This results in bodies of water that are appealing to both animals and humans alike.

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Top 10 Nano Aquarium Species for Beginners

First, let me begin by saying that some would argue nano aquariums are not good for beginners. With 10 or fewer gallons of water to keep in balance, it can take very little to tip your parameters too far in the wrong direction. That is to say when things go wrong, they go wrong fast! However the small size means that many types of vessels can be used as containers: jars, vases, buckets, tubs, bowls, etc… This makes the cost of getting started much less than with a standard aquarium.

When keeping nano aquariums, crashes happen. It takes hard work and dedication to maintain a successful aquarium. Having said that, a well-established, healthy nano aquarium is so incredibly rewarding.

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Freshwater Cyclops – Species Profile

Female freshwater Cyclops. Source: wikimedia.

“Cyclops” is a common genera of copepod organisms found in freshwater habitats. The name comes from the mythical Greek creature, known for having only one eye, a characteristic shared by these minute creatures. Under magnification, this eye can be easily seen as a large red or black dot on the head. Cyclops are easy to spot on aquarium walls as tiny, white, tadpole-shaped specks that move in quick, jerky movements.

Care Level: Easy
Preferred Water: pH 6 to 8, soft to hard
Ideal Temperature: 64 to 72 °F (12.8 – 22.2 °C)
Maximum Size: 0.5mm to 5mm, depending on species
Average Lifespan: 3 months

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