Newbie here. Nice to meet you all. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, my name is Nicole and I live in Japan. I've never kept fish before, only mammals (Hamsters, rats, African pigmy hedgehog, dogs, cats).

Anyway, before I get a pet I like to do very very thorough research and I have always been part of a forum where I like to learn from experienced members. I've always kept my pets in much larger set ups than they need and often on more expensive but definitely best diets (like raw meat diet for my cat, hand made and mixed hamster and rat food).

I'm hoping to set up a planted nano tank, around 5 gallons. I know this is on the very small side so I don't want to get it wrong with the fish I choose. It's actually going to be suitable for aquaponics, but I can also add lighting and heaters to the tank. I've attached a picture of the tank I'm thinking of. I wouldn't want the picture on the back and I'd want to add lots of live plants.

I have read up on several different forums and I believe this stocking below would be okay but The welfare of the animals is paramount so don't want to overstock or keep anything unsuitable. I was hoping to keep :

2 zebra nephrite snails
2 Heterandria formosa (least killifish)
5 Armano shrimp

Does that sound okay?

If that's okay, what I'm going to need the most help with is what plants and scapes would suit and any advice on scaling techniques

Sorry if some of my jargon is wrong, still very new. This is something I want to take my time with to get right. I want to do lots more reasearch, then in about 4-6 months, get my planted nano tank set up and cycled. Then sort out the aquaponics side to it by getting the herbs on top sorted. Only then do I want to introduce the fish and shrimp and/or snails. It's definitely going to be a project for me and definitely not something I want to jump straight into and set up quickly. I'm fine to wait

Anyway nice to meet you!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 03:00 PM
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As far as bioload goes that sounds fine. However, least killies really look their best in a shoal. I would bump that up to 5 or more. Personally I wouldn't bother with the zebra nerites until much later if at all. Amanos are like lawnmowers in a tank that small.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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So I can get 3 pairs of least killis but I was kinda worried about them breading then becoming overstocked. Would this be a genuine concern?

I hoped to get a shrimp if at all possible but if it's not going to work for all concerned i'll do without. Just curious though, Would any other shrimp species work better? I liked the sound of Armanos just because they won't breed out of control. I heard they are social so wanted a few of them.

There are always so many considerations 😅

Thanks for taking the time to reply to me
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 11:32 PM
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Welcome Nicole! It's great to see someone really doing research before bringing an animal into their home - unfortunately a very uncommon sight.

I personally don't keep fish in anything smaller than 10 gallons. Some people keep very small species of fish in 5 gallon tanks, but you are correct to be concerned about keeping a livebearer in such a small tank. Unless you know someone you could give/sell the offspring to, you will quickly run into trouble.

Cherry shrimp (or any breed of Neocaridina davidi) would be perfect for a tank like that. They are pretty easy to take care of and are very entertaining to watch. Yes, they will breed, but a 5 gallon can sustain a lot of neocaridina shrimp, and they are usually very easy to sell or give away.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Bananableps, Thanks for the reply! Yes maybe a shrimp only tank would be the way to go! At least then I wouldn't worry too much about their welfare since lots of people do keep them in smaller tanks. I'm not sure how easy it would be to give excess shrimp away though to be honest so I wouldn't want anything that breeds too prolifically. How many would you suggest to get at first?


The red colour of the shrimp would contrast well with lots of green plants

Also when I lived in the UK, there was a lot more space and larger set ups were very common. Here in Japan we are limited with what we can get hold of size wise sometimes as even people don't have too much space 😅

Since I'd like to work with a 5 gallon for space, I definitely don't want to put species in there that are not suitable so shrimpmwpuld be fine for us. I like the sound of them being entertaining
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry to be a bother, any thoughts on Crystal Red Shrimp? They caught my eye since one pattern is the hinomaru which would be very relevant for us 😅

Living in Japan gives me the benefit of being able to get hold of some of them pretty easily and I heard they don't reproduce too easily. Apparently not suitable for beginners though. I really wouldn't want any of them to die because I was inexperienced though.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 02:19 AM
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I've never kept crystal red shrimp personally. I understand they can be quite difficult: a lot of manuals on their care suggest starting out with neocaridinia.

10 would be a good number to start out with. Do you think they'd be hard to give away because of a general preference for crystal red shrimp in Japan? Interesting. Maybe you could sell them as "Super Easy Full-Red Crystal Red Shrimp!" Worst case scenario, I'm sure you could find someone who would buy them to use as live fish food. Circle of life! Or maybe you could use it for very tiny sushi?


I understand the small space struggle! I live in Manhattan, New York :P
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Well actually I don't know how hard the cherry shrimp would be to give away...hopefully not too hard.

I'm just wondering what makes the Cherry shrimp a beginners shrimp vs the Crystal red shrimp? From what I've read, they both need the water monitoring closely especially if in a planted tank due to the CO2 at night making the water too acidic. Also from what I've read, The Crystal Red Shrimp are suited to more acid pH than the Red Cherry Shrimp, which would make them slightly easier.

I also read that both shrimp could get caught up in a current if the filter is too strong. My supposed set up doesn't have a filter as the growing herbs up top are going to act as a biological filter I guess. There is a pump that will take water from the tank and put it in the top section for the plants and that will overflow back into the tank after the plants have used it. As far as I'm aware, I'm still getting used to the aquaponics side to it too.

Do you think t would be best to get a separate filter as well? I'm so sorry for all the questions!

Of course I'm going to set up the tank and aquaponics plants first so I think I can decide on my shrimps at a much later date depending on the consistency of my water. I think I'd like to try taking readings every day and night for a month after I've cycled maybe before deciding on putting anything in there.

I've still got a lot more learning to do!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 04:17 AM
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Cherry shrimp are much more tolerant of water parameter changes. It is my impression that Cherry Shrimp can thrive in a pretty wide range of pH, at least compared to other shrimp. Not sure what your tap water is like, though. Crystal Reds have a slightly more limited range, but more importantly, I believe (I've never kept them personally) that they are much more sensitive to pH changing suddenly.

Are you using pressurized CO2 in your planted tank? That might be a struggle in an aquaponics system: lots of water agitation will constantly be off gassing the CO2 you try to put in.

There should be no need to add an external filter. The aquaponics system should be more than adequate. It works exactly like an aquarium filter: a motor pumps water over a container of media for bacteria to grow on, and the bacteria breaks down the waste products. It also has the added benefit of allowing you to grow plants over the filter media, which should further help with nutrient export. The system shown in the picture would be very suitable for shrimp with or without plants growing in the media.

As for your acclimation plan, I suggest the reverse. Plants grown in aquaponics rely on waste from the aquarium for fertilization. The plants will struggle to grow if you introduce them before stocking the tank with animal life. You should cycle the media without any plants in it at all first (using fish food, for example). Add some low-tech plants (aquaponics will make high-tech plants difficult to keep) like annubias, java fern, and java moss to the aquarium part. Then add the shrimp. Once they're established and producing enough waste, add the aquaponics plants.

If you want to grow the aquaponics plants before adding the shrimp, you could use feed some snails to produce waste. Or maybe just let fish food rot in water.. not sure though.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Oh you are Ace!! Thank you so much for the help!

Just ab extra question if that's okay, you've been very kind so far answering them.

So if pressurised CO2 wouldn't work well in an aquaponics system, for the planted section, the basic plants you suggested, would they work without the pressurised CO2?

I definitely will want to stick with the easier plants inside the tank.

Yes from what I've learnt with aquaponics, the plants need animal life. A few people though, have recommended setting up the plants first so if you need to make changes to the water to keep the plants growing healthily and opimally, then you won't have to worry about keeping anything alive inside the tank 😅

Though I do like your suggestions. I mean I'm not too worried if my herbs die so could put the shrimp in there first and then troubleshoot later.

I'm wondering if the shrimp will produce enough waste for the aquaponics system to do well though 😅

I've definitely chosen myself a bit of a difficult one. Still I'm willing to put in a lot of work and do a lot of research so I can get it right.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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I'd prefer the natural CO2 method, with the yeast if possible since I have all of those things at home all the time anyway and wouldn't be toxic to a naughty toddler if found 😅

No CO2 would be even better! I guess I need to read the low tech boards as well
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyanzai View Post

So if pressurised CO2 wouldn't work well in an aquaponics system, for the planted section, the basic plants you suggested, would they work without the pressurised CO2?

I definitely will want to stick with the easier plants inside the tank.
Yup! All of those plants will work great. Here is a good list of "low tech plants" that will do well without pressurized CO2.

Quote:
Yes from what I've learnt with aquaponics, the plants need animal life. A few people though, have recommended setting up the plants first so if you need to make changes to the water to keep the plants growing healthily and opimally, then you won't have to worry about keeping anything alive inside the tank 😅

Though I do like your suggestions. I mean I'm not too worried if my herbs die so could put the shrimp in there first and then troubleshoot later.
Ahh okay! Yes that makes sense. I only have experience with a very large aquaponics system that I was growing vegetables in. Do whatever the instructions say. Perhaps try cycling with some little bits of fish food then.


Quote:
I'm wondering if the shrimp will produce enough waste for the aquaponics system to do well though 😅
If it's just herbs, no vegetables, you should be fine. You might have to plant fewer herbs in the beginning, and then add plants as your shrimp procreate.

Quote:
I've definitely chosen myself a bit of a difficult one. Still I'm willing to put in a lot of work and do a lot of research so I can get it right.
I can tell! You're doing a very good job.

Quote:
I'd prefer the natural CO2 method, with the yeast if possible since I have all of those things at home all the time anyway and wouldn't be toxic to a naughty toddler if found 😅

No CO2 would be even better! I guess I need to read the low tech boards as well
The yeast CO2 system can work well, but it is a lot of maintenance. Also, it is sometimes inconsistent, and can kill all of your livestock if you're not careful. This happened to me once! Also, I think you would have the same problem with any CO2 system: the aquaponics system you have agitates the water a lot, and would probably "out-gas" the CO2. This is similar to how a soda can become flat if you shake it a lot.

Fortunately, there are a number of plants (see link above) that work great without CO2 supplementation!
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 11:43 PM
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Hi Nicole, welcome to the forums. I'm a newbie myself and starting off with a 7 gallon tank. I created a journal of my tank in the journal forum if you're interested for ideas. Also it must be nice to live in Japan and have access to all the neat stuff that's not available anywhere else. Good luck with your project.
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