Building a Planted Aquajar (no filter, no CO2 Walstad style aquarium)


Building a Planted Aquajar (no filter, no CO2 Walstad style aquarium setup for shrimp and snails)

This is not a sponsored video

A simple aquascape project using a VIV hydroponic cylinder which in my opinion is a very good product featuring 5mm clear glass. I started off the build by crafting a driftwood. It is next to impossible to find that perfect piece of driftwood so I always buy the best possible shapes and customize them according to my design by breaking, cutting and glueing pieces together. Here I wanted something that looks like a tree trunk with branches that that emerge out of the water surface. I also glued the driftwood onto a pice of rock so that it does not float up in water.
Happy with what I put together I proceeded to the next step.
I scraped out a bit of ADA bacter 100 from the ball ( as I do not need much for a small setup) and dropped it into the bottom of the container. This will develop into beneficial bacteria very quickly and will avoid the need for a long cycling time. I placed some washed pumice on the bacter 100 dust. It will provide surface for the bacteria to grow on. Next I poured in some ADA Amazonia aquasoil. This will provide nutrients to the plants. I poured only a small amount to minimise ammonia spikes and algae issues. Next I capped the soil with ADA La Plata sand and flattened it with a sand flattener. I filled the jar with water carefully using a bubble sheet and let it cycle for a day. The next day I drained the water and proceeded with planting. I used low demand plants from my propagation tank and also bought a few tissue culture pots from the aquarium store. The TC plants had to be washed in water to remove the gel growing media.

Here are the plants used in the setup:

Java Fern tied to a rock
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Dwarf hairgrass
Cabomba caroliniana
Alternanthera reineckii
Juncus repens

I filled up the jar with water and let it cycle for another day.
The next day I drained out the water and filled it up with cycled water from my tank. I also added a pair of shrimps and guppies.

*******Please note that in my opinion only shrimps and snails are suitable for such small setups.
I have added the pair of guppies temporarily for the video shoot and cycling of the tank. They will be housed back to my main propagation tank after a couple of weeks. This will be a shrimp and snail tank only in the longer run*******

This is a Walstad style setup and hence no filter or CO2 has been used. It is meant to develop into a thriving ecosystem. The plants will act as a natural filter so more plants, the better it is.
However it will need regular water changes and maintenance to keep the plants and livestock in good health. Fertiliser dosing will also be needed for plant growth.


0:00 – The VIV jar
0:13 – Crafting the driftwood hardscape
0:44 – Laying down the bacter 100, pumice, aquasoil and sand
1:28 – Placing the driftwood and completing the hardscape layout with river stones
1:44 – Filling in water
2:02 – Draining out water and proceeding with foreground planting
3:24 – Filling up water and proceed with remaining background planting
4:19 – Draining out water and refilling with cycled water to add livestock
4:35 – Enjoying the completed planted aquajar with guppies and shrimps

Material buying links:

ADA Bacter ball –
ADA aquasoil –
Driftwood –
Pumice –

The urban nemophilist lives in the city but his heart and soul lives in the forest and wherever there is green.

The celebration of colours, the ambient sounds, the mystic scent and the fascinating wildlife that make up the forestlands and waterbodies of our earth is the elixir of his life.

The urban nemophilist attempts to capture all of this through his green art and sustainable gardening activities while his sketching and music sets up the mood for what is nature-appreciation at its best.

His goal is to create awareness on conservation of nature and wildlife through is art and sustainable initiatives.

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