Figured I'd start a journal of sorts for this endeavor of mine, though I am probably further along than I should be for starting one. This has been a long, slow process as I have had the tank since December, just haven't done anything until recent, acquiring other equipment along the way. I ordered some plants from a member on here that arrived much sooner than expected, thus forcing my hand and making me finally set things up. Remember that this is my first aquarium, so first filter, first everything...
Standard 5.5g aquarium (took the top rim off)
Cobat Neo-Therm 50w heater
SunSun 603b canister filter
Finnex Stingray 16"
Black Diamond blasting sand
Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini'
Hydrocotyle Tripartita 'Japan'
Red Root Floaters
Fauna (after cycle):
Red Cherry Shrimps
Possibly a Scarlet Badis later down the road once the shrimp population has exploded
Oscomote+ Root tabs (put in 2)
ThriveS AIO liquid fertilizer
Metricide 14 (Excel equivalent)
I love watching the little shrimp whenever I go to a local fish store and have wanted an aquarium for a while, so now begins this project. I showed my wife a picture of RCS vs CRS and the regular cherries were thus dubbed "trailer park shrimp." Unfortunately, my water is basically liquid rock and I don't want to deal with RO/DI or expensive substrate, so I'll settle for the hardier shirmp (intentional typo). Can't remember exactly, but I believe my pH was 8.4 with a gH and kH of around 11 degrees. Will test again later down the road.
The filter has a slight trickling noise. I don't see a leak anywhere so not sure where the noise is coming from. I primed it by filling it like 3/4 and setting it level with the tank. I have to image the filter is full of water as I don't see how it couldn't be full. Could it be an air pocket somewhere? Do I just shake the filter to try and get rid of it? The media inside the filter is: sponge -> denser sponge -> polishing pad thingy -> Fluval biomedia. I removed the least dense sponge to make room for the biomedia.
I'm going to start the fishless cycle when I get home later tonight with some ammonium hydroxide. I also have some more work to do with the plants. I need to break the MC up some more and replant... feels like I am damaging the plant by 'ripping' it from the mat it came as. Needs to be done though, had a really tough time getting what you see in the picture to stay in the substrate. Had to push down on it really hard and I imagine it would fair better if it were in smaller clumps. Closer up of the MC can be seen here: https://imgur.com/a/gOOZU
. I'm also concerned that the two AR 'Mini' might die off/lose its color without pressurized COČ. If it does live, I'm afraid it might get too big for this small tank. If that's the case, I'll probably just move it to the back of the tank.
I had a paintball setup with an Aquatek Mini going, but after like 10 minutes the bubbles stopped. I'm guessing there was a leak somewhere, but I'd rather not deal with it so I am returning it back to Amazon. I'll hook up my 5lb cylinder and CO2Art dual stage if I have the time this weekend. I was planning on saving that rig for a future project (high tech 20g long), but that's probably in the distant future as this I still have a lot to learn with this tank. Might as well get some use out of it and make it sure it works.
Questions and concerns:
- Will I damage the MC by tearing it up?
- Should I get an Amano Shrimp or two to go with the RCS?
- What to do with the filter?
- Should I get anymore plants? If so, what? I was thinking of a moss for the tree, but not sure which variant. Completely ignorant on plants, so suggest something and where to put it and I will look into it. I think I need something in the background?