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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I inherited a Nerite snail from a family member about 6 months ago, so set up my quarantine 10 gallon for him using substrate from my 55 gallon and some leftover rocks. It's looked like [email protected]#$ since then (see below), but the parameters are stable, nerite snail happy, and ramshorn also happy. I've decided to finally turn it in to a shrimp tank.

I'm not very artistic, so open to suggestions on how to scape. My thoughts right now are to build up the back right corner and shove the rocks a bit deeper, then fill in with a few nice plants including cleaning up the anubias that is in there. Then just add some java moss in front of the rock and leave the left side as substrate. Suggestions on plants and locations appreciated, but I do want to keep it low-tech. I have a bright LED (Finnex FugeRay Planted+), but no CO2. I tried CO2 in the snail/shrimp tank before and it is just too difficult to keep the snails happy because of the pH swing when the CO2 starts pumping. So instead I'm planning on daily doses of Flourish Excel and keeping my plants to low CO2 only. I'm planning to dose lightly with ferts. I have heard half EI is a good starting point, has anyone tried this? I use Green Leaf supps.

For shrimp - I'm definitely getting Neo's, but thinking of also adding one or two other species. I think the bamboo shrimp look cool, but open to other suggestions! I'm hoping to hit up a forum member for shrimp when I do purchase them :)

pH: 7.4-7.6
GH: 7
KH: 4
T: 75F
Ca: 30 ppm
Mg: 10 ppm
 

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At the moment, it looks like you've got light that's probably a bit too strong for what you plan to keep. Could cut that down by using a layer or two of fiberglass window screen or raising the light if you run into issues. Floating plants will also help.

Excel is generally a no-go with shrimp - especially since you're new to shrimping. It's also unnecessary if you're keeping low-tech plants. If *can* be used safely but in a tiny tank and small water volume, it's easier for disaster to strike than it would be in a large tank.

Half EI also sounds like it's a bit much for a low-tech tank. Depending upon what you choose, root tabs may be all that you need. Or even a once per week dose of weak ferts. Really just depends upon plant mass.

Bamboo shrimp aren't a good choice for a beginner. You generally need a larger tank and a filtration system that allows for much for flow, as they're filter feeders.

You could include Amano shrimp regardless of what you keep. Could also use either Babaulti or Tiger. Just start with Neocaridina (and maybe a couple Amano) and consider adding something else a few months down the road.

Easy low-tech plants: Java Fern, Crypts, Anubias, Bucephelandra, moss (great for shrimp), Hydrocotyle, simple stem plants like various Bacopa varieties, floating plants like Frogbit and Salvinia. There are tons to pick from.

To get a good idea of how plants look and how easy they are to keep, I recommend reading/scrolling through some tank journals until you see photos of what you like. Maybe read journals from people who keep tanks similar to what you want to keep. It sounds silly but seeing pictures makes it a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update! Added plants and some additional nerite snails. It's only been a week, but the plants are sprucing up nicely and it will just take time for the mosses to spread out. I have had a CO2 tank with red rili shrimp where I also dosed excel in the past, so understand the need to be precise about dosing! I didn't want to run CO2 with this tank because I found that the pH drop it causes ends up damaging the snail shells, hence the low-tech approach.

I added a small rio to the tank for additional flow. I'm still set on some neo's + bamboo shrimp. Tank parameters remaining steady. Going to let the plants go a couple more weeks and be sure everything is stable before adding the shrimp.

All of this has me wishing I just bought a nice rimless tank instead of using this old junker. Too late now, but maybe I'll switch it in a few months.
 

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