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Discussion Starter #21
January Update

January 2016 update, about 7 months in.

From the 3 CRS mischlings and 3 RCS I had at the start, we have grown to about 35 CRS and 15 RCS, with 3 of the CRS berried, so another generation on the way!

The slow pace of growth in this tank is allowing for very low maintenance, just as I had hoped for. I stole the CO2 tank and regulator from my 70 gallon and moved it over here. About 1 bubble/10secs, so my 10lb tank should last about 12 years.

The plants from @Bartohog are working out great! The Father Duster Erio sweeps gently along the top of the water and the shrimp love to hang out on it.

The DHG is spreading out slow and steady. The Erio Parikerii and Buce both flowered. The Buce puts out a steady stream of new tiny leaves and the Metallic Red Crypt is putting out new growth. The Parkerii are starting to split into 2. I still have my heart set on getting a single erio. cinereum, but I may have run out of space to put it.

Current ferts are added to water change water -
Starting with 5 gallons RO
add in 1ml of my custom macro blend (500ml RO H2O, 1 TBPS MgSO4, 1 TBS K2SO4, 1TBS KNO3, 1/4 tsp KH2PO4)
1ml of Flourish Iron and
5ml of Fluval Shrimp Mineral Supplement

This gets me to about 75 ppm GH and 100ppm overall for incoming water. I change about 2 gallons a week with this blend. Main tank sits about 160-190ppm overall.

No Micros at this time, which could lead to some issues down the line. I would not mind hearing shrimp safe micros suggestions.

I am getting what I think is nitrogen deficiency with my current plant load. The old growth Anubias leaves are getting reabsorbed from the edges.

May be time to bump the nitrates up in my mix.
 

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Anyone have any suggestions for an Asian-themed shrimp tank?
Hygrophila corymbosa var. "Angustifolia" reminded me enough of bamboo to give it a try. There's large bamboo growing outside my window that the tank is in front of, so I thought to bring that inside a bit. It's just planted and not grown in, so I won't know for a while if it accomplishes my goal. Hygro salicifolia would have been my other option from that family.

I've been thinking about purple bamboo for a smaller tank. It just isn't lush enough for the look of my larger tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
March 2016 update

Almost 1 year into the experiment on what works well in low pH (approx 6.2pH) shrimp tank. Almost low tech, with only a tiny bit of CO2 (5 bubbles/minute) and very light fertilization in the water column.

Low maintenance is still a reality with this tank. I almost never stick my hands in the water. With the dual sponge filter over the Eheim intakes and all the plants, I have only rinsed my filter media out once and squeezed a sponge out twice. Water change is once a week 10%, to help keep TDS in check and to pump in the tiny ferts.



Anubias seem to love things.
Dwarf Hairgrass is happy
Erio Fatherduster is crazy happy. Almost too happy for this tank, as it could use more pruning attention from me.
Erio Parkerii propagating freely and blooming
Bucephalandra Lamandau Purple growing steady and blooming regulary
Cryptocorn Wendtii (or maybe bronze) growing slowly but healthy

Java Fern tolerate but v.Windelov is really not that happy.

Pogostemon Helferi (Downoi) limping along
Cryptocorn Metallic Red limping along
Micro Swords slowly fading away
Flame moss failed to thrive

The Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) are not very prolific. I had 5 left from the old tank and I have about a dozen now, with only one holding berries. The low pH is really not ideal for them.

On the other hand, the Taiwan Bee and mischling mix (Caridina cantonensis) are thriving and regularly breeding. From the 1 male and 2 female survivors of the tank of 2014, I now have over 60. A few of the second generation are on their second set of berries and the 3rd generation looking great. I see genetics from Red bolt, Wine, CBS, CRS, golden and some that are trending towards blue.

What a fun thing this mixed genetics tank has become!
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
My first blue baby!

Very exciting. I finally got lucky with a low quality blue bolt from my Mischling clan.
Original bloodline was from @sbarbee54 back in October 2014 before he moved.
IMG_8699.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #27
June Photo Update
That little BB is hard to pin down. Could not get a good shot of him today.

Took the CO2 out back in late March.

I am close to having to thin out my Erio Fatherduster, as it is dominating the tank. I tried to tease out a small portion 2 weeks ago but it is so stubbornly rooted that I ended just ripping about 10% of it right off it's root bed. Rather than just toss the traumatized 10%, I trimmed it's leaves to 2" broke it apart into 4 or 5 of the rootless clusters and pushed them down into the soil. They seem to be taking root and a few have new leaves already.

Crypto Red Metallic is all but gone (sad, because the color was fantastic)

Downoi had been rock solid for a long time, but I am getting a sudden melt where the leaves sort of shred down to just the center vein.

Erio Parkerii have stopped blooming and are spreading out. They are very easy to propagate. They just grow into little clusters and you can gently pull them apart, remove most of the older leaves, trim the roots to about 1" and replant.

Chain Sword still around and stubbornly, but steadily putting out runners. It's a nice counterpoint where it grows through the beds of Dwarf Hairgrass.

Java Fern Wendelov is really just unhappy. Some new growth but lots of dead on the older leaves.

I took the older 1/2 of the Java Fern out and the rest is still rock solid, slow growing and strong.

As a side note, I took a 15 day vacation and left the tank on autopilot. TDS crept up quite a bit from evaporation, but no ill effects to plants nor shrimp.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
I did some rip and move finally.

The Erio Father duster had gotten too large, so I moved most of it along to my 75g.
The roots from the DHG, Erio Father Duster and Chain Sword were a dense mat and I ended up chopping most of the roots off in getting the Erio out.
I will probably have to rip out most of the left side to get the old root system out. Maybe next weekend after things settle.

The small clusters of Erio Father Duster that I put in the back right corner, under the filter outlet, have already rooted and seem to be recovering from getting forceably ripped off their root mat.

I moved the smaller Anbuias and the tall thing that might be Bacopa Carolina to fill in the left side. I think they will look nicer nestled around the white rock, once they settle back in.

Downoi still not doing too well without CO2. I may still loose them all.


The Blue Bolt has grown up nicely and may be breeding soon (I hope)
 

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Discussion Starter #29
October 2016 update

Added a collection of Buce a few weeks ago. Ripped out the Erio Father Duster - too big and fast growing.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Nov 2017 update

It's been a long while.
Substrate wore out so I swapped 50% of it. Messy but ultimately successful.
I put the Erio Father Duster back in under the filter outlet, so it blows in the current, and moved a lot around.
Downoi finally gave up and the Erio Parkerii are hanging on by a thread (after a good solid year of gangbuster growth) They did not like the substrate change.
Added a new centerpiece Crinum calamistratum or African Onion Plant.

Shrimp population seems to have stabilized at about 100.
Shrimp colony 3-4 generations in now. Still very fun. My mischlings threw a nice shadow panda a few months back. I love that little guy!
 

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