Aquarium inspiration Invertebrates

Aquarium inspiration – Beverage Dispenser Tank

Last Updated May 4, 2016

Is it an aquarium? Is it a beverage dispenser? No, it’s a beverage dispenser tank!

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Made from a beverage dispenser by DeviantArt user ~allhailz, this 3 gallon freshwater tank is a real eyecatcher. It contains nothing but a bottom and plants, which act as a natural filter, and will soon be called home by a variety of shrimp species and a small group of snails.

Unfortunately not a tank that’s suitable for any fish (just invertebrates) as aquariums this size don’t cycle properly even with a filter, but still very decorative. I think its unusual appearance and its round shape would make it a great centerpiece for a table.

If you’re interested in setting up your own beverage dispenser aquarium, have a look at the article about planted aquarium bowls. It contains all the info you need about materials, setting up and maintenance!

If you have any questions or tips about the beverage dispenser tank or making your own, leave a comment below. Happy fishkeeping!

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  • Reply Lanayru December 21, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Hmm, why seal the water dispenser if it can make water changes much easier? 😛

    • Reply Mari December 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      I think a working dispenser would be a bit risky if little kids can reach it! I know I would have HAD to try if it worked when I was a kid, which would probably have resulted in a disaster :p

  • Reply Matilda November 11, 2013 at 3:24 am

    Actually it is very possible to cycle small tanks. I have this same dispenser in my kitchen with river rock, live plants & a single Betta. It is heated & I do 3x weekly water changes using the spigot which works very well. The floating plants take care of the ammonia & the planted ones give him a place to relax as well as consuming waste products. I also have small tanks with small filters, all of which are cycled.

    • Reply Mari November 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      In small tanks like this dispenser a tiny fluctuation can quickly become very deadly, which is why I don’t recommend keeping live fish in there (only shrimp or small snails, as they don’t have a big bioload). They don’t cycle properly as the cycle can easily be disturbed by something small like a single piece of rotting food. If you want to keep a betta in an environment like this then that’s obviously up to you, but I really wouldn’t advise it to other fishkeepers. Bettas prefer more room and the risk of ammonia/nitrite spikes is just a bit too high.

      • Reply Matilda December 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        We must agree to disagree then. I have had great success with smaller tanks.

        • Reply Mari December 29, 2013 at 11:28 am

          I can imagine that success with small tanks is possible, I just don’t recommend it because the risks are much greater than with bigger tanks and I don’t think keeping bettas in anything less than 5 gallons is humane. Fishkeeping is very much a matter of opinion and experience!

  • Reply Lydia January 4, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I’m scared that a bunch of ignorant people will see this little tank and think 1 or 2 or maybe 5 or 6 goldfish would go great in it. D:

    • Reply Mari January 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Don’t worry, it’s not for sale 🙂
      Unfortunately they’ll probably find some other vase or bowl to put the goldfish in though :/ maybe the articles on this site will educate people a bit when it comes to goldfish, I have a specific article on goldfish needs planned 😉

    • Reply AllHailZ January 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Don’t worry! The light was custom made by my friend who owns a LED company. This tank is a one-off.

      Not many people outside the aquarium hobby knows about the Walstad method, which is no filter, only mineralized dirt with a sand cap and plants. I’ve ordered two different shrimp for this tank. They should arrive within a week.

      If I do make more, I’d sell them to experienced aquarists who I know can be responsible.

  • Reply Godfried January 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Very nice indeed!

    Wouldn’t it work for fish if extra air is pumped into the dispenser, apart from filtrring with a big capacity filter?

    • Reply Mari January 3, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      I don’t think so, because it’s not so much about filter capacity here but about being able to keep water values stable. A single piece of uneaten food can cause a huge ammonia spike in a tank this small, and because the tank is unable to properly cycle (again, because of the size) that could cause a lot of trouble.
      Aside from that, there aren’t really any fish that can be kept in a tank this small. I often see people recommending guppies and small schooling fish, but those just can’t properly live in 3 gallons.

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