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deleted_user_17 06-27-2012 05:46 PM

8G Shrimp tank - Lots of macro photos (56k)
I was looking at these ecospheres and was quite tempted to get one, but then I figured that really what I wanted was the shrimps inside it :) And as most things in this country are overpriced, I figured I could setup a tank for a lot less.

Ok, I picked up this tank second hand on ebay for 12.50 which is about $20 USD. It included the light, heater and filter. Bargain! I used to own the same model about 10 years ago and kept some tropical fish in it. But yeh, I am trying to do this as cheap as possible.

So I stripped it down and cleaned it. There was only one plug for the whole thing so I modded it so I could have another plug for the light, which I wanted on a timer.

I was planning on keeping red cherry shrimp so I opted for some dark gravel. (In hindsight I would have probably gone for a finer substrate... maybe next time!)

Anyway, I bought 6 kilos of this stuff and 3 large moss balls and a tropical tank start-up kit from API which would help kick start the cycling process.

While I waited for the cycle to finish, I bought a Shrimp gift pack from ebay :) It contained some Amazon Frogbit, some Alder cones, a couple of small moss balls and a Trumpet snail.

I also found this nice bit of bogwood in a LFS.

I also bought some gutter guard and a riccia plant to make a carpet around the sides and leave a crescent in the center for feeding time - as you will see in a bit, this didn't work out..

By now I had also bought a Nutrafin test kit, a net, a gravel vacuum, a bucket, some tubing, some filter media, a new charcoal filter and some algae wafers.

The photos will be higher quality now as I am using my camera (a fujifilm bridge camera), rather than my mobile phone.

As you can see, I have taken out the mesh as my trumpet snail got stuck in it :( and I didn't want to endanger anything in my tank. So I will get some slate and do it that way. The snail is fine by the way!

Anyway here is the tank with the shrimps in. I bought 10 and after having them for a few days, I feel this was a good number. I am aware that this number could rise! ;)

The shrimp seem really happy. I will be adding loads of photos to this journal as the tank matures and my plant plans take shape.

This photo cracks me up :)

hamsterman 06-28-2012 04:23 AM

Nice shrimp and great pics! I would try to get some kind of moss to tie down to that wood. It'll look awesome once it grows out :)

deleted_user_17 06-28-2012 12:48 PM

Thanks for that advice :) I've just ordered some moss and will start the covering soon. I kind of liked that piece of wood but yeh, it will be much better covered. The shrimps will love that too.

A few more photos
Tank at night. Gives an idea of scale too.
My red cherries feeding on an algae water.
One of the shrimps sat chilling in the current. I was having problems with them leaving the water as you can see more of in this thread.

diwu13 06-28-2012 04:15 PM

Oh now I see what kind of filter it is. Couldnt figure out what kinda filter it was haha. I like the small stones as substrate :)!

deleted_user_17 06-28-2012 06:57 PM

Cheers, as I say, if I was starting again I would use a finer substrate but they are ok with it and once the carpet establishes there should only be a small portion visible.

I also read that having a darker substrate not only shows off their colour more, but also makes that colour go deeper. Hope so!

diwu13 06-28-2012 07:49 PM

Really? I like the larger substrate look. What makes you want a smaller, finer substrate? It's easier to plant stems in the larger rocks :)!

And yup, true about the darker substrate showing off colors. That's why I also made the back of my tank black as well! Check it out in my sig if you'd like.

deleted_user_17 06-29-2012 09:08 AM

Yeh, only because I think it would be better for the shrimp as they could filter it. It might be better for the scale of the this small tank too?

I might change my mind once I plant some stems in this substrate though.

I read through a lot of your journal. You tanks are very shrimp friendly :) I like that!

I also like your moss experiments, did the moss in a jar thing ever work out?

diwu13 06-29-2012 03:41 PM

The shrimp do like to sift through the smaller substrate, but I can see them digging in the cracks of yours as well. I guess when you start planting stems you can let me know which you like :)!

Thanks for looking! The moss jar didn't work out for me. I think moss grows best with some water agitation. I ended up setting a 10G tank with a bubble wand and the moss grows much better there. No filtration of any sort. I also throw my culls from my RCS tank in there and they are surviving as well :X

deleted_user_17 07-01-2012 10:38 AM

Ahh ok. I might be getting some more plants later :)

Shame about the moss jars, that would have been good if they worked.

I was doing some rough sketches on my tablet last night and have a better idea of where I want things to be.

I have had a couple of molts now, here is a photo of a shiny new cherry

I also tried them on shelled garden peas last night, they caused a few stand-offs to begin with, but then they learnt how to share (for a bit anyway!).

diwu13 07-02-2012 02:46 PM

Haha most dwarf shrimp share from my experience. The only ones that really don't are amano shrimp. You should see them, they run off with their food haha

rnaodm 07-05-2012 11:05 PM

Thanks for checking out my tank, least I could do was return the sub!

Very nice so far, great deal on the tank.

deleted_user_17 07-06-2012 08:30 AM

Nice one :)

Yep it was, I wish everything else was as cheap. I've spent more that I thought I would have to on extras. Ah well, it's all good.

@diwu Hah, sounds funny :)

I've got some Java Moss growing on the log now, its a bit brown where I bathed it in bleach, but hopefully it will pull through.

Hopefully the tank will be looking more established when I next add photos.

deleted_user_17 08-01-2012 12:50 PM

I've not been having much joy with this tank recently.

As you can see in this thread, I was having problems with some of my shrimp after I did a water change and added some plants. They were swimming erratically, dropping mid swim and laying on their sides.

I thought my shrimps had made it but then started to find a dead one every morning, which was really sad.

I hoped that the strong would survive whatever had happened, but within 6 days I was left with just two.

These two appeared fine, my water parameters where good according to tests so I bought a single shrimp the next time I was at a LFS.

Then a couple of days later the remaining two from the first ten I bought die. Again, really sad :/

So I was left with just one shrimp, the original 10 having died :(

Then this new fella starts acting wrong, falling on his side, disorientated, swimming weird. I read a lot about it and it again sounds like poisoning. So I take him out and put him in a bucket overnight. Something in my tank was bad still...
Before I stripped the tank

The next day I tore the tank down and gave it a real good clean, substrate and everything. I put a lot of the tank water back in and luckily some Prime I'd ordered turned up, so I could now treat my tap water (which contains nitrite).

I only added half the substrate back in and removed the wood and some plants. I had planned to do some basic scaping on the tank but now just want to keep shrimp alive, so that can wait.

So little lonesome shrimp goes back in and I keep and eye on him for a bit. He was appeared fine, a little subdued but happily all the weird behavior stopped.

I went to another LFS in the area and while getting some RO water, I picked up another shrimp - I figured I would slowly build up the population.

The first one really appreciated the company and it was good to see them hanging out and generally appearing very happy.

I fitted some blue leds so I can watch them at night. I am trying to keep the hours the main light is on, the same everyday, but there are times I want to watch them and I didn't want to disturb them. So I put this on at night. I know it's not natural, but I would rather have this on, than keep sticking the main light on. I watch them a lot :)

I've performed so many water tests in the last few weeks, trying to get my RO water right etc. I am finally get faster at mixing that up. I bought a TDS meter.

I also bought a sponge filter and an air pump, it's an interpet one, not very quiet! I have read lots of people saying that more filtration is a good thing :)
The shrimp love to sit and feed in the Riccia

So I left it for a bit and then had to go and get some more RO water. In the shop there was a tank with a big ball of moss with loads of cherries in it, they were being circled by some fish, so were doing the right thing and hiding.. I saw a couple of berried females and bought one of these and a male.

So if you are keeping score, the total amount of shrimps is now four! But one is berried, so we will see what happens.

Ok, then something crazy happens. I'm looking the tank a few days and there are now five shrimp! Huh, how does that work?

One of the original ten must have hidden the filter part of the tank for a good couple of weeks, survived the tank strip down and then decided to come out. He is looking super red too! I was pretty amazed :) Finally some good news..

I also covered the pump, so if there are shrimplets, they won't get in there. I also ordered some filter floss and blocked up access to the other parts of the tank's filtration system.

I was letting the algae grow on the sides of the tank and only cleaning the front.

Ok, next problem... I wasn't overfeeding them, but I noticed I had some small white worms in the water column, they kind of swim in a corkscrew motion. I don't like them. They make me feel all itchy when I see them. I am not sure if the source of algae I was keeping counts as food source for these worms. No shrimp food pellets were getting into the substrate so I guess maybe they came in on some moss I bought (I did treat this with potassium permanganate too).

So I read up lots about worms and things - gross - and decide they are most likely detritus worms, I stopped feeding for 2 days, cleaned all the algae off, and their numbers (which had grown into the hundreds, gross) totally dropped. They should be gone soon. So it turns out I was overfeeding them.

I bought an ehiem air pump, that's really good and super quiet.

I lost another shrimp to a bad molt. So back down to four shrimp.

I saw eyes on the eggs yesterday so I am not sure how far they have to go, but fingers crossed they will swim off soon. And live!
Some eyes peeking out

Hopefully my next update will be much more positive than this post, there are soooo many variables but I've learn't a lot along the way though and continue to :)

acitydweller 08-01-2012 01:31 PM

Jed, you sure have gone to hell and back. I bet that berried momma can replenish your entire shrimp population and then some in no time.

Your cherries are beautiful and makes me want to get them in the tanks once again. I havent had cherries in a long while. I probably chimed in your help thread once before.

here are their ideal water parameters:
Cherry Shrimp
PH: 6.4 - 7.6
KH: 0 - 10
GH: 4 - 14
TDS: 80 - 200
Water temp: 18 - 23

if you are seeing a bad molt, there may be a calcium deficiency. try feeding spinach once or twice a week or some calcium enriched pellets or flake foods.

Actually seeing eyes on the eggs is such an awesome sight. you must be excited.

bear in mind, rising temps, ammonia / nitrate spikes (common when overfeeding), high tds, fertilizer dosing (not applicable here) and extremely high gh may cause random deaths.

diwu13 08-01-2012 04:20 PM

Adding onto what actiydweller said, the reason you have worms in your tanks is due to the cycling process. They are nemotodes and are completely harmless to your tank. The population will go down by itself as your cycle finishes.

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