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Shrimpsanity
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
IMG_6425.jpg

Modular UGF Tank will incorporate all the benefits of running an UGF shrimp tank, while minimizing the problems of active substrate and UGF with active substrate. A modular tank can be adapted to most common dwarf water shrimps ranging from Caridinas, Neocaridinas, Sulawesi and Tigers all requiring different water parameters with out a tank rebuild.

Issues with previous versions:
- active substrate is exhausted in about ~10-12 months when using UGF
- must tear down the tank to replace the substrate
- inability to vacuum or remove mulm from substrate
- water parameters are not reliable after 10-12 months which led to decreased baby survival from 90% TO 50% then to 20-10%
- hard to predict how much your soil will actually buffer the pH
1) Africana + Amazonia II = pH 6.4 to 6.8
2) Fluval Shrimp Stratum = pH 6.5 for only a few months
3) Lots of Africana + New Amazonia = pH 4.6-4.8
4) New Amazonia = pH 5.5
- once set up hard to change water parameters when changing out shrimps

Proposed Solution:

Build as close to a pH and TDS neutral tank as possible and remove the active substrate from the tank. Use active substrate in a reactor so the active substrate can be changed and replaced. This will also allow me to control how much substrate and composition to use in the canister/reactor. I will now be able to "hot swap" pre-cycled cartridges at regular intervals. Sulawesi use some coral chips. Tigers use minimal amount of active substrate with a bit of coral chips. CRS full cartridge of active substrate. TB use Africana. I will also use a long-lasting inert substrate in tank that can be vacuumed from time to time to help remove mulm. Run reverse UGF on 1/2 of the tank to further help push the mulm up out of the substrate.

Substrate:
I requested some samples from www.substratesource.com to evaluate. After testing pH and TDS of the samples. I ended up ordering the following:

1080 cubic inches of NM0110
http://www.substratesource.com/index.php?p=substrate&pn=NM0110

500 cubic inches of NT0101
http://www.substratesource.com/index.php?p=substrate&pn=NT0101

I haven't decided if I'm going to use the natural sand as final top layer yet. I'm afraid over time it might fall down through the gravel layer.
 

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Shrimpsanity
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Left UGF - Air Driven regular UGF. Water travels down through the substrate.
Right UGF - Reverse UGF where the UGF is the "spraybar" from the canister to push water upwards.
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First Layer of lava Rocks and coco puffs all pre-cycled from the tank teardown.


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Remineralized RO to 200ppm. Tested water 24 hours later. pH and TDS holding steady.

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Media Reactor Pre Filter. Not being used currently, because I want the pH to be neutral for BTOE and Royal Blue Tigers.
IMG_6420.jpg

Close up of gravel. I chose a lighter inert gravel because it is hard to see black shrimp in dark substrate.

IMG_6428.jpg
 

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+1 what are you going to be using for substrate?

Will you using pre filters to swap out the active substrates? What substrates will you be using?

Will you be using basically trial and error and constant testing to see what amount of substrate will last how long?

Are the red things on the left UGF connectors or are they blockers for the holes?
 

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Sooner or later someone is going to figure out a clever way of using something other than a tank full of active substrate to lower the pH of water for soft water shrimp tanks in a similarly reliable and consistent fashion.

Beyond what I feel comfortable trying but someone will figure something clever out eventually.

edit: this doesn't seem so different from what the powerhouse filter media is designed to do.
 

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Shrimpsanity
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
+1 what are you going to be using for substrate?

See update on post #1

Will you using pre filters to swap out the active substrates? What substrates will you be using?

Post #1

Will you be using basically trial and error and constant testing to see what amount of substrate will last how long?

I took a base line reading with no active substrate in the system. Then will adjust accordingly.

Are the red things on the left UGF connectors or are they blockers for the holes?
They are blockers to close some holes closer to the start to get a more even flow through the UGF.


Update.
 

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I haven't decided if I'm going to use the natural sand as final top layer yet. I'm afraid over time it might fall down through the gravel layer.
Haven't mixed the two myself, but from what I have seen of other people who have it will probably sink within a few weeks at the most.... and potentially look horrible depending on the sand/gravel ratio.

EDIT: I just looked at your pictures again and that is a pretty deep bed of gravel. Me thinks your sand would just disappear.
 

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Shrimpsanity
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Haven't mixed the two myself, but from what I have seen of other people who have it will probably sink within a few weeks at the most.... and potentially look horrible depending on the sand/gravel ratio.
EDIT: I just looked at your pictures again and that is a pretty deep bed of gravel. Me thinks your sand would just disappear.
I think you are right. I nixed the sand over gravel idea. If I ever do a inert sand tank. It'll be without UGF or gravel. Too many potential issues.

Water Changes

Losing shrimps after a water change? I don't have that problem. Here I'm doing a large water change. I'll slow down the water changes as the tank matures.

1) Drop the water filling 5g bucket
2) Fill the bucket with 5g of RO
3) Remineralize with Salty Shrimp GH+ mineral.
a) 200ppm for Tigers
b) 120ppm for Pure Lines. Only 1/2 gallon at a time. Very very small water changes. 5%-10%. I also drip in top offs for Pure Lines.
c) 150ppm for TTs

http://www.alphaprobreeders.com/bee-shrimp-mineral-gh-1-000-grams/

4) Drip the incoming water. 2-3 drops per second. It takes me about 4-5 hours to drip 5g of new water.

Tip: Attach two air line suction cups to the line. One in tank, one in bucket so the air line doesn't move.

5) Take your time. Start in the morning or drip it overnight. Shrimps are expensive, no need to rush.

6) Change water with the lights off. Less stress for the shrimps.

IMG_6495.jpg
 

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Shrimpsanity
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3,052 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Do you filter your water through a DI filter too or just RO?
It is super RODI water I buy from the store 25g at a time. The store is called Water To Go. They use a 12 stage filter system the size of my living room. The water is filtered through Particle, Carbon, RO, DI, UV, Ozone then a final carbon polish. I figure a home RODI system can't top a monster commercial one. I only run 3 tanks and really don't change water that often. 25g usually last me 1.5 weeks and that is with the family drinking it too.

 

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Shrimpsanity
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3,052 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This tank settled at a pH of 7.5. So I deployed the Modular Part of the UGF. Now the pH is 6.5 perfect to house BTOE and CRS/CBS. I have some extra Beni Mixed CBS/CRS that I will toss in here soon. There are about 4-5 cups of New Amazonia in the Pre Filter.

 

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Shrimpsanity
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3,052 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did u cycle the new Amazonia before you put it in?
Yup, I have a whole tub of pre cycled 3 month old Amazonia from the tank breakdown before I switched to natural gravel. The old version had Africana and Amazonia taking the ph down into the 4's...yikes...that's why I had to redo the tank.

...lol...you can see the corner of my tub of cycled Amazonia in the background of the pic....I have another tub of Africana too.
 

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Shrimpsanity
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3,052 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How do you store your pre cycled aqua soil?? How do you keep it from souring??
Thanks,
Tim
The previous version of this 20L was only 3 month old. It had fully cycled Aquasoil. I leached out all the ammonia from that soil.

I took the AS out kept it in a large storage bin. I dry it out completely first though. Once the Aquasoil is cycled it re-cycles very quickly the second time when reused. (a few days typically) Contrary to popular belief not all beneficial bacteria dies when dried. There are types bacteria that will go dormant when dried out and quickly revive when re submerged. Mosura BT-9 & ADA Bacter 100 are examples of products use dry bacteria. The main point of using cycled Aquasoil is to get all the ammonia to leach out. I have enough cycled Aquasoil to swap out this canister 5-6 times.

I'll cycle more in an empty tank when I start running out.

My next goal is to find a inert black substrate that won't breakdown and that's not coated with anything. This natural gravel looks great for Black Tigers because of the contrast. It won't look so good for CRS/CBS shrimps.
 
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