Mountain & Valley Shrimp Tank - Fluval Spec V
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
etgregoire
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Mountain & Valley Shrimp Tank - Fluval Spec V


Hi guys this is my first tank journal! I currently have a 75g planted aquarium that has been set up for about 3 years. I run pressurized CO2, T5 HO lighting, EI dosing, with around 20 types of plants in there and filled with neon tetras, black mollies, otos, albino cories, harlequin rasboras, and an angelfish.

I have been wanting to set up another tank for a while, but there were always concerns about size and space, devoting more time, and of course getting permission from my partner! Well I found a great deal on Craigs for a new Fluval Spec V and after getting the green light I decided to go for it.

I decided I will be keeping shrimp in this tank, which I have never really done. I had a bamboo shrimp who last about a year and some amano's that eventually got eaten or escaped. But after doing some reading here I would like to have some Red Cherries.

So here's the low down on my "Mountain & Valley Shrimp Tank"

Fluval Spec V - using factory lighting & filtration
Fluval heater - which may not be working? Water just seems room temp?
Flourite substrate
Lava rocks
Lightly dosing Excel & Flourish

Peacock Moss
Blyxa Japnonica
Dwarf Hairgrass
Water Onion

Red Cherry Shrimp (still to come)
harlequin rasbora

The vision I had in my mind was being a nano tank, trying to create a scene that would mimic in my mind a larger space. More planned out than my 75 gallon, which is just kind of a grow-out tank I suppose.

I was imagining a valley below a range of mountains that shoot out of the ground like giant cliffs of a volcanic island. The plants would grow to larger kinds as we move up the mountains away from the valley.

So far I have the tank mostly up and running and I will follow in additional posts with photos of the process and progress!
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:55 PM   #2
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Friday evening, I met the seller to pick up the aquarium. Turns out he is a marine biologist but is working for Petsmart and he decides what fish go in what stores, and planning out the fish stocking at the stores in the area. He's got 9 aquariums up and running the smallest being 90 gallons and the largest being 250. Also a 2000 gallon koi pond in his yard. So this tank was maybe too small for him! But cool to meet someone so into the hobby. I could have talked to him for a long time asking about the tanks but he obviously had to go!

That evening I also picked up a bag of Flourite from my LFS. This was my first time using a substrate other than gravel. It looks so nice, I really am happy with how it turned out.

I also cannot believe there was ever any sort of debate about whether or not this stuff should be washed. It was black / dark brown out of the bag. And you can see how it looks now. I guess its debated as to whether or not you are washing away minerals... I don't know everyone argues about it, but either way it would have been cloudy forever with the small filter on this.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Here is the tank the next day after the water cleared up a little bit. The tank is sitting in our kitchen, on the bar against the wall. I am featuring it sticking out from the wall, with the filter in the back as appose to showing it width-wise against the wall. I think this will be an interesting way of showing it as you can look through both sides of it rather than just flat into it. It also plays along with the mountain scene, with the mountains arranged growing higher as the tank goes back, rather than from side to side.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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Saturday I made the trek up to Dayton to a LFS store up there. I didn't quite find the rocks I was after at the one I go to down here in Cincinnati. It was a long drive for a few rocks, but I found some cool ones and it was a nice little outing for the afternoon. I spent a lot of time digging through their rock selections after I narrowed it down to Lava. I then was trying to find the right 3 or so that would fit in the tank and go with the mountain theme I had in mind. I think these 3 look great together.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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I decided I want to make some "moss balls" for this tank. Which I have done in my 75 gallon using peacock moss and some smooth rocks I pulled out of Lake Erie when I lived in Cleveland. They are anchored to the stone using a shower scrubbie. The next photos will illustrate the process.



I pulled it out of the tank and put in in a bowl of water. I have pieces of the shower scrubbie, black thread, smooth river stones, and scissors. I trim off a bit of the moss, place it on the new stone, wrap the stone with a piece of nylon/plastic shower scrubby, pull it tight and tie it on the bottom.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...title=005c.jpg

The result, which I have placed back in my 75 gallon to grow them out before moving them to the smaller low tech tank.

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Old 01-14-2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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I also pulled out the 2 largest lava stones, and wrapped a bit of moss on them and tied down with thread. I put them back in the larger tank to help grow out before moving over.

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Old 01-14-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
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Then I decided to pull a few propagations from my blyxa japonica and place them in this tank as more forest, denser growth as we move up the mountain scape, away from the valley. I also added the water onion from my large tank to be at the top end of the forest growth, the tallest.



A close up of the blyxa.

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Old 01-14-2013, 04:07 PM   #8
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Sunday I was at Petsmart picking up some Tetra Safe Start, so I could move the Rasboras over to this tank. I happened to see some dwarf hair grass!! I've never bought the type of plants that come in a pouch before, so we'll see how they do. Not sure if they're going to take our what. The brand is called TopFin. So what the heck, I bought it and brough it home to plant. I placed it in a dish so that I could tear it apart and plant all of the pieces. I bought 2, and as it turns out 1 was a lot! I'll try and return the other package today.



Planting it was a little tricky because you can barely tell where the shoots and roots differ. I just tore out little chunks and tried to tuck the bunches down into the flourite. Here is the finish product of the "valley." I have left a few black patches which is where the moss ball rocks will go, once they've grown out a bit in the high tech tank.

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Old 01-14-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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Here is a shot that I tried to take from another angle to convey the valley and mountain scene.



So far I was able to catch 3 of the Rasboras and move them over. i don't have a pic of them in there yet but they are just in there chilling. I hope the bottle of Safe Start does the trick. It seems to have pretty good reviews!

That's all for today... And I may be in a holding pattern as I wait for the moss to grow out on the rocks and lava in the other tank...
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:13 PM   #10
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Looking good!
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:19 PM   #11
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I liked the mountain scape. I think the way you set up the tank is how it should be shown off. It is truly a good looking tank. Cant wait to see some more progress on your tank.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:20 PM   #12
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Thanks guys!

ROCK CHALK! I grew up in Lawrence... haven't lived there in over 15 years though. I went to Hillcrest and West.. haha!
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:27 PM   #13
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Its nice to see all those Jayhawk fans all around the country. Surprising how many there are. If you get a chance to go back you should it has changed quite a bit over the last few years.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:10 PM   #14
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Whats your room temperature? The heater is designed to keep it around 78f 25.5C
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:14 PM   #15
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Well... The room is probably 72ish. There was a noticeable difference to the touch between my 75g and this one. I believe that tank is around 76. :-/ May be buying a new heater.
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