New Guy's Shrimp Jar - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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New Guy's Shrimp Jar

Well, howdy. I've been lurking for a while and finally got inspired to put together a shrimp bowl.

The "bowl" is a 2.5g jar that floated around work for a couple years. No one wanted it, and a few weeks ago I thought, "Hey, I know a good use for that!"



I had an idea for a little sponge filter for my tank. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the side of the jar, ran a piece of aquarium tubing through the hole, and sealed it with silicon. I put an air stone on the end of the tubing, and I siliconed a coupler for a 1/2" PCV pipe on the bottom of the jar. I cut a slot in the coupler for the air tubing to go into the filter.



I wanted to make this a dirt tank, so I siliconed a piece of plastic canvas around the bottom of the jar to keep the dirt confined so it would not show through the sides of the jar.

I made the sponge filter out of PVC plumbing parts and a Penn-Plax Cascade Bio-Sponge I found at the LFS. (Now for the obligatory apology for cell-phone pics.)





Here you can see the filter inserted in the coupler. The air stone is inside the filter.



For the dirt layer of the substrate I used about 1/2 cup of MTS, about a cup of MGOCPM, a couple teaspoons of a powdered red clay I bought at a local pottery shop, and a few pellets of Osmocote plant food.

I capped the soil with a filter sand I got at a local landscape company.



The DW I had lying around from another project, and the plants I bought at Olathe Pet Shop (Olathe, KS - a great LFS, BTW).

I was excited about getting the plants and forgot to write down what species I bought. I know there's a corkscrew val of some kind, an anubias nana, some kind of crypt, I think some dwarf sag, and some duckweed to help during the break-in.



For light I'm using this LED in a small shop-light reflector (I painted the reflector black on the outside).



Here you can see the top with the duckweed and the out-put from the filter.



I'm still waiting for it to cycle. I used some squeezings from my 29g's filter - we'll see if that helps.

My parameters are: pH-7.2, NH3-1.0, NO2-0, NO3-7.5, PO4-1.5, temp-69, KH-2, GH-180.

I've been adding 4 drops of Flourish Excel each day. No shrimp until it cycles and settles down - probably a month or two.

We'll see how it goes...
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 01:13 AM
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Looks good, I really like the idea of having the tube come in from the bottom so it's hidden.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks - I like to keep it clean looking. When I add the shrimp (probably just start with RCS - I'm new to the shrimp thing) I plan on heating the jar. To heat it, I'll make a little stand for the jar and put the power supply for my laptop under it. I've done that with a betta bowl before and it worked great. You can moderate the temp by how high the bowl is over the power supply. That will keep me from having a heater cord hung over the edge of the jar.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 03:06 AM
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Sounds like you're a DIY Jedi...nice work!
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the duckweed is growing like crazy. It doubled in about a week. I took half of it out so it didn't shade the other plants too much.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 03:59 PM
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I like how you managed to hide your filter. Good looking jar!


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 04:00 PM
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This is really a sweet looking jar! How large is the opening? Will it be easy to wring out the sponge filter if you need too?

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Originally Posted by woolfam View Post
Thanks - I like to keep it clean looking. When I add the shrimp (probably just start with RCS - I'm new to the shrimp thing) I plan on heating the jar. To heat it, I'll make a little stand for the jar and put the power supply for my laptop under it. I've done that with a betta bowl before and it worked great. You can moderate the temp by how high the bowl is over the power supply. That will keep me from having a heater cord hung over the edge of the jar.
And this is such a sweet idea haha! You could also use one of those heater pads and rest your tank on it as well.

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't glue the filter tubing together so I can just pull it out of the coupler I siliconed to the bottom of the jar and take off the sponge for servicing.

The jar opening is about 8.5 in. dia.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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I also didn't glue it all together so I could change the air stone if necessary.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 04:42 PM
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Ah ok 8.5in is pretty large. Hard to tell a sense of scale with the pictures. I thought it would be hard sticking your hand in haha.

And for shrimp, you don't need to seed the beneficial bacteria fully. If you want to wait that's fine as well, but shrimp almost have no bioload so the tank doesn't need to be fully cycled.!

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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As far as adding shrimp, I kind of wanted to give it a month or so to see what the soil was going to do. It has not yet cycled - still have about the same water parameters. I am getting some diatom growth on the anubias leaves.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I decided to change my light. My plants were getting a little yellow. I got a 26w CFL and hung it about 12" above the surface of the water. Looks like about twice the amount of light.

Noticed a couple other things. 1) The corkscrew val has sent out a runner & started a new plant. Cool. 2) Pond snails. Must have hitch hiked on the plants. Oh well.

Water parameters are the same, so not cycled yet.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 03:10 AM
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Wow, 26W over that small thing! Tons of lighting! Are you dosing ferts or anything in there?

You can let the pond snails cycle at least!

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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I'm kinda new at this. I have ferts from a previous endeavor I could use. I take it that's too much light? Should I get a 20w bulb? Raise this one higher?
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 04:22 AM
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26w will be fine with a dirt bowl. Plants will grow like mad! This is mine, no algae just really really fast growth.
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