Red Cherry Shrimp Tank - Help!!!
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:47 AM   #1
mackamoo23
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Red Cherry Shrimp Tank - Help!!!


Hello, everyone! I hope that your aquariums are well! I have had an enormous interest in planted aquariums w/ shrimp for quite sometime now. I have attempted to breed Ghost Shrimp before, so I have had some experience, although I did not succeed. This post is precisely about how I can save money constructing an aquarium perfect for large amounts of plants and red cherry shrimp. I appreciate your help, and hope that we can engage in an interactive discussion to figure this out; thank-you for your time!

I have heard about using a ten gallon tank to start, and I think that this may be the best route. I am probably just going to purchase this at my LFS for $13.99.

I am probably going to select Eco-Complete as a substrate, although I was hoping that there would be a cheaper answer that would be just as effective.

The tank will be heavily planted with the following plants: HC for carpeting, Water Wisteria, Marimo Balls, Lesser Duckweed, Amazon Frogbit, Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, Anubias Nana, and Fissiden Fontanus. What is the cheapest way to procure these plants?

The only livestock for this tank will be Red Cherry Shrimp and Malaysian Trumpet Snails. What is the cheapest way to procure these shrimp and snails?

The lighting will most likely be two 18-watt 6500K CFL bulbs with clip-on desk lamp fixtures for a total of about $30.00, still cheaper than a hood w/ light. Any cheaper methods for this set-up?

The 50W heater, air pump, sponge filter, and other miscellaneous items will be purchased at my LFS.

Should I make a DIY CO2 set-up for this tank?

I plan on having some real driftwood pieces in this tank for the Fissiden to eventually cover. Will this work?

I appreciate all of your help with creating cheap solutions for this tank so that it can come to life and finally be more than just a dream. My overall budget for this tank is not too high, and I appreciate any and all help! I will be very responsive to suggestions, so feel free to post now! Thank-you!
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:14 AM   #2
mackamoo23
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Can anyone offer some help?
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:27 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=mackamoo23;2707474] I have attempted to breed Ghost Shrimp before, so I have had some experience, although I did not succeed.

Most of the ghost shrimp commonly sold require brackish water for their larvae to survive, even if you had ones that breed entirely in freshwater any and everything eats the larvae (including the other ghost shrimp) so even among accomplished aquarium keepers, it's pretty common to not see much success with the critters.

I have heard about using a ten gallon tank to start, and I think that this may be the best route. I am probably just going to purchase this at my LFS for $13.99.

The larger the tank size, the more inherent stability there is in the water parameters, but cherries will breed enthusiastically in pretty much any size tank. I've had successful breeding occur in everything from my 37g community tank down to a .5g planted bowl with no filter or heater.

I am probably going to select Eco-Complete as a substrate, although I was hoping that there would be a cheaper answer that would be just as effective.

Red Cherry shrimp are extremely hardy and do not require special substrate to buffer PH. You can use pretty much anything you like: aquarium gravel, fluorite, sand, etc.

The tank will be heavily planted with the following plants: HC for carpeting, Water Wisteria, Marimo Balls, Lesser Duckweed, Amazon Frogbit, Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, Anubias Nana, and Fissiden Fontanus. What is the cheapest way to procure these plants?

I'd caution you against the lesser duckweed--it can rapidly overcome a tank and is next to impossible to get rid of once introduced. If you main interest is in breeding cherries, you may also want to skip creating a 'carpet' affect and concentrate on a low to moderate light set up as the cheaper and easier option: no C02 system to buy (or risk of gassing your shrimp) or heavy fertilization and a few lamps with 6500k CFL bulbs will more than supply your light needs.

The only livestock for this tank will be Red Cherry Shrimp and Malaysian Trumpet Snails. What is the cheapest way to procure these shrimp and snails?

The sales section here is a good source for plants, shrimp and snails if you don't have a local source. Prices are generally as good (or better) than you'll find on places like aquabid, MUCH better than the usual large sites and these are common enough items to be pretty readily available.

The lighting will most likely be two 18-watt 6500K CFL bulbs with clip-on desk lamp fixtures for a total of about $30.00, still cheaper than a hood w/ light. Any cheaper methods for this set-up?

The 50W heater, air pump, sponge filter, and other miscellaneous items will be purchased at my LFS.

Should I make a DIY CO2 set-up for this tank?

Only if you really want to. If you're looking to create a carpet, C02 is a big help, but otherwise you have no real need for it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:30 AM   #4
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10 gallon is a good start.

You mentioned you want HC as carpeting, Eco-Complete is a bad choice. Use active soil like ADA and start dry until your HC developed a little. However, ADA will buffer the PH to below 6 so it's not good for Cherry shrimp.

Getting light is critical for particular plant like HC. 6500k T5 is efficient. Also Finnex Fugeray if you like saving electrical bill and go LED.

Heater won't needed since we are entering spring. Unless your area still snowing and cold. A tank in a room temperature won't need heater.

There are choices of filter: HOB, Sponge, Canister, etc... I like the combination of HOB and Sponge. HOB to get the water flow filtration and Sponge to keep the bio load and oxygen going in the tank.

DIY CO2 is not recommended because it cannot be turn off during the night and turned into poison.

Driftwood is great for attaching plants. So go for it.

If you can get your hand on cherry shrimp locally it's the best way. But don't pay for more than $1 per shrimp (really depend on availability of the area so price is varies)
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackamoo23 View Post
I have heard about using a ten gallon tank to start, and I think that this may be the best route. I am probably just going to purchase this at my LFS for $13.99.

If you have a Petco nearby, they do $1/gal sales in most areas at least twice a year (this is what they do over here). Tank sizes included in sale are usually 10-55gal.

I am probably going to select Eco-Complete as a substrate, although I was hoping that there would be a cheaper answer that would be just as effective.

Eco-Complete is a good choice for low/med light plants. Cheaper alternative is pool filter sand, gravel, etc.

The tank will be heavily planted with the following plants: HC for carpeting, Water Wisteria, Marimo Balls, Lesser Duckweed, Amazon Frogbit, Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, Anubias Nana, and Fissiden Fontanus. What is the cheapest way to procure these plants?

Skip out on the duckweed. It'll take over the tank, extremely messy, and hard to get rid of once it's in the tank. I would also advise against floaters for a low budget tank because they grow fast and block out a lot of light for your other plants. HC does best in high light and CO2 which can become costly even for DIY (sugar, yeast, water costs every few weeks). You got to choose your priorities. DIY CO2 can be detrimental to breeding your cherries as for a first timer you can kill off your shrimp. As for cheapest way, that would be in the Swap n shop here or possibly a LFS.

The only livestock for this tank will be Red Cherry Shrimp and Malaysian Trumpet Snails. What is the cheapest way to procure these shrimp and snails?

Again on the Swap n shop here or possibly a LFS. $1 is the max I would pay for RCS unless it's a specialty line bred shrimp like Sakuras. Then I'd pay at most $3 each. Homeless Aquatics is a great store to buy from. He'll ship anywhere in the continental for a reasonable price and the livestock costs are CHEAP! I know Tim personally and he's a great guy to deal with!

The lighting will most likely be two 18-watt 6500K CFL bulbs with clip-on desk lamp fixtures for a total of about $30.00, still cheaper than a hood w/ light. Any cheaper methods for this set-up?

For about $11-12 you can get some LED spotlights. It'll save you money on your electricity bill. Just get those clamp light fixtures from Home Depot or Lowe's and a [Ebay Link Removed] spotlight LED[/URL] or [Ebay Link Removed] spotlight LED[/URL]. IMO 9w would be way too much though.

The 50W heater, air pump, sponge filter, and other miscellaneous items will be purchased at my LFS.

Should I make a DIY CO2 set-up for this tank?

IMO to keep costs low, no.

I plan on having some real driftwood pieces in this tank for the Fissiden to eventually cover. Will this work?

Yeah it'll work. Just use super glue gel on it or use cotton thread to tie it.
My thoughts above in red.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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My LFS is Petco. They are not currently doing a sale on tanks, and I do not think that I will be too stingy about $4.00.

The substrate that I would use can either be cheap sand for around $4.00 or Eco-Complete for around $20.00. Which would be better for the plants I am selecting? Can they be raised successfully with just the sand?

I have had Duckweed before and do not find it too difficult to remove. I have never wanted to get rid of it before, but tested a hypothesis to see how easily I could. I used to have a 55 gallon with Duckweed as the only plant, and it was a community tank. I added about five goldfish from Petco, they were large, and my Duckweed problem was eliminated in a week, as long as I didn't feed the goldfish directly. It never grew back. I would love for a carpet to be in the tank. If HC is completely out of the question because of my specifications, etcetera, then what other plants, in this set-up, would produce a nice, lush, thick carpet? As for the other plants, I think I am going to need a carpet, something to tie onto the driftwood (Fissiden), Water Wisteria, Marimo Balls, Duckweed, Frogbit, and possibly a few others. The plants are already decided upon, but the carpet is still in question (just about what plant to use for it).

Shrimp and Snails can be found on TPT for cheap? I will check out the link to Tim, and see if he can help.

DIY CO2 is not out of the question, but if it is not needed for the set-up, then I would prefer not to get involved. I have never used CO2 before in a tank, and as someone mentioned, I could kill all of the shrimp very easily or at least stunt their breeding.

How much lighting will I need for this set-up? The cheapest lighting that I can find is in the form of two clip-on desk lamps with 6500K CFL bulbs (18-watts each). Is this too much or too little lighting? I still live at home with my dad (I am seventeen), and he doesn't care about the electricity bill/water bill, so that's why I haven't looked into LED.

Thank-you for all of your help thus far!
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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I checked Homeless Aquatics. He does not have any RCS in stock, and it looks at the MTS are out of the question as well. Any other ideas, or just rely on TPT?
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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I can send you some cherry shrimp. Just pm me when you are ready. Why do you want mts? You don't really need them in a shrimp tank. I have plenty of those too. Just pm me when your tank is up and going.
As far as filters go, I use only sponge filters in my shrimp tanks. I got tired of plucking shrimp out if the back of my hob filters. The tank will have to be set up and running for a month or so before you add shrimp. The plants can go in right away. I have a desk lamp over one if my tanks with a cfl bulb in it and plants grow just fine. If you want an HC carpet I agree with a previous post. Get a quality led. When you're ready just pm me, I have tons. Don't worry, it won't be too much, just cover shipping and a little extra for my time.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Red Cherry Shrimp Tank - Help!!!

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I checked Homeless Aquatics. He does not have any RCS in stock, and it looks at the MTS are out of the question as well. Any other ideas, or just rely on TPT?
He has Sakuras. They're line bred Red Cherry Shrimp

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Old 03-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Red Cherry Shrimp Tank - Help!!!

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Originally Posted by mackamoo23 View Post
The substrate that I would use can either be cheap sand for around $4.00 or Eco-Complete for around $20.00. Which would be better for the plants I am selecting? Can they be raised successfully with just the sand?

I have had Duckweed before and do not find it too difficult to remove. I have never wanted to get rid of it before, but tested a hypothesis to see how easily I could. I used to have a 55 gallon with Duckweed as the only plant, and it was a community tank. I added about five goldfish from Petco, they were large, and my Duckweed problem was eliminated in a week, as long as I didn't feed the goldfish directly. It never grew back. I would love for a carpet to be in the tank. If HC is completely out of the question because of my specifications, etcetera, then what other plants, in this set-up, would produce a nice, lush, thick carpet? As for the other plants, I think I am going to need a carpet, something to tie onto the driftwood (Fissiden), Water Wisteria, Marimo Balls, Duckweed, Frogbit, and possibly a few others. The plants are already decided upon, but the carpet is still in question (just about what plant to use for it).

DIY CO2 is not out of the question, but if it is not needed for the set-up, then I would prefer not to get involved. I have never used CO2 before in a tank, and as someone mentioned, I could kill all of the shrimp very easily or at least stunt their breeding.

How much lighting will I need for this set-up? The cheapest lighting that I can find is in the form of two clip-on desk lamps with 6500K CFL bulbs (18-watts each). Is this too much or too little lighting? I still live at home with my dad (I am seventeen), and he doesn't care about the electricity bill/water bill, so that's why I haven't looked into LED.
The plants can grow successfully in the sand, but I would invest in some root tabs to put in the sand. I'm at a loss with recommendations for a careting plant that will actually carpet with no CO2 or low/med lighting. You can shove moss into stainless steel mesh and grow it to give an appearance of a carpet.

Reason being that CO2 isn't a good option is that it causes the pH to drop. Cherries and other neos tend to breed more often in neutral or higher pH. I'm not saying they won't in lower pH as my blue velvets are breeding in 6.4 pH. There's also an increased risk of killing your shrimp when using CO2.

That amount of lighting is good. It actually puts the tank at 36w on a 10gal. I'd consider that high light. It'll be fine since you're using floaters. The link to the LEDs was removed, but if you want it, I can give it to you. The 3w led spotlight is $4 and the 9w is $5. They use the regular e27 light bulb socket so you can screw it into those clamp on lamps. Both of them come in an optimal spectrum for growing plants. Imo the 9w would be blinding. The 3w is pretty bright too. Either choice will save your parents some $$ on the electricity bill. Plus it'll give the tank a really cool shimmer (this is what got me hooked on LEDs and MH lighting).


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Old 03-04-2013, 03:45 AM   #11
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I have never used LED lighting before, just a fluorescent hood on an old twenty gallon. What would the total cost be for high light set-up for a ten gallon tank with LED? As for substrate I am going to use sand with some type of soil underneath it. As for the depth of sand vs soil, I still haven't figured that out, or the type of soil to use.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Red Cherry Shrimp Tank - Help!!!

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I have never used LED lighting before, just a fluorescent hood on an old twenty gallon. What would the total cost be for high light set-up for a ten gallon tank with LED? As for substrate I am going to use sand with some type of soil underneath it. As for the depth of sand vs soil, I still haven't figured that out, or the type of soil to use.
The LED bulbs I'm using cost $5. They fit in any standard light socket. Total cost would be $5 + whatever you screw the bulb into.

If you cap off your soil, I would put something on top to keep the to separated just in case you want to move plants around. Maybe window screen or plastic cross stitching grid?

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:11 PM   #13
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1. I agree with others on the HC and eco-complete.. not the best options in that dept.

2. duckweed seems cool at first.. then gets really annoying in the end... I would stick to
one floater.. and when you get bored of it.. switch it out to something else later..

3. you can ditch the HC, and not worry about co2, and go low tech with almost everything on your list.. if you are really looking for a carpet, maybe try some dwarf hairgrass.. so that maintenance and "mowing the lawn" isn't going to be as often as HC with co2

4.since your LFS is petco, you will need to look out on the forums b/c things like fissidens aren't going to be found there.. at least not at my petco (los angeles)

5. when choosing equipment for your setup minus livestock/plants.. come up with a budget... and choose items which you think you will use in the long run.. so you don't spend a second round of money on items you wish you bought the first time you setup. you'll be happier in the end this way.

p.s. - if you have any questions, I may have some leads for about almost everything except the tank since that'll be cheaper than getting it shipped to you.

Hope this helps with your new mission.. GOOD LUCK
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