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Discussion Starter #343
Alright, I pulled the mini from a box in the garage and started it up as a hospital tank setup (but with every intention to get it planted again).

The light output on these Solar Minis is pretty intense so I cut a piece of window screening and used some magnets from Harbor Freight to fix it below the light to reduce the output. I ordered a backup bulb from eBay and should get it in a month. I’m very fond of the design elements that went in to the light for this tank. Just looks really cool...even after all these years. My kids dig it. Also I have a cheap LED customizable background light I purchased off of Amazon and cut out some privacy film for the background that helps utilize the background light.

I’m running a DIY CO2 setup here and have Pygmy Corys and Cherry Shrimp. I’ve got a little acrylic DIY drop checker that is a constant green. Air stone bubbler comes on at multiple intervals throughout the middle of the night and wee hours of the morning. I dose a few times a week with NPK dry ferts and a little bit of Iron. The water here where I live in LA is very hard and the water report in my area has .35 Copper on average. So I’ve been running my tank water through a Berkey Water Filter and to save the shrimps in the tank after experiencing some shrimp loss. It has made a world of difference.

For this tank I have driftwood over seiryu stone. A foreground of dwarf hairgrass bunches planted between the rocks. I glued the Java Moss to the driftwood and attached some Anubias Gabon and some Red Bucephalandra. For the background I have some Cryptocoryne Wendtiii Green ‘Gecko.’ I”m also floating some red root floaters (Phyllanthus fluitans).

I upgraded the filter on this tank to a Delta 60 from UNS and used my old Eheim 2211 disconnects to help me reduce the flow. I really like this filter. I added some seeded biomedia to the middle chamber and cut a larger sponge to fit the mechanical filtration section. The only issue is a soft impeller rattle I’m hearing on day 2 of the filter. I already contacted the retailer and am looking forward to how they handle the issues. Reminds me a lot of when the impellers would rattle in the Fluval HOB filters. It’s not that big of an issue, but when it’s advertised as a quiet filter I don’t want to hear that impeller rattle. But I really like the UNS company and the LFS store that I purchased the filter from. Shout out to Bob’s Tropical Fish in East LA.

Looking forward to this filling in. Thanks to all that have kept their eyes on this thread.

All the best!

Fat Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #344
Added needle leaf ferns, trident ferns, and have some baby leaf bolbitis and marsilea on the way. 🦐 s are loving it.
 

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Still looking Awesome

This is my first post in years from a forum hiatus, you've moved 2,500 miles and yet somehow the tank looks the best its ever. Im really digging the background as well. Makes it feel just that much more mysterious.
 

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Discussion Starter #346
This is my first post in years from a forum hiatus, you've moved 2,500 miles and yet somehow the tank looks the best its ever. Im really digging the background as well. Makes it feel just that much more mysterious.
Hey thanks so much for such an awesome comment. I took a long forum hiatus as well. I'm really enjoying how this tank is panning out. I just got some baby leaf bolbitis I'm going to add in there which I think will make it look really cool. The colors from this tank are awesome with the shrimp too. Anyway, appreciate your kind words. I'll post another pic in a month or so when things have settled in more. :) Best, el g
 

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Discussion Starter #347 (Edited)
Just went pressurized on the mini M. I added an additional co2 manifold to my 20gallon pressurized setup. I drilled a small hole in the floor and crawled under the house and ran 50ft of co2 tubing from my 5lb cylinder under the 20g to another room in the house where the 5.5gallon mini m is. I added another Fabco needle valve with quick release connectors for the tubing in the other room. It’s awesome as now I can run pressurized co2 in two aquariums that are more than 50ft apart using the same co2 cylinder. Saved the hassle of having to buy another co2 tank and regulator. The Fabco needle valve is awesome. I’ve been running pressurized on the mini for the past three weeks and it has made a world of difference.

In other news, my 6 super red cherry shrimp have multiplied to about 70. Got an insane colony in this tank. I’ve put some Indian Almond leaves and Alder Pine Cones in there which the shrimp love. The cryptocoryne green gecko has really started to settle in in the back. The Mariselia is the one plant that is slow going. It’s growing, but not rapidly. This tank is so small but has so much going on. I can spend so much time just looking at it. There are so many different varieties of plants. Over ten in this tank. Compared to my 20gallon tank that has ONLY THREE types of plants.

Really glad I pulled this tank out of the garage. 50% RO water change once a week with Shrimp King GH/KH mineralizer and I’m good to go.

Thanks to all that have followed this thread over the years. A lot has changed in the online world since I first started posting in this forum...going way back to 2003. What I love so much about the hobby is how much information there is out there to learn and the patience planted aquariums demand from its aquarists in order for their tanks to be successful.

Stay Safe!

Fat Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #348
Snipped off a bunch of needle leaf and trident plantlets and used hobby glue to attach them to some small river pebbles. Gonna drop them in the tank tomorrow in the back right.


Also here are some shots of the CO2 manifold and the 50ft of tubing I ran from the 20g under the house to the mini m.
 

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Discussion Starter #349
Moved the green gecko to directly behind the wood. Added some leftover s. repens and trimmed then trident fern. 6 cherry shrimp have multiplied to 60.

Thanks for looking. This tank rocks. Can’t wait for the background crypts and ferns to grow in.
 

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Beautiful little tank. I’ve always wanted a mini m for a dedicated shrimp tank. How do you like the light on it?
 

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Beautiful little tank. I’ve always wanted a mini m for a dedicated shrimp tank. How do you like the light on it?
Hey Thanks! Really love this tank. It can be a challenge for sure but it’s perfect for shrimp and an Otto or Pygm Corys.

I really like the overall design of the solar mini light however it’s a PITA to work around when planting or doing tank maintenance because it swivels only 90 degrees. I constantly bump it when cleaning the tank with my hand, elbow or maintenance tools. Also it puts out a ton of light. If you look closely you can see that I have two pieces of window screen under it that I secured with magnets to reduce the light output...I may actually add another piece of screen if any unwanted algae start to show. Bulbs can be difficult to find for it. I got an extra one on eBay for whenever this one goes out. The 4 pin setup for the bulb isn’t as easy to find online so that can be a challenge down the road.

But overall I love the tank and the aesthetics of the lighting design. Perfect for 🦐

Thanks again!
 

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Also here are some shots of the CO2 manifold and the 50ft of tubing I ran from the 20g under the house to the mini m.
OK, so that's genius.

I've been leafing through your journal, and it's a great looking tank, but when I saw this I just had to say: wow, what a tremendous idea. Do you think you loose much CO2 from it/creep a problem? I'm looking all over my house a bit differently lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #353
OK, so that's genius.

I've been leafing through your journal, and it's a great looking tank, but when I saw this I just had to say: wow, what a tremendous idea. Do you think you loose much CO2 from it/creep a problem? I'm looking all over my house a bit differently lol.
Hey thanks!! I’m so glad that I hooked it up this way. So much more cost effective and I’ve been using the same beer regulator since 2003 lol. But it works like a charm. When the co2 kicks on there is very little delay before you see the bubbles in the mini-m. Having the fabco needle valve in the room with the mini m makes dialing it in so much easier as well. I shut the co2 off around two hours before the lights go out. It takes a little time on both tanks for the co2 to eventually shut off but I’ve had no issues with it and have had zero back flow on either tanks. Feel like I’m always looking to make little improvements in this hobby. This one has been one of the better additions as of late. Thanks again!!
 

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Beautiful little tank. I’ve always wanted a mini m for a dedicated shrimp tank. How do you like the light on it?
Hey Thanks! Really love this tank. It can be a challenge for sure but it’s perfect for shrimp and an Otto or Pygm Corys.

I really like the overall design of the solar mini light however it’s a PITA to work around when planting or doing tank maintenance because it swivels only 90 degrees. I constantly bump it when cleaning the tank with my hand, elbow or maintenance tools. Also it puts out a ton of light. If you look closely you can see that I have two pieces of window screen under it that I secured with magnets to reduce the light output...I may actually add another piece of screen if any unwanted algae start to show. Bulbs can be difficult to find for it. I got an extra one on eBay for whenever this one goes out. The 4 pin setup for the bulb isn’t as easy to find online so that can be a challenge down the road.

But overall I love the tank and the aesthetics of the lighting design. Perfect for 🦐

Thanks again!
The design of the light really sets the tank off! . If you ever decide to get rid upgrade the light keep me in mind lol. I’ll take it off your hands
 

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Discussion Starter #355
The design of the light really sets the tank off! . If you ever decide to get rid upgrade the light keep me in mind lol. I’ll take it off your hands
Hey Thanks! I like the look of the light too and how it shades the light spill in the room. It’d be great if it was dimmable, but my diy light-screens will have to do.

Im just letting this one grow crazy with low light and co2 and some ferts. They hydrocotyle is going crazy..so are they crypts...and everything else. Here’s a current pic. Artwork courtesy of my children.

1026417
 
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