Eclipse 3 -- my first tank in nearly 20 years - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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That is one gorgeous tank! As mentioned above, you've managed to pack a lot into that small of a space and it is done beautifully. Glad to hear you are back at it after 20 years. How does it feel?
I love it! There are ups and downs, but mostly it's been a lot of fun. I get such a kick out of watching this little contained eco-system evolve over time. Breeding the shrimp has been the best part. Such a sense of accomplishment after so long away!
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, time for an update! Things are going along well for the new CRS babies. They're elusive little guys so it's hard to take an accurate census, but I've counted at least nine babies at the two week mark. They're growing quickly, going from about 1-2 mm at birth up to about 8-9 mm in two weeks. They're much easier to spot now, especially in the AM just before and after the tank light goes on. I've been keeping up with feeding them the rotifer/spirulina mix, a few drops every other day, just to make sure there's plenty to eat.

Mamma has a nice batch of eggs which should drop again in about a week and a half judging from her last brood. Predictably, I get molts from the other two adults every week just after the water change, and I even found two baby molts a few days ago. I think one of the other adults is a female, just coming into breeding size. Cross your fingers.

Here's a baby shrimp photo:



In this one you can see both a baby and the mother:



Here's all three adults having a pow-wow under the crypts:



And here's a couple shots of the tracked nerites (and a huge reflection of my camera ):





In the second one you can see some of the damage the nerites do to the crypts (vertical leaf left of the snail). I've been trying to feed them vegetables and spirulina tablets, but they're pretty picky. All they seem to like is French-cut green beans. Wish they'd leave the crypts alone!

Anubias continues to grow and crypts are coming along slowly, but steadily, putting on new leaves just a bit faster than they lose them. Java moss is going great guns. I have a little green algae up near the light, where the moss grows up out of the water, but nothing too severe and it doesn't seem to be spreading. There's a few tiny tufts of BBA on the micro-swords (and I do mean tiny ... I need a 10x loupe to see it), but the swords are dying off slowly and I'm not surprised they can't out compete the algae. Need to find some more aggressive ground cover. Still looking for marsilea hirsuta locally. Found some crypt. parva, but I'm hesitant to add it until I'm sure the CRS babies are established. Anybody tried growing parva in very low light like this?
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-30-2010, 10:42 PM
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beautiful little tank and awesome pictures!
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 12:20 AM
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Nice little tank



I also have an eclipse, 6 gallon, for almost a year, with a whopping 8 watts of light. Enjoyed reading about your start-up, really beautiful little scene..I am still trying to decide where I have room for my second.

I managed to get it down to one pond snail. I kept the one in a small bowl with a handful of algaed moss, while I killed off the rest. The big fella is now 2.5 inches and possibly senile (he keeps getting caught in weird corners).

My four nerites and pond snail all love slices of dark green zucchini skin, blanched to softness for a few seconds in the microwave. I cut a nice long slice, and they all climb on board.

I hung some peacock moss along the edge of the built in filter of the Eclipse, it grew down the side in a nice carpet to the surface, and now I let it grow a little across the surface (not too much cause of not wanting to blocking the light).

Looking forward to updates.

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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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My four nerites and pond snail all love slices of dark green zucchini skin, blanched to softness for a few seconds in the microwave. I cut a nice long slice, and they all climb on board.
I'll try that. I tried cucumber and romaine lettuce ... no luck. They'll eat the algae tablets, but it takes them a long time to find them and I don't like having that kind of food sitting in the tank for too long.

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I hung some peacock moss along the edge of the built in filter of the Eclipse, it grew down the side in a nice carpet to the surface, and now I let it grow a little across the surface (not too much cause of not wanting to blocking the light).

Looking forward to updates.
That's a neat idea! I bet the moss really thrives in the current. Don't think I could do that in this tank. I have to pull the filter out weekly to clean the sponge on the intake (it gets clogged quickly), so I'd have a hard time keeping the moss in one place.
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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beautiful little tank and awesome pictures!
Thanks! It's fun spending time hunting around the tank for good shots. Helps me see all the secret stuff the shrimp and snails are doing, too
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 03:49 AM
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Great tank you have there. It's deceptive how large these tanks can look sometimes. I'd believe it if you said that it was 15 gallons in size.

It's awesome how well you can grow those plants with the stock lights. I had to mod the heck out of my Edge to keep anything besides Java moss alive.

Is this going to be a shrimp/snail only tank or are you planning a few fishes as well?


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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Great tank you have there. It's deceptive how large these tanks can look sometimes. I'd believe it if you said that it was 15 gallons in size.

It's awesome how well you can grow those plants with the stock lights. I had to mod the heck out of my Edge to keep anything besides Java moss alive.

Is this going to be a shrimp/snail only tank or are you planning a few fishes as well?
I looked at an Edge, but the placement of the lights seems too challenging for me. I don't see how you could grow anything out on the sides unless you significantly altered the aesthetics of the design. And I have a hard enough time maneuvering in my little 3 gal. -- I'd go crazy trying to maintain the tank through that little opening at the top of the Edge!

As for stocking, I'd originally planned to add some shrimp-friendly fish eventually, but that desire is waning as I get more familiar with the shrimp. I'm not sure I could find a species other than oto's that would coexist with the shrimp. Dwarf corys have been suggested, but now that i see how infinitesimally small the shrimp are when they're born, I'm convinced they'd become cory food. Until my colony becomes a lot bigger I don't think it could withstand that kind of predation.
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 03:46 PM
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Great tank and shrimp.
And I can't believe you spent 20 years without a tank and lived to tell the tale!
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 03:55 PM
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that is the nicest 3 gallon tank i have ever seen... awesome work!
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 04:58 PM
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Beautiful tank!!!

I have a planted 6 gal eclipse at home. Not as nice looking as your 3 gal!

I also have a 3gal eclipse at work w/ a betta. It's not planted & I've been debating on planting it.

You have inspired me
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Believe it or not, I was *this close* to making this into a betta tank. A local shop had a huge shipment of Betta Coccina, and I was all set to go to do the tank as a single species showcase. It was my wife who suggested the shrimp. I had wanted to do shrimp for a while, but I wanted some fish, too. Bettas and shrimp don't make good bedfellows, so the shrimp won out, with the idea I would perhaps add some CPD's later. Then the shrimp had babies and that was that. I can't imagine adding any fish to this tank right now, unless perhaps I lose the nerites and replace them with a pair of oto's.

The E3 is a nice little system as long as you don't try to grow plants the light can't accommodate, and as long as you mod the filter to provide more bio-substrate.

The only real complaint I have is that the ballast gets pretty hot, and because it's so close to the water it heats the tank up a lot, perhaps as much as six degrees over ambient. That's not so great for the CRS's when my house is up around 74 in the spring. If anybody has a good way to keep the tank cooler, I'm all ears.
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, it's been a long time since I updated this. I've been posting more about this tank over at MIAPG, but it might be nice to get this thread back up to speed as well.

It's been a good summer and the tank has done well, though it's gone through what seems to me to be a lot of changes. My CRS population is up around 75 shrimp now, and still climbing, though not as explosively as a couple of months ago.

Here's a video of them swarming an algae tablet, along with my nerite snails. Now that the population is so large I find that they're always hungry, so they'll eat almost anything I drop in there. Cucumber skins and green beans are a favorite. I think my failure with those foods before was that there was so much other stuff in the tank to eat.

I've added a single Crystal Black to the population. My wife has dubbed him "Waldo" and I hope to get him some like-colored companions soon. Here's a photo:



I went through a severe round of crypt rot that really denuded the tank, but since I've been able to keep the tank cooler with a simple fan, the crypts have recovered nicely and are starting to look pretty wild. They're way too big for the tank, but I like the look even if it's not much of a 'scape.

Anubias nana and coffefolia have done well, though the coffefolia grows v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. Nanas have put on enough new babies that I've been able to cut off some and attach elsewhere in the tank. I also have a tiny nub of nana petite that is doing well, though it grows about as slowly as the coffefolia.

Java moss went everywhere except where I wanted it to and as a result has been mostly removed, replaced by Fissidens fontanus. The fissidens is still taking hold, so it'll be a while before I see how successful it is, but it looks promising. In the photos below, Fissidens can be seen upper right on wood, and lower left on a rock. Upper left on wood is still java moss.

Micro swords have died out, as I predicted, but I have some Marsilea minuta and M. hirsuta coming in later this month to replace it. I know they probably won't carpet under such low light, but they're worth a shot. Tropica claims hirsuta will grow well under very low light, so I'm hopeful.

I added a couple of very small Java ferns in about August. They seem to be doing well, attaching to the driftwood and putting on new leaves. Not like they're hard to grow, but it's still satisfying to watch them prosper.

My modded filter seems to be handling the bio-load very well. I've added a small bag Purigen into the filter box and that has really helped polish the water. Keeping up on Seachem's dosing schedule and doing weekly 30% water changes keeps things humming along.

Here's a couple of update photos of the tank:





My only ongoing problem is a growing planaria populaton. I hate those slimy little buggers and have been looking for a good way to rid the tank of them. I was considering fenbendazole dosing as outlined here, but was worried about how to handle my nerites during dosing, especially given what I had read on this forum about long-term effects on snails. Today I hit upon a better solution while reading a 1953 edition of Innes' Exotic Aquarium Fishes. I dropped in a small piece of thawed fish meat (about 1/2" x 1/4") and turned off the lights. At first the shrimp wanted to eat it, but soon it was swarmed with planaria, driving the shrimp off. I waited until the whole piece was covered, then just siphoned it and the planaria out of the tank, taking a little substrate with it for good measure. Lather, rinse, repeat and after three such attempts over a couple of hours I'm happy to report my planaria population is down by 400-500 denizens. Hooray! I'll keep doing this all week and see how many I can get out. Already things look much better! I guess the old ways are often the best ways, huh?

Matt


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