UPDATE: This setup is No More
Life has gotten busy and I've had to reduce my setups to two tanks. This one did not make the cut - it happens.
Fast-forward to my recent post if you are interested in my thoughts on the EDGE product after having one up and running for about two solid years.
Current Full Tank Shot (6/5/2012):
Original 1st Post:
Finally, I'm sharing with you all the project I've been obsessing over for the past few months....
Around about the beginning of summer I decided that I wanted to set up a shrimp only tank that I could use to develop a redder/higher quality line of Cherry Shrimp. I hadn't originally intended to purchase an Edge, in fact when they first appeared in stores I thought them rather silly little contraptions. But then, the more I researched the various nano tank setups available in my price range, the more I realized that I really loved the design of this little tank. Of course, it helped that so many people on this forum (and elsewhere on the internet) were doing amazing things with them. The modification possibilities and the challenge of keeping all the equipment 'behind the scenes' also began to appeal to me as well.
I had my LFS (Fish Doctor's in Ypsilanti) special order one in Pewter and since they do internet price matching I got a really sweet deal and did not have to worry about shipping!
I also purchased a red metal locker/cabinet from IKEA that I'd long admired to use as a stand, I'd say it makes for a pretty striking setup....
Pretty even when empty!
Setup occurred in early July and I spent most of that month cycling the tank (I used bio-media and water from my 30gal planted tank to kick start this) and collecting plants. I had a rough idea in my mind that I wanted to attempt an Iwagumi style tank- however, given the nature of the equipment that came with the Edge and because I wanted to keep it on the low-tech side so it would be optimal for shrimp breeding, I knew that I would never be able to grow classic Iwagumi plants like HC and DHG. I resolved then that I would create a moss carpet across most of the tank, and this is where I ran into trouble.
Collecting plants- Fissidens, Xmas Moss, & Crypto Parva
My troubles began when I went to my local hardware store and purchased some stainless steel mesh to tie fissidens to in the hopes that it would grow into some super lush carpeting. What I did not know at the time was that the mesh I was buying was zinc coated. So, a couple months and many shrimp deaths later I finally figured out (after eliminating all other suspects and making a call to the hardware store to confirm my suspicions) that I had toxic levels of zinc in my tank.
Utterly disgusted with myself I pulled all the fissidens (which hadn't done well) out of the tank along with the mesh it was attached to. What followed then was nearly a month of 2-3x weekly water changes. I also crammed a ton of ChemiPure Elite in the filter to help remove the zinc. After this I rescaped the tank, cycled it some more and added some 'test pilot' shrimp to the tank... these were a couple of my browner RCS from my 30gal. They ended up surviving and were eventually moved back to their old home. The tank's current residents are my three reddest adult females and a newly added colony of Sakuras I just received from Gordon Richards.
Here are some shots of the current setup- taken at the beginning of this week.
The parva has not done well... it had just started to settle in when I went and did my big rescape. As a result there has been a lot of melt. It also doesn't help that every time the nerite snail glides by he uproots the smaller plants. I just loaded the substrate with root tabs though so I am hoping that this helps.
Complete specs are as follows:
6.6 gallon Fluval Edge Aquarium
2x MR11 LED bulbs- I am planning on upgrading to the new Edge LED lightbar once it becomes available as a replacement part. I had toyed with the idea of building my own a few months ago, but now that I know this is an option I will just wait bide my time a bit longer. Anyway, I am not confident enough in my DIY skills to play around with electricity and water any more than I already do.
Mini Aquaclear HOB that came stock with the tank. Stuffed with seasoned bio-media, Chemi-Pure and filter floss.
Hydor Mini crammed into the filter basket.
Fluval Shrimp Stratum
Light doses of the Seachem line maybe once a week.
Xmas moss, Mini Pellia, and Cryptocoryne parva.
Red Sakura Cherry Shrimp and one Nerite for glass cleaning.