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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I got back into the hobby early last year, it didn't take long for M.T.S. to kick in. After my 12G Edge and my first 10G, the next tank I set up was one of those funky-sorta-triangular-but-with-five-sides acrylic AquaView tanks. I had two of them in my garage from years ago. One had a spot for a light in the hood and one didn't, so I set up the one with the light. I immediately replaced the stock incandescent bulb with a 5W 5000K LED. I had to rig it a little to fit it in the hood, but it worked. Well, my first attempt was a complete failure. The 5W bulb in that small of a tank put out a ridiculous amount of light and there was hair algae everywhere. Then the bulb stopped working (maybe from moisture), so I replaced it with a 3W bulb. Since then, it has been on my nightstand housing a variety of invertebrates. I dose with a few drops of Excel when I remember and feed sparingly. The little TOM mini filter gets cleaned out every few months. I was using tiny cuts of carbon pads in that ridiculously tiny little media basket, but with the most recent cleaning I switched to a few little pieces of Matrix. The tank stays very clean, but I have had no luck breeding any of the shrimp I've housed in there and they usually disappear. From what I've seen, I think they eventually develop problems molting and the snails get them.

So I just brought the tank downstairs and decided it was time to do an overhaul. I thought there were two BV's in there, but I only recovered one, so the other may have died recently. I also removed a lot of ramshorn snails and left only a few smaller ones. The shells on the older ramshorns look terrible and pitted, so I believe the water in this tank is too soft. I'll probably drop some crushed coral in with the sand when I rescape to boost the PH.

Planned fauna will be a few ramshorns and some Thai micro crabs. While I like the current jungle look, I'm afraid I won't be able to see the crabs.

Flora includes the following:

-Jungle Val that has been there since the beginning and will probably be moved to one of my big tanks
-Dwarf sag that has sent out runners like crazy and spread all over
-A little DHG
-Even less HC
-Crypt wendtii red
-Duckweed

The duckweed grew too thick and blocked out too much light for too long. My crypts melted (but not a lost cause) and I lost some of what little HC was in there. I cleaned out most of the duckweed and may replace with a few RRF.

I have a number of plants I could work with, but I don't want to add too much. I have a few ridiculously large stems of p. helferi that look out of place in my 29G, so I may move a couple of them into this tank. Beyond that, maybe remove the vals and reduce the dwarf sag or cut it down shorter.

I'll be uploading pics from Tapatalk shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I guess I should probably ask more specific questions. Right now, it's almost all tall grass, and the grass is growing everywhere. The largest clump of sag came up in the middle of the HC, which cause a lot of it to uproot. The stems that floated got mixed in with the duckweed and are presumed lost forever. I like the grassy look, but I want more contrast, which is why I'm thinking p. helferi. Another option would be to go buy more HC and move/remove the sag and condense the taller plants to the back of the tank, then try to make a foreground carpet. Or, I could try something else like marisela minuta. I really like the look of it, but I don't have enough and it is hard to find around here. I also have some s. repens, but I'm kind of bored with it.

I think it will help a little when the crypt wendtii grows back in, and I could also add a few stems of crypt lutea for more contrast. There is currently no hardscape, and I'm not sure I have room for anything other than a few little rocks. Additional options would be little rocks with mosses or java ferns. I have xmas moss, java moss, fissidens, and a little bit of mini and regular pelia. And finally, I have plenty of DHG I could pull out of other tanks to add to this one.

Thoughts?
 

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Any moss would be great! I dont have much experience with other plants like that, but anything growing good in your other tanks will do fine hopefully!
 

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Pull all the tall plants you have up front and move them to the back then place a nice clump of crypts mid-ground.
 

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I think the thai microcrabs are a great idea. While they definitely won't just chill at the front or right on the plants like shrimp, they'll be much bolder when kept in a setup without fish/predators. There's no reason that you couldn't keep both shrimp and the crabs together, though the crabs will likely try to snatch some shrimp hatchlings- though this would be very good for their diet.
In my experience the crabs won't utilize tall bare grassy plants nearly as much as plants that provide better cover, usually those with tightly overlapping leaves like Anacharis. Now, I'm sure you don't want to add that disgusting plant to your setup, but think along the lines of that sort of stem plant. They'll probably like the pogo just fine. I will say that they appreciate some old driftwood to hide on, around and under, and they and your shrimp will appreciate any moss you put in there. I like the look of an HM and DHG mixed carpet- plant both in the same area and let them grow in intertwined- with a couple taller vals in there. I would trim the vals in the front before they reached the top though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think the thai microcrabs are a great idea. While they definitely won't just chill at the front or right on the plants like shrimp, they'll be much bolder when kept in a setup without fish/predators. There's no reason that you couldn't keep both shrimp and the crabs together, though the crabs will likely try to snatch some shrimp hatchlings- though this would be very good for their diet.
In my experience the crabs won't utilize tall bare grassy plants nearly as much as plants that provide better cover, usually those with tightly overlapping leaves like Anacharis. Now, I'm sure you don't want to add that disgusting plant to your setup, but think along the lines of that sort of stem plant. They'll probably like the pogo just fine. I will say that they appreciate some old driftwood to hide on, around and under, and they and your shrimp will appreciate any moss you put in there. I like the look of an HM and DHG mixed carpet- plant both in the same area and let them grow in intertwined- with a couple taller vals in there. I would trim the vals in the front before they reached the top though.
I wish I had some HM. I'd have to order online though, cause all I can find around here is HC. Those plants in the front are actually dwarf sag, believe it or not. My sag always grows crazy tall. I have some in my 12G Edge that is about 16 inches tall! The vals are in the corner to the right of the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK, I couldn't find any HM, but I got something I think will grow similarly. One of the local nurseries had their aquatic plants marked down 75%, so I got a pot of hydrocotyle sibthorpioides (variegated/dwarf pennywort). If I keep the floaters minimized in this tank, it should spread well.

I'm going to pull the jungle val and some of the dwarf sag, moving the rest of the dwarf sag to the back. I'm going to add more DHG in with the dwarf pennywort and let them grow together. I'm debating making a little cave out of glue and river pebbles for the crabs to hide in and letting the pennywort grow over the cave or covering it with moss.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I've done a pretty massive overhaul, and it is looking good, but not there yet. I was out of town for n a few days after I replanted and put the crabs in. Today I picked up this nifty little piece of wood at my LFS for 50 cents



I attached some mini pellia and what was left of my scraggly HC. I'm hoping it will grow out green and lush. But I didn't have a chance to get the wood positioned in the tank. The second I dropped it in there, half of the crabs swarmed on it! They're still hanging out, so I guess they approve of the addition. I need to very carefully shift a few of the plants around tomorrow, get the wood set where I want it, and plant some dwarf pennywort amongst the hair grass.

I'll take some updated pics as soon as I'm done.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think I'm finally done. I placed the wood, shifted some plants around, and planted some stems of dwarf pennywort. What do you guys think? The jungle val is gone, the dwarf sag all moved to the back. Some blades are really long and streaming around the tank. Think I'll leave it like that for now. The crabs seem to love the wood and the big pogo stems. I added two berried RCS to have a splash of color. There is a lot going on in this little tank!







 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nice! I love it. So what's the final stock?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Fauna =

~9 Thai micro crabs (there were 11 in the original shipment, but one was DoA and one more died before I got them in the tank)
2 RCS
? Pink ramshorn snails (they're all little, so I'm not sure how many are in there)

Flora =

Sagittaria Subulata (dwarf sag)
Pogostemon Helferi (downoi star)
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red
Eleocharis Parvula (dwarf hair grass)
Hydrocotyle Sibthorpiodes (dwarf pennywort)
Riccardia Chamedryfolia (mini pellia)
Hemanthius Callitrichoides (dwarf baby tears)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was out of town for 10 days and this tank weathered the absence nicely. But some of the dwarf pennywort stems have died, probably because I wasn't around to dose Flourish and Excel and didn't want to entrust my wife to do it. There is a new crown of downoi sprouting from the base of the tallest stem, and the dwarf sag is sending runners and growing new plants that will need to be pulled as it always does. Other than that, some of the mini pellia and HC came detached from the wood, and there isn't much growth on what's left. I think the ferts will help with that.

One of the RCS gave birth. There are at least a half-dozen little shrimpies hanging around. Probably more that I just can't see. The other one still has her eggs. I am worried that the crabs will go after the little shrimpies. Does anyone know if there are documented cases of micro crabs eating shrimp?
 

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I was out of town for 10 days and this tank weathered the absence nicely. But some of the dwarf pennywort stems have died, probably because I wasn't around to dose Flourish and Excel and didn't want to entrust my wife to do it. There is a new crown of downoi sprouting from the base of the tallest stem, and the dwarf sag is sending runners and growing new plants that will need to be pulled as it always does. Other than that, some of the mini pellia and HC came detached from the wood, and there isn't much growth on what's left. I think the ferts will help with that.

One of the RCS gave birth. There are at least a half-dozen little shrimpies hanging around. Probably more that I just can't see. The other one still has her eggs. I am worried that the crabs will go after the little shrimpies. Does anyone know if there are documented cases of micro crabs eating shrimp?
From what I know about them (I have one hitchhiker dude who lives in my 10 gallon with my shrimp), they do not eat shrimp. My guy seems to find most of his food by waving his hairy claws around in the water, catching microorganisms :) I read that they are peaceful and will not eat baby shrimp.
 

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I'm so glad you posted this! I have this exact tank and have been searching for some inspiration.
Could you provide a little more detail about what you did with the light? I couldn't tell to much from the pic. I'd love to get the lid back on mine, since the water evaporates so quickly.
Nice idea about the micro crabs. What do you feed them?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm so glad you posted this! I have this exact tank and have been searching for some inspiration.
Could you provide a little more detail about what you did with the light? I couldn't tell to much from the pic. I'd love to get the lid back on mine, since the water evaporates so quickly.
Nice idea about the micro crabs. What do you feed them?
I know, when I was first trying to decide what to do with this tank, I searched everywhere and only found one stale thread. I originally tried a moss wall and a small sponge filter with a much smaller bulb, but that was a failure. I like the current setup much better. The clear plastic cover comes off (I think there are somewhere between 4 - 6 screws holding it down. The bulb I used was too long to fit into the socket as it was, so I had to remove the cover plate for the socket. Just one screw holds it in place. Then I moved the socket back until I could get the bulb to fit in the lid. It sits up a bit now, so I couldn't put the cover back on the socket. I added some extra reflective tape in addition to the little square that was already there and put the lid back in place. I used a 3 watt ABI daylight LED, but any candelabra bulb should work. Just make sure it isn't too huge. Mine fits very snugly in the space and it was a little hard to get the plastic cover back on. It will occasionally get a little condensation inside, but not too bad. I thought about siliconing, but have been too lazy. I can try to take better pics when I get home, but I'm out of town for a few days.

I am feeding the crabs occasional shrimp pellets and finely-crushed flakes right now. Plus, they're filter feeders. I just hope they aren't supplementing their diet with little shrimplets!
 

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I know, when I was first trying to decide what to do with this tank, I searched everywhere and only found one stale thread. I originally tried a moss wall and a small sponge filter with a much smaller bulb, but that was a failure. I like the current setup much better. The clear plastic cover comes off (I think there are somewhere between 4 - 6 screws holding it down. The bulb I used was too long to fit into the socket as it was, so I had to remove the cover plate for the socket. Just one screw holds it in place. Then I moved the socket back until I could get the bulb to fit in the lid. It sits up a bit now, so I couldn't put the cover back on the socket. I added some extra reflective tape in addition to the little square that was already there and put the lid back in place. I used a 3 watt ABI daylight LED, but any candelabra bulb should work. Just make sure it isn't too huge. Mine fits very snugly in the space and it was a little hard to get the plastic cover back on. It will occasionally get a little condensation inside, but not too bad. I thought about siliconing, but have been too lazy. I can try to take better pics when I get home, but I'm out of town for a few days.

I am feeding the crabs occasional shrimp pellets and finely-crushed flakes right now. Plus, they're filter feeders. I just hope they aren't supplementing their diet with little shrimplets!
Awesome, thanks! I'll have to go the hardware store and see if I can find those LED candelabra bulbs. I didn't even know they made them.
My filter is a tiny HOB so the lid won't fit snugly, but it might be nicer to have the light in the lid rather than the lamp I'm using now.
You've inspired me to experiment. And I'll keep my fingers crossed for your shimplets!
 

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o hey

Where did you get the bulb from and can you please post a picture of it? I have that same tank and have been looking for a bulb to brighten it up a bit... i was thinking leds but I'm afraid I'll get some that wouldn't fit...

Bump:
I know, when I was first trying to decide what to do with this tank, I searched everywhere and only found one stale thread. I originally tried a moss wall and a small sponge filter with a much smaller bulb, but that was a failure. I like the current setup much better. The clear plastic cover comes off (I think there are somewhere between 4 - 6 screws holding it down. The bulb I used was too long to fit into the socket as it was, so I had to remove the cover plate for the socket. Just one screw holds it in place. Then I moved the socket back until I could get the bulb to fit in the lid. It sits up a bit now, so I couldn't put the cover back on the socket. I added some extra reflective tape in addition to the little square that was already there and put the lid back in place. I used a 3 watt ABI daylight LED, but any candelabra bulb should work. Just make sure it isn't too huge. Mine fits very snugly in the space and it was a little hard to get the plastic cover back on. It will occasionally get a little condensation inside, but not too bad. I thought about siliconing, but have been too lazy. I can try to take better pics when I get home, but I'm out of town for a few days.

I am feeding the crabs occasional shrimp pellets and finely-crushed flakes right now. Plus, they're filter feeders. I just hope they aren't supplementing their diet with little shrimplets!
Is this the one you used??

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00CJE414Q?pc_redir=1409929284&robot_redir=1
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Where did you get the bulb from and can you please post a picture of it? I have that same tank and have been looking for a bulb to brighten it up a bit... i was thinking leds but I'm afraid I'll get some that wouldn't fit...

Bump:

Is this the one you used??

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00CJE414Q?pc_redir=1409929284&robot_redir=1
Yep, that's the one. I have a picture in the thread, but it's kind of crumby cause there was condensation in the lid at the time I took it. I can take another if you need me to, but looks like you found the bulb.

Bump: Time for an update. I think some of my crabs didn't make it. I can only find one or two at any given time, so unless the others are all hiding under the driftwood, it doesn't look good. I also can't find many shrimplets. Saw one tonight, but that was after a lot of searching. At one time, there were at least a half-dozen in there, so I'm wondering if there just isn't enough biofilm in this tank for the crabs and shrimplets to survive. I've tried feeding some finely-crushed flakes and some First Bites from time to time, but it doesn't seem to be helping a ton. Both of the adult RCS are still alive, and the ramshorn snails seem to be thriving. I need to thin them out soon, and also really need to remove some duckweed and dwarf sag. The sag seems to love this little tank more than any other, and is constantly sending out runners. I think I'm going to have to RAoK some pretty soon.
 
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