After poking around this site for a few months and becoming enamored with the idea of starting a planted shrimp tank, I decided to celebrate my birthday a bit early, and I got a Fluval Ebi.
I want to use this tank as an introduction to the hobby and hopefully as a happy home for some Red Cherry Shrimp.
-Fluval Ebi glass tank (30 L, 35 x 30 x 30 cm)
-Fluval Shrimp Stratum (2 kg)
-Assorted rocks (slate, I think?)
-Fluval 13W CFL
-Fluval Nano internal filter with spray bar
I purchased a ďstarter kitĒ of plants from the Swap n Shop (thanks, gordonrichards) which included an assortment of Crypts (parva, wendtii, undulata, and some others which Iíve yet to classify), two clumps of Java Fern, and a handful of stems (Bacopa monnieri, and others I have also yet to classify). I also added some Java moss which I purchased previously at my LFS.
So far, just a few tiny snails which hopped a ride on the plants. Eventually I plan to add RCS.
I have been dosing once a week with Flourish, and I plan to add Excel, too. My plan is to dose weekly on Saturdays, with a break on the first Saturday of each month.
I set up the tank on 05.09.12 and kick started the nitrogen cycle with ammonia, and I planted the tank on 05.16.12. Iíve been monitoring the water parameters with the API kit, and it appears the cycle is complete. The nitrate levels were ~40 ppm this morning, so I plan to do a 25% water change tonight and test again tomorrow.
Iím new to this hobby, so I would appreciate suggestions. I also have a few specific questions...
1. I have been running the light from 5-9am and 5-9pm, but I was thinking about adding another two hours from 12-2pm. Thoughts?
2. How does my dosing schedule look for Flourish and Excel? Iím guessing itís on the light side, but Iíd rather take it slow for now.
3. Will I need to use a heater? The temperature in my apt will probably get as high as 80 during the summer and as low as 65 during the winter. Iíve read that RCS are OK at these temperatures, and since I donít expect any major temperature shifts, I was hoping I would be OK if I didn't use a heater. (I have a TopFin 50W that I picked up for $5 as a backup, if necessary)
4. I plan to wait until late July/early August to stock the tank, but when I do, should I look into adding a mineral supplement? (Montmorillonite stone?) And...
5. Regarding shrimp food, I have the Fluval shrimp granules that were included with the Ebi Kit. I was planning to use these along with blanched spinach and Jakeís Veggie Sticks. I would feed six days per week and alternate foods, so the shrimp would receive each food twice a week. How does this sound?
Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!
Iíll post a picture of my tank and my water parameters tomorrow.