The inspiration for this project was to be able to bring a piece of my aquatic hobby to my place of work, so "small" was key.

Not willing to settle for a "Betta in a bowl" solution, I began work on this 2.5 gallon with the intent to accommodate not only a custom background, but all things standard to a functional aquarium. Those being regulated temperature, good lighting and filtration.
DIY Aquarium Background
Betta Paradise
Once the paint is dry, we're ready to begin the 30 day tap water rinse stage to remove excess calcium and magnesium from the cement.

This step certainly takes some patience, but the reward is a healthy and unique aquarium that should last for many years.
Flash back to the concept stage for a moment, this 3 oz, spice bottle was the originally intended filter for our mini aquascape.

While in practice, it worked, but it didn't move enough water to provide efficient filtration.

A better design was developed using the same size bottle and a micro-sized powerhead. Click here to go to the "3 oz. spice bottle power filter" project page.

The black substrate is a 3M product called Colorquartz. It's actually quartz sand with a colored ceramic coating.

3M unfortunately has discontinued manufacture of this product due to "business conditions in the markets utilizing Colorquartz™. "

There are however, several other options for black sand on the aquarium market.
The power outlet gives away the actual size of this mini aquatic landscape.

Hidden air stones in the left and right compartments behind the background promote a constant cycle of water drawn thru the rock openings.

During this tap water rinse stage, the water will be replaced about every three or four days for a total of one month.
Fast forward to one month later and our small aquarium made its way to the office and has been populated with a red Veil Tail betta and Crypt aquarium plant.

We've not found a quality lighting solution yet, but the Betta doesn't seem to mind the flourescent desk lamp.
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welcome to
do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional
Dramatic AquaScapes