10g Hamburg Matten Filter Shrimp tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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10g Hamburg Matten Filter Shrimp tank

This is my first journal, and also my first attempt at a Hamburg Matten Filter (HMF). After doing a lot of reading I was really interested in trying to make this filtration method work for me. I decided to try a small, heavily planted shrimp tank. From what I can tell this is one of the best filtration methods for shrimp and shrimp fry. There is a lot of reading material about this filter method, but the main take away is a massive biological filtration area. As for mechanical filtration, it is lacking due to the fact that in order to achieve the best conditions for biological filtration, water passes through the filter on an average of ~1-3 tank volumes per hour (10g will be cycled ideally about 25gph) however these numbers are not fixed in stone. There is a lot of conversation as to what the "ideal" conditions are, and I suggest doing some research if you are indeed interested. As for how I decided on my rate of flows...I really didn't. I crowd sourced a lot of my info, but in the end I went with the recommendations from Stephan over at swisstropicals.com. This guy sells the poret foam and uses this filtration method himself so he is a wealth of knowledge. He gave me his recommendations and I followed them. A 45 pore per inch (ppi) poret foam was chosen as it is less likely to allow a small fry to wiggle its way into the reservoir behind the poret. From my test run it also seems this size is quite good a polishing the water as well. Another aspect to this foam is that you can actually plant mosses within the foam and it will take hold. Granted, the more and more the foam is covered by plants, the more restricted your flow can potentially be, upping air pressure usually solves this issue. The foam can also act as a meal serving station for your shrimp, with food particles caching in the foam and easily available to fry and grown shrimp alike.
Pictures added as attachments

Equipment List:
10 gallon used tank from craigslist, not sure on brand name
50 w ViaAqua Quartz heater with built in thermometer
20" Finnex Stingray LED lighting
Mature aquarium sand (taken from turtle community tank)
11"x12"x2" 45 ppi Poret foam (www.swisstropicals.com)
20mm JetLifter and holder
*not pictured, tetra whisper 60 to power JetLifter, will likely downgrade.

I really recommend this finnex LED light. Especially on this smaller size aquarium the light output looks amazing, I can't wait to see how vibrant the plants and shrimp will look in the tank.
I have not considered using CO2 on this tank and I won't be crossing that bridge unless absolutely necessary.

Flora (have not attained):
Dwarf sag.
various crypts
xmas moss
duckweed (grow for my RES)
and a red...I haven't made up my mind yet as to which.
I don't have many species listed due to not being able to remember every species I see on this forum. However, I do want to keep it to maybe 6-7 different plant species in the tank. I want to keep this shrimp tank heavily planted, but still fairly simple. A dwarf sag carpet is really appealing to me, and a local I found on this site has offered me a few to help start my tank.
I am not worried about getting this all done at once.

Fauna (have not attained)
~10 yellow cherry shrimp
I have not had much experience in shrimp keeping outside of ghost shrimp in a community tank (but I never think about them). But after reading more and more into it I like the idea of having a small heavily planted tank with a booming shrimp population. There is a lot of red cherry shrimp guides out there and from what I can tell it is not that difficult. Water stability seems to be the most important thing from what I can tell. I am confident that I will have at least some results from this tank, but as it started off as an experiment I will keep that attitude.



Filter ran fine during test; I stirred up the substrate and made the water very cloudy, and within ~30 min the water was back to pre-agitated clarity. I tried to capture this on my phone but the quality did not capture this well so I have left it out.

I have to make a few modifications to the set up after seeing how the material and tank functioned in my test run.
I will be going to Home Depot tomorrow for some aquarium safe silicone, some sort of plastic divider that I can use to create a lip within the aquarium for added foam stability, and try to figure out just the best way to rest the JetLifter with the poret. The way I have it now produces a lot of surface bubbles that splash a tiny bit of water onto the LED fixture. Not a huge deal at the moment, but over time I see that as a problem. As for why I need the lips within the tank, the poret was having a difficult time sitting horizontally in my tank without creating a bow. If I can create a small barrier to push it up against it should give it the stability I am lacking. I will also take some more detailed measurements to see if a bit of shaving will give me better results.
I am also going to look into how much it would cost to paint the pvc pipe black rather than the normal white, although this is a thing I can do at any time so I am not worried right this moment about it.

So far I am happy with this set up. In the next few days when I have the final mods done on the HMF set-up, I will hopefully be adding plants and beginning my cycle. To help with that I will using media from my turtle tank. I have a small canister filter that I keep mini media bags to seed aquariums with.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 03:20 AM
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I've been thinking about using some of that Poret foam as a base for scaping hills... Does that stuff sink on its own, or is it staying in place in your tank because it's "wedged" in?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 04:39 AM
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I've been thinking about doing a tank like this...it's like a homemade version of the Fluval Spec V, but its bigger, has better filtration, and costs less. I like the look of your tank so far, and look forward to seeing it as it fills with plants...especially interested in seeing the progress of the moss wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art by Stef* View Post
I did have a bluegill once that ate cooked pasta and bologna rinds as a treat.
Then again, that fish would probably bite on a cigarette butt.

-Stef*
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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It wedges in very well, to the point where you can have a lower level behind the wall because the water hasn't been able to make it through yet. It is also pretty elastic, so all you have to do is make a very small hole for a large outlet and the foam will conform to the shape. I can't really say if it sinks or floats, but it still holds a lot of water after being taken out so I would think it would probably sink. Once I get the perfect shape I want with the braces I will post a good picture of it.

I really hope I can get something going on the wall. I have seen posts about people who have sewn in moss to take root, the issue is making sure it grows up and not out.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2014, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Well I apologize for not posting any update in a month. With the school semester winding down and finals getting closer and closer I have been quite distracted. Even now I am writing this as I take a break from studying Fish Nutrition and Disease Management (what else!?).
While I have no pictures handy at the moment (I will try to post some tomorrow?) I have to say that the HMF filter is performing exceptionally well. The poret foam bio-filter is showing a nice, and more importantly, even distribution of bacteria growth. The bacteria growth on the foam looks like a brown layer on the surface of the filter.

Water movement is pretty ideal, with the water flow hitting the front of the tank at an angle, and forcing water to move down and circularize in the tank. I am using a Whisper 40 air pump from tetra to move water through the jetlifter. The only complaint I have of this is that the combination of air bubbles and water produces a little more noise than I would like if I am not constantly topping off the tank every day. For this reason I may convert this set up to use a small water pump, but that is a project for the future.

Plant growth has been pretty decent. I have not been supplementing with any additives or CO2, so growth has not been super rapid, but still very much a thing. I went with stemmed plants and planted heavy to help move the nitrogen cycle along faster. In the future I would like to have this tank set up in a more minimalist way, with maybe a dwarf hair grass carpet and a few background plants, but again, a project for the future.
I will be buying some duck weed to grow in the reservoir behind the filter foam. This area has little to no surface disturbance and has that oily film at the top. I think having some plants at the surface will by more aesthetically pleasing. Plus duck weed for my turtles .
I had a diatom bloom begin sometime last week when I was out of town and forgot to set the light timer causing the tank to go through about 20+ hrs of light. I have cut down my photo period and gave the tank a 24 hr black out which has seemed to really cut back on the problem.

Today I went ahead and bought 10 ghost shrimp to put into the tank to test how shrimp would like the environment I set up. While I have had one death so far, it was not due to water conditions but my foot (who knew shrimp were such good jumpers?). As well as adding the shrimp, I also went ahead and added a single Oto to see if that would make any dent in the diatom problem. If he works out I may get another two as they are small and produce a small bioload.

For now that is it. As I said, I will try to upload some pictures tomorrow after classes to show my progress. I realize I also have pics from the set up and planting so I'll have some decent before and after pictures.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2014, 06:53 AM
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Are you worried about the tank not being supported on all it's edges on your stand? I thought that was important?
I'm no engineer though.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2014, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squrl888 View Post
Are you worried about the tank not being supported on all it's edges on your stand? I thought that was important?
I'm no engineer though.
Not really. It's really only ~5-6 in that is not technically touching, and there really isn't THAT much weight pressing down on it to turn it into a real problem. I've had it like this for about a month now and haven't seen any problems. I'm no engineer either but I could do the math if I really needed to, but I think it would come out okay. Now do I recommend doing this often? Absolutely not .

That being said, this stand is very temporary, or at least I am intending on it being temporary. I will most likely move it to a dresser top in the next few weeks.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2014, 08:27 AM
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Yeah, I figure with a 10 gallon it is a pretty safe risk to take. Just curious myself since I am faced with the question where to place a 10 gallon as well.
Good luck with your tank! It seems promising. 10 gallons are pretty fun to work with
If you plan on keeping the Oto I would definitely suggest getting a few others. They are definitely a fish that is happier in a shoal. While 10 gallons is kinda pushing it IMO for an Oto, atleast getting a few buddies will make him happier
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2014, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squrl888 View Post
Yeah, I figure with a 10 gallon it is a pretty safe risk to take. Just curious myself since I am faced with the question where to place a 10 gallon as well.
Good luck with your tank! It seems promising. 10 gallons are pretty fun to work with
If you plan on keeping the Oto I would definitely suggest getting a few others. They are definitely a fish that is happier in a shoal. While 10 gallons is kinda pushing it IMO for an Oto, atleast getting a few buddies will make him happier
Yeah, I wouldn't have a tank any larger doing what I am doing now with my stand.
I haven't made up my mind about the Oto in regards of if he'll be permanent or not. If he does stay permanent I will most likely get a second. You are correct though, 10 gallons is pushing it. But if I were that fish I would LOVE living in that tank. A lot of hiding spots, no real possible threats, and all the food it could ever suck up. Worse fates for fish exist than mild space overstocking.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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In vain I have searched for my 'before' pics of the tank as I was planting it, but after switching phones I believe the pictures may have been deleted. Oh well.
Here are some of the pictures taken in the last two or three days.

My diatom problems is clearing up, but my water still has this really cloudy hue to it. Any recommendations? Yesterday was my FIRST actual water change (33%), up until now I have only been topping it off.

I have seen several molts from the ghost shrimp, which is a good sign. I would like to see a berried female or two but I'll be patient. Overall it looks like a good bet that the yellow cherry shrimp will be comfortable in the tank.

A little piece of poret foam that I had cut out for the output and dumped into the resevoir has lodged itself into the opening, almost like another little filter before going out. Kinda cool.

I am really liking the Oto's. I will likely get 1 or 2 more, but probably no more than that.
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