**Before reading my post, I just want to say that I am a total noob
when it comes to plants and such so if you use any short hand or acronyms in your response, I probably won't understand unless you declare the shorthand first (sorry!!)**
I have an empty 5 gallon marina kit that I want to do something with: http://www.amazon.com/Marina-Style-G...dp/B0035HBFWM/
I was thinking of trying out a planted tank with some Cherry Shrimp. I have kept bettas in them before but am too heartbroken over a death to get another anytime soon. As for plants I kept Water Wisteria and Red Ludwigia before, but my brother accidentally killed them because he left them in pitch black darkness for 3 days (not sure if that's what killed them but they were brown/melted when I got back...). They were planted in regular gravel.
For my new project, I'd like to try having sand or substrate instead of gravel. I'm deciding between:
Shrimp Stratum: http://www.bigalsonline.ca/fish/subs...um-4-4-lb.html
Can anybody give me some advice for or against either one of these? Or a personal review/experience?
For my lighting, I've got this light already installed: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=11248156
The only problem is that the design of the hood doesn't allow the light to reach the far left of the tank, which is fine, I just won't plant there.
I've also got a bottle of SeaChem Flourish and two Marimo balls that need to go in there.
My questions are:
1) What kind of low-tech beginner plants should I look for? My LFS/LPS doesn't have a great selection so the more plants mentioned the easier it would be for me to look. Common names and/or taxonomic names are fine. I saw the sticky/list at the top of this section, are there any that are better/worse for shrimp?
2) Are Red Cherry Shrimp going to be okay in a planted 5 gal? I only picked them because they're colourful and don't cost me $12 each like Crystal Red Shrimp. If not, please advise on which shrimp would be better!
3) Will I need my filter? considering the low bioload and (hopefully) wonderfully growing plants, will a filter still be necessary?
4) How do you feed shrimp safely? I know you're not supposed to leave stuff in there overnight because it will jack up the ammonia, yet I have no other fish in there to "feed" and let the shrimp eat leftovers. Do I just drop in a wafer for 20 or so minutes then take it out? I have some leftover wafers from my grandmother's pleco, it would seem like a waste though. (same idea with blanched veggies, I'd feel a little wasteful having to throw it out)
5) Is there anything I'm missing?
- I'm not really strapped for cash, but I obviously don't want to spend a gazillion dollars if I can help it. Anybody who can give me a potential budget would be amazing!
Thank you in advance for replies! I am in no hurry to get this started