First Aquarium: 5.5g Shirmp Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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First Aquarium: 5.5g Shirmp Tank



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...

Hardware:
Standard 5.5g aquarium (took the top rim off)
Cobat Neo-Therm 50w heater
SunSun 603b canister filter
Finnex Stingray 16"

Hardscape:
Ohko stone
Spiderwood
Black Diamond blasting sand

Flora:
Micranthemum Tweediei
Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini'
Hydrocotyle Tripartita 'Japan'
Red Root Floaters

Fauna (after cycle):
Red Cherry Shrimps
Nerite Snail
Amano Shrimp?
Possibly a Scarlet Badis later down the road once the shrimp population has exploded

Ferts:
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?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 01:18 PM
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I would probably wait on getting an amano. They are pretty aggressive eaters and could take a significant amount of food away from the cherries. There might just be some air caught in the canister filter. Maybe try tipping it a little bit and see of it comes out. If you want to do a moss tree I would go with Taiwan moss or weeping moss. You can never have too many plants. especially with shrimp.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 07:36 PM
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I have 3 of those SunSun filters. They always trickle for a couple of days on set up or maintenance if they aren't filled to the brim.
It should quiet down.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Welp, had a hose pop off the filter and got water everywhere. Probably a good 3 gallons it so. Thankfully I was there when it happened... hopefully got things dry enough to not damage my floor. Just ordered an Aquaclear 30 to replace the SunSun as I can't trust it after that. Can't risk it happening again, however rare it may be, and I don't want to deal with hose clamps or keep the filter in a bucket all the time.

On the brighter side, I got the MC broken up and replanted throughout the tank. Will try to get more pictures when I get home.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot I had started this journal (as I knew I would). Not much has changed though, still no shrimp. Quite a few pond snails came out of nowhere... I knew one sneaked in on the plants, but now I have at least ten. Doesn't bother me too much now, though should probably get it under control before too long.

The SunSun has been performing without issue, I still don't trust it though. I've decided to give a reactor a try to get rid of the microbubbles, so instead of an Aquaclear HOB, I opted for an Eheim 2211. This thing just feels premium compared to the SunSun. Sure, a hose popping off is as equally as likely with the Eheim, but I feel it is a better purchase. Also picked up the pieces for said reactor, just need to assemble it, so the SunSun still has a job until then.

Speaking of carbon dioxide, I noticed the tank pressure had dropped in my 5lb cylinder after about 2 weeks. Not sure if there's a leak anywhere else, but I did the soap test where the regulator connects to the cylinder and saw bubbles, so there is definitely something there. Hopefully won't be an issue when I replace the cylinder (and hopefully don't have another leak elsewhere).

Pictures!

April 30, 2017 -


May 8, 2017 -


Kind of looks like the Monte Carlo is growing in a little bit, so that's nice. The Hydrocotyle has definitely had no issues. The AR Mini hasn't really changed though... not exactly dead, but not exactly thriving either. Will keep it in there for now and see how things go. I removed the floaters as they kept getting blown around and submerged... just not doing well in general. May add some more floaters of some sort later down the road when my filter and current stabilizes, but I'm okay without any for now.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 01:57 PM
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I like the tree! Looks like it's really growing in! Has it rooted to the wood? Hard to tell from the pic
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbeard View Post
I like the tree! Looks like it's really growing in! Has it rooted to the wood? Hard to tell from the pic
Hasn't really rooted into the wood, I just kind of wrapped it around the branches. From what I've read, Hydrocotyle Tripartita 'Japan' doesn't really care and will pretty much grow under any conditions. Can throw it in the substrate, leave it floating, tie it to things... doesn't matter, it'll soon take over.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 07:09 PM
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Such a different take than the regular moss trees. I almost like it so much more lol

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 08:43 PM
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That tree is nice.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments on the tree. I need to trim it into shape and make it bushier.

I was kind of hoping that the MC would spread faster, but perhaps I was just being optimistic. Would anyone with experience comment on if this is normal growth or not? Is my inert substrate an issue? I put in 2 root tabs (see original post), but I'm guessing that really only hits the area by the tabs and not all the substrate...


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 02:20 PM
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Such a different take than the regular moss trees. I almost like it so much more lol
Agreed - never would have thought of this. Great idea!
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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May 23, 2017 -


Back from vacation, figured I should probably update. Trimmed the Hydrocotyle Tripartita 'Japan' a bit as it was just going everywhere without abandon. No real change otherwise... Monte Carlo looks the same, AR Mini still looks sad.

Still haven't replaced the CO2 yet, so just running with glut for now. I have a Rex Grigg reactor mostly built, so hopefully there's no issue there when I do eventually hook everything up. Should probably do it soon so I can get the Eheim going with the SunSun to get the new filter somewhat cycled.

Other then that, I just need to stay up with general tank maintenance. Need to wipe down the inside glass to get rid of algae and the outside glass to clear up the water spots.

Last thing (which I might make a new thread for). If I create a current or squirt some water down at the substrate, it kicks up a bunch of detritus. I'm pretty sure it's dead leaves from the MC... regardless, it is too small to net out so I'd have to siphon. Should I try to do such or is it okay to just leave it down there where it'll eventually get covered by the carpet?


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 06:11 PM
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This is funny, Just last week i saw my 5.5g tank in my garage and my aqua clear 30. They were begging to be set up. Just yesterday i Plasti-dipped the back of the tank black. I have some left over Amazonia i will be using in my tank. Will also be keeping shrimp! glad i ran into your tank!

Bump: This is funny, Just last week i saw my 5.5g tank in my garage and my aqua clear 30. They were begging to be set up. Just yesterday i Plasti-dipped the back of the tank black. I have some left over Amazonia i will be using in my tank. Will also be keeping shrimp! glad i ran into your tank!
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