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Mr Aqua 12 Gallon Long Shrimp Tank Build


jahmarley420
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Before starting off this thread, I want to give a huge shout out to the support team at shrimpspot for fixing my username!

 

Well first things first, My name is Justin, and I am very new to the shrimp world. I have a 5.5 gallon tank right now, that is in need of a upgrade. So, after countless hour of research on which tank to buy, I have decided on the 12 gallon long by Mr Aqua. I decided to hop on craigslist (shot in the dark) but I actually found a guy in North Jersey (about 2 hours and 45 minutes away) that has one. So January 31, 2016 I set off to New Jersey to pick up the tank. When I arrived in NJ the first sight of the tank, you would not believe how big of a smile I had on my face. The guy was really nice the only thing that needed to be done is a little clean up! Later that night after getting back, I decided to start the whole cleaning of the tank process. So, I filled it up with hot water, and decided to eat dinner and watch my Hockey team while letting the tank soak (you probably already know where this is going.) After about 1.5 hours I heard a really loud bang, yes, a large crack right down the front of the aquarium.Here is a picture of the tragedy. 

20160201_072805_zpskbs6qxrc.jpg

 

Because I could never find a new one, I decided to try and repair this one. I started searching for glass and I could not believe it but I found a company that still sells the Mr Aqua 12 gallon long low iron for only 115... (There goes the 60 I threw on the old one). Well I ordered the new one and the tank looks amazing! I really want to go with the Iwagumi style, but after much thought I have decided to go with a driftwood setup, using Manzanita wood (Ohko Stone/Dragon stone is very expensive). Anyways I found a company Bloom & Branches who had just what I needed at a really decent price (pre sandblasted). When the wood arrived I couldn't have asked for a better set. 

Here is the one I will be using in my tank (I bought these prior to seeing how big the actual tank is so I will have to cut them a little. 

20160130_182733_zpsmqmhzvcl.jpg

 

Here is the wood sitting in the tank:

20160208_200121_zpsbnli0u1p.jpg

 

I really like the look of it hanging out but I think if I cut the top section off it would be the perfect height and look amazing sitting in the tank. Anyways, I was looking up good substrate and decided to go with Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum, I only bought a 17.6 pound bag so I think I will need another bag to get the 2.5 inch to 3 Inch I am looking for. Now, after more research I also chose to use BorneoWild (BW) products and purchased the following. 

20160208_183422_zpsfzx7cb79.jpg

 

I did not buy the Bebi and shrimp food from there (that card on the bottom), but no one I couldnt find had the Bebi. Also, I guess I accidentally added two of the Enlives, but Im not worried about it. Im sure I can use it eventually.  I also, picked up a Aqueon Pro 100 submersible heater that I will be using in the tank as well. 

 

So right now this is where I am stuck. I have a couple air stones that I will be running in this tank, as well as using dual sponge filters. 

 

Anyways, here is my 5.5 gallon tank that I mentioned earlier. I have Cherry Shrimp and Bloody Mary Shrimp, as well as a Super red cherry in there (he was my original). I keep losing shrimp though which is why I am setting up a new tank. Here is my old/current setup lol.

Before: 

20151122_105918_zps1oapp1wa.jpg

 

After: Current Setup. 

20160105_084519_zpsewiwgijo.jpg

 

As you can see I have horned nerite snails as well. (They lay white eggs all over the place, which I hate). 

 

Now the pictures of the shrimp. Here is my original shrimp that I have had for 6 months. When I bought them (local fish store, had to order) he told me he was a super red cherry. Bought 5, only one left...

20151203_174041_zps9sxnmcvw.jpg

 

My next order: about 20 shrimp

This was my pregnant girl... For some reason I have a death every other day it seems. She was one of them. She was shipped pregnant to me. 

20160105_084803_zpsdspnt8dg.jpg

 

Bloody Mary Shrimp: 12. I just ordered these but they are still fairly small, and dont have good pictures yet.

 

Plants in the tank:

Dwarf Baby Tears (carpet)

Anubias Nana (floating as I have no idea what to do with, thought you could plant them)

Java moss (got with shrimp grows like crazy!) Going to attach this to my drift wood with fishing line when setting up. 

 

I dont have a RODI system (cant afford) so I will be using distilled water. 

 

I have a CO2 setup for it but still haven't used it since filled because I thought that was killing the shrimp which doesnt seem to be it. 

 

Any info/help would be great!

 

 

 

 

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Looks like you have an excellent start. It takes a bit to get things dialed in, but if you can make it that long, it's well worth it.

When you mention you can't afford an RO/DI unit,  have you checked out places like PureWaterClub.com? You can get units for as little as $50 that work great. Just a thought =) 

 

Looking forward to the future progression, that branch is outstanding! 

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Welcome Justin! We are glad to have you. Sorry to see the big crack on the aquarium you picked up from NJ, coincidence someone was trying to sell it. Regardless the new setup looks great, good starting products, please be sure to ask as many questions as possible through your journey. 

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Welcome Justin! I'm sure you will be awed by the knowledge in this group. :)

I noticed you have cherries and bloody marys together. They can live together of course, but I believe they have 2 different genes creating red so might throw some wild types. Of course, I've also heard of other red shrimp being called bloody marys so they may be fine.

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Thanks everyone for the encouraging words!

 

Welcome, and nice find on that tank. Where did you get the low iron 12 gallon long? Good luck and please keep this updated

This is the website that I got my tank from. They are very good to deal with and the aquarium was packaged very well! http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/12-gallon-bookshelf-rimless-aquarium-mr-aqua.html(I will definitely order from them again)

 

I let the tank cycle for a month before adding the shrimp to it. I have a lot of white microscopic bugs in there copepods and something else it looks like. They dont seem to harm anything and I heard they are pretty good in the aquarium. 

 

I never used any of the products that you see in the picture. The only thing I have used in the tank was Ecocomplete. I have used API Stress Zyme+ API Stress Coat + maybe twice in the 4 months this thing has been setup. I will be switching to Seachem Prime for the new tank to get everything cycled. Anything else you think I could use.

 

I will be looking into those RO-DI systems but still not sure on how they are used. Do they go under my sink? 

 

Unfortunately today I think my last original girl has died from the unknowing (worst kind of death). Can you guys see anything wrong with her in these two pictures that I took. Should I add some minerals to the water?

 

20160210_083117_zpsst38o3xl.jpg

 

After placing her on the grass to see if she gets better.... :/ sometimes you just have to have a little hope that she will survive.

20160210_083312_zps3akgzopk.jpg

 

She is still laying in the aquarium while I am at work to just make sure she isnt sleeping or if there is any life in her left. I know, but you have to have some sort of faith. She will be buried if not...

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That looks like she could've died from a failed molt. Pure water club sells an affordable and portable RO system on Amazon. You hook it up to your sinks faucet and just store it when done. Do you know your water's ph/gh/kh?

I have the API Test kit and I will do it again tonight. I actually just did one 2 weeks ago, and have the results from that at the house that I can post as well. 

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Before starting off this thread, I want to give a huge shout out to the support team at shrimpspot for fixing my username!

 

Well first things first, My name is Justin, and I am very new to the shrimp world. I have a 5.5 gallon tank right now, that is in need of a upgrade. So, after countless hour of research on which tank to buy, I have decided on the 12 gallon long by Mr Aqua. I decided to hop on craigslist (shot in the dark) but I actually found a guy in North Jersey (about 2 hours and 45 minutes away) that has one. So January 31, 2016 I set off to New Jersey to pick up the tank. When I arrived in NJ the first sight of the tank, you would not believe how big of a smile I had on my face. The guy was really nice the only thing that needed to be done is a little clean up! Later that night after getting back, I decided to start the whole cleaning of the tank process. So, I filled it up with hot water, and decided to eat dinner and watch my Hockey team while letting the tank soak (you probably already know where this is going.) After about 1.5 hours I heard a really loud bang, yes, a large crack right down the front of the aquarium.Here is a picture of the tragedy. 

20160201_072805_zpskbs6qxrc.jpg

 

Because I could never find a new one, I decided to try and repair this one. I started searching for glass and I could not believe it but I found a company that still sells the Mr Aqua 12 gallon long low iron for only 115... (There goes the 60 I threw on the old one). Well I ordered the new one and the tank looks amazing! I really want to go with the Iwagumi style, but after much thought I have decided to go with a driftwood setup, using Manzanita wood (Ohko Stone/Dragon stone is very expensive). Anyways I found a company Bloom & Branches who had just what I needed at a really decent price (pre sandblasted). When the wood arrived I couldn't have asked for a better set. 

Here is the one I will be using in my tank (I bought these prior to seeing how big the actual tank is so I will have to cut them a little. 

20160130_182733_zpsmqmhzvcl.jpg

 

Here is the wood sitting in the tank:

20160208_200121_zpsbnli0u1p.jpg

 

I really like the look of it hanging out but I think if I cut the top section off it would be the perfect height and look amazing sitting in the tank. Anyways, I was looking up good substrate and decided to go with Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum, I only bought a 17.6 pound bag so I think I will need another bag to get the 2.5 inch to 3 Inch I am looking for. Now, after more research I also chose to use BorneoWild (BW) products and purchased the following. 

20160208_183422_zpsfzx7cb79.jpg

 

I did not buy the Bebi and shrimp food from there (that card on the bottom), but no one I couldnt find had the Bebi. Also, I guess I accidentally added two of the Enlives, but Im not worried about it. Im sure I can use it eventually.  I also, picked up a Aqueon Pro 100 submersible heater that I will be using in the tank as well. 

 

So right now this is where I am stuck. I have a couple air stones that I will be running in this tank, as well as using dual sponge filters. 

 

Anyways, here is my 5.5 gallon tank that I mentioned earlier. I have Cherry Shrimp and Bloody Mary Shrimp, as well as a Super red cherry in there (he was my original). I keep losing shrimp though which is why I am setting up a new tank. Here is my old/current setup lol.

Before: 

20151122_105918_zps1oapp1wa.jpg

 

After: Current Setup. 

20160105_084519_zpsewiwgijo.jpg

 

As you can see I have horned nerite snails as well. (They lay white eggs all over the place, which I hate). 

 

Now the pictures of the shrimp. Here is my original shrimp that I have had for 6 months. When I bought them (local fish store, had to order) he told me he was a super red cherry. Bought 5, only one left...

20151203_174041_zps9sxnmcvw.jpg

 

My next order: about 20 shrimp

This was my pregnant girl... For some reason I have a death every other day it seems. She was one of them. She was shipped pregnant to me. 

20160105_084803_zpsdspnt8dg.jpg

 

Bloody Mary Shrimp: 12. I just ordered these but they are still fairly small, and dont have good pictures yet.

 

Plants in the tank:

Dwarf Baby Tears (carpet)

Anubias Nana (floating as I have no idea what to do with, thought you could plant them)

Java moss (got with shrimp grows like crazy!) Going to attach this to my drift wood with fishing line when setting up. 

 

I dont have a RODI system (cant afford) so I will be using distilled water. 

 

I have a CO2 setup for it but still haven't used it since filled because I thought that was killing the shrimp which doesnt seem to be it. 

 

Any info/help would be great!

Nice set up . I have not had luck with DIY CO2 and shrimp thus stopped using it couple years ago.

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Welcome to TSS! 12g has been a dream tank for me a long while now, I dont know what it is about this tank that attracts me, but I love it. It looks like you have a nice start to your tank with that manzanita. 

 

What are the parameters for your shrimp tank? Maybe that can give us a clue on what is going on with your shrimps.

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Hi Justin,

When you filled the first 12g tank did you have a mat under it. With rimless tanks it is very important otherwise they crack if the surface is not perfectly flat. Make sure you use one on the new tank.

I use Aqueon Pro heaters and really like them my only complaint is they are big. The 50 watt heater is a good bit smaller and should handle your 12g unless your home gets super cold. Otherwise you will need to mount the 100W horizontal in the tank.

It looks like your off to a good start on your new tank, sorry about your losses in the old 5.5 gallon tank. It can be very frustrating thinking you are doing everything you can to create the best home for your shrimp and have deaths. I am a strong believer in remineralized RO water. I just do not trust tap water. Also you need to slowly drip acclimate new shrimp as the parameters they have been living in can be very different from yours. I always ask the seller before I buy shrimp. Shrimp can adapt fairly well but quick changes are to be avoided.

Regarding Anubias it can be tied or super glued to wood or rock, it is OK for the roots to be in the substrate just do not bury the rhizome or it will rot.

Welcome to TSS!

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Ok so here are my results from the API Freswater Master Test Kit. I am posting pictures of them so you can see for yourself so I am not missing anything.

No Flash:

20160211_074815_zpsssr1nxyj.jpg

With Flash:

20160211_074822_zpstd9kfh8u.jpg

 

That is pretty much stable and what the test has always red. Ive noticed the No3 looks like its getting a little darker toward the orange but still yellow. The only thing I can think of is the PH is still pretty high. Can I just add peat moss, like I do my 29 gallon to lower the PH levels. Just not going to look good in the tank, but I would rather the tank to look bad and function, then good and shrimp die. Here is a video of the tank as well. http://s226.photobucket.com/user/slowmofo357/media/12%20Gallon%20Aquarium/20160105_084448_zpsnfrvphn3.mp4.html

 

@Pescador: Thanks for the advice, I did not know I needed any sort of mat for the tank... I am glad that you have said something and my next order will be a mat. Do you have any suggestions? The only one that I have saw is this one which looks to be the one for the model tank I have. http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Aqua-Aquarium-Placement-Bookshelf/dp/B00BNRWJ4O

 

@Loui: I have been running CO2 in my 29 gallon aquarium for about 8 months now with no big issues. I am also not using the DIY method like you said. I ended up buying the Fluval co2 kit that comes with the regulator and bought the adapter for a paintball tank. I got a 20oz paintball tank, 29 gallon (Aquatek mini co2 electric regulator) and 5.5 (Fluval Regulator). I have an adapter that converts the CO2 tank to fit my regulator. I have not been dosing co2 in my shrimp tank because I thought that was the cause of the recent deaths, but that doesnt seem to be the case. 

 

 

Here is my 29 gallon that I am waiting for the carpet to start. I ended up having to upgrade my lighting for the Dwarf baby tears to start as they were dying. ( I am running a Finnex Planted Plus 24/7, and a Finnex Ray 2 which is super bright.) The fish in the tank are Galaxy Rasboras (5), Harlequin Rasbora (5), Neon Tetras (25), Albino Cory Cat (2), Julii Cory Cat (2), Otocinclus Catfish (2), Ghost Shrimp (1) lol lost the others, Nerite Snails (4).

20160130_183952_zpsfwijwhrn.jpg

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Can you post a good RODI unit that I can hook straight to a faucet? I was looking at the BRS ones, and it looks they just come with an adapter. Also, Does anyone know where I can get a top for this aquarium? I have been looking because I am trying to keep the water in there as long as possible. 

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Take a look at purewaterclub.com

 

For example:  http://www.purewaterclub.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=95&products_id=270

 

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, there are multiple (5) options to connect water IN to the RO unit.

 

Can't help on the 12G long rimless lid............I'm curious to what you find as a lid is the last thing holding me back from that beautiful tank.

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As for a top, you could try clear corrugated plastic sheeting

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Plaskolite-30-in-x-36-in-Corrugated-Plastic-Sheet-1TW3036A/202084502

 

or a clear polycarb roof panel?

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Suntuf-26-in-x-6-ft-Polycarbonate-Roof-Panel-in-Clear-155030/206166246

 

I know some hardware stores also have small glass panes, so you may be able to get by using multiples for covering your top.

 

Some people have had luck with plexy sheets for covering their top as well.

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Can you post a good RODI unit that I can hook straight to a faucet? I was looking at the BRS ones, and it looks they just come with an adapter. Also, Does anyone know where I can get a top for this aquarium? I have been looking because I am trying to keep the water in there as long as possible. 

 

 

I do not like glass nor acrylic because when you clean it its prone to scratches or worse .

 

I use thin polycarbonate which I have found scratch proof and as clear as any acrylic plus strong as far as putting lights on .

 

http://freckleface.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/polycarbonatesheet.html

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Ok so here are my results from the API Freswater Master Test Kit. I am posting pictures of them so you can see for yourself so I am not missing anything.

No Flash:

20160211_074815_zpsssr1nxyj.jpg

With Flash:

20160211_074822_zpstd9kfh8u.jpg

 

That is pretty much stable and what the test has always red. Ive noticed the No3 looks like its getting a little darker toward the orange but still yellow. The only thing I can think of is the PH is still pretty high. Can I just add peat moss, like I do my 29 gallon to lower the PH levels. Just not going to look good in the tank, but I would rather the tank to look bad and function, then good and shrimp die. Here is a video of the tank as well. http://s226.photobucket.com/user/slowmofo357/media/12%20Gallon%20Aquarium/20160105_084448_zpsnfrvphn3.mp4.html

 

@Pescador: Thanks for the advice, I did not know I needed any sort of mat for the tank... I am glad that you have said something and my next order will be a mat. Do you have any suggestions? The only one that I have saw is this one which looks to be the one for the model tank I have. http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Aqua-Aquarium-Placement-Bookshelf/dp/B00BNRWJ4O

 

@Loui: I have been running CO2 in my 29 gallon aquarium for about 8 months now with no big issues. I am also not using the DIY method like you said. I ended up buying the Fluval co2 kit that comes with the regulator and bought the adapter for a paintball tank. I got a 20oz paintball tank, 29 gallon (Aquatek mini co2 electric regulator) and 5.5 (Fluval Regulator). I have an adapter that converts the CO2 tank to fit my regulator. I have not been dosing co2 in my shrimp tank because I thought that was the cause of the recent deaths, but that doesnt seem to be the case. 

 

 

Here is my 29 gallon that I am waiting for the carpet to start. I ended up having to upgrade my lighting for the Dwarf baby tears to start as they were dying. ( I am running a Finnex Planted Plus 24/7, and a Finnex Ray 2 which is super bright.) The fish in the tank are Galaxy Rasboras (5), Harlequin Rasbora (5), Neon Tetras (25), Albino Cory Cat (2), Julii Cory Cat (2), Otocinclus Catfish (2), Ghost Shrimp (1) lol lost the others, Nerite Snails (4).

20160130_183952_zpsfwijwhrn.jpg

I love neons which I have never actually kept but they look amazing in planted tanks .

 

What temp are you keeping them at ?

 

I ask because have read lots diff temps for them.

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Awesome I am going to look more into this RODI kit. That may be a while before I can get one of those but we will see. I also sent my Aqueon Pro 100w heater back in exchange for the 50w! Do you think there will be enough circulation in the tank for heat exchange? We tend to keep our house around 74 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

Also, thanks for the heads up on the tank lid. I am gonna check out that polycarbonate sheet and figure out what I can come up with. Is it hard to cut?

 

Do those test results look ok? Is 7.6 to high for PH?

 

As for the Neons, I do not breed them. I have found that they do best in 76.5 -77.5, but they dont seem to be hard to keep alive.  They are just for me to watch as finish bring a sense of tranquility to the room. One of my Harlequin Rasboras is pregnant though, well so I think. She could just be fat but she has been that way for like 2 months now lol. Also, I would definitely love to breed the Galaxy Rasboras, they are amazing looking! I was thinking about adding some to my 12g but looking at green tetras now. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

More stuff came in this past week! (2) Fluval Stratum, Aqueon Pro 50 Heater, Mr Aqua 12 Gallon Long mat, (4) Uxcell Aquarium Fish Tank Glass Cover Clip Support Holder. Only thing I am waiting for is the RODI system. :D

63f64b77-b044-43ab-b8ee-4645910e2740_zps

 

Cut the Manzanita Branch to fit the tank. What do you think?

d68a1025-bf58-4c31-8248-7832bc4db3d4_zps

 

Also, finally got my Manzanita branch into my 29 gallon tank. "Rock left side is there only to hold brand down until it can stay on the bottom by itself. 

20160214_192711_zpsrcog1sps.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I finally got myself a RO system! Couldn't afford the RODI system but I think this will do for sure. Aquatic Life RO Buddie. Sitting on top of the box is my new HM Digital TDS EZ Tester!

20160305_135316_zpsw75y8obe.jpg

 

I tested the water in my home and I have around 45ppm. The weird thing is when I tested the water in my shrimp tank its at 488ppm? This may be why my shrimp are dying? Anyways, starting the build tonight. Stay tuned!

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