Razor's shrimp bowl - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Razor's shrimp bowl

Well I was not going to do a journal but, what I thought was going to be a simple no brainer project was turned out to be a bit more. Hopefully some of my experiences will help others.

Please bear with me...

Started October 11 2011
Hobby Lobby bowl, approximately 2 1/2 gal.
I made a mess of mineralized top soil this fall for my 40 and 75 gal tanks. I used the soil with no clay or anything else and capped it with black sand.
For plants, I got ...
4 Crypt Parva
1 bunch Anacharis Najas
2 Echinodorous (dwarf Swords )

I found a cool piece of wood which I felt would add some mass and height to the middle of the bowl. I boiled it for a hour to remove most of the tannins.

Our water is very hard, double didgets on GH and KH with a ph of a touch over 7 ( 7.2 or so ) I treat all water with Prime and let the water age when I can.

Here came my first lesson learned. After putting in the dry dirt and covering it with sand, I slowly added in some water thinking ( incorrectly ) that it would saturate the substrate. Well it didn't. Next try, I made the dirt into mud and spread it out on the bottom, about an inch deep. I then poured the sand on top and smoothed it out. Happy with my efforts, I added water. The dry sand, to my horror, started floating and bubbling up as the water permeated it. After some time It settled down and I filled the bowl half way. Next lesson... So I carefully separated the Anacharis and using forceps ,pushed the stems into the substrate across the rear of the bowl behind the wood. I removed the rock wool from the swords ( tedious task but, the forceps helped pick the stuff out.) I pushed both into the dirt on opposing sides of the bowl but they kept wanting to float out. I separated the Crypt and planted it across the front. Here's the problem. I should have planted everything with the substrate wet not fully submerged. It made a huge mess and in several spots, the dirt was fully visible. I tried to cover those spots with sand. The next morning both swords were floating I pushed them back in making a bigger mess.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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I moved the bowl into my office and put a thermometer in. Temp was and is holding at 69-70.

I tested all perams. and interestingly found my ph to be lower in the am than the evening. I presume this is due to the release of co2 by the plants at night.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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After two weeks, Oct 1, I picked up 5 red cherry shrimp. Next lesson... While at the LFS, I told the employee I wanted 5 RCS. we only saw three in the tank but, he said there were more in the adjacent tank. I took him at his word (mistake) and let him select the shrimp. I drip acclimated the shrimp over a period of three hours, netted them an put them in there new home.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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After a week, all seemed ok. The two red shrimp became more active, even swimming around a bit. The three brown shrimp continued to hide. I discovered a snail which members here id'd as a pond snail. With a heavy heart, i removed the snail, not wanting a million of them.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 06:14 PM
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It seems planted bowl nanos is the new trend now. Just wondering, what filter are you using?

Currently out of the hobby
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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On 11/5 I decided to do a water change during which, I stirred up the substrate quite a bit. I noticed also that the anacharis had started showing new growth and was looking good with the exception of one stem which was looking brown with few leaves. It also looked like it was getting covered with hair algae. The following morning one of the brown shrimp had died.

over the next few days, the shrimp seemed ok. I also noticed an increase in hair algae which I removed with the handy dandy forceps. I also noticed a slight increase in pearling with the plants. I feel this is due to an increase in nutrients (shrimp poo). Unfortunately , the water is starting to get cloudy (green ). Ive also seen at least two molts. I left the shells in the bowl since I heard that the shrimp eat them.

On 11/9 I pulled up the bad looking Anacharis. BIG MESS!! The following morning I noticed all of the shrimp on plants and the wood RIGHT at the surface. Red Flag!! I did a huge water change and all went right back to normal. Except for the fact that one more of the brown shrimp died.

In assessing what had happened, I came to a couple of conclusions. One, the brown shrimp, which were obviously less hardy than the RCS were in fact Amano shrimp. Two, my stirring up of the substrate on the earlier water change and through the uprooting of the anacharis had released something into the water killing the two Amano's ( i don't think the co2 being released by the plants at night would be enough to drive the shrimp to the surface but....)

Yesterday I returned to the LFS to purchase three RCS. While there ,I confirmed that the guy who helped me the first time had indeed given me three Amanos and two RCS. So I picked out three healthy half inch Red Cherries, an air pump and stone. I drip acclimated them and in they went. I decided to run the air stone at night just in case. It also got rid of the nasty film covering the top of the bowl.

So, as of now, I have 5 red cherries and one Amano. They have not touched any of the food I have offered but, I am now convinced that there is still plenty of junk in there to eat. The photo was taken today. Water still "green"?

If you read this whole thing, thanks. I will update as things progress.

Comments or suggestions are encouraged. I am not new to fish keeping but am new to planted tanks. I read Walstads book and found it fascinating. I have also learned a ton from all of you here at TPT. Thank you
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 07:05 PM
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Leaving the molts in the bowl is a good thing, especially in a bowl where nutrients and minerals might be more limited than normal.

I wish that I could provide more specific advice on your various problems but my bowls have thrived specifically because I do so little with them. I don't have any experience yet in fighting with water conditions in them.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Madness, I wouldn't go so far as to say I've had problems. Every "obstacle" I've encountered has ultimately left me in a better place. For me, it's the journey not the destination. I think the water issue is a matter of the plants growing in a bit an then sucking up the extra nutrients
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 08:27 PM
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I wonder what those brown shrimp are. I noticed one of your cherrys is a female. Is the other a male?

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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 09:28 PM
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nice bowl. i think I'll get this one if i were to do my next bowl project- a bowl with "no maintenance"




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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 09:34 PM
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Im gonna have to get a bowl. so many people are getting them now.


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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 09:51 PM
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Once someone figures out how to make a bowl with "no maintenance", I'm sure a lot of other people will want one too lol. I'm going to give it a shot soon.




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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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how do you define no maintenence? If all I end up doing with this is an occasional water change, then to me that's no maintenance.
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 10:08 PM
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most people just trim and top of there bowls


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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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hey Rick, I really think the brownish shrimp were ( are, still one left ) Amanos. The goof who got them for me and told me they were Red Cherries got them from a tank of Amanos. The original Rcs are both female. Although small, I think one or two of the three new ones are male.
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