New Shrimp Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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New Shrimp Tank

I have a 20g long that used to be a guppy breeding tank for the past 3 months. I'm turning it into a red cherry shrimp and red ramshorn tank. I'm hoping the background plants cover the heater and filters with time. Tried adding elevation when aquascaping for the first time too. I'm also getting dwarf hairgrass, spider wood to add moss to, and cholla wood. I also want moss pads like the one on the left, but afraid it blocks too much of the tank.

I'll be updating as more is done and as things grow. Shrimp I got are high grade fire reds, but they will all be around 1/3-1/2" so time will tell if they truly are.

Current plants:
2 kinds of crypts
Vallisneria spiralis
Java fern windelov
Water wisteria,
Jungle vallisneria
Sword (Forgot the name)
Java moss

Future plants/wood:
Dwarf hairgrass
Spider wood
Cholla wood

Please send thoughts and ideas my way as I would love to see what others think. Even if you think my tank blows, just state why so I can learn and grow as an aquascaper.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2020, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone with any feedback for me?? I'd really appreciate it.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2020, 12:47 PM
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Hi @Pwilly07 ; tank looks great - 20 gallon just for shrimp would be amazing.

To my mind you have everything ticked off:
- cholla wood
- java moss

Though looking at the photo - do you need the heater? Tank would look better and I believe shrimp will be healthier at lower temps.

Good luck with it.


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2020, 02:56 PM
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I'm just a n00b as far as shrimp raising or as a 'scaper.


But as a lifelong DIY aquarium tech experimenter, I like seeing DIY LED solutions like your tank lights. I think you may find that two of those double foam filters are probably more than enough filtration, as shrimp tend to be quite low on the bioload scale. I like powering mine with a tiny, DC voltage powerhead, keeps the natural CO2 levels slightly higher.

One thing about your substrate: using a KH buffering shrimp substrate, isn't really required or recommended for Neocaridina, as they need some KH hardness in their water. You could always add some Aragonite to make up for the KH deficiency.

The other comment about heaters probably is justified, *if* your house can be counted on to stay above 70 degrees. I would keep the heater in just as a fallback and set it at 70~72 degrees.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-20-2020, 07:34 PM
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I think your tank looks to be off to a great start. My main advice would be the longer you let it run before adding shrimp, the better. Besides the nitrogen cycle we concern ourselves with in fish tanks, when keeping shrimp, we are trying to establish a good growth of biofilm and various film algae that make up most of their diet. If I may nitpick one thing out of Gramp's good advice:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post
One thing about your substrate: using a KH buffering shrimp substrate, isn't really required or recommended for Neocaridina, as they need some KH hardness in their water. You could always add some Aragonite to make up for the KH deficiency.
I agree that it isn't required or recommended for Neocaridina shrimp, but I would not add seashells or aragonite. That is just going to overwork and shorten the lifespan of your substrate. Either let the soil remove the carbonates or don't use soil. I do not find that Neos require a testable level of KH. My own are breeding in 4 tanks using aqua soil and remineralized RO/DI with 0 dKH and 6/7 GH. It may not hit the targets that the care sheets suggest but I promise the shrimp don't care! I am also of the mind that the heater is completely optional. They get awfully cold in my outdoor pond in the winter and if they can live below 40 for months at a time, I cannot imagine you'll have problems dipping to around 60. I think you'd lose plants to cold temps before temperate shrimp from China.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 11:56 PM
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Well yeah if the tank is of a size that it doesn't change temperature rapidly like a 10 or 5 gallon, then a small temperature holding heater wouldn't hurt. I'm running a 25 watt in my 10 gallon Neo shrimp tank because we often dip to the mid 50's in our house at night in winter. It varies down to about 68, but I'll see averages of about 70-ish most days.

I run full covers on all of my home aquariums since we heat with wood.
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Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 02:49 AM
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I like it!

Is the tank to be viewed from both sides or just one? If it's both, I would personally move the vallis and sword over to the left-hand side, add the spider wood to that side too, and move the filter and heater over to that side, space permitting.

I'd have the smaller plants around the bottom of the wood and perhaps rocks. I'd probably add more crypts too, but they're just my go-to species. Dwarf hairgrass will look lovely in there.

Honestly though, it's your tank and what I'd do doesn't matter even if you did absolutely nothing else to it, I think it's nice now and will be even nicer once the plants have grown in a bit.

Oh and on heaters, I'd probably keep one in there to ensure temps stay fairly stable, even if it's set much lower than you would suit tropical fish. It would also help avoid the dreaded "crypt melt" too. Then again, it depends on the ambient temperature in your home/work at night - I live in a stone flat built in the early 1800s with drafty windows, so it's probably much cooler at night than a temp-controlled modern building.

Edited to add: If the tank's only meant to be viewed from the side shown, then I really like the small hill on the right-hand side. A wall of vallis at the back, with bushes of mixed plants and wood on either side and an emptier plain in the middle (maybe with a hairgrass carpet?) would look great too.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmartin View Post
Hi @Pwilly07 ; tank looks great - 20 gallon just for shrimp would be amazing.

To my mind you have everything ticked off:
- cholla wood
- java moss

Though looking at the photo - do you need the heater? Tank would look better and I believe shrimp will be healthier at lower temps.

Good luck with it.


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I keep the heater and it is set for 72. My basement isn't the best insulated yet so it can get down to 64 degrees. The coldest I've seen this month is 66.9 degrees, but I'd rather keep it consistent if at all possible.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I think your tank looks to be off to a great start. My main advice would be the longer you let it run before adding shrimp, the better. Besides the nitrogen cycle we concern ourselves with in fish tanks, when keeping shrimp, we are trying to establish a good growth of biofilm and various film algae that make up most of their diet. If I may nitpick one thing out of Gramp's good advice:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post


One thing about your substrate: using a KH buffering shrimp substrate, isn't really required or recommended for Neocaridina, as they need some KH hardness in their water. You could always add some Aragonite to make up for the KH deficiency.
I agree that it isn't required or recommended for Neocaridina shrimp, but I would not add seashells or aragonite. That is just going to overwork and shorten the lifespan of your substrate. Either let the soil remove the carbonates or don't use soil. I do not find that Neos require a testable level of KH. My own are breeding in 4 tanks using aqua soil and remineralized RO/DI with 0 dKH and 6/7 GH. It may not hit the targets that the care sheets suggest but I promise the shrimp don't care! I am also of the mind that the heater is completely optional. They get awfully cold in my outdoor pond in the winter and if they can live below 40 for months at a time, I cannot imagine you'll have problems dipping to around 60. I think you'd lose plants to cold temps before temperate shrimp from China.
It has been up over 3 months now as I had guppies in here previously. I didn't completely drain it out and same sponges were in the fish tank too. I had this put together for shrimp for 6 days after changing before adding shrimp. Snails kept bacteria from dying. Also, substrate is black diamond blasting sand. I don't want to spend money on aquasoil right now. Maybe I'll try it in another tank if this one thrives.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post
Well yeah if the tank is of a size that it doesn't change temperature rapidly like a 10 or 5 gallon, then a small temperature holding heater wouldn't hurt. I'm running a 25 watt in my 10 gallon Neo shrimp tank because we often dip to the mid 50's in our house at night in winter. It varies down to about 68, but I'll see averages of about 70-ish most days.

I run full covers on all of my home aquariums since we heat with wood.
I love my Mom's wood burner but it is outside her house. Looks like an outhouse and it holds a crap ton of wood. Fill it in the am and pm that's it. Heats pipes under floors of house and water hits 180+ degrees out of the faucet, but I digress.

I had heater so im going to keep it in there for now.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Thelongsnail View Post
I like it!

Is the tank to be viewed from both sides or just one? If it's both, I would personally move the vallis and sword over to the left-hand side, add the spider wood to that side too, and move the filter and heater over to that side, space permitting.

I'd have the smaller plants around the bottom of the wood and perhaps rocks. I'd probably add more crypts too, but they're just my go-to species. Dwarf hairgrass will look lovely in there.

Honestly though, it's your tank and what I'd do doesn't matter <a href="https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/PlantedTank_net_2015/smilies/tango_face_grin.png" border="0" alt="" title="Big Grin" >:-)</a> even if you did absolutely nothing else to it, I think it's nice now and will be even nicer once the plants have grown in a bit.

Oh and on heaters, I'd probably keep one in there to ensure temps stay fairly stable, even if it's set much lower than you would suit tropical fish. It would also help avoid the dreaded "crypt melt" too. Then again, it depends on the ambient temperature in your home/work at night - I live in a stone flat built in the early 1800s with drafty windows, so it's probably much cooler at night than a temp-controlled modern building.

Edited to add: If the tank's only meant to be viewed from the side shown, then I really like the small hill on the right-hand side. A wall of vallis at the back, with bushes of mixed plants and wood on either side and an emptier plain in the middle (maybe with a hairgrass carpet?) would look great too.
The tank can be viewed from both sides, but I set this rack up so that all the work can done behind the tanks. That way, when you come into the fish room, you see the tanks and not all the cords and plugs. It is not perfect, but I'm getting better at planning things out.

I'd like some more opinion on this based on new picture. I'm thinking of moving dwarf hairgrass to left side and putting spider wood where hairgrass is now with java moss on it. I have 5 more pieces of cholla wood too and thought about a small pyramid of them with some java moss or some small plants. What do you think?
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post
I'm just a n00b as far as shrimp raising or as a 'scaper.


But as a lifelong DIY aquarium tech experimenter, I like seeing DIY LED solutions like your tank lights. I think you may find that two of those double foam filters are probably more than enough filtration, as shrimp tend to be quite low on the bioload scale. I like powering mine with a tiny, DC voltage powerhead, keeps the natural CO2 levels slightly higher.

One thing about your substrate: using a KH buffering shrimp substrate, isn't really required or recommended for Neocaridina, as they need some KH hardness in their water. You could always add some Aragonite to make up for the KH deficiency.

The other comment about heaters probably is justified, *if* your house can be counted on to stay above 70 degrees. I would keep the heater in just as a fallback and set it at 70~72 degrees.
Thanks on DIY lighting. I like to save money anyway possible, but not make it cheap looking or bad for inhabitants of tank.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 06:06 AM
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Very nice!

I like the hairgrass, keep thinking about trying it myself so am looking forward to following how yours does I believe it grows in better when bunches are split up?

Honestly not sure on how a cholla wood pyramid would look, but I'm sure the shrimp would love it, which is the main thing. I'm not one to talk about "aquascaping" anyway, my tank is a jungle/mess at the best of times, nevermind the fact that I've just rearranged and ripped everything up

That's a nice piece of wood too, although I'd possibly get a similar but large piece and have it in that orientation, and lay the smaller piece on its side. I like the idea of the hairgrass on that side though, could look really nice.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input and I'll look into the whole hairgrass thing. Main thing so far is that shrimp are growing fast and they all look healthy. No dead ones anywhere either. I'll update in a few days with changes.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-06-2020, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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5/5 update: I moved the hairgrass and added moss to the spider wood. I also made the cholla wood into a pyramid and added moss. Just waiting for the moss to cover the visible super glue. Fed a green bean yesterday and it was covered by 4 snails and 6 shrimp in 5 minutes. Within the next half hour it was gone. Tonight's feast is a spirulina veggie wafer and it looks like everyone is happy!
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