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Trying to put together a 10 gallon tank to use as a hatchery for RCS and possibly for growing plants.

Have a ~90 g tank set up with 3 black kuhli loaches, 1 bristlenose pleco and 40-50 red cherries with 1 yellow cherry. Started out with a pair of cherries and the female immediately became berried. Male "disappeared" days after purchasing. About 3 weeks later, the shrimp was no longer berried and didn't see any "shrimpets".

We came across someone selling shrimp on CL so we purchased about 20 reds and a pair of yellows for the tank and started the cycle all over again of having berried shrimp, then unberried shrimp and no babies.

Did eventually find a tiny *red* shrimp, which I'm guessing came from the first female and after watching this little one grow for a few weeks, saw a minimum of 2 new baby shrimp (white swimming dots) in the tank.

Thought things were turning around when the youngest shrimp (only days old) disappeared and then the older tiny red shrimp also disappeared. In the end, we lost about half of the shrimp.

Water parameters checked out fine, if not a little high in PH (high 7's - tap water, no chemicals, no CO2), there's wood and a few plants (both natural and fake atm) for the shrimp to hide in, the filters have panty hose covers, water temp hangs around 78-80° F...



Four months later (after purchasing the first two shrimp) and we've made a couple of changes. There was a dojo loach in the tank and we've moved him to a separate tank (was chasing the shrimp), redid the panty hose on the filters (think they were too loose fitting) with new ones, purchased ~40 more red cherries (not intentionally! Just how much the seller ended up giving us for what we paid!) and I did a ~50% water change.

Since the tank doesn't have much bio-load (90g, 4 small fish, bunch of shrimp) and water parameters seem rather stable, the tank was getting topped up but not much in the way of water changes. I know that 50% is considered a lot, especially after adding new shrimp to the tank, but it did seem to bring the remaining shrimp "back to life" (as did introducing more shrimp) and we now have 8-9 (?) berried shrimp. Think we've only lost one one, a few days after the water change.



I'm not the aquarium person in the relationship, but decided to take over the 10g and see if we could set it up as a hatchery/nursery for berried shrimp and baby shrimp to try and prevent a repeat of getting no babies. (no shrimp living in filters, BTW!) The idea was to take berried shrimp from the 90g and transfer to the 10g, once the eggs hatch, transfer the adults back to the 90g and allow the young shrimp to grow to a certain size before also transferring them to the larger tank. Tried to short-cut things and used water and the Aquaclear 30 from the 30g for the 10g, (30g had 2 filters set up on it, the other being an Aquaclear 50), added used/clean substrate, wood, plants and moss.

Most of the plants came with the last batch of cherries and required a salt dip. (unwanted hitchhikers) Did salt bath for a few seconds, rinse in tap, rest in tank water, rinse again in tap before being introduced to the 10g.

Purchased a new Eheim 50w heater and Aqueon Deluxe hood for the tank. Was thinking about using a Fluval Nano Filter but after reading reviews/issues, think I'll stick with the Aquaclear 30 (which was what I was originally planning on using anyway). Unfortunately, water parameters were off after letting it cycle for a few days, with too high levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Was hoping to have the tank set up before the shrimp eggs hatched, although it looks like that might not be possible. Since the tank has to cycle anyway, I decided to thoroughly clean the filter (was moved directly over without cleaning - was cycling same water) via rinsing and scrubbing in tap water.

Did a ~10% water change with RO water and then dosed with Excel and Potassium for the plants. Considering doing water changes with 50/50 RO and tap water to hopefully avoid having to dose the aquarium with minerals, although there is a mineral ball in the tank. Also have a piece of floating wood that, if it wont sink, I may exchange it for something else, or tie it down.


I'm thinking I'll probably redo the moss at some point, get a different bulb for the hood and hopefully get some more plants for the tanks. I have a T8 15W 6500k CRI 94 with 700 lumens bulb picked out already. Hope to replace that one at the same time as replacing the bulbs for the 90g tank.




So to round up story time.... looking for pointers, advice or what have you for this setup and any other ideas anyone may have. I've never had a proper tank before, so could probably use some constructive criticism. :)


--- Included pictures of 10g
 

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