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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Updated March 23, 2014:


Picture as of March 17, 2014:



Goals - setup a low maintenance heavily planted tank for small fish and shrimp. My ultimate goal is to have the shrimp breed slowly and refrain from excessive water changes.

Budget (currently at $650) - my original budget was around $500, but I've quickly gone over that due to the price of the shrimps, and project even more when I decide to buy more shrimps.

What's different with my setup - I want to try using eBay cheapo 5050 SMD LED's for lighting ($30 for 5m), no CO2, and use a potting soil + aqua soil substrate to avoid fertilization.

Plants - I'm not expert I just ask what's easy to grow and doesn't require high light, mostly java family plants, some fast stem plants, and some easy foreground stuff.

Equipment - Tank, Eheim 2213 canister for maximum filtration, inline heater to remove tank clutter, LED lighting, bog wood, rocks, organic potting soil, and aqua soil.

Live stock - Neon tetra's, crystal red shrimp, and blue diamond shrimp, and foot ball looking snails.


The tank 15G Column (13"x13"x20"), the filter that it comes with is a joke, and the lighting is 8w will be replaced when my LED's come:


Designing my hardscape at the local store:


After boiling my bog wood and rocks I setup the hardscape in the tank:


The substrate is about 1" front to 2" back of organic potting soil, and cap is about 1"-1.5" of generic aqua soil (same stuff as the ADA amazonia). Here is a top view to see how much light each of the area will receive:


Planted and filled with water:


Another view:


Pebbles to hold down the moss:


My filter and heater arrive, time to remove the Aqua Clear 70 and upgrade:


About two weeks growth still with 8W and indirect sunlight, no fish, just a couple snails, letting new filter run:


A few more days later I add 20 Neon Tetra, I cull 3 which seem sick and weak, may need to cull another:


I originally was going to do cheap shrimp, but the store got me too interested in higher grade stuff, 8x Crystal Red Shrimp S/S+ grade, and 5 Blue Diamond shrimp:


Here's a shrimp, they are all 1-1.5cm:


Female Blue Diamond, the males are brighter blue:


To keep my water super clean and stable while the rest of the cycle completes, I'll be dosing 1 vial of Biodigest every 2 weeks:


Added a moss ball, because who doesn't love moss balls?!:


Even with the rubbish lighting (7 hours currently) my plants are doing fine, no algae outbreaks, 3 weeks in the water parameters are nearing 0ppm for both ammonia and nitrites:


eBay Lighting arrived!!:


Cutting the strips to size and prepping for soldering:


Everything finally wired for a dry run:


Removed the double sided tape and attached firmly to cleaned surface, then used hot glue on all the exposed terminals to create a water-proof seal, and add to adhesion:


Colour temperature is much more pleasant and quite good light penetration at the bottom of the tank:



Pending Items:
-Install inline heater (bought wrong size, waiting for adapters) current temp is around 23-24c, I have heater just in case of cold spikes
-Continue to monitor water parameters as the tank matures
-Add Crystal Black Shrimp in hopes of cross-breeding to produce more Red, Black, and Golden varieties
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Really nice.
Thanks :) I'm really hoping the back plants to grow in higher, I have no idea what they are, probably some sort of Hygro? HAHA

I'll give my front a couple months, and hopefully it will carpet everything :)
 

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The tank 15G Column (13"x13"x20")

The substrate is about 1" front to 2" back of organic potting soil, and cap is about 1"-1.5" of generic aqua soil (ADA amazonia).

eBay Lighting arrived!! Cutting the strips to size and prepping for soldering. Removed the double sided tape and attached firmly to cleaned surface, then used hot glue on all the exposed terminals to create a water-proof seal, and add to adhesion.
Look great!!

I would like to more about the lights. What is the color temp, and wattage? What did you attach them too? What power source did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Look great!!

I would like to more about the lights. What is the color temp, and wattage? What did you attach them too? What power source did you use?
The advertised temp is 6000k-6500k, and from the coloration it looks about right. It comes with a generic ac adapter that looks like you would use for a laptop. I used 102x leds from my reel, which is about 24w. The double sided tape sucks, I will need to reinforce with hot glue.
 

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Looks like there may be a crypt. balansae in the back there. If that's the case, those things get pretty tall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Updated! Added anubis nana, replanted some java ferns from the gravel into my bog wood, cut and re-planted stem plants, and move moss ball to a higher part of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Any info on where to buy that diy led kit? The tank,looks great!!
I purchased from eBay (User: popno1), shipped to Canada for $30 USD.

They sell both 5630 SMD LED and 5050 SMD LED's for around the same price. Since my goal what low-tech/low-light plants I didn't want too strong to avoid algae problems.

I purchased the following kit, and only used 102x LED's.

5M 5050SMD 300LEDs Strip light

1)Working Input Voltage: DC 12V
2)Output power: 72W / 5 Meters
3)Emitted Color: Pure White / Warm White
4)Color Temperature: Pure White 6000~6500K / Warm White 3000~3500K
5)LED Quantity: 60 leds 5050SMD / Meter
6)Luminous Flux: 700~800 Lumens / Meter
7)Viewing Angle : 160°
8)Protection Rate: (Waterproof / Non)
9)Working Tempreture: -20~50°
10)Warranty: 1 Year
11)Package: 5 Meters / Reel
 
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