The Mossy Spider - my third tank and first journal!


13 Jul 2020
This journal is for my new tank, a 30cm-cube which sits on my desk. I got it to keep shrimp, as they don't like my main tank's rainwater, so I'm giving them some good, old-fashioned London tap.

I started my first tank in June, and have been completely taken over by it, MTS was inevitable! Along with this tank (my personal second), I've also "helped" set up a tank with my dad in his office, a 45L cube with a jungle-y style (I'm somehow already doing all the water changes :Z ). My first tank was 'sortof' aquascaped (will share some pictures in a later post), it's got some lovely plants but the hardscape isn't very dramatic or structured (it's a flat-ish bottom with some river-like stones I pinched from my garden), and I want to try something more sculpted this time. I also feel that my first tank is almost 'done' and right, so I wanted to give myself a new challenge :)

I got some nice rocks that are black with white marbling from a garden center as the base, so the bottom isn't too boring. Apologies that I didn't wet them before the photo, the next post will show them in their full glory! They are darker than the sand when wet.


Since I couldn't use bogwood, I got 2 pieces of spiderwood and glued them together with resin putty. I also just bought some spiderwood twigs to add some complexity (you can see the different coloured twigs below, the additions), which works really well, it a bit like a Louise Bourgeois Spider sculpture. As the wood has a raised bit near the top, I'd like to try some emersed plants coming out of that, but not really sure how, and if they'd need soil or not amongst moss. Was planning on winging it and just sticking some hydrocotolye and things like that on there and seeing how it goes.


This is my view from my chair, so it has to look nice from this angle particularly. From this angle I get a (quite) good view of the top bit of the wood that I think should have some emergent plants amongst some emergent mosses. I also have that weird stick coming out, not sure if I'll try to grow something up it but it seemed wrong to saw it off.


I would've made this tank jungle-style, but my dad's tank uses all of those kinds of plants (LOTS of buce, mini java fern, echinodorus, etc) and bog wood, so I want to try something with a different vibe. I also want to try a carpet, though I'm not using CO2, and the water is hard which I think will make it more difficult. Also under some of the wood it's rather dark, so I need to make sure that whatever goes there doesn't mind that.

I think that shrimp look very cute on both tiny leaves, and giant leaves, so it's going to be mostly mosses and liverworts, ideally with a carpet of moss, and moss covering spiderwood branches, with a bit of pgymy sword and marsilea and mini crypts for detail. I think I'd like a nice "bigger" crypt in the background for lushness (any suggestions??), and an anubias coffefolia for a dramatic large leafed plant. Might have a few tiny buces on the branches too, but the focus is really the moss with highlights. I want thinking since the tank will be mostly green, then there should be a few brown/red/purple highlight plants in there.

I've got all of my mosses and liverworts - riccardia chamedryfolia, fissidens fontanus, christmas moss & a bit of pelia from my dad's tank that's thriving. I was thinking of doing a dry start tomorrow, whizzing the mosses/liverworts up individually and painting them in all the wood so it's nicely evening covered. My thought was that tying all this moss to the many branches with be extremely annoying, though would love your thoughts.

Still not sure what colour cherry shrimps to get, currently considering red rillis, orange or yellow. Or all of them and just accept the wild types. Would also LOVE a rabbit snail, but I'm not sure if they'd eat everything/escape/be too big.
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