low-tech planted shrimp tank?
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
naturelady
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low-tech planted shrimp tank?


I am looking to set up a 9 or 10 gallon shrimp tank. I am new to exclusive shrimp tanks- just have some cherries in my heavily planted 30g community tank. I'd like to get them their own setup.

I've read quite a bit on this forum to try and learn how to set up a shrimp tank. However, lots of people seem to say that shrimp and plants just don't go along too well. Is this true? It seems to me that many of the goals of low-tech (no CO2, light fert schedule, few water changes) counteract the objections to shrimp and plants. Has anyone done this successfully??

And, this is a new setup for me, so I want to set it up right. It will most likely house my cherry shrimp, although I MIGHT get some orange sakuras or yellow neos from someone local, depending how they do in his tank and what I decide to do.

Plants- Moved over from my 30g. Mostly anubias and crypts, although I am trying to get the mosses going. Some stems too.

Light- I'm probably going with a 20" Finnex Fugeray although maybe an 18" Ray2 (not sure- think that may be too much light).

Substrate- Open to suggestions. Thinking of aquasoil because that is good for plants and I think its good for shrimp also. Anything else that works well?

Filter- This is my biggest question. For shrimps, I see that sponge filters are considered the best. I'm hesitant to go that route because of the extra bubbles, maybe not so good for minimizing algae in my tank. And, my only memories of air pumps are from my goldfish tank 20 years ago- so NOISY. Are they still that loud? On the plus side- friendly to my pocketbook!
Also thinking about an in-tank canister (just not sure about that, don't know many people that use them). Or maybe a HOB or external canister with a sponge over the intake??? I'm more familiar with those.

Suggestions, experiences, and stories welcomed. You guys are the shrimp experts- what do you think?
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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Plants and shrimp go along great! I've never used aquasoil, but it seems everyone on this forum has a love affair with it. I have both eco-complete and flourite shrimp tanks. Your low light set up is what most people will suggest going with because of it not requiring CO2 and ferts. As far as filters go, I run sponges in all my tanks in addition to HOBs or canisters. They are kind of noisy, but I ended up getting a larger pump than needed and dropping it behind some furniture to buffer the noise. With those plants, the fear of off gassing CO2, at least in my opinion, shouldnt be a concern.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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I love low tech shrimp tanks.

Getting the shrimp out of the planted tank in order to ship or sell them can be a pain but other than that I can't really think of too many good reasons not to have a low light (moss/crypts/anubias/etc.) low tech tank with shrimp.

If you are looking to keep some type of neocaridina then I don't see any reason not to suggest a low tech planted tank.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:36 PM   #4
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You said you wanted a low tech tank but you want to put Aquasoil, Ray2, and no CO2? What's the point of using expensive active soil and high light for that set up. Unless you are growing bedding plants then you will need CO2, but active soil for other type of plants is pretty much useless without CO2.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:50 PM   #5
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The Fugeray should provide more reasonable light.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:02 PM   #6
naturelady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieM View Post
You said you wanted a low tech tank but you want to put Aquasoil, Ray2, and no CO2? What's the point of using expensive active soil and high light for that set up. Unless you are growing bedding plants then you will need CO2, but active soil for other type of plants is pretty much useless without CO2.
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Originally Posted by naturelady View Post
Light- I'm probably going with a 20" Finnex Fugeray although maybe an 18" Ray2 (not sure- think that may be too much light).
I have found conflicting info as to what category the Finnex lights may fall into, so I was not certain if the Ray2 would be too much light. Thank you for confirming my suspicions that it would put me in the high light category.

As for aquasoil, I did say that it was because it is the one I am familiar with that is good for both plants and shrimp. Perhaps you have another suggestion? Although, in this size tank, I am not overly concerned about the cost because its a small enough tank. My understanding was that aquasoil had some buffering capabilities that made it work well in a shrimp tank, for keeping pH, KH and GH stable.

Low tech does not necessarily mean low initial investment. My other tank is a low tech that I have patched together over the years, and as other beginners to the hobby, I know that I have spent more over the years than if I had just spent wisely and gotten the better equipment at the start. If Aquasoil is what it takes to get healthy and low maintenance tank, shrimp, and plants, then Aquasoil is what I will get. If there is another substrate that will work as well for my purposes, I am open to suggestions and will consider all options. My primary goal for this tank is low maintenance while still having healthy shrimp and plants.

And thanks to all for the reassurances that plants and shrimp go well together. That makes me happy. I will keep looking into a good setup.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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Ray 2 will be way too much light for you without pressurized CO2 and daily fert dosing. Go with the Fugeray. Check the Finnex sponsor forum - there are PAR charts there if your'e concerned.

Aquasoil is perfectly fine regardless of whether you're high or low-tech. It just means you won't have to add root tabs for a long time if you have plants like Crypts or other rooted plants. It's nowhere near useless in any tank.

For filtration, what's your budget? I keep tons of shrimp-only tanks and really enjoy all kinds of filtration. Sponges, canisters, HOBs. If it were me and it was a tank that small? I'd go for an Aquaclear 30. Gives you plenty of room to customize filter media and you can use a sponge on the intake, giving you that benefit. It's also more quiet than the AC20.

If you wanted to get really fancy? Go with an Eheim canister. $65-$100.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
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Aquasoil definitely wouldn't be a requirement in the tank that you are planting but it has some nice benefits.

Nutrient rich, softens water, etc.

For neocaridinas you have a whole lot of flexibility in most of your options (substrate, filtration, etc.) even when using tap water.

For shrimp tanks I usually just take several pieces of driftwood and attach moss to them and use them to decorate in shrimp tanks but that is with no concern for how the tank looks. I have had a few that I never trimmed and which looked like literal jungles eventually and the shrimp don't seem to mind just so you have good filtration.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:42 PM   #9
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somewhatshocked- I am leaning toward a HOB for this tank. Although I COULD go for a canister, that gets really pricey because what I would do is take the 2213 from my 29gal (I know, I know, you think its massively undersized!) and put it on the new 10 gal, and get a 2217 for the 29 gal... and then the hubby says "You spent HOW much?" He's liking the cheapo HOB I got for my quarantine tank so far, so I like the idea and convenience of HOB for the new tank. Will definitely go with Aquaclear, and thanks for the suggestion on size.

Good to know about flexibility for this tank. Are yellow neos as easy as cherry shrimp? I wouldn't expect so, but maybe...
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:49 PM   #10
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Some people will tell you that Yellows are more difficult. I've never found them to be more difficult, though. Sometimes they're tough to see in a tank unless you get some really high-quality, bright shrimp.

Orange/Pumpkin Neos are also really attractive in a planted tank. My go-to favorite shrimp are Painted Fire Reds. Sure, they're common... but they're striking. No matter what you pick, I think you'll be happy with them.

Maybe you could even do some regular Tiger Shrimp along with the Neos? They're pretty hardy, too.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Some people will tell you that Yellows are more difficult. I've never found them to be more difficult, though. Sometimes they're tough to see in a tank unless you get some really high-quality, bright shrimp.

Orange/Pumpkin Neos are also really attractive in a planted tank. My go-to favorite shrimp are Painted Fire Reds. Sure, they're common... but they're striking. No matter what you pick, I think you'll be happy with them.

Maybe you could even do some regular Tiger Shrimp along with the Neos? They're pretty hardy, too.
From personal experience, tigers are nowhere near as bullet-proof or easy as neos.

Not saying that they are real difficult or that they can't be kept together but I have had tanks where the tigers died off and the neos never missed a beat. I didn't bother to check tank parameters to find out what the problem was but the point is that the neos (and malawa shrimp in my experience as well) pretty much require you to really screw up to kill them all off.

naturelady: I would definitely recommend one of the Aquaclear models (specifically) for a planted shrimp tank if you are going to use a HoB filter.

I get these Filter-max pre-filters (large foam intake sponges) and put them on the intake of the AC HoB filters and they keep baby shrimp out of the filter and they also allow you to go a lot longer between cleaning out moss/plant debris from plugging up the intake of the filter. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...6&pcatid=21426

At this point, for ease of maintenance, I have pretty much gone to AC 50s (I like one even on a 10 gallon tank but it might be a little strong in terms of flow for your preference) filled with sponges and/or bio-media in all chambers with Filter-max pre-filters on the intake but there are a lot of options available and there are a lot of stainless steel (pretty) intake guards, DIY sponge intake guards, etc. available for use on the AC HoB filters.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:20 PM   #12
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you can do a DIY Co2 inject, with sugar, yeast, water for the ray 2 =)
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:18 AM   #13
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I don't mean Orange Eye or Black Tigers but standard Tiger Shrimp. The selectively-bred shrimp (early on, anyway) tend to be more difficult to keep. But I keep regular Tigers and Super Tigers in parameters as varied as I do Cherries.

Quote:
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From personal experience, tigers are nowhere near as bullet-proof or easy as neos.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
I don't mean Orange Eye or Black Tigers but standard Tiger Shrimp. The selectively-bred shrimp (early on, anyway) tend to be more difficult to keep. But I keep regular Tigers and Super Tigers in parameters as varied as I do Cherries.
I wasn't saying that they can't be kept together.

But even regular old tiger shrimp are not as hardy as neocaridinas.

I just wanted to point that out.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:54 AM   #15
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madness: The Filter max pre-filter sponge is what I use on my 29g Eheim intake so that is what I would probably use here too. I had bought a smaller sponge previously (maybe Fluval?) but it was small enough it kept clogging. Why do you say AC50s are easier for maintenance on a 10gal?

aluka: You are correct, I could do DIY CO2, but I don't want to. I want to take care of the tank properly with low maintenance. I don't want the constant cycling of high and low levels of CO2 with DIY (or no level, when I forget to refill it on time ). I am content with slow plant growth, as long as I have other things balanced so I also get similarly slow algae growth.

I appreciate the recommendation on Tiger shrimp. However, for right now, I think I will stick with what is locally available. However... if I should change my mind... is there anyone on the forum that regularly sells plain Tigers? The only ones I've seen so far are OEBT or black tigers. I saw a pic somewhere of what I presume were plain tigers, and I thought they were kinda cool (I am not much a fan of the glowing orange eyeballs, truthfully).
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