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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone.

I have been reading this board for a while and have been captivated by all of the wonderful tanks that I have seen. I just recently got into fish keeping and the planted tank scene in the last three months and have thoroughly caught the bug.

I currently have a 46 gallon planted aquarium, but am having horrible algae issues as my current DIY CO2 system is not enough for a tank that large and am looking into purchasing a pressurized system that should clear up most of my problems. Otherwise I would post a picture.

I am posting today, because I was able to purchase a 20 gallon long tank used and am planning on turning it into a shrimp tank. I really like the RCS shrimp, but am afraid that I might kill all of them and plan on starting out with some cherry shrimp which I find just as fascinating.

Here is my tank plan, and questions. Any advise that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

20 Gallon Long 30” x 12” x 12” idea and questions

Fauna

Cherry Shrimp

Can I have a schooling fish in the tank with the shrimp and expect some baby shrimp to survive? My wife really wants to add a school of 10 to 20 of the following: Are any of these better than the others?

Rummy nosed Tetras (Hemigrammus rhodostomus)
Glow light Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus)
Galaxy Rasbora

Flora

I really think that I would like to try my hand at HC (Hemianthus callitrichoides).
I was thinking a nice Capet of this and then some interesting rocks with maybe some dwarf hair grass (Eleocharis parvule).

Idea of what I am looking at creating.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/aquascaping/23346-wet-thumb-forum-what-is-iwagumi.html



Equipment

With that being the idea for the tank. What equipment do I need to buy to get this up and running. Here are where the bulk of my questions come.

I was thinking that the since I am only using small carpet plants, it does not seem like I need to go overly thick with the substrate.

I am planning on using eco-complete and two bags should give me roughly 2 inches of substrate.

Is there any problems using this substrate with HC and Dwarf hair grass?

Lighting

From what I have been reading it seems like I will need a lot of light to keep the HC growing nice and low. I am not just sure how much light I will need.

I could go with

alife F/W T-5 Aqualight Double Strip Light-30” 41.99 two 18 watt bulbs for a grand total of 36 watts

Current USA Satellite 30" 65 Watt Power Compact Fixture-Single Strip W/Lunar Light 69.99 65 watts

Current USA Orbit 30" 2 x 65 Watt Power Compact Strip Light W/2 Lunar Lights 167.99 130 watts

Of these three which would be the best to use to use with my CO2 options, or any other options.

CO2 and Macros

I will be doing macros and trace using the EI method.

For CO2 I would like to use a simple DIY setup. I currently am running a DIY setup of two 1 gallon jugs on a 46 gallon tank, but it does not hold a constant reading for this tank and was thinking of transferring this setup to the 20 gallon long.

Do you think that I can get consistent enough results to grow HC and dwarf hair grass, and if so which lighting option should I choose: 40, 65, or 130 watts?

Filtration

I would like to run a canister filter on this tank. I still have not decided which brand or size. I have an xp3 on my 46 gallon and am happy with that, and may go with an xp2 on this one.

Would this be okay and what do I need to do to keep the intake hose from sucking up all of my baby shrimp. Is it as simple as buying a foam pad to go over the intake and if so where might I find one?


Sorry for the long post, but thanks for all of your help and suggestions.
 

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Wow...lot's of questions. LOL Welcome to the addiction. hahaha Anyways, others may be more helpful with some of your questions, but I can answer a few of them with confidence. :)

First.... Cherry shrimp=RCS They are the red variety shrimp you see often here. If you were hoping for the red & white striped shrimp, that would be CRS = Crystal Red Shrimp

It's good to start off with RCS because they are much easier and once you got those mastered, the CRS would be much easier to keep.

Now with those fish.....they will eat baby shrimp. General rule is that if it can fit into a fish's mouth, than the shrimp can be eaten. There are always exceptions to this rule, but it's up to you to decide what you want to do. By providing your shrimp with lot's of hiding spots, you increase their chances of not being eaten. :)
 

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Lighting: HC and DHG are high light loving plants, so the 36W fixture is not going to be enough. Your next choice "Current USA Satellite 30" 65 Watt Power Compact Fixture-Single Strip W/Lunar Light 69.99 65 watts" is your best bet. Now I'm not sure about this company's reputation, but you can search the threads to get others opinions on it before you buy it. But that total wattage is ideal for the 20G. The 130W fixture would be overkill IMO and you would be asking foran algae war in there.

Which of course you will need CO2 for this tank. If you can afford it, I would go with a pressurized system, but your DIY setup should be fine for a 20G. I would also add some Seachem excel to help with fighting off algae.

EI is a great method. You know where to get these? If not, just ask. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow...lot's of questions. LOL Welcome to the addiction. hahaha Anyways, others may be more helpful with some of your questions, but I can answer a few of them with confidence. :)

First.... Cherry shrimp=RCS They are the red variety shrimp you see often here. If you were hoping for the red & white striped shrimp, that would be CRS = Crystal Red Shrimp

It's good to start off with RCS because they are much easier and once you got those mastered, the CRS would be much easier to keep.
Thanks for clearing that up. You were correct in that I should have said CRS and not RCS.


Now with those fish.....they will eat baby shrimp. General rule is that if it can fit into a fish's mouth, than the shrimp can be eaten. There are always exceptions to this rule, but it's up to you to decide what you want to do. By providing your shrimp with lot's of hiding spots, you increase their chances of not being eaten. :)
That makes sense and goes along with what I have read. I understand that by having fish I am going to have to deal with a loss of baby shrimp, and the only way to ensure that most survive is to not have fish at all. But I was wondering if there was a type of small schooling fish that would limit or keep this inherit loss to a minimum?

Thank you for your help.
 

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I love cansiter filters. They are so easy to use and do a great job maintaining good water quality. XP2 should be fine on the 20G. I haven't used the XP models, but I can reccommend with confidence, Eheims classic versions. They are so quiet and work wonderfully. But in any case, everyone has an opinion as to what is a better canister. LOL I would definitely do a canister on this tank, especially if you want to eventually keep CRS. They demand good water conditions.

As far as protecting baby shrimp, a simple sponge prefilter will work. Not only do they double up as a biological filter for you, they help keep most of the babies out. There's lots of threads about what one can use to prevent babies from getting sucked in, but your best bet is a sponge. Now I'm not sure what the intake strainer looks like on the XP models, so maybe another member can help you with that. If anything, you can buy the sponge material (as used for filters) and cut it up to fit your needs. Just make sure it doesn't have too large of pores. You want medium/fine sponge material (usually the black colored sponge).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lighting: HC and DHG are high light loving plants, so the 36W fixture is not going to be enough. Your next choice "Current USA Satellite 30" 65 Watt Power Compact Fixture-Single Strip W/Lunar Light 69.99 65 watts" is your best bet. Now I'm not sure about this company's reputation, but you can search the threads to get others opinions on it before you buy it. But that total wattage is ideal for the 20G. The 130W fixture would be overkill IMO and you would be asking foran algae war in there.
That is kind of as I suspected. I figured the 130 watt would be over kill but i though I would throw it out there. I am not sure about the usa brand , as I have a coralife over my 46 gallon that I love, but I liked it because it had the lunar lights. (the one feature that i wish me coralife had, but if it is not a good brand I may just get the equivalent coralife)

here is the link for that light.

65watt light

Which of course you will need CO2 for this tank. If you can afford it, I would go with a pressurized system, but your DIY setup should be fine for a 20G. I would also add some Seachem excel to help with fighting off algae.

EI is a great method. You know where to get these? If not, just ask. :)
I understand that in a perfect world that I would want to run CO2 in this tank, but I am going to be purchasing a pressurized for the 46 gallon and it is not in the budget to buy a second. I could run them both off one bottle and regulator but they are two separate floors.


As to the macro and micro. I already use flourish and Greg Watson's fertilizers. I will definitely keep the excel suggestion in mind.
 

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I've never used EcoComplete, but I have read that it will do fine for your needs. HC and DHG will grow in it. 2 inches is minimal though, but I think with just those 2 plants in mind, you should be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I love cansiter filters. They are so easy to use and do a great job maintaining good water quality. XP2 should be fine on the 20G. I haven't used the XP models, but I can reccommend with confidence, Eheims classic versions. They are so quiet and work wonderfully. But in any case, everyone has an opinion as to what is a better canister. LOL I would definitely do a canister on this tank, especially if you want to eventually keep CRS. They demand good water conditions.

As far as protecting baby shrimp, a simple sponge prefilter will work. Not only do they double up as a biological filter for you, they help keep most of the babies out. There's lots of threads about what one can use to prevent babies from getting sucked in, but your best bet is a sponge. Now I'm not sure what the intake strainer looks like on the XP models, so maybe another member can help you with that. If anything, you can buy the sponge material (as used for filters) and cut it up to fit your needs. Just make sure it doesn't have too large of pores. You want medium/fine sponge material (usually the black colored sponge).
Thank you. I kept reading about using sponge filters, but I never found what they were hooked up too. I kept thinking that simply setting a piece of sponge in the water was not going to do much, because it would have no water movement, but then I am also a newbie so what did I know anyways. It is good to hear that my hunch was correct.

Thank you for the description of hoe to make one. Just from that general description I do not think that it would be to hard.

Thank you for having the patience to answer my questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've never used EcoComplete, but I have read that it will do fine for your needs. HC and DHG will grow in it. 2 inches is minimal though, but I think with just those 2 plants in mind, you should be ok.
That was my thinking as well. I wouldn't mind having more substrate, but with a 20 gallon long the height is only 12 inches and if I went up to3 inches over a quarter of the tank would be substrate. If I can get away with two I think that i will try, because I would like to have a fair amount of swimming room for the fish and shrimp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I love Coralife fixtures too! :) They just aren't as cheap as those Satellite brands. If you are handy, AH Supply makes good lights.
actually I can get the coralife 65 watts for 5 dollars cheaper, it just does not have the lunar lights. If the coralifes are the better brand. Maybe it would just be better for me to learn how to install lunar lights or do without them.
 

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No problem :) In fact, others will chime in I'm sure. LOL

I believe those who use sponge filters have an air pump connected to them. I'm not totally positive myself because I've never used one. I think if you had just shrimp in mind, then maybe that would be a way to go. But since you are interested in keeping fish with your shrimp too, I would definitely go for the canister filter. Way better filtration (mechanical, biological and chemical if ya needed it).
 

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You could always buy the lunar lights Coralife fixture and just replace the bulb with a plant friendly bulb?? I don't understand why Coralife doesn't sell a lunar light freshwater fixture. Darn reefers! LOL

Here is something you may want to look at too. Submersible lunar lights. http://www.aquatraders.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=317
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No problem :) In fact, others will chime in I'm sure. LOL

I believe those who use sponge filters have an air pump connected to them. I'm not totally positive myself because I've never used one. I think if you had just shrimp in mind, then maybe that would be a way to go. But since you are interested in keeping fish with your shrimp too, I would definitely go for the canister filter. Way better filtration (mechanical, biological and chemical if ya needed it).
I agree with the assessment of the canister filters. I had a HOB on my46 gallon tank for a month before i switched to the canister. It is amazing how clear they keep the water.

Hopefully with your and others help I will be able to figure out a way to keep fish without a high attrition rate for my shrimp. Otherwise it is going to be hard to tell my wife that she cannot put fish in one of our tanks, but first and foremost it is going to be a shrimp tank.

It may be that i will need to wait a few months, to allow my shrimp population reach a desirable level, before the fish are added.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You could always buy the lunar lights Coralife fixture and just replace the bulb with a plant friendly bulb?? I don't understand why Coralife doesn't sell a lunar light freshwater fixture. Darn reefers! LOL
yeah I agree. I may have to look into that, but the only lunar light 30 inch coralife that I could find came with two 65 watts bulbs which would be over kill. If you are telling me it does exist, I guess I will have to do some more research. Of course this would be a whole lot easier if the coralife web page was not under construction.

Here is something you may want to look at too. Submersible lunar lights. http://www.aquatraders.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=317

That is pretty cool and I think that i may have to keep that in mind. That may work for 46 gallon as well. Thank you
 

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Those submersible lunar lights come in different sizes too.

Maybe aquatrader has some 30" lunar fixtures?? eBay may be another good place to look too.

As far as the shrimp/fish, I would definitely start off with the shrimp, then introduce the fish. That way your shrimp have the benefit of establishing themselves first. So when the fish get introduced, they realize that they have roommates and have to share. LOL
 
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