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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have setup a new Fluval Spec in the office. This replaces a 24 gallon reef tank that was running for about 1.5 years. I didn't have enough time for saltwater anymore and have always wanted to give freshwater planted a try.

Setup:

Stock Fluval Spec (open to suggestions for better LED light)

Fluval Stratum Substrate

Single large piece of driftwood that was soaked and boiled over the course of two weeks.

Christmas Tree Moss

Windelov Fern

Anubias is on the way.

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The tank has been running for about two weeks now and I plan to cycle for about another two before adding probably 10 Red Cherry Shrimp. I keep the temp around 81 but am on the lookout for a more adjustable heater. I use RO water and add minerals with Equilibrium. I plan to change 30% of the water once a week. Here are a few pics. Let me know what you think and I am very open to criticism and advice.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Anubias arrived in the mail. Trying to root it in the holes of the driftwood. I am pretty happy with the way the tank turned out. If I could do it again I would have chosen much smaller drift wood. It looks much to large in this tank....but lesson learned for the next one. Anyone have advice for purchasing shrimp? My LFS selection is horrible.

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There's a tiny little hole on the back wall of the tank that works as another intake for the filter... make sure your substrate is higher than the height of that hole or you block it with some pantyhose (something that'll still allow water through) cause that thing will gobble up shrimplets once your RCS start breeding. I also recommend putting a small strip of sponge or pantyhose along the overflow in the back to stop them from crawling back there and getting stuck. I had quite a few babies manage to find a way into the back of mine, climb into the filter sponge and get stuck inside and I think grow until they eventually died just sitting there stuck in the sponge.

What a terrible death lol
 

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Looks good! I don't think the driftwood is too big, I like the sense of vertical-ness (for lack of a better term, heh) that it gives to the tank :)

I'm also in Indy, which LFS do you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There's a tiny little hole on the back wall of the tank that works as another intake for the filter... make sure your substrate is higher than the height of that hole or you block it with some pantyhose (something that'll still allow water through) cause that thing will gobble up shrimplets once your RCS start breeding. I also recommend putting a small strip of sponge or pantyhose along the overflow in the back to stop them from crawling back there and getting stuck.
Thanks for the advice! I actually blocked that intake completely. Coming from Reef tanks I didn't see the need for it nor I have I ever seen that type of design in any other AIO tank.

I have been experimenting with different sizes of sponge covering the overflow. Nothing seems to fit just right. I am not sure how to use pantyhose but it seems like a great idea. The sponges I have tried move side to side and up and down so far from perfect. Luckily I am still 2 weeks away from shrimp at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks good! I don't think the driftwood is too big, I like the sense of vertical-ness (for lack of a better term, heh) that it gives to the tank :)

I'm also in Indy, which LFS do you use?
Thanks! Like everyone always says....it looks better in person.

I usually go to The Reef. It is hit and miss....but I have been going there for over ten years and like the local small business feel it has. For plants I mostly get them from the guy on eBay that sells out of Malaysia. So far very good luck and very cheap. Is there one you prefer?
 

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I have been experimenting with different sizes of sponge covering the overflow. Nothing seems to fit just right. I am not sure how to use pantyhose but it seems like a great idea. The sponges I have tried move side to side and up and down so far from perfect. Luckily I am still 2 weeks away from shrimp at least.
I gave away two of these as presents, all setup with cull fire red. What I did was bought the same sponge block that it uses and cut out a piece for the top. I don't know good it works, but last I've heard there were babies everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I gave away two of these as presents, all setup with cull fire red. What I did was bought the same sponge block that it uses and cut out a piece for the top. I don't know good it works, but last I've heard there were babies everywhere.

Are you referring to blocking the overflow with the sponge inside the tank or filling the back chamber to the top with sponge material? I will post a picture of what I am trying hopefully tonight. Thanks for the help...I really appreciate it.
 

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I'm referring to filling the back chamber to the top. I want to make it simple as can be because these people have no fish/shrimp experiences. I put x-mas moss and subwassertang in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm referring to filling the back chamber to the top. I want to make it simple as can be because these people have no fish/shrimp experiences. I put x-mas moss and subwassertang in them.
Great! Problem solved. I will just buy some one Amazon and go for it. Thanks again.
 

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Just came upon your office tank, look really great! I liked how you tucked the anubis into that hole. And I think your driftwood is a perfect size. Looks like a small mountain. As for shrimp you should definitely check out the swap and shop here, it will be much cheaper even with shipping. And they will be healthier as well.

As for the pantyhose, I am not very familiar with the tank but could you use a rubberband to hold it in place? The problem with pantyhose is that it clogs really fast though, so it should be easily removable to clean.
 

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I go to The Reef too. A bit pricey but I like to support local businesses, heh! I haven't bought fish there, just plants and snails which are doing great but you are right - not a lot of selection for shrimp. They almost always have cherries, and ghosts of course and I have occasionally seen sinagpores but that's about it. I actually just got two cherries from them on Saturday, but they both died today (my first experience with shrimp, so probably my fault not theirs!) You are probably best off buying them from someone on here... seems like a lot of people who know what they are doing! Probably cheaper, too! I would have done the same but my bowl is small and I only wanted 2, most places online you have to buy at least 10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The tank has now officially been running for 31 days. The tank has cycled and all the parameters seem great. Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate all at 0 ppm.

Its shrimp time now and I think I have decided to go with the SnS. Prices seem to be great and the quality is probably superior to a LFS. My PH seems to be pretty stable at around 7.0. I think I am going to switch to just treating my tap water. It has a natural PH of around 7.4-7.5 that seems to be more appropriate for red cherry shrimp. Any input would be great.

There has been some pretty slow growth on the ferns and moss but very promising. Here is a picture...not much difference...but its something.
 

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I still really like that driftwood that looks like a mountain. How well did you anubis take root? Your pH values sound perfect for RCS. And also good idea to get it from the SnS instead of the LFS (make sure to ask for a heat pack, getting cold now)!

I expected the slow growth since you're not really providing any nutrients to the plants right? Except for from the water changes. The growth on the fern will speed up with the shrimps come but in all my shrimp tanks the anubis's haven't even grown AT ALL. They haven't been decaying which is good, but I made a decision to start dosing ferts to encourage new leaf growth from the rhyzome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I expected the slow growth since you're not really providing any nutrients to the plants right? Except for from the water changes. The growth on the fern will speed up with the shrimps come but in all my shrimp tanks the anubis's haven't even grown AT ALL. They haven't been decaying which is good, but I made a decision to start dosing ferts to encourage new leaf growth from the rhyzome.

I am dosing Flourish Excel. About 2 drops a day Mon-Sat. I am getting good growth out of the moss lately. The ferns are sprouting like crazy on the rhyzome....still not sure how to trim and control that...I guess trial and error. I cant really tell if the Anubis is rooting. It certainly isnt growing.
 

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Great looking tank, and great looking driftwood. Good luck with the shrimps and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here is a small update. Everything is growing great. Algae is at a minimum. I missed one water change due to things out of my control...but everything looks fine. Moss is going crazy and will probably be trimmed next week. I have new growth on the anubis as well. I have now removed all the old growth on the ferns because it is growing like crazy. Sorry for the horrible pictures. Hopefully I can get someone with a decent camera to take some.
 

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