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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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New to Plants

Hello there, I thought I would join after lurking for a bit to try to figure out how to set up a new tank. I'm not new to the aquarium hobby, but I am new to planted tanks.

Recently a Fluval Spec caught my eye, and needless to say it's now sitting at home. However, I am not one to rush into things, so I thought I would figure out plants and stocking before rushing headlong into this. I thought it would be interesting to keep cherry shrimp in this tank, as I have never kept any sort of shrimp, and I thought white cloud minnows might be interesting as well.

As my first question, will I need to get a heater for the cherry shrimp? I know the minnows can thrive in lower temperatures, but what about the shrimp?

Also, how many of each species will be able to fit within this aquarium? It is a 2-gallon, but I know that both species are relatively small.
(For reference, a link to the tank http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Desktop.../dp/B0047XMQBM

As it has been so long since I have set up a tank, how should I go about cycling it to begin with? Is there a different method when you use plants? Also, any recommendations on which plants will thrive in such a tank? I know the LED lighting that comes with the tank is not the best, but I would like it to stay stock to save costs for the time being.

Finally, can anyone recommend where to purchase plants, the minnows, cherry shrimp, and a water testing kit online. I have not had much luck looking for any healthy looking plants in local stores, so I thought I would inquire here.

My apologies for asking so much at once, but I am sure I will have more soon.

Thank you for the assistance!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 05:10 PM
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As my first question, will I need to get a heater for the cherry shrimp? I know the minnows can thrive in lower temperatures, but what about the shrimp?
Depends on how cold the room temp is. They should be fine down to 65 or even a little lower.

Quote:
Also, how many of each species will be able to fit within this aquarium? It is a 2-gallon, but I know that both species are relatively small.
Oh five to 8 shrimp, 2 or 3 white clouds.

Quote:
As it has been so long since I have set up a tank, how should I go about cycling it to begin with? Is there a different method when you use plants? Also, any recommendations on which plants will thrive in such a tank? I know the LED lighting that comes with the tank is not the best, but I would like it to stay stock to save costs for the time being.
Same methods used, however if the plants are actively growing, they will keep ammonia and nitrate levels low. ACTIVELY is the key word. Slow growing plants will not help much, or plants that have to get acclimated before they start growing.

Quote:
Finally, can anyone recommend where to purchase plants, the minnows, cherry shrimp, and a water testing kit online. I have not had much luck looking for any healthy looking plants in local stores, so I thought I would inquire here.
www.aquariumplants.com For a small number of shrimp and fish, it really would not be feasible to order them online. You should be able to find them locally.

Robert Paul Hudson

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the answers. I know the room temperature stays above that, so the shrimp should work out. Will regular-sized aquarium gravel work for the shrimp and plants, or should I go for something else?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 07:58 AM
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For the heater, I always use one even though I don't need to. My room is the same temp almost all year round which is slightly too hot lol. With the heat off, my audio equipment makes sure it stays a bit warm, in the winter, my room gets too much heat. I have never had issues without a heater and fish but I also find that the temps stay more consistent with a heater. That said, I have had more issues with heaters than without because when they fail, they always stick on, not turn off. So, it's optional in most rooms you actually live in, just make sure you don't skimp quality.

For stocking, I don't like to put any fish in less than a 5 gallon. My main reason is I don't find it attractive but it is too small for most fish. You can keep tons of shrimp though, RCS/CRS really don't have enough bioload to make much of an impact. Most people only start to get rid of shrimp when they have enough to sell or it's unattractive. It's going to be hard to overstock any tank with cherrys.

Cycle it like any tank you have done. Plants don't really matter. They can speed up the cycle but they don't change the process. Don't ever assume they sped up the process if you are not using a test kit.


The obvious choices for plants would be basically any moss, Anubias (petite nana is great for small tanks) and Java Fern. They are not only good beginner plants as they don't need much to survive, they also don't need much light so you don't have to worry about your lighting. They do just as well in higher light so it's no problem if you upgrade. One thing to note, once you add moss, it can be a pain to get rid of. I hate moss more than algae if I didn't intend to put it in my tank. I would avoid it if you are not sure about it, basically.

You can start experimenting after that. Try any green stems and cross your fingers when you have some spare cash. You will kind of learn what works and what doesn't. It's hard for me to say as I am not familiar with that lighting but I have grown plants in way lower light than most people claim is reasonable for a particular species so I am convinced many plants don't need much at all. Other times, I am very surprised how poorly a plant does that thrives in just slightly higher light so it's hard to give you a list. The anubias and java fern will work for sure though.

-Matt

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