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Gnomecatcher 09-05-2012 05:53 AM

April's 5.5 gallon shrimpster
Recent FTS (Updated 3/3/13)

Plants: Hydrocotyle tripartita, various mosses, Crepidomanes auriculatum, Crypt nevilli, Crypt wendtii


I am dry starting a 5.5 gallon before I go off to college so that it will be ready to set up when I move in to my apartment. This little project is to curb my aquarium craze, because I bought a 25 gallon cube that I have decided to save for later. I also need a reason to go to the fish store and visit the cute guy at Neptune's.

Undergravel filter made out of drip system tubes and biomedia.

Threw together a hardscape, and dry starting F. fontanus and H. tripartita. Ugly.

Third try, I think the shrimp might appreciate the driftwood better. It's been 3 weeks since the last photo. I don't think the F. fontantus is doing much. :( Still wondering if I should scrap the stones altogether.

:fish:Any thoughts, good or bad, on hardscape? I figure I don't have to finalize anything yet, and might as well get some opinions before I put in an order for shrimp.

synaethetic 09-05-2012 06:52 AM

The little temple is nice. It would be cool if it was tucked between taller stones, as if at the bottom of a valley.

PinkRasbora 09-05-2012 08:24 AM

Maybe smaller "pathway" stones?

Are you gonna carpet the background in live plants? That would be sooo totally awsome!

Indian fern 09-05-2012 11:21 AM

I would some anubiasjava fern and water sprite. Easy, low light tolerant and very BEAUTIFUL! :3

SpecGrrl 09-05-2012 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by PinkRasbora (Post 2001539)
Maybe smaller "pathway" stones?

Are you gonna carpet the background in live plants? That would be sooo totally awsome!

I agree that the smaller pebbles were a great pathway.

The shrimp will love the driftwood -- maybe cover a larger rock or part of the driftwood with a pretty moss like peacock or Christmas?

Gnomecatcher 09-05-2012 04:15 PM

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm going to see if I have some small stones to use for a path, or maybe gravel instead?

The background is going to be filled with Crepidomanes auriculatum and Syngonanthus belem. I am going to grow a weeping moss wall.

GMYukonon24s 09-05-2012 04:30 PM

When I first seen the pics I was going to ask what you had planned for the back. Also the small stones will look nice with the temple. That's a nice piece of driftwood too.

Gnomecatcher 09-06-2012 04:35 PM

How's this? I think it is much more dimensional, as can be seen from the second shot. Weeping moss will go in the plastic mesh for a wall.

straight on shot

Gnomecatcher 09-13-2012 03:55 PM

Added shum shtuff. Three more days till fill up time! Bought a few CRS at Neptunes and the boy of my dreams gave me 10% off for NO REASON. Maybe it's my undeniable charm and breath-taking beauty? Okay, I'll stop with the girl talk.

acitydweller 09-13-2012 04:09 PM

You are a girl so you are entitled. If you were a dude with girl talk, stop it now!


great plant scape. Which types of mosses are you planning for?

Gnomecatcher 09-13-2012 04:16 PM

The only thing I am entitled to is written in the Constitution. But I guess girl talk falls under free speech, right?

Fissidens fontanus will go up front on the plastic mesh. I got some mini x-mas moss sitting in my shrimp holding tank waiting for this tank to flood. Finally, weeping moss for my moss wall! I am so excited, this tank is going to be a moss party.

Gnomecatcher 09-23-2012 11:10 PM

Hello from college-land. I'm all settled in my new apartment and started classes. Guess who else got settled?


I thought I would have to bring or buy a stand for the tank, but luckily the dresser that I have is just the right height.

Silmarwen 09-23-2012 11:21 PM

I really can't wait to see how the moss wall looks when its grown in! I like the hardscape, too :)

(Ah, I don't know how I posted before I was done. haha.)

Actually, I was hoping you could explain your undergravel filter a bit, too? I've never seen a DIY one before, and I'm not sure how they're meant to work..?

Gnomecatcher 09-24-2012 07:45 PM

I know, I love weeping moss! Right now I'm considering redoing the plastic mesh though, I think the moss might not be getting enough light. I'm going to see if there is some kind of glue I can use.

I based my under gravel filter off of Mordalphus' design, seen in this post:

As you can see, there is a system of tubes with holes underneath the substrate, I made my holes facing inward, then I covered the tubes with bio-media so that the substrate doesn't get sucked in, and to provide a lot of surface area for a nice bacterial colonization.

The difference is that I use an HOB filter to power the under-gravel filter. However, I don't think this is powerful enough, and also I haven't figured out how to connect the tubes. I might switch to a TOM Mini Rapids canister filter. This way I can also create an inline CO2 reactor for better CO2 dissolution.

I used a UGF because since water is being constantly passed through the substrate, you can grow a great big bacterial colony for nutrient stability. It also acts as a kind of prefilter for the shrimps so they don't get sucked in and made into filter sushi. :D

Since this is a nano shrimp tank, this works well because I don't need a tone of water circulation.

Gnomecatcher 09-24-2012 07:48 PM

As a side note, I'm a big bio-filter enthusiast. I don't see the need for chemical filtration as long as you have a stable bio-filter, and there isn't a lot of natural mechanical filtration in nature. I am also lazy and poor, so this kind of tank setup lends to more enjoyment by a college student like me.

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