Shmeeg's plant, shrimp and DIY mistakes. Taking pictures along the way :D
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:15 PM   #1
shmeeg
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Shmeeg's plant, shrimp and DIY mistakes. Taking pictures along the way :D


So I have been slowly piecing together a couple 'new to me' tanks, mostly on the weekends. Figured I'd start chronicling the ordeal so I can look back later and make fun of the mistakes I've made along the way. And take lots of pictures while I'm at it. Because who doesn't like lots of pictures?

Ok, I started a tank about...a year and a half ago. 29 gallons, spent way too much money buying plants online only to have it look pretty lame and I definitely had no idea how to balance out the tank so the plants would thrive. Hell I still don't, but I think I know a little more now than I did then. Anywho, went off to Afghanistan last year and the girl and mini girl were 'in charge' of tank maintenance. Neither one really knows anything about a) fish, b) aquatic plants or c) care/maintenance of either.

So when I left the tank looked roughly like exhibit A here:



Whilst I am gone, the girl tells me 'yes, I'm taking GOOD care of your fish tank!' She is doing such a good job that she even MOVES the tank and its inhabitants to a NEW HOUSE! All by herself. All of the oxygen breathers make the move ok and I am happy. When I get home most of the plants are nowhere to be found. Hmmm..ok, and what's all this slimy green stuff on everything? Algae. Lots of algae! Apparently the mini girl was doing of plenty of overfeeding for about six months. Yummy! And the canister filter media didn't get changed once Ironically, tank parameters were quite ideal despite it looking like poo. I cleaned it up a bit and have been toying with the lighting for the last month or so and it now looks like this:



About to take off to a bbq, more updates later!

Last edited by shmeeg; 02-18-2013 at 06:42 PM.. Reason: title
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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Around Xmas time I decided that my 29 tank wasn't big enough and that I needed to move up to a 55 so I started scouring Craigslist and Bookoo to score a deal. Found a 60 that fit the ticket and a large piece of driftwood that I 'needed' to have.



Then I needed a stand. I have a beef with tank stands. Why do they cost as much as the tank? Ridonkulous. So back to CL it was. Where I found this. And for only 50 bucks I tells myself. You can BUILD a decent stand out of this for a few bucks more I'm thinking at this point.



I'm not really into woodworking and have limited tools at home. I clearly didn't think this through ahead of time. So for those of you who might embark on this same mission let me break it down for you.

Stand $50
Plywood $30
Paint $25
Hardware $8
Time/Effort About 8 hours

I used the plans that I found here to build the support structure. My thinking was that I could just build this frame and then slide it in through the back and voila! It would be good to go. A couple new cabinet doors and some paint should complete the stand I says.

Well that didn't happen, the frame ended up being not exactly to the correct dimension so I had to tear it apart and ended up just putting a couple pieces of 2x4 on the back to support the weight and now I have no shelves. Or doors at this point. It needs a coat of polyurethane to waterproof it as well.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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The 10 gal tank in the above post is going to be a new home for my red cherry shrimps (RCS for those who love acronyms ) Currently they are housed with some fishes and the fishes be snacking on the bebi skrimps. Or the filter does. Not sure which. Anywho, figured I need to rescue them to their own abode sans predators. The light is a Finnex Fugeray. My first foray into LED lighting and DAYUM is this thing bright. I'm probably going to get the same to put over the 60 tank as well. I'm just going to do moss in the 10 so low-med light should be fine.



You may notice the cling wrap over the top of the tank. Maybe there's some carpet plants you don't see? DSM you say? Nay says I! I flooded the tank after rinsing the substrate and then sucked it all back out and just left it damp in there. My sponge filters won't be here until later this week so I figured I needed to keep the substrate from going completely dry. No idea if this is necessary, just figured I'd give it a shot.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:09 PM   #4
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the rimless 55 looks the business
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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Yesterday I was going to put STS (Safe T Sorb) in the 60 and give it a good rinsing but the stand needs more work first and I really have no reason to put it in there yet because I don't have anything else for that tank so I decided to DIY the back of the tank with some paint. Straightforward, simple, probably doesn't require Youtube for the average bear to do. But it gave me something to do in the name of progress so here's some pics.

I have one of those reversible solid color backgrounds taped to the 29 tank and it looks ok, but I'm not crazy about having to tape it on. I DO however like being able to hide all the wires and hoses. I won't ever have lily pipes or anything nice so out of sight out of mind here!

First tape some newspaper around the edge to keep the rest of the tank protected from overspray. The acrylic pieces provide a nice clean edge for taping.



All this moving tank around and taping makes a guy famished. Stomach signals brain that I'm hungry, I need a snack.
Crunchy dragon roll time!



So I'm thinking of a cliche' while I'm eating. Aquatic plant/tank maintenance. Sushi. You probably think I'm Asian right meow while looking at these pictures .

Nope, not so much .



Ok, back to your regularly scheduled program. Give it a couple coats of paint. I used some old flat black spray paint. Two coats then left it overnight to dry.





Peel off the painters tape and feel your inner Picasso swelling with pride.



I didn't get real even coverage apparently. There are a few lighter areas on mine so I am going to go over it with a brush using some of the paint the girl got for the tank stand to darken it up.


Last edited by shmeeg; 02-18-2013 at 07:41 PM.. Reason: forgot the snacks!
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hisxlency View Post
the rimless 55 looks the business
I've got mixed emotions about the 60. I love the lighter weight of the acrylic and it was pretty cheap for this one, but I'm not crazy about the top. It's probably going to be a pain to do anything in the tank that isn't directly under those two openings. If it was an entirely open design like the nice rimless tanks some of the other members have it would be sweet. Part of the 'learn along the way' I guess.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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Sunday is WC (water change) day in my house and I needed to get some new media growing bacteria to dump into the new tanks soon so I cleaned out the XP1 in addition to doing some light vacuuming of the gravel. I have a ton of MTS (Malaysian Trumpet Snail) and I'm always sucking up a bunch of them. Little bastards are like a plague! I got a couple Assassin snails on a trimming package a week ago, but I haven't seen them since I dropped them in the tank. Must be digging through the substrate enjoying all the tasty MTS down there? That or they went with a career change and are letting them all live. Whatever, back to the canister. So I go to dump out the canister and what do I see on top of the media basket but some little bebi skrimps They must have gotten sucked up before I put the prefilter on last week and have been chilling in there. I don't know if I should be happy they're alive still or concerned that the impeller needs replaced . So I pulled out about a dozen juvies and 3 teeny fish fry. I got a breeder box for the the currently berried RCS so I was able to do my good deed for the day and save a few aquatic lives

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Old 02-26-2013, 09:17 PM   #8
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not much happening lately. babies were born last week in the breeder box, lost a platy and a danio in the 30 from who knows what. only had those for about a month or so. all other inhabitants are acting normal, tank parameters are stable. started researching RO water units/supplies for shrimp tanks. ordered a eheim 2215 for the 60. got a clump of java moss for the shrimp tank. i really need to get some ammonia or throw something in it to get the cycle moving. got some of jake's (somewhatshocked) shrimp foods and its a big hit in the tanks. even the fish won't leave the stuff alone.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:33 AM   #9
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picked up a few hydro sponge filters end of last week. i had a hydro pro 2 in the 10 but the damn thing is just too tall. so note go with the hydro 1s for shorty tanks. i got 2 online from some joint in jersey on the cheap and they are just about perfect for a 12" high tank.



i haven't done anything to cycle the tank but drop in a prefilter out of the 30 gallon tank and put a few nerites in to clean up the slop on the glass. took water readings for kicks and of course theres nothing going on lol. need to get to the hardware store and buy some ammonia methinks. i scored a 20L and a used 2213 on bookoo monday. probably going to clean up the 2213 and try to make a pvc ugf for it. might need to put some new media in it. weekend project. still slackin on getting the 60 ready. reading through other tank journals to get the mojo goin!
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