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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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College tank?

I'll be going to college in the fall. Was hoping to start a tank in college as well. I was thinking <5 gallon so it wouldn't take up too much space. What kind of tank should it be? Is a shrimp tank more interesting to watch than a betta tank?

Was thinking no CO2; too much trouble and money that could be spent on other parts of the tank. I'll probably be going to school somewhere up North; 12+ hours away from where I live now. Suggestions? Any college kids with experience?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 12:40 AM
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Shrimp are awesome. I've never owned a beta so I can't say if they are more interesting, but they sure are fun to watch. I just got into them and I got some RCS. I just sit there and watch... completely different behavior than my community tank


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:08 AM
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Shrimp tanks are great for college because you can leave them for a few weeks over winter break without a problem. Once they start breeding you can also sell a few. You won't make much but it's nice to have any sort of positive cash flow in college.

Transporting a tank is a huge pain, all of my plants get uprooted. So, I would recommend getting a shape that would be easy to carry/transport and not using a carpet plant unless you don't mind spending hours redoing everything after a move.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:20 AM
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i currently have a 5.5 gal in my college dormroom. 12watts, no CO2. betta and nerites

next year im gonna be in an apartment with roommates and i plan on setting up a nice hightech tank thats 20 gallons or more.

My Tanks:

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:23 AM
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I have a 2.5g shrimp tank. Perfect for college.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:24 AM
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I have a 5 gallon with a betta. People who visit love seeing him. The thing is, my school makes me take him home on every break. I can leave the tank with the plants, just not the fish. I have anubias, java fern and anacharis. So they are easy to transport without uprooting things. Good luck with yours!

My roommate says I'll die by giant turtle.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Will probably end up doing a shrimp tank. But do you ever regret all the empty swimming space?

@radioman: what tank do you have? Are you just running a sponge filter and is it cycled?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:29 AM
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The fish flares a lot. He's active to the point where he tears his fins, so it doesn't ever really look empty... but the plants help.

My roommate says I'll die by giant turtle.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:30 AM
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Get a Mini M and put some nano fish/shrimp in it.


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:41 AM
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I've been in a university dorm for the past two years living over 2500 miles from home if I was crazy enough to drive. So I get it. I decided to go all out though and bought a full mini m setup. If you have any specific dorm room aquarium questions let me know. For CO2 I went with the ADA CO2 but it is way too expensive to be a good option for most people.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:58 AM
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If you want an interesting tank.. I made a 10gallon diy aio reef that was so beautiful. I loved it! It was a bit large in my dorm freshman year because I built a custom cabinet under it.. but now I have an apartment and have a lot more room! A saltwater tank is so much more fun in small volumes than a freshwater in my opinion. You can keep a variety of tiny fish as well as so many great looking corals. One halide over it and you can grow anything you want.

Biggest thing is automation. You can set up an automatic topoff system that I created for around twenty bucks to keep your tank topped off for long periods of time if you're going to be away. The auto topoff system can also dose ferts for you at a very slow and methodical pace. I say that will make your life so much easier!


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Slick View Post
Biggest thing is automation. You can set up an automatic topoff system that I created for around twenty bucks to keep your tank topped off for long periods of time if you're going to be away. The auto topoff system can also dose ferts for you at a very slow and methodical pace. I say that will make your life so much easier!
i agree.
how did you automate for $20, though?

i made automatic fertz on my 20L (while it was running), but with 2 aqualifters, 2 X10 controllers, and HomeSeer on my computer. way over $20, to do, but HomeSeer was already loaded and there were spare X10 controllers lying around, so it was feasible.

My Tanks:

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 03:13 AM
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Will probably end up doing a shrimp tank. But do you ever regret all the empty swimming space?

@radioman: what tank do you have? Are you just running a sponge filter and is it cycled?
The tank is the one in my avatar pic and is just a 2.5 gallon from petsmart.

Here is a link to the thread https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...pdate-2-a.html. The thread might say diy co2 but I now use a paintball system which is finicky but I still prefer it to diy.

I run a red sea nano filter on it and it has been cycled since the summer.

-Mike
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 03:25 AM
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I just picked up a couple of low current float switches (really 1 will do) and wired them into a DC operated livewell air pump from Wal-Mart, wired a constant DC power source to the pump.. Finally ran the air output of the pump into a sealed 1 gallon milk jug full of my topoff water. Just like a diy CO2 tank the air pressure causes the liquid to be pumped into the tank. Very simple really. So water level drops, float switch makes contact, airpump turns on, air pressure increases, and water is pushed out and into the tank.

Once you figure out how long a gallon lasts, you can dose the proper amount of liquid ferts into the topoff water. So if you usually use 5mL of ferts a week in your tank and it takes two gallons a week to topoff... dose 2.5mL into your topoff container when you refill it twice a week. This way you have no spikes in fertilizers so you're much less likely to overdose.

Obviously this is not nearly as exact as a real controller, but you can really get results by using it!

If anyone wants to learn more than let me know and I can link you to an old thread of my nano reef where I took pictures of this setup and it explained it a little more.

I used to dose all of my calcium, magnesium etc into my reef this way.


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 03:30 AM
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I'm currently in college a 6+ hour drive from home (also up north). I currently have a 10g and a 5g. It's really not to difficult to move once you get the hang of it. It's really quite a cinch but it would be much easier if you just had a single fish (betta) and nerites but it's not impossible to do more.

My method is to pick up a styrofoam cooler (size depends on how many fish you need to move) and then bag the fish. The styrofoam insulates them and protects them from temp fluctuations. I then just lower the water level in the tank to just above the substrate and put the tank in the box it came in to protect it a bit.

It's just something you'll need to think about if you're going to be moving to and from home.


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