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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thanks to this site, Ive had the courage to try a small planted tank after a disastrous attempt 2 years ago in which our 75g broke and flooded our hardwood floored home.

THE GOAL: To build a low-tech, non-co2, easily manageable SHRIMP tank.

THE STORY:
After my girlfriend's goldfish died, I decided to get her this 8 gallon Finnex aquarium off ebay. It was a Christmas gift and I was driving 3 hours to see her before college started up again. I had 4 days to get it setup, find a LFS, and make it look decent before I left. I probably did a few things wrong but I was more focused on spending time with her. I was limited to what the LFS had knew it would be a challenge. Now, she will do water changes until I return 3 weeks from now. Criticisms and comments welcome!

random apt shot



Here is the tank right out the box:



I had the pleasure of stopping by ADG in my hometown of Houston to pick up these up before leaving. The store is AMAZING!



Filled it with powersand, aquasoil, and these rocks and little branch things. Filled it up and went to sleep.



Dont think neon tetras are on the recommended cycling fish but she wanted them badly so I gave in.


Went to the LFS on my last day there and bought some plants which Im not too sure of. I know I should have picked anubias or java fern but they didnt have any so I went with these.


This is how the tank looked when I left.



I did notice that there is A LOT of water evaporating. I figured there would be some evaporation but not this much (about 1/2 inch a day) I want this to be a low tech, non-CO2 tank. What do I need to arm myself with on my next visit in 3 weeks? Ferts? New plants? Too soon to add shrimp? Distilled or tap water? For cycling, Ive been using rex grigg's method. Thanks!
 

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Nice tank you got there. She should be happy with it and I don't blame yah for the tetras, girlfriends have super powers.

Go get yourself an oto and some cherries to combat the algae. The ada soil takes about 2 weeks to settle in and you might have some minor algae blooms during this time.

I believe the plant on the left with the red top is Ludwigia Arcuata. If I'm wrong, someone correct me because I just picked up some too. lol As for the water changes, my mini s drops about a 1/2" too. Just part of the price you pay for the open top.

Good luck
 

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for the water evap. problem try getting some drip from a hospital (if u knw any1 whos taking nursing can get u no prob.) and just have a container hanging above the tank. set it to how many drops... then dats it.. refill da container with water everytime u visit.....

hope it hlp u.:icon_mrgr

nice tank... get some Dwarf Hairgrass its easy to keep and really nice as a foreground (i think)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey guys, thanks for all the kind comments. I havnt really had time to do a whole lot of research on ferts but I did find some "stuff" leftover from my dad's old tank. One is called ferro vit and the other is Dupla plant 24. I really have no idea what it is but it worked really well in the old tank. The Dupla is a daily dosage while the ferro vit is for water changes. I cant really fert much because I only see her once every 2-3 weeks (along with the tank) but I think she can manage an "all in one" bottle daily.
 

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Nice tank you got there. She should be happy with it and I don't blame yah for the tetras, girlfriends have super powers.

Go get yourself an oto and some cherries to combat the algae. The ada soil takes about 2 weeks to settle in and you might have some minor algae blooms during this time.

I believe the plant on the left with the red top is Ludwigia Arcuata. If I'm wrong, someone correct me because I just picked up some too. lol As for the water changes, my mini s drops about a 1/2" too. Just part of the price you pay for the open top.

Good luck
If I am correct the red plant is Rotala Walichii, depending on the amount of this you have after a few cuttings they red should get darker and look amazing. The tank already is very nice, i think I'm going have to con my parents into letting me take a nano up with me to college:icon_smil
awesome job bro, really inspirational
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, its been just about 4 months and I decided to update a bit. Our nine cherry shrimp have multiplied to about 50-75 or so. Its so hard to try and count them at this point. So, here are just a few pics through its various stages.

NO ferts
No CO2
Just 2 gallon water change every week and a trim every now and then. Very easy for her to maintain.









 

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Looks really good man!

but I noticed that there was a piece of dw in the setup photo but not in the finished photo....put that thing coming out of the foliage on the left side, I think it would make it look killer!

Also, is that wisteria growing low to the ground or something holding it down?
 

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Amazing tank! Very healthy and beautiful plants even w/o ferts or co2, especially the Rotala wallichii (that plant never did anything for me except die).
 

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very nice, I cant believe you have no co2. do you at least use excel? doesent the finnex come with a 18w 50/50 bulb? cuz thats what ive seen at my LFS I wanted one but thought 18w was kinda low light. Im planing to use 2x18w for a 5gal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the kind words guys!
No, I dont even use excel. I had some ferro vit and dupla 24 but decided not to use it on this tank. The finnex comes with a 24w PC light fixture. It is running 6-8 hours per day. 2 gallon water change every week. thats it.

As for the wisteria, I have no idea why its growing like that but I think its cool. Theres nothing holding it down either!
 

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i read that floating plants help evaporation... dunno if you're going for that look (and you don't necessarily have to use duckweed or whatever, there are a bunch of options)

just an idea etc.
 
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