A Planted Shrimp Vase - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-15-2014, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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A Planted Shrimp Vase

I currently started a new project with a vase I had laying around. Being in college they limit the size of aquarium we can have and since I already have a betta tank I decided I wanted something small and cheap. Currently I have what was once a vase (2 gallons), some HC, Rock, and Eco Complete substrate. The problem I am running in to is that the vase is relatively small and ,being that I would like to keep shrimp in it, I am wondering if I will need a heater and filter. Currently the light I am using provides enough heat to keep the tank at 75*F. I am very new to the shrimp game and know very little about them so I have been treating them like normal fish. So my question is do the shrimp need any heating, filtering? if so what filter/heater do you recommend for such a small space. I have seen many nano tank setups but the ones I have seen do not have rounded sides. Any help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-15-2014, 07:46 PM
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So long as you don't have any big temperature swings and you do weekly water changes, you won't need either a heater or filter for the vase.

Looks like the exact same 2g vase I ran for almost two years with a mix of 1-2 ghost shrimp, 8-15 cherry culls, a pair of breeding endlers (fry were removed as they showed up to feed to my angelfish) and several dozen pond snails. No heater, no filter, and an average of weekly 25% water changes.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 12:51 AM
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I've kept shrimp (and endlers) in unheated, unfiltered vases and they did just fine. So long as the temps stay fairly steady, a heater isn't needed (especially cherry shrimp just don't need it as warm as a betta). All my vases have been *very* heavily planted, think jungle. Between the plants and the microbes in the gravel my vases were self filtered, just did water changes once a week (25%) or so. Had lots of happy shrimp and endler babies.

A temperature swing *is* bad however. So if you light is really heating the water you may need to light in a way that doesn't raise water temp. Otherwise the temp swings between day and night (light on and off) may cause issues.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 02:02 AM
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In a dorm, where the temp is always the same (and reasonable), like the others have said, you will be fine.

Just don't let the roommate open a window and leave town in December.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 06:24 AM
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So I had a tank similar to yours. My cherries in there are quite fine and 1 is pregnant!
Adding floating plants can be additional filters. My water lettuce saved my 2 gal as all the shrimps are dying. there is only one left(the pregnant) and when I added the water lettuce and did a partial water change everything seems to go back again in normal. I now added 5 more to accompany her. They are doing fine now.

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I had a little bit of a problem yesterday and found half of the shrimp laying motionless near the surface on some plants I added. They wouldn't move and appeared to be dead on their side. When bumped they would swim away. The tank is new but I have never really had to worry much about cycling when I had plants in the tank. I kind of assumed it was in their nature and that they were just laying there considering that 4 others were still moving around the tank happily. About 30min later one of the shrimps died and I made an emergency run to Walmart (because it is the closest thing) for some test strips and some stuff to reduce ammonia. Only to realize when I got home the test strips test for everything but ammonia. The weird thing is all of my levels are spot on (I have been using Tetra Safe Start along with the plants) but yet two of them died. At that point I did a water change with water from my established tank. Still they were acting funny. 4 of them survived the night and I know have them out of the tank and in a 1 gallon pitcher with water from my other tank and a few plants in there. They are normal again. I have been reading and reading but cannot figure out why they would act that way. I would think of it was the tank they wouldn't have been fine for as long as they were. I have heard that it might be a lack of oxygen in the water but I am unsure. After my classes today I plan to run and get a breeder net and keep them in my other tank until this is sorted out. I have been looking for a filter (being the water is now really cloudy) but I can't seem to find one that will fit the outside of my bowl and is small enough for the inside.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 01:04 AM
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Hmm. So you'd *just* added some plants? Could there have been something on the plants, any sort of chemical residue?

I haven't had issues with lack of O2, since plants outgas O2 that shouldn't be an issue. But adding a air stone would solve the issue if that was the problem.

Be careful of those test strips. They are notoriously inaccurate. You are way better with the Master Test Kit (liquid tests).

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by CollegeKid View Post
I had a little bit of a problem yesterday and found half of the shrimp laying motionless near the surface on some plants I added. They wouldn't move and appeared to be dead on their side. When bumped they would swim away. The tank is new but I have never really had to worry much about cycling when I had plants in the tank. I kind of assumed it was in their nature and that they were just laying there considering that 4 others were still moving around the tank happily. About 30min later one of the shrimps died and I made an emergency run to Walmart (because it is the closest thing) for some test strips and some stuff to reduce ammonia. Only to realize when I got home the test strips test for everything but ammonia. The weird thing is all of my levels are spot on (I have been using Tetra Safe Start along with the plants) but yet two of them died. At that point I did a water change with water from my established tank. Still they were acting funny. 4 of them survived the night and I know have them out of the tank and in a 1 gallon pitcher with water from my other tank and a few plants in there. They are normal again. I have been reading and reading but cannot figure out why they would act that way. I would think of it was the tank they wouldn't have been fine for as long as they were. I have heard that it might be a lack of oxygen in the water but I am unsure. After my classes today I plan to run and get a breeder net and keep them in my other tank until this is sorted out. I have been looking for a filter (being the water is now really cloudy) but I can't seem to find one that will fit the outside of my bowl and is small enough for the inside.
I had that problem similar to yours. The water is stable and the ammonia is zero. BUT, you might check if your water has copper as it is very deadly to shrimps. Adding more plants will help. My x-mas moss pearls like a riccia that gives them a constant supply of oxygen and food as well.

Try adding fast growing plants like hornwort. They are great filters and provides food and lots of oxygen for the shrimps. Remove it once the tank is established and stable. Also beware of what you feed to your shrimp. If you feed them with blanch veggies like spinach its fine. If you are using fish food, check if it contains copper. It can also poison the shrimps. I recently added a red long nose shrimp and its the most energetic of all shrimps. It going well (even though its very sensitive to ammonia, meaning my tank is stable).

I guess its natural for cherries to hang out in the roots of water lettuce as they love its fluffy roots (they can find food easily in fluffy, feathery objects like moss). Just add more plants, get water from old established tanks and feed them with veggies (small amount only). GOOD LUCK!

My day is better whenever I buy a new plant.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Update

So far the shrimp are still alive. They seem to be doing okay in the water from my older tank. I am a little confused as to how this new "tank" is struggling. I have never really had to worry about leaving a tank to cycle with so many plants in it. They aren't in the vase right now but decided to check the water of the vase and compare it to my other tank. Tonight the vase is reading very high levels of Nitrates and Nitrites. I hope the shrimp can make it through the night in the pitcher. I have a fluval HOB box coming in tomorrow that I plan to put them in until I can sort out the vase.

If it was copper in my water wouldn't my amano shrimp in my other tank be experiencing the same thing? Also the plants I am using are from my other older tank.

Is it normal for them to stay so still at the surface of the water? A couple of them were attached in the same spot for an hour or so and didn't move until i touched the plant near them. Thanks so much for your help!
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 06:54 AM
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If nitrates and nitrites is the problem, then you may want to add some pennywort, hornwort or water lettuce. All of those are nitrate and nitrite sponges. My shrimps (cherries and the pregnant cherry) likes to stay all day in the water lettuce, occasionally swimming away to eat some spinach or to graze on moss. And then it stays back again at the roots of the water lettuce. I don't know why, but she's been always like that. In contrast to my rhino shrimp, it does move around alot and rarely stays still (it still moves even feeding time, carrying the spinach while swimming). Guess your shrimp's behavior is normal. Establishing a tank can take quite a while. I rely heavily on floating plants as they are the main filters of my 2 gal tank. Just leave the floating plants there for a week or 2 and the should be fine. It will be faster if you will add some old aquarium water. I will post a pic of my tank so you can have an idea on how it looks like.

By the way, are you a college student, because I am as well.

My day is better whenever I buy a new plant.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 02:07 PM
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make sure you measure water temp at the bottom too. Could be a big difference in temp between the water layers.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the advice! Yes I am a college student. That is kinda what started this whole "nano tank adventure". I brought my betta that I have had since he was the size of my pinky nail and I could part with him. I sold off my bigger tanks and invested in a fluval spec V. I love it but I still wanted more tanks and the limit of 10 gallons my dorms placed made me get a little creative. I knew I wanted shrimp and I wanted something simple.
How long do you think it will take the tank to get to a point where it filters itself? Is there any tips to growing plants without water movement. Should I do water changes? The water is currently getting cloudier every day in the vase and does not resemble the water of many vases I have seen.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 06:09 PM
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Will definitely be following along! I'm a college student as well. Due to the limitations on my dorm as well, I have multiple small tanks set up. I have a vase lying around and I might attempt what you're doing after a while! Good luck!

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Shrimp are safe and here is a picture of the vase. It's looking bad any suggestions
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 09:31 PM
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More plants!

Really though, get some more greenery in there and let the tank cycle for a bit. Anything fast growing would be good- mosses, wisteria, water lettuce, etc. It'll keep the water clean and oxygenated, which might be a problem considering how deep your vase is compared to its mouth. Let it become a jungle, and everything will be better for it!


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