I've recently re-caught the CP bug now that I'm done with school and actually have time.. so one of my new experiments is to make an utric aquarium. I'm starting off with something small, just a 5.5 gallon aquarium which I've filled with distilled water and some peat moss (which I really hope decides to sink some time in the next few days). The first addition to this aquarium will be U. gibba mostly because it's easy to grow. So if I manage to kill that, I know that I have a problem. But I'm really looking at making like a working ecosystem with some non-cps and maybe even some fish if I can get it going stable. I'm intending to keep it outside for the summer as long as it doesn't prove to be too difficult keeping the water level high enough. So it's basically just going to be an open aquarium sitting outside. I wasn't intending on putting a filter or anything like that on it either if I can get away with it. I'd like to try to create a self-preserving ecosystem of sorts to keep algae levels low, the water aerated, and the CO2 levels high enough to grow some utrics and -maybe- I could try aldrovanda again sometime if I feel confident in it enough. I'm not sure if it's really possible to simulate an ecosystem well like that, but I am going to try. My main concern is algae. I've tried having similar aquatic setups not entirely unlike this in the past and it ended up not working out too well because the algae just took over ridiculously fast. At the time I was only trying to grow aldrovanda in it as well so I was more or less doomed from the beginning. That's part of the reason that I'm starting with something a little simpler.
So I'm looking for some tips on what kind of plants/critters I can add to help create my little ecosystem (duckweed, hornwort?) and keep the algae at bay (snails?). I'm also really interested in seeing what kind of setups some of you guys have so I can get some ideas of what works and what might not work.
Any tips or pictures of your setup that you can share would be greatly appreciated!