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tandaina 08-29-2013 08:27 PM

9 Gallon Eheim Office Shrimp Tank (Shrimp Question added!) 10/8/2013
My 9G Eheim Aquastyle, and Eco Complete soil arrived, so it is time to scape! This is an office aquarium and poses a unique challenge. It needs to look good from two different angles. Right now I'd really appreciate 'scaping suggestions. Plan on planting this tank heavily and eventually adding shrimp.

First angle which is visible to office visitors, those at my meeting table, folks I'm counseling:
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

And the view from my desk:
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

I've got some more rock coming in slightly larger piece if needed to fill in some elevation changes. And have a bunch of plants and moss coming. The driftwood will be mossed. I've got crypts, and java fern coming.

I'd also like to find some sort of carpet plant that will do well with the stock Eheim light and no C02 (I will dose with ferts). Given my office environment low tech is the requirement here.

Cheif concern right now: from my desk view (second pic) what is the hill in the back right of the first picture is just a bit dark mound. Was going to cap it with crypts and maybe something else tall. But that'll block a great deal of my view. So maybe that scape needs to change entirely?

Suggestions, how to make a tank work from more than one angle?

Adore the driftwood, love it, so that at least makes things easier. Maybe I should raise it and the whole filter side up higher and have say two rock ringed plateaus coming down? So from the front view the whole thing graded down from left to right. And from my view I would be looking up the hill to the driftwood? Only issue is that leaves nothing to support the driftwood under its downhill slope and it does need something, it is a little top heavy. Hmm. Experts??

tandaina 08-29-2013 08:37 PM

Second considered 'scape:

Public view:
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

(Sorry about the mucky water, the soil bag was pretty dang wet.

And my view:
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

Preferences? I like this one from MY view, but the other from the other side of the tank. So hmm..

blue1delta 08-29-2013 08:46 PM

I like the second better, but I do not like the rocks...

tandaina 08-29-2013 08:49 PM

Yeah I'm not a fan either. They are all my LFS had in stock. I think they're too small and not uniform enough. So I'm thinking... Scrap the rocks and replace with what? Petrified wood? Wondering if I could get some "sheets" of it that would stand up like fences? Hmmm.

blue1delta 08-29-2013 09:38 PM


Originally Posted by tandaina (Post 4177609)
Yeah I'm not a fan either. They are all my LFS had in stock. I think they're too small and not uniform enough. So I'm thinking... Scrap the rocks and replace with what? Petrified wood? Wondering if I could get some "sheets" of it that would stand up like fences? Hmmm.

Why do you need to replace them? just go with the wood. What plants are you thinking?

Cyanider 08-29-2013 09:49 PM

I'd ditch the rocks, keep the wood, and just use some nice foreground plants to provide the same purpose the rocks are serving

tandaina 08-29-2013 10:30 PM

Java fern as a given, so easy to grow and I have a handful of babies in my Fluval 5G.

As for other plants, I'm really open, I've got 3 little tubs with three different varieties of moss from a member here sitting waiting to be tied to the drift wood. I'll do that tomorrow and flood the tank. Assuming the moss won't mind some cloudy water for a while.

The thing I'm stumped on right now is a good low light foreground plant to really take over the bulk of the tank and give the shrimp a place to play. I've been reading tank journals but often folks talk plant abbreviations, which I don't understand yet! :P So I'm still not clear on the best options. Suggest away.

Without rocks it looks really spare and unbalanced to my eye. I realize that's preference, but without the rocks it looks "not done" in terms of hard scape. So I went back to the fish store and looked at their larger rocks. Larger rocks they've got a good set of, and I think this tank fooled me size wise. So picked a few up to try and this is what it currently looks like... I think I like this...

Public view
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

My view
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

Just feels more finished, and gives me places to cluster plants around. I'm liking this one much, much better. The scale of the rocks and wood are just so much better. (OK, some of those rocks need to be straightened, badly! Will do that before I flood the thing.)

Cyanider 08-29-2013 10:56 PM

Much better with the larger rocks. The smaller rocks just made it look a bit messy and crowded.

tandaina 08-29-2013 11:03 PM

So to make this tank journal useful for others. I'm going to expand the information listed here, this is for future reference for anyone who cares. ;)

Eheim 9G Aquastyle. I found mine at Amazon with free shipping. Watch the shipping on these things as some places charge a lot.
Eco Complete Planted Substrate (20 lb bag, I used the entire bag). Amazon carries this and it shipped free with prime shipping. That's huge, shipping on substrate can be insane. There is no need to rinse this substrate according to my research. Water will cloud for a bit but will clear in a couple hours.
Eheim 50watt heater

Driftwood and rocks from my local fish store (LFS).

Tomorrow is my day off, but I'm going to take the moss in, water conditioners, etc. Will straighten and finalize the layout, plant/affix/etc. Then will flood the tank and let it clear out and let the filter run over the weekend. Will start being intentional about the cycle come next week.

I'm in no hurry, plan to let this grow as an aquatic garden until I am happy with the plants and scape before adding any shrimp. So I figure shrimp around Christmas maybe, we'll see.

tandaina 08-30-2013 06:17 PM

So my plants arrived, went into work today (day off) to get the tank flooded and planted.

Here's the "just filled with water" shot:
My view:
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

Front view:
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

The drift wood had long enough to dry out after sanitizing that it isn't water logged, had to weigh it down to keep it from floating away. Hopefully it water logs over the weekend and I can take the silly rock off it. ;)

3 varieties of mosses tied to the driftwood. Java fern tied to small rocks, and a couple free floating cause I ran out of string. Vals planted, the Val leaves mostly melted in transit so I'm hoping they come back from the roots well. We'll see!

Anyone want to suggest:
A foreground plant? Stock lighting so I'm told that's low-medium. No Co2, but ferts. I'm open to pretty much anything! And I want to get something tall and feathery for behind the rocks, to mask the filter and heater when I add it.

tandaina 09-13-2013 03:33 PM

Time for an update! The tank has just been sitting brewing good bacteria, plants growing, etc.

I was out of town for a week and things got along well without me. Came back to very happy moss on the tree. Decently happy java fern, over all good shape.

Had a debacle getting supplies though: a forum member sent me a ton of plants, snails, etc. The USPS lost the box, then ran over the box, then delivered it empty. *le sigh* I'm working through their insurance process but that meant I was out snails and plants.

So I went to PetSmart and bought plants there. I'm actually impressed with their prepackaged plants. Especially given the cost. Bought a bunch of Dwarf Hair Grass and ended up with way too much. A decent sized Anubis, and a lace leaf java fern (I really like java ferns, love how fast they grow and reproduce.)

Planting the DHG is no fun. I'm afraid the clumps are still too big but my patience, and time in the office was limited, so hopefully they're OK. I have a simple ISTA CO2 system coming from a forum member to try, never done CO2 but seems simple enough.

Sadly, no pics at the moment as Flickr seems to have suffered a panda attack or something.

tandaina 09-13-2013 03:44 PM


Veiw from my desk:

View from office:

The moss at the top of the tree has put out long filaments with "flowers" on them? It isn't algae, definitely part of the moss, I'm assuming that means it is happy?

I like the DHG, hope it fills in well as I think it'll really make it feel finished. Will likely get a couple Ottos to keep things clean in the next week or so.

Had so much DHG left over that I planted the Fluval Spec V beta tank with it as well. Which of course has me thinking I need to upgrade the light there, because that light is definitely under powered:

Thoughts? If I upgrade teh Fluval light I'm afraid it'll do little without Co2 and I have no interest in CO2 for that tiny tank!

Charrr89 09-13-2013 07:21 PM

9 Gallon Eheim Office Shrimp Tank (Foreground Plant Suggestions!) 8/30/2013
I started my first c02 in my spec v.... Da stock lighting was crap... So I upgraded to an 18" t5ho light it did wonders!

And as for dhg... I have some dried up in my balcony. They become a pain in the butt around trimming time. But c02 did so much. I cut them short and ran c02 it looked like awesome thick strands of grass. It works ok without c02 tho.

tandaina 09-25-2013 07:51 PM

EDIT: The pest plant in these photos has been IDed and removed. Folks keep responding after the fact. So just adding a note. If you see this in your tank pull it out gently, it is an invasive weed.

So I bought a simple little CO2 system from Charrr89. disposable cartridges, but I wanted something cheap to try and didn't want the eyesore of a homemade system in the office. He gave me a very good deal. Watching the bubbles is... mesmerizing. :P The little glass diffuser and drop checker almost gives the tank an ADA feel without the price. ;) I can see why folks would go high end CO2 for the auto shutoff and startup but for now this is working.

The moss is going insane! I got it to help the crypts and the DHG. The DHG shows no joy yet, but I'll be patient with it, looks like it was grown emersed so the fact that it is melting is not surprising. There are some new green blades of grass so we'll wait and see!

The moss is pearling like crazy and putting out these long thin growths that I'm not sure what to do with. Cut them off, wrap them around the driftwood, let them wave in the current? I'm assuming they are some sort of moss flower?

Picture update!
Full tank:
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

Very happy moss and java fern:
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

See the shoots the moss is sending out? What do I do with these, they are fun to watch wave around but if it puts out too many more they'll become a mess!
Untitled by JoAndRoses, on Flickr

keats 09-25-2013 08:18 PM

I don't think those are moss flowers. I have no clue what they are. Kinda looks like long strands of riccia.

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