Cheapest rcs breeding set-up
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
shadowaquatics
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Cheapest rcs breeding set-up


Hello, everybody! I hope that your tanks are doing well! I am about to set-up a tank to breed RCS, and I would like to know some cost-effective methods/items/DIY so that I can reduce the overall cost of everything that I will have to have in order to be successful. I would love for the tank to be heavily planted with low-medium light plants, I will have MTS snails, and RCS. That's it. I am looking for advice on all of the hardware, especially these items:
  • tank (I would love for it to be a tank, not just a plastic container as some suggest. I would like the tank to be 10 gallons). This is mostly just informative for the rest of the post, as I will likely purchase the tank from my LFS for $14.00.
  • plants/shrimp/snails (I have a place where I can purchase the three, but they will be around $70.00 for everything!) I need some RCS, somewhere around 5+, and for plants I would like to have duckweed, frogbit, guppy grass, and java moss, just enough to get these plants started. As for snails, I mentioned MTS. I just need enough to start a colony.)
  • substrate (I would spend as much money as Eco-Complete. I have tried AS and disliked it.)
  • lighting (I have heard that I would need a 6500K lighting set-up, which I have used before but cost me around $45.00.)
  • CO2 system/fertilizers, etc. (Do I need any of this?)
I would appreciate it if you could all supply cost-effective methods for helping me set-up a RCS breeding tank as I have outlined above. Thank-you very much for having the patience to read this entire post, and I hope that this can be a very involved discussion so that I can learn well!
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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If I were only attempting to breed them and not have a display tank I would buy one of the 10 gallon complete set ups from Petland (or similar place). I think they normally run $40 or less.
The light will be sufficient for low light plants, it will come with a filter (just add a sponge over the intake), and possible a heater.
Heaters are optional for RCS if you keep your house warm (65ish).

If you're going to have plants, you may want to buy some plant substrate. You'll need about 10lbs, and that will cost about $15-20.

I would buy the plants from forum members in the WTB section. Some people sell their clippings real cheap, and make a great starter. You can probably spend about $10 and fill your tank.

You can buy RCS from a forum member as well. 30 is a good starting population for breeding. I bought 30 on ebay for $30 shipped. Generally the forum is less expensive than that.

You can probably get some snails for free if you ask in the local forum, or from the person you buy shrimp from. If you where here I would give you some Malayans.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
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For rcs, you do not need any special substrate- inert gravel or sand is fine.

Get a cheap compact florescent full spectrum bulb to shine on the tank for the moss and an economy hood is optional.

Ditch the CO2 system/fertilizers, etc. if you are trying to do cheapest and you don't need it for duckweed, frogbit, guppy grass, and java moss.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:52 PM   #4
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70 Dollars seems alot for the shrimp snails and plants. For the plants you describe you don't need high light, co2, or fertz. For a simple RCS tank you could buy pool filter, black blasting sand, or cheap black gravel. If you buy plants from TPT you will probably get someone to throw in some MTS for free.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:52 PM   #5
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Key: sponge filters

A shrimp keeper's best cheap friend
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananariot View Post
Key: sponge filters

A shrimp keeper's best cheap friend

+1 on this.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:00 PM   #7
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+2 on that
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:03 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies everyone!
  • I do not have a Petland anywhere near me, unfortunately. I only have a Petco and Petsmart, with Petco being the much closer option.
  • I know about sponge filters and have used them in the past. I assume I will only need one. Do I need any other filtration?
  • How will I have full spectrum lighting without a hood?
  • About the shrimp/snails/plants: I will check the buying/selling section, but it seem hard to find everything for under the $70.00 I was already considering from a different source!
  • What type of sand for substrate? Will it be fine for both the shrimp and plants and snails?
  • So...I do not need a heater? My house is heated for around 70 F all year.
Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowaquatics View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone!
  • I do not have a Petland anywhere near me, unfortunately. I only have a Petco and Petsmart, with Petco being the much closer option.
  • I know about sponge filters and have used them in the past. I assume I will only need one. Do I need any other filtration?
  • How will I have full spectrum lighting without a hood?
  • About the shrimp/snails/plants: I will check the buying/selling section, but it seem hard to find everything for under the $70.00 I was already considering from a different source!
  • What type of sand for substrate? Will it be fine for both the shrimp and plants and snails?
  • So...I do not need a heater? My house is heated for around 70 F all year.
Thanks!
I know my Petco offers a 10G setup for like 30$, they also have a 20G one for 50$ or something too. And if you want your RCS to breed "well", your going to probably need a heater. You don't "need" it, but it will increase the breeding rate up a lot. RCS like it at about 74-77ish. Any type of sand is fine, Pool filter sand is great and cheap! 50lb bag for about 4-8$.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:12 PM   #10
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If your house is at 70 then you don't need a heater. If you pick the right low tech plants an inert substrate works fine (play sand, pool sand, colored gravel, etc). It will be fine for plants, snails, and shrimps. Plantwise I would stick to mosses, java ferns, and maybe floating plants.

Petco will ave similar low cost startup kits. Or check craigslist, you can get great deals there. I recently got a 30 gallon, a stand, heater, a gravel cleaning hose attachment, and 2 air pumps for $40.

A heater is better, of course, but since we are going low cost here it is the first thing I would cut.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:18 PM   #11
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By the way, for sand, you want black (if there's a choice) for better shrimp colours. The most cost effective way IMO is to buy everything used, including the tank, light, filter, everything. The only thing is that this method is very time inefficient as you're pretty much waiting for someone to sell it.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletFire View Post
By the way, for sand, you want black (if there's a choice) for better shrimp colours.
+1 I would just go with cheap black gravel, but if you want sand, there is always the Petco Black sand.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:22 PM   #13
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Alright, everyone! I took the time to research some answers for my area and here is what I have found out:
  • My Petco sells empty ten gallon tanks for $14.00, and a ten gallon kit for around $70.00, which does not include a fluorescent light or heater, or thermometer.
  • I would like to have a 50W heater because it will increase breeding.
  • I have never used sand as a substrate before. Any advice?
  • Plants will be: frogbit, duckweed, and guppy grass; possibly java moss if I can make a moss carpet with sand substrate?
  • I am having a hard time finding livestock, including plants that are somewhat cheap on the buying/selling section, but I am still looking!
  • Will the tank need a cover? (Sorry if this is a silly question.)
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:27 PM   #14
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- Don't get duckweed. You will never get rid of it. NEVER. Java moss is always good since it's low light, and there's a lot of surface area for algae to grow on it for shrimp to feast on.
- I like sand because it increases the surface area on the ground for BB and algae to grow on, and when the MTS buries itself into the sand, they look really cute.
- A cover for the tank will decrease the amount of evaporation, and thus a lower water bill.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:29 PM   #15
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What really? The 10G in my Petco is only 30$ with hood, no heater...
I also wouldn't recommend using Java moss as a carpet, since it doesn't spread as quickly as the other mosses. But if you really want to, I would tie them onto river rocks (dollar tree has them) with some cotton thread, and place them in any pattern you like, and eventually, all the cracks should be covered. Trimming the moss and placing them in different areas is much easier this way too. Make sure to use the flat ones! I tried this before, and it doesn't take as much time as the other ways. (canvas/etc)
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