20G shrimparium
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:29 PM   #1
crazymittens
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20G shrimparium


Overview
This build has a similar goal to my last (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=185167), namely that I want little to no maintenance (aside from feeding) while still getting the benefits of a lovely aquarium to look at.

Since the shrimp really didn't enjoy themselves last time (read: fish bit their heads off) and we enjoyed them so much, I just had to make amends. Thus...shrimparium. I'll be doing red cherries again with the purpose of a) shrimpies, and b) breeding for adding 'waves' to the 50G. (shrimpies are awesome, btw)

Basic premise
  1. 20G 'long' (lying around) w. MTS and spare gravel
  2. Rena Filstar XP1 (leftovers)
  3. Home Depot 'brooder' lighting
  4. Glass lids to keep evap down
  5. Shrimpies & moss
  6. That is all

Yeah, we have a miniminiminimal budget this time around. My wife was amused/annoyed at how my 'no really, we can do this for $500' quickly more than doubled last time, so we (we) are watching dollars like a hawk for this project.

The good news...mineralized topsoil materials are already 'in the house', glass for the lid is leftovers, the filter is leftovers, and the tank is leftovers (was going to be the sump originally on the 50G project). So the whole project aside from plants and the 'brooder' reflectors is 100% diy/leftovers.

Construction
I'm not sure if I'm retarded...or just silly for overcomplicating my first project, but I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to plumb the canister filter. Ya, internet had to help me out. Spraybar??? Weird angly-pipy stuff? Wat.

Anyways, once it was up and running, not really that complicated. I had run a prototype setup that was complicated, and it 100% did not work.
  1. Water sucked into XP1 from tank
  2. Water pumped from XP1 into sump
  3. Water pumped from sump into spraybar (via standalone pump)
  4. Etc

Ok, it was close...but due to pump head losses, the in-sump pump was 'just' too weak, and the XP1 slowly drained the 20G tank into the sump. Obviously bad news bears, and since I didn't have another/stronger pump lying around, I abandoned the idea. According to that online filter/bioload calculator, the XP1 is at 25% capacity with 80 shrimp...so with plants, should be able to keep things maintenance-free.

This was my first opportunity to cut glass (for the lid), so the glass cutter I'd had lying around for 10 years was finally used...pretty easy, actually! Once the glass was cut, I drilled holes for the XP1's input/output plumbing using bits from the diamond holesaw set I got off [Ebay Link Removed] Totally worth it to spring for the set when I had just needed 1 or 2!!



Pretty sure I'll still cut the large piece in half to make access easier.

I read through one of the threads on DIY lighting...will dig up the link...and came away fairly convinced that the brooder lamp DIY was the one for me. Cheap to make, cheap to maintain, no fuss.



Yep.

Plants
I'm horrible at remembering people's names...so latin plant names is even worse. Will do my best.






  1. Java moss...attached to a floating plastic ball
  2. Water wisteria?
  3. ?
  4. Java fern
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?

Ya ok that was bad...all I know is that the 'java fern-y' red one the guy said is hard to keep, but was interested to see how it'd do in MTS. I think same with the other red one. If someone feels generous enough to name these, that'd be cool. Eventually I want to do both tanks up like a science center/zoo exhibit...one day.

I got them from a local guy who is in the process of getting out of the plant...breeding?...hobby. Really cool guy, had a great conversation with him Saturday morning. He's on gtaaquaria.com and is a dras.ca member, too.

Oh...forgot the other moss bed thingy.



10. Mossy moss moss.

There we go.

Anywho. More to come...MTS is in process. The plants are living in the 50G until we're ready to move. Driftwood is in the garage awaiting choices...whee.

p.s. Shrimpies!
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:55 AM   #2
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Hum. Been raining a lot, MTS process is delayed.

Oh, forgot to post this...driftwood collection!

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Old 06-18-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
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This was the lighting article I was referencing: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=85667

A great read. I mentioned this to the guy I bought the plants from this past weekend, and he thought it was an interesting view, but challenged it based on possible algae issues. I guess we'll see how this turns out.

Oh, and I am pretty sure we'll be doing DSM on this one - I'd really like to get a nice moss carpet for this tank.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:05 AM   #4
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Drained the tank in preparation of test fitting driftwood.



My wonderful wife voluntarily uncovered the MTS today, so it was nice and dry when I got home. I used our rain tank (1000L...best investment for our yard so far!) and a watering can to soak it back to mud. It gets covered up at night so raccoons/cats don't 'ruin' it.

I think with the forecast for this week, it should be ready for Saturday/Sunday.

Last point to consider with this batch of MTS is how best to incorporate the clay. It's been soaking...but I'm not convinced that's best. It tends to never get small enough, I think.

Anywho...as with the 10G project...waiting game. Bonus that the plants in the 50G are still doing fine...hopefully they'll be okay for another week.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:19 AM   #5
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is #3 mini bolbitis?
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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Could very well be. I'll try and spend some time figuring out what's what. As mentioned, I'd love to do a little display panel next to the aquarium listing all the scientific naming, plant info, etc.

Hm...maybe do a LCD picture frame kind of deal...
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:12 AM   #7
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MTS is coming along beautifully. Definitely will be ready for Friday...which is good, because rain predicted for Sat/Sun.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:16 PM   #8
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No pictures uploaded yet, but progress made.
  • Topsoil mineralizing done
  • Driftwood washed and hotglued together
  • MTS process completed and everything installed in the tank
  • Java fern & java moss added to driftwood
  • Dry start method...gonna try it out. Misting regime started.

Been about 3-4 days of misting, no mold yet, so far so good.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:58 AM   #9
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#3 possibly Bacopa of some type? ...Wish I could help more. Cool driftwood! Can't wait to see more pictures (and shrimp)!
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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Yay pics.

Trying out different driftwood setups...zipties and velcro helped.


In the tank after MTS placed.


Rather fun shapes.


This is what MTS should look like when it's pretty much done. Very very fine consistency.


Hard to tell, but this tub was a single bag of topsoil...the red marks on the Olfa give you an idea how much MTS was required for this 20G tank.


Progress!!





Progress plus a few days.


Today, still smells 'nice' inside, everything still green...taking that as a good sign. Mist schedule is twice daily, fairly generous misting, but not to the point of soaking everything.

Really curious if the java fern will make it...supposedly both java fern and java moss are cool to be grown emersed.
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:49 AM   #11
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Ok, gonna take a stab at those plants again...
  1. Java moss (TAXIPHYLLUM BARBIERI)
  2. Water wisteria (HYGROPHILA DIFFORMIS)
  3. Bacopa monnieri (?)
  4. Java fern (MICROSORUM PTEROPUS)
  5. Barclaya Longfolia
  6. Ludwigia Palustris (or LUDWIGIA REPENS X L. ARCUATA)
  7. Callitriche Terrestris (?)
  8. Bacopa monnieri (?)
  9. Some sort of bacopa? (bottom looks like b. monnieri, top looks like...?)
  10. Pretty sure also java moss
  11. Not pictured... CRYPTOCORYNE CRISPATULA VAR. BALANSAE
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:16 PM   #12
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Some pictures going up later today.

Update summary....
  1. Added a thin layer of leftover gravel (0.5" at most).
  2. Flooded the tank a week ago or so, decided the java moss was doing better in the 10G planter than DSM. Misting was not reliable due to my schedule.
  3. Discovered how buoyant beach driftwood is...very glad I did not attach to eggcrate like initially planned.
  4. Added more lighting, also put onto the timer.
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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Pics... I thought I had a full tank shot of this...not much to see. The nana was in the tank during the storm I made filling it up. Whups. Also...yes, I have two different lights on this tank right now. Due to the massively buoyant driftwood, the single breeder lamp no longer provided adequate coverage...so I chucked the spare 36" unit on there...different bulb colours and all.




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