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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm setting up a shrimp-only tank and have a few questions.

It's a 20XH (basically a double height 10 gallon) with 50/50 Fluorite/Gravel substrate, Eheim 2232, and a Coralife 28W CF 6700K light. My plan is to attach Java ferns and Java moss to a big tall piece of driftwood, and plant some anubias at the base of the driftwood.

My questions are:

Cycling the tank: This is a brand new setup. If I have the plants in for a while before I add the shrimp, throw in some gravel from an established tank, and only add about a dozen RCS to start, will I be okay? Or will I need to start it with fish first?

Additional plants: I'm assuming that I'll have enough light for the Javas and the Anubias. With the narrow and deep shape of the tank, can I consider using lower-light stem plants or Lilies or Water Sprite?

CO2: Would it be worthwhile to do DIY CO2 with this light level? It seem to be somewhere on the border of low light/high light.

Thanks!
John
 

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I would use gravel from an established tank and let the tank cycle for about a week or two. I wouldn't put fish in there. Remember, shrimp are very sensitive to ammonia, so you want to make sure that you don't put them in a tank that will produce a lot of ammonia once they start pooping.

CO2 doesn't sound necessary with the plants you are going to have in there. Ferns and anubia's will do just fine with Excel. The light level is also perfect for the low light plants you will have in there.

Sounds like a cool setup for cherries. Get some moss in there as well!

-Ryan
 

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You need something in there - either fish or shrimp or something else. Moving gravel from another tank won't help unless there's something in there producing ammonia. Your water doesn't have ammonia in it out of the tap and the beneficial bacteria that you add with the gravel will just die off. If you have a couple small fish that you can move temporarily from another tank, that'd get you started off well. If not, try some snails.

I really don't think you'll have a problem though. 20g is A LOT of water for 12 shrimp. I highly doubt it'll get anywhere near toxic levels if you just toss them in.
 

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I'm setting up a shrimp-only tank and have a few questions.

It's a 20XH (basically a double height 10 gallon) with 50/50 Fluorite/Gravel substrate, Eheim 2232, and a Coralife 28W CF 6700K light. My plan is to attach Java ferns and Java moss to a big tall piece of driftwood, and plant some anubias at the base of the driftwood.

My questions are:

Cycling the tank: This is a brand new setup. If I have the plants in for a while before I add the shrimp, throw in some gravel from an established tank, and only add about a dozen RCS to start, will I be okay? Or will I need to start it with fish first?

Additional plants: I'm assuming that I'll have enough light for the Javas and the Anubias. With the narrow and deep shape of the tank, can I consider using lower-light stem plants or Lilies or Water Sprite?

CO2: Would it be worthwhile to do DIY CO2 with this light level? It seem to be somewhere on the border of low light/high light.

Thanks!
John
1. Cycle - I think a good rule of thumb is to let the tank sit/settle for a while before adding things if you can. It is a good idea to let the tank sit for a month just to make sure it's all ready for the shrimp because tearing a tank up with 10million little shrimp running around.... It will be CRAZY!!

But, they should be fine to put in the next day if you really really want to and the water tests out fine. Use some substrate or steal some "mulm" from another tank to help get it settled faster. Plants help tons too:thumbsup: (but I would really wait like a week just to let all the plants settle out and stuff)

2. Light and plants- Your light will be plenty! I think the majority of us here are high tech and even like scolley super high tech If I may say so. That light will be fine for ferns and all moss I know of. The 20H is deep, but the light will be fine. One thing to remember is to use the height, a nice moss wall will be greatly appreciated by the shrimp if it isn't too hard for you to maintain and like that idea if you aren't really toooo focused on winning a scaping competition.

3. CO2- Co2 Would be fine probably not 100% necessary, a good (but pricey after a while 2L-4L help to cut down tho) is Flourish Excel. But Co2 or not I don't think will be toooo different since you chose mosses and anubis and Java ferns.

4 HAVE FUN~ Shrimp are the best! they are amazing to watch, I can for hours sadly.... The other day I saw one molt... tooo cool!

So welcome to the club!

-Andrew
 

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You need something in there - either fish or shrimp or something else. Moving gravel from another tank won't help unless there's something in there producing ammonia. Your water doesn't have ammonia in it out of the tap and the beneficial bacteria that you add with the gravel will just die off. If you have a couple small fish that you can move temporarily from another tank, that'd get you started off well. If not, try some snails.

I really don't think you'll have a problem though. 20g is A LOT of water for 12 shrimp. I highly doubt it'll get anywhere near toxic levels if you just toss them in.
Ninja posted me!

I agree, I don't think you will have much of a problem, Get some good mulm in there and add some MTS and that type of thing and you will be fine... (I always add snails so I always forget to mention that :( )

-Andrew
 

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You could use Seachem Prime to speed up the cycle a little bit.
Don't bother with additives.... Waste of money, and don't bother with frozen shrimp or any of that other crap for a FW planted tank:icon_smil

There are tons of good things on plants! Also just dump some gunk out from your filter to speed up the cycle and its 100% free! Same type of thing as CYCLE (prime doesn't cycle as far as i know.... am I getting mixed up on products? Idk....)

So Please shrimp keepers, don't buy expensive crap when you can get good stuff for free, if you don't have any at home and no friends do go to your lfs and see if they will give you gunk... if that doesn't work I'll send you some for shipping..... and this will be GOOD stuff!

-Andrew
 

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You could use Seachem Prime to speed up the cycle a little bit.
I don't believe Seachem Prime contributes anything to the cycle process. Unless of course you consider that fish deaths due to chlorine or chloramine will slow down the cycle process. :smile:

Are you thinking of Seachem Stability? I have used this in non-planted aquariums and I have never seen a difference between using it and not using it. For non-planted tanks my success was from frequent water changes and a gradual increase in the bio load.

I have two heavily planted tanks. I introduced the fish only hours after the plants. I have never tested the water in these tanks for ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. Fish are just fine.

Brian
 

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I don't believe Seachem Prime contributes anything to the cycle process. Unless of course you consider that fish deaths due to chlorine or chloramine will slow down the cycle process. :smile:

Are you thinking of Seachem Stability? I have used this in non-planted aquariums and I have never seen a difference between using it and not using it. For non-planted tanks my success was from frequent water changes and a gradual increase in the bio load.

I have two heavily planted tanks. I introduced the fish only hours after the plants. I have never tested the water in these tanks for ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. Fish are just fine.

Brian
No, he means prime... look at their website, yes I had to double check too since there is another product around that is "cycle"

Prime
 

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Cycling the tank: This is a brand new setup. If I have the plants in for a while before I add the shrimp, throw in some gravel from an established tank, and only add about a dozen RCS to start, will I be okay?
Yes.

Or will I need to start it with fish first?

No

Additional plants: I'm assuming that I'll have enough light for the Javas and the Anubias. With the narrow and deep shape of the tank, can I consider using lower-light stem plants or Lilies or Water Sprite?
Yes

CO2: Would it be worthwhile to do DIY CO2 with this light level? It seem to be somewhere on the border of low light/high light.
No


Tom
 

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Here's a somewhat old pic of my 10 gallon shrimp tank. A single DIY air-driven sponge filter, standard fluorescent hood, and another 18" NO fluorescent strip light behind the tank with a plant bulb. No CO2, ferts, or maintenance other than weekly partial water changes. I do siphon the gravel/crushed coral mix occaisonally, to clean up what the MTS don't. Obviously, it isn't a showpiece tank, but there are several dozen breeding size adults, several hundred younger shrimp, and nearly as many ramshorns and MTS as shrimp. Oh, and one dwarf crayfish. The critters get fed twice daily, and they are all thriving (the snails too well, IMO). The tank has been running for about a year. The plants were much smaller when it was started, and have grown along with the shrimp population. Several hundred shrimp have been moved out and sold in the meantime.
 

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Here's a somewhat old pic of my 10 gallon shrimp tank. A single DIY air-driven sponge filter, standard fluorescent hood, and another 18" NO fluorescent strip light behind the tank with a plant bulb. No CO2, ferts, or maintenance other than weekly partial water changes. I do siphon the gravel/crushed coral mix occaisonally, to clean up what the MTS don't. Obviously, it isn't a showpiece tank, but there are several dozen breeding size adults, several hundred younger shrimp, and nearly as many ramshorns and MTS as shrimp. Oh, and one dwarf crayfish. The critters get fed twice daily, and they are all thriving (the snails too well, IMO). The tank has been running for about a year. The plants were much smaller when it was started, and have grown along with the shrimp population. Several hundred shrimp have been moved out and sold in the meantime.
what shrimp?
 

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The picture doesn't show them clearly, but the red/brown in the bottom left corner are actually adult shrimp. My camera isn't up to taking decent closeup shots, or I'd post a few better pics. Sitting in front of the tank, there are always a number of shrimp visible. Believe me, when you start moving a few plants around, shrimp appear in astounding numbers. The first time I actually started moving things to collect some to ship out, I was really surprised at how many there actually were. Since then, several dozen more have matured, and there are always females carrying eggs. Their numbers will need to be thinned again soon to make room for the growing baby shrimp. I ship them out when they're about half-grown, just a couple molts away from producing eggs. I've seen folks advertising pregnant females included with thier shipments, but females often drop their eggs when stressed, particularly after being shipped and adjusting to new water conditions.
The actual point of the picture was to show you don't need an elaborate setup to grow low to mid-light plants and cherry shrimp... in abundance.
 

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No offense taken. They're red cherry shrimp, the color in the pic looks a bit brown though. Bad mixture of light sources, between the tank lights and the camera flash. The plant bulb behind the tank shows their color as really bright red, and the orange dwarf crayfish almost glows when the light catches her just right. :D
There is some variation in the amount of color among the shrimp, but none are actually brown. I occaisonally see tiny 1/4" baby shrimp that are a solid, dark red color, while some of the larger ones are more transparent. There is one oddball that has a red head, while the body and tail are completely colorless. :icon_conf
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the info, folks.

The tank is set up and planted. I don't have any shrimp yet, I'm thinking I'll order some next week on aquabid. There is a wild form apple snail in there, it's been in for a couple weeks. Here's a photo of the tank from this past Saturday:

There's now also 3 Anubias nanas planted at the base of the driftwood.

I've also got a few residents I didn't plan on. There's a bunch of copepods bouncing around in there, and the glass has a couple hundred bryozoa on it. At least I think they're bryozoa. Here's a photo of them, too. The exposure was kinda long, so there's some motion blur. For scale, the green branches in the lower left are java moss.
 

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Looking good! You should get some Hygrophila Polysperma as a fast grower in there since you have the depth for it. :) If you plant enough of it it'll make a dense jungle effect. My RCS and CRS love hiding in it looking for algae, that and my taiwan moss attached to my driftwood are their favorite hot spots.
 
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