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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

So I've started my shrimp rack build of 8 20L's. There will be 2 systems consisting of 4 tanks and a 55g sump. I wanted to use a sump to increase water volume and for ease of maintenance. 8 water changes (plus 4 other planted tanks a week I think will become a full time job :icon_smil). So far I have assembled the racks and replaced the "wire" rack that came with the shelving with 3/4 MDF which I painted black to match. Here is a quick photo I took with my cell phone.







I have not put the bottom shelves in because I need to get more primer to paint them. Also this rack is in the basement and the flooring isn't too level so I need to figure out a way to level them and cover the top shelves so I can install lighting fixtures for the top 4 tanks.

Most of the equipment has arrived (pumps, uv sterilizers, sponge filters, RO/DI unit), however I am still waiting on the ADA africana to arrive and the tanks to be drilled at the shop for the bulkhead fittings. This has been fun to see come together thus far and I'm really excited to start assembling the plumbing once the tanks are finished.



Let me know what you think :):)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh I for got to list what I plan to stock the tanks with :)

1st 4 tanks:
Red tigers
BTOE
TT
Super Tigers
Snowballs
Red Rili's
PFR
Either Painted Yellows or Orange Sukura (haven't decided cause not sure if i can find Painted yellows yet)

2nd 4 Tanks:
BKK
K14 or JPRL
Blue Bolts
Maybe Aura Blues
Snow whites/Golden Bees
 

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Looking good! cant wait to see it up and running!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alright update for everyone.

I have all tanks up and running. Ran into a few snags along the way, but nevertheless all systems are go.

Here are a few quick cell phone pics I took

Wide shot of all 8 20L


The 4 tanks on the left will be TB/CRS tanks and the tanks to the right will be Tiger/Neo's.

Close up of soon to be TB and CRS tanks (I used ADA Africana as the substrate for this system)



A close up shot of the ADA Africana. I really like the color of this substrate, I think it will make the colors of the BKK really stand out.




Here is a photo of the plumbing of this beast system.


The top tanks overflow to the second row. Then the second row drops to the sumps.


I still have some things to acquire; e.i. 2 more 48" T8 10k bulbs, a power strip that will allow me to turn off individual items like pumps for each system during the water changes (thinking I will go with "American Dj PC-100A Powerswitcher" http://www.guitarcenter.com/America...wer-Center-100313636-i1155517.gc?esid=PC+100A). Decided to use this strip because I have a friend who works at guitar center and can hook me up with a lower price than the retail cost.


I am also trying to fix an issue with the plumbing. There are a lot of bubbles coming out of the returns on the second shelf tanks (which are the overflow drains from the top tanks). I am thinking of going to 1 1/2 PVC reverse durso's to possible help resolve the issue. I am still learning as I go lol :smile:, which isn't the most cost effective way of doing things, but still fun learning.


As this thing is coming together I am still trying to figure out which shrimps to get as far as Neo's and tigers. I know I definitely want BTOE and PFR. But still undecided on

Red Tigers
Royal Blues
OEBT
Super Tigers

Snowballs
Painted Yellows
Pumpkins
Red Rili's

On the TB/CRS side I think

1st tank: Low grade CRS to Mix with BKK to eventually breed more BKK
2nd tank: High grade CRS SSS+ or K14 (which I think are really the same thing)
3rd tank: Golden Bees and Blue Bolts to eventually breed more BBs
4th tank: I have no idea as of yet


Any thoughts input.........
 

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You should totally get some nice PRL shrimp for that fourth tank! Looks great! I will be moving to Richmond in August and I also want to set up a shrimp rack!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You should totally get some nice PRL shrimp for that fourth tank! Looks great! I will be moving to Richmond in August and I also want to set up a shrimp rack!
I wish. Maybe down the road, when I have $$$ from selling off culls =)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I may try to put some neo's in with the TB's, after all I do have 8 tanks which I should take advantage of. I'm just worried that the PH will be too low for them.

Maybe someone with Africana substrate could chime in and explain their results with breeding neo's are......
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It is exciting! There are none here in Las Cruces. I'm very happy to be going to a grad school in a city where there are fish stores and people keeping shrimps!

There are pet stores, but the good ones are salt water only. Most the others have closed down because of so many big chains like petsmart and petco (so many of them around this town).

But in general RVA is a great city, it has that small town feel in a big city =)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry for not updating.....


I've kinda hit a wall on the cycling, not sure if it's taking so long because of the size of the tank, lack of media, or inexperience with using pure ammonia as the cycling stimulant.

As of now my params are:
ammonia - 0
nitrites - 5.0ppm (or over)
nitrates - 160ppm (or over)

I stopped dosing for a week and a half thinking I would let it finish it's coarse on it's own, however not seeing any results I started dosing this evening again.

Either way, I have ordered some bio balls, some filled with sponges and others filled with ceramic rings. I also plan to get some prefilter sponges for the pumps and ordered a filter housing to make a fluidized purigen reactor.
 

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The nitrate reading is off because of the nitrite once the nitrite hit zero you should get better reading with the nitrate test kit. The cycle looking good though once nitrite hit zero you can add your shrimp. Nitrite phase is always the longest you can speed it up with sponge from cycle tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just a small update,

I made DIY fluidized purigen reactors for each system. However I don't have purigen in them yet bc I have read it can stall cycling, so as of now it's just the filter that keeps the purigen from going back into the tanks. Installed some plumbing to use the sump pump to make water changes even easier simply by turning a ball valve to drain out water from the sump to a drain in the basement. Then I flip a switch from the RO water holding reservoirs activating a pump that pumps water back to the sump. Total time takes about 7 minutes to drain and fill the sump back up (could have made it faster by having bigger pumps in the RO reservoirs but didn't think an extra $23 dollars was worth saving 3 minutes).

The cycle is still going, but I have switched from fishless to fish in cycle. Went to LFS and traded some PFR and Goldens i have housed in a 55g planted for feeder goldfish. Hopefully this cycle will be over in a few weeks and I can purchase the shrimp for the systems.

Will post pics of the WC plumbing and reactors soon
 

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Is the slow cycling only in the Africana tanks?

The low pH in those tanks can seriously slow the colonization of bacteria and thus extend the time that it takes to cycle the tank.

A lot of people using Africana for low pH Taiwan Bee tanks have been reporting that it takes several months to fully cycle Africana tanks at times due to this factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Is the slow cycling only in the Africana tanks?

The low pH in those tanks can seriously slow the colonization of bacteria and thus extend the time that it takes to cycle the tank.

A lot of people using Africana for low pH Taiwan Bee tanks have been reporting that it takes several months to fully cycle Africana tanks at times due to this factor.
Interesting, hadn't heard anything about this, however pure ammonia has a pH of 12 and the africana tanks are at 7.4 consistently because of it. The tigers and neo tanks are at the same pH. At first I thought there was something wrong and posted a thread, Liam chimed in and explained that after cycling the tanks the africana would buffer back down to where it's range should be and that pure ammonia had a very high pH.


I was thinking the low temp of the water of 70F was the cause of the slow cycle. I don't have any heaters on the system because after the cycle it will be a shrimp only tank and with summer coming I didn't feel like heaters were a priority until winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Good news on this update.

I have tested my water and it appears the Tiger/Neo tanks have cycled. I have placed an order for the first batch of shrimp. They will be shipped not this coming monday but the following (25th). I gave an extra week to finish up last few touches for the system also because I ordered some bt-9 and want to use it for a week before the shrimps are put in (a just in case extra).

The ADA tanks are still lagging in the cycle but have finally hit the second stage (test kits are showing nitrites). Shouldn't be too much longer on those 4 tanks and soon all tanks will be stocked.
 
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