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Old 08-12-2012, 10:31 PM   #1
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Low Tech 10 Gallon

Here's a picture of my 10 gallon low tech tank.

Inhabitants: Cherry red shrimp (maybe over 100), 3 Panda Cories and 3 Zebra Nerite snails. I also use this tank to raise Dalmation Molly fry that my daughter keeps. I always wanted to add more Panda's as they should be kept in groups of 6 or more but the 3 seem do be getting pretty fat and get along really good.

Lights: Life-Glo T8 6,700 K 15W 1 bulb
This is one of the few lights I've found that does not give off a purple hue.
The light is set on a timer and I have just increased the duration that I leave the light on for. I have it on for 4.5 hours, off for 3, then on for 5 hours. I'm hoping to make a little more algea for a food source for the shrimp and snails.

Filtration: Rena XP1 with Hydro Sponge #4 pre filter. I hooked up a #4 sponge to the intake of the Rena to keep the shrimp and fry from getting sucked up. I only use filter media in the Rena. I do not use chemical or biological filtration in the Rena. You'll see in the picture I have a spray bar attached to the opposite side of the aquarium. I drilled additional larger holes in the spray bar and have it aimed at the glass pointing a little down. The additional holes help to slow down and distribute the current evenly. The current flows along the bottom of the tank picking up any un-eaten food and depositing the remains on the sponge filter. It's slow enough to where you can only see the current within a few inches of the spray bar. The only problem I have is that for the second time this year I have developed some slime on the top of the water due to lack of water movement. I plan on adding a nano power head to help keep some water movement at the top of the tank.

Plants: Green Cabomba, Bacopa Carolinia, 3 types of Anubias, and Dwarf Sag (All have just been trimmed-OK not the Anubias but you know what I mean)
I seem to read quite often that when trimming Cabomba you should pull out the stem and replace that piece with the top section of the plant. I leave the bottom sections in the substrate as I will typically have another 1 or 2 new growths form on the bottom portion of the plant. I also let the Bacopa grow to the surface where it forms a large thick ball of leaves that the shrimp love foraging through. The only problem I have is the larger Anubias (right side of picture) have started to be eaten by one of my Nerites. I believe that as the shrimp population grew the food source for the snails started to become more scarce. I have removed 1 Nerite and will try feeding the others some blanched vegetables to see if that helps.

Substrate: Blue Gravel fron Petco I let my daughter pick the color of the substrate. This tank was originally supposed to be a hospital tank that I was going to keep running and planted. But like most of my hospital tanks it turned into a habitated aquarium. It turns out that there is enough room for baby shrimp to crawl in between the pieces of gravel and take refuge whenever there are fry in the tank. The plants also seem to due very well in this gravel.

Heater: I will soon be removing the heater in the tank and will be replacing it with an in-line heater attached to the out-flow of the Rena XP1.

Dosing: Seachem Flourish Comprehensive once a week. I do not have CO2 and do not use Excel.

Water Changes: I do 50% water change every week. When the fry start getting larger I will do two 50% water changes a week. I will vaccum the substrate only around the sponge filter. I clean and rinse the sponge filter once a week. I clean the sponges in the Rena about once a month.

Water Parameters: Ammonia-0 Nitrites-0 Nitrates-0 (API liquid test kit) PH-7.6 (hand held battery operated device)
Temp-between 76.5 and 78 degrees (fluctuates between day and night during the summer months.) KH-4 GH-11 I keep the gh higher for the Mollies.
I just recently started getting Nitrate readings of 0. Typically the readings would be between 10 and 20 ppm. I actually repeated the nitrate test twice the first time I got a reading of 0 because I thought I did something wrong.

I hope my thoughts here will help anyone else interested in keeping a low tech tank. You can still have good lush plant growth without HO lights and CO2. Plants will grow slower and you might not be able to grow every type of plant but you can still enjoy the fun of having a nicely planted tank. By the way I also have a low tech 29 gallon tank that has quite a few more varieties of plants that do quite well also.

Any recommendations on how to improve my 10 gallon tank would be greatly appreciated also. I am always willing to listen to any suggestions.

Thank You For Reading
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Last edited by trapperwolves; 08-12-2012 at 10:52 PM.. Reason: Added information
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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how long has this been set up? I can't get cambodia to grow for me in those same lighting conditions, I think I might just be needing some ferts and diy co2
My 75 gallon High Tech Tank:http://tinyurl.com/n7zp47m
My 10 gallon High Tech Tank:http://tinyurl.com/qyf7s5o
My 5.5 gallon nano College Dorm Tank:http://tinyurl.com/p54uupj
Mom's Spec V:http://tinyurl.com/qjt3rw2
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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The tank has been running for about a year now. One thing I forgot to mention is that I did add some Laterite to the gravel when first set up. That's what the brown specs in the gravel are.

Last edited by trapperwolves; 08-12-2012 at 10:54 PM.. Reason: Added Info
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:35 AM   #4
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That's a nice setup you have.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:37 AM   #5
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I like your plants. They look healthy and grow in harmony.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
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Thanks Guys,
I appreciate the kind words.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:48 AM   #7
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You don't need any CO2. DIY CO2 is notoriously unstable. Ferts could be useful but the same benefit can be achieved from adding more fish(10 endlers would make a fantastic addition); micro nutes should be dosed and 0ppm nitrates is asking for trouble (fish will fix this and produce some CO2). Also; adding root tabs to the gravel will add noticeable vigor to your plants. Otherwise I like the tank minus the gravel lol.
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