Mercury Shrimp's 20g Long Planted Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Mercury Shrimp's 20g Long Planted Journal

This tank has been up since april but i've decided to create a journal on it here. I have pictures from when it started so its no problem retelling everything. I might or might not enter it into the beginner's category in the upcoming APC contest in December but it depends how busy i am and if i am willing to throw away some species of plants that won't fit in the aquascape. Here is pics of it from the beggining and i'll continue to update it until recently but there is a bit of catching up i have to do first.

4-10-05

I began the tank and collected plants from my 40g tank and went to Petsmart and got some water sprite and dwarf hairgrass. I was thinking about using the dwarf hairgrass as a carpet plant and just using the Water sprite to get me started out. I also picked up the amazon sword and spent $20 at petsmart that day . And i also moved the co2 ladder i had on the 40g over to the 20g cause it was way more effective and i wanted to make the 40g fish only.
Tank Info-
Fish-2 balloon bellied mollies (don't see them in the pic cause they are on the left where the picture was cut off)
Plants-
Ludwigia repens
Giant Bacopa
Water Sprite
Java Fern
Amazon Sword
Dwarf Hairgrass
Apanogeton (dont know the excact species and dont care )
Substrate- 1.5in thick of gravel
Ferts- none yet (didnt know much about fertilizers till i asked avalon )
Heater- Tetra 10-30g heater
Filter- HOB Penguin 110
Lighting- 2-20watt CF daylight 6500k Lights of America screw in bulbs with 2 desklamps connected to the wall
Co2- Nutrafin Co2 system with ladder connected to a 2L bottle and i use my own mix for it
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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4-18-05


Things have been growing slow because i haven't added any fertilizers yet but you can see the ludwigia grew a little and the new growth was bigger leaves meaning more lighting then what it was used to getting in the 40g. Also the water sprite grew a little and i got the first little plantlet and stuck it in the ground in the front. I also moved a parrot's feather over to the 20g and an apanogeton and i spread out the dwarf hairgrass so it will carpet faster. Oh and i moved all the neons over to this tank.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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5-13-05


The tank is realy starting to fill up and the water sprite has begun its take over. I also got some ancacharis form the LFS a week before and you can see some of the off shoots near the front on the left side of the Water sprite. I've also added a lot of apanogeton bulbs that i had in the 40g and i added another pack that i bought from walmart on the same day i got the Anarcharis. You can also see that the Giant bacopa leaves are really starting to grow big and i am continuing to propogating the ludwigia. And i've been adding a lot of fish to this and continuing to add more neons as i go to make a nice big school later on.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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June 2005


The take over of the water sprite was completed when they finally taken half of the tank. During this picture i have already been fertilizing the tank using the EI method for about 2 to 4 weeks and the growth has been crazy. Also the bba at this time has been rollling in and out and some other algae (the worst case of bba was on the dwarf hairgrass). Since the last update i've added a little piece of plastic to the outlet of the HOB that lays on top of the water in a wall position and it stops all of the surface agitation and greatly increases the amount of co2 in the tank. I've also moved the small piece of driftwood to the tank to grow some java ferns on it as you can see in the middle of the tank with the little rubber bands on them . Oh ya and during this time i neglected the tank for 2 weeks cause i wanted to let the plants grow out, the pic above is after 1 1/2 weeks of no clipping, but i dont remember if i did a water change yet :/ maybe i didnt. Heres a pic of the ludwigia repens that almost spanned the whole tank but i cut it up cause it was badly shading out some plants.

I think its time for another tank spec update -
Fish- 12 neons, 2 albino guppies (1male, 1female), 3 ottos, 1 bristlenose pleco, dont remember if i moved the balloon bellies or not yet but i do later on, and 1 black balloon bellied molly (the only baby that all 20 of my balloon bellied mollies had, guess they all became infertile after that baby was born)
Plants-
Ludwigia repens
Bacopa Carolina
Water Sprite
Dwarf Hairgrass
Hornwort
Apanogeton
Java Fern
Anarcharis
Guppy Grass
A little remaining java moss on the wood that evetualy makes it through the bad algae stage
Dosing- EI
Co2- Running at 25ppm no problems (yet...)

Forgot to mention above that i ordered some cherry shrimp but when they got here the bags were leaking and all the shrimp were dead But there was some guppy grass in the box and i stuck it in the tank. I e-mailed the guy and he told me he would send me replacements and i asked him if he was selling anything else and he gave me a big list so i also ordered 3 amanos, pennywort, dwarf sags, and some H. polysperma . He sent them out the next Monday via DHL and everything got here alive .
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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shrimp pics

well, thought i'd share some pics of the shrimp before i move on to august and my first attempts to aquascaping the tank after 3 long months of battling algae

Super red cherry




2 of the 3 amanos i got and later on i added 2 more smaller amanos that my lfs was selling


and of course speedy my mystery snail
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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8-5-05

Well, the algae stage was over but more problems arised. The co2 ladder became infested with ramshorn snails so i moved it from the back of the tank to the side wall so it was easier to get to and clean but it seemed that every day some kind of gunk got in the track of the bubbles and the co2 was stopped for a few hours at a time until i cleaned it or removed whatever was in the way (usualy big ramshorn snails that dont now how big their shells are and think they can fit through the holes in the ladder) Anyways, other then some frequent fuzz algae on the wall and a little bba on old dwarf sag leaves everything was growing well except the Ludwigia repens. During this time 2 of the stems were going through some sort of melt and the bottom of the stem would start turning brown then it would continue to crawl up the stem and eventually the stem became mushy and the leaves started falling off . This took the ludwigia stems slowly and every week i had to throw away 1 or 2 stems but i had a trillion of them so it took a while to wipe them out. Also a few days before i found some 25w daylight bulbs at walmart so i bought some cause it was 10wats more then what i had and it was cheap ($4 a bulb). Heres the updated pic-


Since the last update i moved the driftwood from my 40g to play around with in the 20g. I wanted to use the driftwood as a centerpiece and grow stuff on it and create a carpet with the dwarf sag but eventually the dwarf sag got a little to tall and in a 20g long i only have 10in of space to work with and dwarf sag took half of it so the carpet idea wasn't a good one. I've also added some rotala rotufundila (sp?) to the mix and you can see the Hygrophila polysperma in the left side growing in quickly.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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8-12-05 (attempt #2)

This is proably the worst my tank has been looking in quite a while and after this i thought i should have just stuck with the first design. In this design i wanted to do the hill design where the plants slope downwards into a carpet. I kept some of the pennywort in the left side cause i didn't wanna swtich out too many plants at once or the algae could have a chance to take over cause i still haven't fixed the co2 ladder problem yet. Since the last update i've been doing a lot of plant shipping and ordering. I sipped out some najas grass and other fast growing stems and i traded some people with the dwarf hairgrass i had cause i didn't like the look of it in my tank. What i got through 2 trades and one purchase was 2 marimo balls, Marsilea minuta, xmas moss, erect moss, and Ludwigia brevipes. I've also went to the lfs a few more times and i picked up one anubias nana some needleleaf ludwigia (not doing too well but i still have some) and the guy at the lfs gave me some glosso free . Heres a pic of what the tank looks like-


The reason why i have this big empty spot in the left is cause i was trying to clear a spot for the glosso and the marsilea. I was planning on using glosso but its a high light plant so i don't know if it'll workout in my tank so i'm keeping the marsilea as an alternative option. I chose the position of the wood so the wood looked like it was going to be sticking out of the hill and i attached the xmas moss onto the bigger arm and some erect onto the smaller one and the nana is in the bottom right corner of the wood and i couldnt' decide how to attach it. After trying to attach the anubias to the wood in a good position i've found that it was harder then i thought and imagined and spent an hour trying to make it look nice but it turned out badly and i couldn't keep the scape longer then a week, but i did keep the hill idea .
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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8-26-05

I finally finished all my summer homework (4 days before school started ) and had all friday to think over the new layout. I looked at two articles on aquascaping and i've found they were pretty helpful. Then i went to APC to talk to some guys in the chatroom about the wood i had and some questions on focal points that i had. After about 2 to 3 hours of doing this i finally drew a little image in my brain of how i wanted it and how i was going to be placing everything. Ever since the last update I added the following plants- Parrots feather, Anubias nana 'petite', another Anubias nana, a nice handful of baby tears (already had some but they are slow growing, especially when you're waiting for them to grow to use), Sunset hygro, some crypts (wendtii and beckettii). I might be getting rid of the red crypt (forgot which one it was) cause it takes away from the focal point but i'll probably move the green crypt to the back where the taller dwarf sags are when it gets bigger. Since the last update i have also fixed my co2 problem (and hopefully it'll stay that way). What i did was get rid of the co2 ladder and made a powerhead reactor. After i added the powerhead in most of the plants have been pearling on a daily basis and hopefully this will continue. While i was clipping the plants and sticking them into the new layout i didnt have any room for the hornwort and pennywort so i got rid of it and stuck it into the 40g which seems to be packed with whatever i didnt want in the 20g :/. I'll also post the new tank specs which have changed quite a bit, but for now heres my pregnant cherry shrimp dragging her babies along.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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full tank view


right side of tank


glosso taken from top of tank

Any helpful criticism/opinions/comments welcome. Right now the right side in my opinion is pretty much set, all it really needs to do is grow in and fill in any empty spots but it still looks a bit busy cause of all the dwarf sag in front of the wood so i might switch it out with some more nana or nana petites later or some pygmy chains. As for the left side, i'm waiting for the glosso to grow in now, its doubled in amount since i got it but at first i didnt stick it into the ground correctly (didn't clip into individual plantlets) and i used some small tweezers but i got some 10in ones that work out pretty well and i replanted them after i snipped the longer chains. I am also gonna move the red crypt later cause it takes away from the focal point on the nana's and the rest of the right side.

Tank Specs-
Lighting- 2 desklamps with 2- 25w daylight 6500k Lights of America lights
Co2- 1- 2L bottle and a 1L bottle that came with the Nutrafin system connected to a DIY Powerhead Reactor
Inhabitants- 5 Amanos, roughly 12 cherrys, 14 ghost shrimp, lots of ramshorn snails, 1 Mystery snail
Plants-
Parrots feather
Giant Bacopa
Baby Tears
Sunset Hygro
Green Hygro
Ludwigia Brevipes
Ludwigia Needleleaf
Wisteria
Dwarf Sag.
Spoontip Sag.
Echinodorus tenellus 'micro'
Amazon Sword
Anubias nana
Anubias nana 'petite'
Crypt. wendtii
Crypt. beckettii
Glosso
Marsilea
Christmas Moss
Erect Moss
Java Moss
Fertilizers- Green Light Stump Remover (KNO3 4x week), Fleet Enima (PO4, 4x week), Flourish (Micronutrients 3x week)
Substrate- %50 Gravel, %50 Schultz Aquatic Soil
Filter- Penguin 110

more pics-

Ludwigia Brevipes


Parrot's Feather


another full tank shot


and another pic with no rim
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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8-28-05

Lately there has been a lot of brown algae in the tank so i moved an Oto into the tank yesterday but i am gonna plan to move maybe 3 more from the 40g into the 20g and they will most likely live in the 20g for now on cause i've found that once i took them out the following week brown algae started growing on the glass only. I intended for the 20g to be a shrimp only tank but a few otos won't hurt and plus they dont eat baby shrimp so that is a plus. Also since the last post i recieved some mini moss and some taiwain moss and might see if i can stick that into the tank soon. The other moss that i have like the xmas moss are showing some nice new growth even though it is hard to see its growing Also the java ferns are growing at a pretty nice rate and all the anubias have shot out at least one new leaf since a week ago. The giant bacopa is growing nicely and doing what i intended for it to do which is grow out of the water. I wanted it to do that so the hill look doesn't just stop at the surface of the water but instead I wanted plants to be growing out of the water making the hill taller. Another good sign that i have noticed in this past week is most of the baby tears has stopped growing upwards at about 2in tall and they are growing sideways which is a good sign cause that means enough lighting
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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9-2-05

Today after school i saw a flower in my tank and i went to look at it and it turned out to be a flower from my giant bacopa. Anyways, before that i never knew that stem plants had flowers or would flower in my tank so i was a bit suprised. I dont know if this happens to everyone all the time but this is a first time for me so if you wanna see what it looks like heres a pic of it -
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Growth Comparison 9-4-05

I just took some pics of my tank so i thought i'd update it and that way you can see how some of the plants are growing in. The growth right now is actually slower then i had expected like the glosso and the moss but i can't say the moss wasn't expected to grow that slow, its just its REALLY slow . The glosso is slow cause i just started off with a little and i need it to fill a third of the tank. Other then that everything is growing so fast my 40g is filling up with plants really quickly. You can notice that the dwarf sag is really filling in quite nicely and the baby tears is growing quite thick but not as fast as i want it to.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Cherry shrimp update 9-7-05

Today i was looking at my tank and guess what i saw. A baby cherry shrimp ! And that was this morning. This evening i was lucky enough to find one playing around in the dwarf sag leaves so i snapped some pics to share. They are a little blury but they are way better then the first 5 pics i got cause i was having a little problem focusing on such a small thing so far away. The leaf they are on is a dwarf sag leaf so if you have some or seen some then you can imagine how small they are. Anyways heres two pics of it-



Also, its not just the cherrys that are reproducing (thats a ghost shrimp in case you are wondering and the thing near its mouth is some Hikari Crab Cuisine)-



Well i'm finally caught up on my journal, hope you like it and can provide some helpful advice to help me out Also any comments or questions are welcome too. I'll try to update the journal whenever possible. I haven't decided if my tank is up to the challenge in entering it into the APC beginners section yet cause i'm still in my collecting stage and don't want to ditch any of the uglier species that won't work out in the tank, but i'll see, December is a long way from now
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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9-10-05 Update

Hey everyone,
Today I took some new pics after yesterday's maintanence. Since the last update i recieved some riccia 2 days before and attached some to the wood and to one of those sewing things (dont know name). I decided to turn it into a moss farm for now until i have a lot to work with. I also decided to clear some floor space to make room for the moss so i removed the baby tears. I still have a big clump of it but i had to move the baby tears out of the corner. Now that i think about it i should have moved the baby tears in the front right corner instead of the baby tears in the back corner Oh well, i'll probably fix that problem next friday. Anyways so far I have plenty of xmas moss, erect moss, a little sample piece of taiwan moss, a sample piece of java moss, and a tiny piece of mini moss to work with. I just ordered more java moss, mini moss, and weeping moss so it should be here next next week (not this week but next )
Heres some pics of new growth and the placement of the moss-

In this pic you can see the glosso is growing in pretty nicely-


whole tank shot -


Heres a pic of what i have so far on the moss farm (small amount but it'll grow)-

Going from left to right on the sewing pallet thingies i have riccia (dont know if it will grow at this depth in the tank yet), erect moss, taiwan moss, and a tiny piece of java moss. The xmas moss is the piece in front of the piece of wood and i have a big clump on the wood also. And the mini moss is too beaten up to be worth the photo so no pic yet.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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lovely journal shrimp. It is quite hard to stop from collecting new mosses once you jump into it . . . neh? I recently had someone e-mail me for a plagiomnium sp. I collected in north Dakoda, and he'll be trading me some peacock moss for it. Once you start you just can't stop! Trading and looking in damp places for unseen treasures.

Beautiful shrimp too. Keep it up man! And make sure you glosso doesn't run over the pretty marsilea now!
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