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Help me build my first shrimp tank journal.


00camaro16
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I have wanted to start up my 20 gallon since my planted tank is in the "leave it let it grow" stage. I have not started it since I didn't want to spend the money with a sudden loss in income. Talking to the wife, she encouraged me to go for it but had some requirements.

 

Her Requirements

1. Had to look nice (planted, not bare bottom, filters as hidden as possible)

2. Had to be quite

3. Low time requirements for care as I travel for work kind of often and she will be taking care of it when I am gone.

4. Must stick to a strict low budget

5. She wanted to help choose plants

6. She wanted 1 fish (I told her it had to be baby shrimp safe luckily she likes cories and Otto's)

 

I figured this would be a great opportunity to start a journal since I enjoy DIYing parts and will write up some "How-to"s for this site, and use this opportunity to get suggestions throughout the process from people with much more knowledge then me.

 

Back Story

I recently got back into fish tanks after taking a break through out college when I didn't have the time or money. Since I wanted a tank for the corner of my desk, and it seemed like no companies built a nice corner tank that wasn't crazy expensive, I bought an old window from a thrift store and then cut/built my own 6 gallon triangle corner tank with a built in hidden filter. Currently it is a medium light, CO2 tank that's starting to grow a dhg carpet. I won't add a picture yet because the carpet is still spotty, I have algae all over (though its going away), and the plants/Moss aren't even close to filling in yet.

 

When I built this tank I was only planning for plants and fish, so I built and planned it that way, which included pressurize CO2, and no air pump. At some point I had an algae bloom and was told shrimp would help. I added a 3 cherries, 3 amanos, and an Otto. I quickly figured out that I found shrimp much more interesting then fish, and wanted to build my next tank to breed cherries. Then hopefully tigers if I am successful.

 

Sadly my parameters (gh/kh) were far from right in my 6 gallon for shrimp and all but 1 cherry, 1 amano, and the Otto died (most in molting). I even managed to kill the nerite snails. I am currently getting helped by a very helpful guy on the planted tank to get my parameters right, but figured take this time to set up my tank built solely for shrimp.

 

So remember a strict low budget is the rule, and the goal is meant for breeding (including tunnels and hidden caves), but here is a list of things I am currently unsure about and wanted your help with suggestions.

 

Substrate

I am currently thinking Blasting sand, with the possibility of root tabs if I decide to do some stemmed plants.

 

Blasting Sand $8

 

Lighting

My 6 gallon has a Finnex Planted + which I really like, but that would be too much light here and I would end up just having an algea farm. As the most expensive piece, this is going to be hard to get within budget, but I would like to stay with LEDs. Must be low light. Currently I am thinking...

 

- Finnex Fugeray 24" $70

 

Again, Any suggestions would be amazing. This is an opportunity for a DIY, but when I priced out lights I could get below the Finnex and still had a decent amount of lights.

 

Filter

2 20 gallon EBay sponge filters <$10

 

Air pump

Tetra Whisper <$20

 

After Looking all around at a tons of reviews, these had the most consistent "quite" reviews. Every single pump has a mix of "It's so quite I have to touch it to know that its on" and "Its the loudest pump I have ever bought". I came to the conclusion that It is all just the specific pump you personally buy.

 

Plants

Moss - Weeping, Flame

Carpet - Fissidens, Marsilea Minuta, or hydrocotyle japan

Stem - Maybe none, suggestions?

Mid-Ground - Suggestions?

 

Shrimp

Cherries - Best looking that I can afford

 

Rocks

Collected and boiled

 

Current Projected cost = $108 without plants or shrimp

 

OK suggest away, I will post pictures of through out the process, including hardscape options, and fill in.

 

Thank you,

Chris

 

Shameless P.S. - Though i pains me to post this...Since this is is under a very strict budget, I will be trolling RAOKs and any donations would be humbly and greatly appreciated, and will be passed on and paid back when possible and tanks are set up and growing.

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Saved for current pictures

 

This Is more or less the tank she liked out of all the pictures of scapes that I thought I could try to reproduce and liked. While I wont get nearly that amazing looking, this is the style I am thinking of.

 

NextTankGoal-1.jpg

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 Welcome! Glad to see you came over! Shrimp tanks are very easy to startup and maintain. What I love about them is that you can get away with just having sponge filters and don't have to drop the money on a costly pump. Cherries are a great way to start looking into shrimp, I would suggest making sure your tank is fully cycled before adding livestock. Willl help to be able to keep your parameters stable for the shrimp. They will mostly feed off biofilm and that takes a month or so to get fully established. I don't generally use eco-complete in my shrimp tanks, I just use an inert substrate and just supplement with root tabs if I need to. I generally don't plant anything that would require alot of extra dosing. I currently have all the plants you listed in my tanks and just have a sand substrate. They all grow fine for me under a finnex light. Thats just what works for me, you may have something different in mind. I would stay low tech because high tech shrimp tanks can be challenging.

 

I am currently looking into the LED Strip lights for my tanks, just ordered a roll of lights. I am going to try to fabricate something in the $20 range that will give me low light. I'll be doing a thread showing that build also.

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your talking to the king of finding ways to do tanks on a budget

 

I think the finnex light will be the only expensive thing you are looking at. As for plants, watch around. People clearing stuff out all the time at reduced costs.

 

For fish... look into a "micro" fish like chili rasboras or Celetrial pearl danios - can do a small school and my chilis have never bothered the shrimp

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your talking to the king of finding ways to do tanks on a budget

I think the finnex light will be the only expensive thing you are looking at. As for plants, watch around. People clearing stuff out all the time at reduced costs.

For fish... look into a "micro" fish like chili rasboras or Celetrial pearl danios - can do a small school and my chilis have never bothered the shrimp

I like cpd, and planned them for the 6 gallon, but I heard that they can have a taste for shrimp fry.

Ctaylor,

I have 1 water proof led strip on my 6 gallon to add more light if needed, its a lot of light but I haven't yet tried growing plants from it yet.

Would I need root tabs for the mention plants? Or can I get away from those.

Only problem with using roaks for plants is sometimes you end up paying the same just from shipping from a couple people then 1 order from 1 person paying shipping once. Bit still keeping my eye out fissidens and weeping are rare even in the sale section.

Is blasting sand not good to use with shrimp?

Can those mosses be dry started?

Thank you,

Chris

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"Is blasting sand not good to use with shrimp?"

I use Black Blast from Menards for all my neo tanks. $8 per 50lb bag.

Awesome that's good to hear, since the plants are mostly moss and don't root I shouldn't need root tab correct? But then again I might add stems latter.

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Moss doesn't need ferts. ;)

 

Cool, looks like blasting sand it is, that a decent drop in price too.

 

Ok here is a question, I am guessing 1 bag of sand would be enough. How much fissedens should I budget in to get a carpet once grown in. Its a slow grower, so I am guessing quite a bit.

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You can try Han (H4N) here for the mosses.  He has a bunch of varieties that he sells.

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20g long tank... I'd cover wherever you want the carpet with fiss on SS mesh, should hold it in place well and build a nice carpet

Yea I have to find a placed that sells it in sheets. No too expensive. Just going to require a lot of fissidens.

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Picked up a whisper 40 air pump today, store matched big al's price $9.33....

$10 saved so far.

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So currently the tank is rimmed. I have seen people un-rim them and assume I can do the same since it is just a plastic border with no center bracing.

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post-152-13991348048_thumb.jpg

Its a bit dusty from being in storage for years but it will clean up OK, hopefully it will be rimless.

Also excuse my messy basement.

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Is that a tenner?

The size?

Its a 20 gallon long I believe but ill have to do the measurements just in case I'm remembering wrong.

Its 24 x 12x 12

Edit: I was remembering wrong, its a 15 gallon...

Soooo I'm building a 15 gallon, do you guys want to help? Lol.

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So her is a picture of my 6 gallon that I am currently fighting a bad hair algae, green spot, and bba out break... including a hardness problem I should be fixing today (the GH up is sitting in the distilled water right now with an air stone)

Don't judge me quite yet, I know I can do better lol.

post-152-139914321034_thumb.jpg

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I will take a picture later today of the same tank. I decided to start my shock and awe war on bba today... my carpet is much thinner but a lot less algae.

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