5.5 G Shrimp Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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5.5 G Shrimp Tank

Hi everyone this is Killi,

I have been looking at this forum for about one year now, and have gotten into the aquarium hobby two years ago, and the planted tank one year ago. This is my third aquarium, the first being a 48 Gallon and second a 15 Gallon shrimp tank. As maybe some of you have followed my other posts, this is a shrimp/low light/low tech/No co2 aquarium. I go to college so I didn't want to be dosing daily.

Here are the specs:
Aqueon Glass Aquarium 16 3/16", 8 3/8" x 10 1/2"
Aquaclear 20 Filter (still noisy 2 hours after priming)
15 W Spiral CFL 6500k
Eco Complete 20 pounds 2.5 " front to 3.5" back

Big thanks to Regloh and peter_l for plants and Down_Shift for trying to help out, it's great to find people in the area that are this friendly
Java Fern
Anubia Nana
Crypt Wendtii red or green
Moss (probably Java)
Phylantus Fluitans
I'm looking at other lowlight/tech plants

Red Cherry shrimp around 5 for now (Maybe Tigers)
Lampeyes for the start and probably move on to Celestial Pearl Danios

September 15th: I have started the filter (media: Sponge then Ammonia Remover from Imagine, then Bio). I have tested the tap water and it has PH 8.6 KH 3 GH 1.5 Not very good...
I will be adding plants as soon as I can, and may be adding a couple Lampeyes next week. I need to pop by Skiptons/LFS to find wood, rocks etc.. for hardscape as I have nothing yet. Need to buy timer, will probably set time around 10h a day.

Special thanks again to Regloh for everything, peter_l for his advice and plants, Searunsimpson, Church, lauraleellbp, Down_shift and Ariel for answering my questions for this tank !
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 03:21 AM
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You're welcome.

I can't wait to see some pics once you get it all planted! It might not hurt to keep a bottle of a comprehensive liquid fert around, just to have it for when you think the plants could use a little nutrient boost. It doesn't matter the brand, just whatever's available to you. Kent's, Seachem, dry ferts that you made into a solution yourself... Sounds like you're off to a good start.

Personally I don't bother with things like ammonia-removers, so hopefully that won't mess with your tank's cycling, I don't know. That pH is pretty bad... was that right out of the tap? Or did you let it sit a bit? It's workable though. A little CO2 will fix that right up for you! Or you could just use distilled or RO water.

Last edited by Church; 09-16-2009 at 03:22 AM. Reason: grammar naziism
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 01:48 AM
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Hey no problem.
It was good to meet you today. Hope that java fern works out for you...

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, thanks for having a look

September 18th : A lot has happened:

New: Plants, Fish, Hardscape, Equipment -> Everything is in

Met peter_l and he was kind enough to pass me for free filter muck, java moss (with some on an anubia leaf), christmas moss, japanese moss/cladophora, and phyllantus fluitans.

- Three very nice anubia nanas (maybe petite) from a forum member
- From my LFS Seachem Discus Buffer (Ph is very high in boston), 5 beautiful and i love them, Norman Lampeyes 15$ (recommended by peter), driftwood 10$ and wisteria. I ended up sawing 2 inches off the driftwood as I had underestimated it's size since I was too busy admiring it.
- Java fern Regloh was nice enough to give.
- New lamp clamp with reflector.
- Filter wise I put a sponge on the intake, sawed off a bit of the pipe as it was too long, and replaced the ammonia media with another sponge.
- Rubber bands and polyester thread (couldn't find cotton) and attached the three anubias, the java fern, and the moss using the rubber bands (easier than thread) to the Driftwood.

It looked great, like a flower arrangement and I didn't have my camera. I had two choices, either have the aquarium from high to low from left to right in height, or have the driftwood standing up in the middle, a bit out of the water, and from an "island" around it. I figured that filter flow from my HOB would be better if placed on the left edge, the Lampeyes are loving the current.

You can see what I went with, although the pictures really don't give it justice (especially with the bottle holding down the driftwood), i'll take others when I get my D80 back. In the middle of the driftwood there is an arch, and I decided to dig it out and give the middle a valley effect. I may buy white sand to represent a stream, or grow java moss to represent the stream and a waterfall (the white sand will stand out more against the black eco-complete)

I don't really like all the substrate, what do you guys think ? I think there is too much especially in the front. All in all I am very happy, I honestly didn't plan any of this, it just came together as I looked at the driftwood and the plants, meaning that I made a big mess disturbing the substrate.

Tomorrow I am meeting up with Down-Shift who is kindly letting me go through plants he has (so many kind people here !), I will test the water and put up the results, order christmas moss from Efish , and in two weeks get Red Cherries and/or Tiger Shrimp from Peter.

Hope you didn't mind the length and please leave comments

P.S.: Wow these are terrible pictures, I hope you get an idea of what I'm heading for, I'll repost better pictures tomorrow, I should move the wisteria more to the right to stick to the "triangle" principle (Left to right, Up to down)

Edit: Peter by accident had a shrimp in the plants, hopefully it'll survive the parameters. Driftwood still hasn't sunk, I can't boil I don't have a kitchen.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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September 20th:
I have met up with Down_Shift who was kind enough to give me a bag full of clippings and a smaller bag full of riccia and java moss. After going through the bags I was able to get huge amonts of plants including Blyxa Japonica, an Anubia, Green crypt wendtii, Marsilea minuta, hygrophila...
The tank is quite full, I am not sure where to put all the riccia and java so for now most of it is floating.
I really like the packed nature of the tank with all the different types of plants (although all green), hopefully the aquarium will survive and flourish, the coming days and weeks will be of great importance.

Water tested today: Using the Tetra kit it's hard to read the results but here is what i think they are
PH 7.8
Ammonia: 1.5mg/l
Nitrite 0.3mg/l
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Update September 29th:

Plants haven't really taken off yet but the water quality is better with 7.0 PH and 0 Ammonia.
- I have quite a hair/string algae problem
- Most plants don't look too happy, the anubias leaves are withering, turning brown, with one small hole on one. The new leaves are withering too and the tips are dying off.. Blyxa japonica hasn't taken off either but is also dying.
- Filter is quite noisy, definitely a defect but I don't want to go without a filter while I send it, or have to buy another one.
-Fish do look happy ! That's about the only good news.

The tank is definitely missing nutrients and even the low tech anubias are suffering.
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