5.5 gallon or 10 gallon? Planting?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:27 PM   #1
shadowaquatics
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5.5 gallon or 10 gallon? Planting?


Hello everybody!
I created a post yesterday and received some great answers which has helped me decide on some key factors, but I still have some questions that I have not been able to find answers for. I would appreciate all help and advice regarding the following questions, and please bare in mind that this is my first attempt at a planted tank w/ shrimp.

I would like to start by saying that any cost effective methods that you have used would be greatly appreciated. I am aware of the high costs of CO2, so I will use a DIY system, but there are other costs (lighting especially) that I would like to be able to minimize. What can I do to minimize the costs for lighting? Hoods for tanks, even just the bulbs, are extremely expensive in Petco and Petsmart.

My next problem is tank size. I am torn between a 5.5 gallon (I didn't know that they do not sell basic black 5 gallon tanks), and a 10 gallon. I would enjoy the smallest tank possible for this venture, and I hope that you could recommend one at the end.

I would love to begin a heavily, dense, planted tank w/ shrimp and fish. Let's start with plants. I love plants that are healthy/green looking, especially carpet-type plants. I love plants that grow quickly and "get out of hand", because I prefer my tank to be FULL of plants. I love the look of a tank that is very heavily planted. I may be able to incorporate driftwood, clay pots, etc. My question regarding plants is: What plants should I use and what else should I use with them (i.e. clay pots)?

Let's discuss shrimp. I have raised shrimp before with great results and would like to house my CRS with the plants. This should not be a problem to my knowledge, although I have never had a planted tank, and have opted for faux plants in the past.

...and finally fish. I would like to house some Otocinclus Catfish with the plants and shrimp, as well as some Pygmy Corydoras, and Bushynose Plecos. I have had great luck with these fish with shrimp in the past; your opinion?

Thank-you for your time and patience reading this long post and I hope that we can all communicate and find solutions to these problems. I will be available for the next few hours to discuss these when you post.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:19 AM   #2
CookieM
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The rule of shrimp keeping is bigger the size the better the water parameter consistency. Smaller tank will cause a big different in water parameter when you do 30-50% water change.

Also CRS love bigger tank and breed easily in bigger tank, if that's what you are keeping.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieM View Post
The rule of shrimp keeping is bigger the size the better the water parameter consistency. Smaller tank will cause a big different in water parameter when you do 30-50% water change.
That's just a good rule in general.

For lighting you could get away with some cheap clip on lights or desk lamp from anywhere with screw in CFL bulbs.

Stem plants will probably win when it comes to getting out of hand quickly. That means you could be doing trimming often. Currently I have dwarf sagittaria taking over my tank, it is running everywhere and pretty fast! I'm a little shocked actually, I didn't think it would move that quick. Vallisneria will also do the same but grow taller.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:16 AM   #4
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On the cheap. Go buy a cheap 5.5 gallon tank (10 bucks). Buy a desk lamp from Walmart and slap in a cfl bulb.

5.5 is fineformshrimp. I had over 100 rcs in a 5.5 at one point
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieM View Post
The rule of shrimp keeping is bigger the size the better the water parameter consistency. Smaller tank will cause a big different in water parameter when you do 30-50% water change.

Also CRS love bigger tank and breed easily in bigger tank, if that's what you are keeping.
Although this is true, if your starting with a low amount of shrimp (1-5), starting in a smaller tank is better because they can get to each other before the molt happens. If you had success with CRS before, parameters shouldn't be a problem for you. Stem plants are probably the winners. Hornwort in my experience can get out of hand too quickly because it grows so quickly! That's good if your doing a breeding tank only though. I prefer anacharis since it doesn't grow "too quickly" and sells for a higher price at my LFS.
If your priority is plants, I would focus on the plants, but if you have experience, I say why not? Just make sure not to use CO2. :P
Kinda risky for shrimp.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:06 AM   #6
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The problem with DIY CO is that you don't have a way of regulating how much CO2 is entering your tank. Even if you incorporate a bubble counter, the nature of how yeast produces CO2 means there will be times when a lot of CO2 is injected, and times when hardly any is. This makes it dangerous to use with shrimp because there is a chance too much CO2 will be released.

I don't really think there is a chance that DIY will produce enough CO2 to be a danger, but I haven't used it extensively. Just throwing it all out there.

Floating plants are typically fast growers. Anacharis, hornwort, cabomba, ludwigia, wisteria are all fast growers as well.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:16 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=shadowaquatics;
...and finally fish. I would like to house some Otocinclus Catfish with the plants and shrimp, as well as some Pygmy Corydoras, and Bushynose Plecos. I have had great luck with these fish with shrimp in the past; your opinion?[/QUOTE]

Going by the base 1" per gallon rule 1 of each of these will nearly max the bio load of a 10g and top the recommended bio load of a 5.5. That being said, topping the recommended bio load can be done, I do it in most of my tanks. The problem lies in how small your tank is and how difficult water chemistry will be to maintain.

BN and cories will uproot any carpeting plants why foraging and burrowing.

If you're planning on breeding you're also going to likely want to use ADA soil

As puddles said DIY CO2 will result in fluctuating CO2, which means fluctuation Ph, in a tank as small as 5.5g gassing your fish is a very real possibility. As are massive Ph flux overnight when the CO2 is being used. While it is unlikely you'll kill anything, you're just handicapping any breeding efforts which you may wish to pursue.
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