This story starts with disaster, as every good story does. Is it obnoxious to say this will be a great story? Yes...and I am sure it will merely be a mediocre story at best. I digress.
I set this tank up a while back, scaped and planted happily chugging along after a fishless cycle. Added a colony of CRS and everything went great for a further 2 months. Then, much to my horror, the tanks crashed for an unknown reason. After having all parameters measuring steady for the entirety of the shrimps stay in the tank, an ammonia spike caused what I suppose was the beginning of a mini cycle. I could not prove that it was a mini cycle as it did not get that far, in fact, 80% of the shrimp died within a couple days and despite constant water changes, addition of prime and stability, I ended up with only 6 survivors. The story for those shrimp did not end there, they have made their home in my 20 gallon and seem to be doing well.
Picture of the tank prior to its demise.
Well...needless to say that the tank was torn down and now we are here. Starting again.
For fear that a pollutant entered the water, the tank was moved from its location to the bedroom, my wife is an amazing person for allowing this.
Of course this meant that a stand had to be built, or at least that is what the wood worker in me decided. I wish I had documented the build a little more, but it followed the exact pattern as my previous build for the 20 Gallon and came out looking pretty good.
When it comes to setting up tanks, I cannot help but attempt to scape, so the process began. Initially the design was to follow a similar route as the previous iteration, however the rocks took up a lot of space and limited planting. So, I dove into the remainders of my ohko stone and started playing around.
Not good enough, and frankly seemed difficult to successfully plant the way I want.
Better, and I can work with it.
A glimpse at the stand as well, sand added. I am aware it does not look overly natural, sand can be easily changed.
Day 1 planted.
Set up and planted. This will not be the final planting style, the aim clearly will be to have a full set of plants rising above the rock line. I do not have the plants I want on hand and cannot justify another purchase for plants that melt away in the post. Over time the narrow leaf java fern behind the rocks will fill out and begin to create a nicer back drop.
Though I am not enthralled by this design and overall appearance, I feel in time and with some additions of mosses, this tank could look quite nice.
Day 2 - cleared up following another water change.
A picture of the bedroom, yep the wife has allowed two tanks to exist in the bedroom. I am a very fortunate man.
The future for this tank is to attempt some successful breeding of my Blue Dream Neo colony. I have had some success in the high tech 9 gallon, but I am wanting to bolster numbers and explore the shrimping world further.
That is all for now, cycle time...again...again.