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Old 05-09-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
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FresH2O's Shrimp Tank

Finally getting around to post this. Been wanting to setup a shrimp tank for a while. Since I am new to shrimp keeping, I would like to start with RCS. Had a set back in April (see thread "Unknown Ammonia Source"). Restarted from scratch. Root cause not known but possibly a bacterial infection.

Here are the details:
Tank: 20 gallon long
Filter: Aqua Clear 50 HOB
Heater: Finnex 50w titanium set at 78 F
Lighting: Coralife AquaLight dual T5 NO 17w x 2; about 8 hours per day
Substrate: 40# EcoComplete black
Driftwood: Manzanita and Malaysian
Plants: Flame moss and some other kind of moss (Java?), Water Lettuce, Salvinia minima

4/24/13: Setup tank,DW, and substrate. Circulation via a spare HOB with filter floss. Started running the filter (AC50) on an established moderately planted tank.

5/3/13: Moved filter from established tank to new tank. Dosed with 4 mL ammonia (from Harris Teeter) to get the ammonia to 1.0 ppm.

5/5/13: 48 hours later ammonia drops to 0.25 ppm; raised it to 4 ppm with 8 mL ammonia.

5/7/13: 55 hours later ammonia drops to zero; nitrites start to appear at 0.25 ppm. Re-dose ammonia back up to 4 ppm

5/8/13: Ammonia drops to 1 ppm in 9 hours, to 0.50 ppm in 19 hours and to zero in 36 hours. Nitrites hold steady at 1 ppm and nitrates are at a weak 20 ppm

5/9/13: Ammonia and nitrites are at zero, nitrates between 20-40 ppm

I believe the tank is cycled. Going to do a big water change to bring down the nitrites. HOB ran in other tank for 9 days and ran in new tank for 6 days where it converted 4 ppm ammonia to zero twice during that time.

Question: Between now and the time I plan to stock this (which could be this weekend or next week), should I continue to add ammonia to keep the BB colony thriving? If so, would dosing at 2 ppm or 4 ppm ammonia be sufficient?

I had more pics but had a problem with my iPhone and lost the images.
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It is a bit spartan at the moment, though the Malaysian DW has quite a few nooks and crannies which should work well for hiding shrimp. I plan on placing an order for Crypt wendtii red and Crypt undulata this weekend to fill in the hill sides with low light plants from Peabodys Paradise. Any other low light plant suggestions?
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:46 PM   #2
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You seem more experienced than me, but ill pitch in my 2 cents anyways
(I may or may not be wrong, still learning )

In my opinion your tank seems cycled (or at least in the final stages) and I would probably stop dosing the ammonia

I might also suggest adding only a small amount of shrimp at first. Maybe 10-15 or so? And let them be for a week or two before adding more. Shrimp have very small bioloads, but as with anything, adding a lot at one time could cause parameter spikes

Im new to live plants, so i cant offer much advice there. I will however say that shrimp and marimo moss balls seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly! The moss balls are also cute and hardy to boot.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:10 AM   #3
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You seem more experienced than me, but ill pitch in my 2 cents anyways
(I may or may not be wrong, still learning )

In my opinion your tank seems cycled (or at least in the final stages) and I would probably stop dosing the ammonia

I might also suggest adding only a small amount of shrimp at first. Maybe 10-15 or so? And let them be for a week or two before adding more. Shrimp have very small bioloads, but as with anything, adding a lot at one time could cause parameter spikes

Im new to live plants, so i cant offer much advice there. I will however say that shrimp and marimo moss balls seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly! The moss balls are also cute and hardy to boot.
Thanks for the feedback. I am assuming that shrimp have low bio-load so the BB might "starve" a little when I stop dosing and add a few shrimp. I understand that RCS breed like rabbits in the right conditions. When I get to a decent number I will start moving some of them to my planted low/med light tank. Zebra Danios and Gold Tetras live there and will probably snack on stray shrimp-lets.

I had a moss ball. It was in my planted tank and I moved it to the new shrimp tank and it had to go when I scrapped everything. I think I'll add that to my plant order; thanks for reminding me.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I am assuming that shrimp have low bio-load so the BB might "starve" a little when I stop dosing and add a few shrimp.
I just wouldn't recommend dosing while shrimp are in the tank. Shrimp are EXTREMELY sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, the slightest spike will stress them out and could kill a lot of them off.

Maybe you could add a few shrimp friendly fish if your worried about your BB
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:33 AM   #5
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I just wouldn't recommend dosing while shrimp are in the tank. Shrimp are EXTREMELY sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, the slightest spike will stress them out and could kill a lot of them off.

Maybe you could add a few shrimp friendly fish if your worried about your BB
Oh, I don't plan on mixing the two. I may hold off on shrimp until I get the rest of the planting done. Which might be another week. No fish in this tank. Might add a small amount of ammonia to keep the BB happy.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #6
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Got some shrimp! 3 cherries and 2 amanos. Very active! They were a little pale at first but one of the cherries is reddish orange...kind of a sunburst pattern. Picked up some Hikari Shrimp Cuisine as well. I am planning on ordering from members on this forum but wanted something in the tank to start things off.

I moved one of the amanos to my planted tank. Lights are off for several more hours so it will get a chance to explore the tank before the tetras and danios check out "the new kid". Not sure if they will notice. Lots of stuff to munch on in there since no bottom dwellers are present.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:48 AM   #7
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Saw a baby fish in the tank. Don't have a pic yet. VERY small. Like a sliver of glass. I suspect it is a blue danio fry. May have come in when I was scooping out some water lettuce from the planted tank (danios and tetra in there). I will have to use extra care during water changes. There are things to eat in there (seed shrimp, Copepods)...fingers crossed.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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sounds awesome, never had amano's before

And hopefully with your dark substrate + shrimp food your cherries will develop a nice deep red over time
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:24 AM   #9
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Watched the shrimp today. Like watching NASCAR. The cherries went around the tank as if they were in a hurry. The amano as well. Not eating, just moving. That went on for a few hours then they calmed down. Eating the shrimp cuisine as well as browsing the DW and gravel. They look much more colorful today.

The amano in the planted tank was eating and then hid in a darkened corner. This evening I saw what appears to be an exoskeleton. I don't see the shrimp anywhere. Then again, the chain swords and Bacopa form a briar patch like area.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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Found the amano in my planted tank! It was nibbling on the algae on one of the older crypt wendtii plants. It looks LARGER than it was yesterday.
Last night the shrimp in the shrimp tank were doing laps again.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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I also started a planted shrimp tank not too long ago. I ordered 5 amanos but only 1 made it due to shipping while they were too old. On thursday I got some tiny RCS. Hard to see because they are so tiny. I will definitely be following along with this thread. Love the look of the tank!
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:01 PM   #12
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The amanos and cherries from the LFS were pretty decent size. The amanos have molted once. Any idea how often they molt?

The amano in the planted tank will be well fed from all of the algae on the walls, plants and substrate. Even 2 or 3 will be well fed. I like how they turn over the gravel. That will help the substrate look fresh as opposed to the brownish coating it develops over time. When feeding, the legs remind me of the flying squid like creatures from the Matrix series. Ripping and tearing into the metal hull of the ship is what they look like when feeding. Awesome!

Okay, I have 4 shrimp in the 20 g long. They look lonely. My plant order from Peabodys should be here soon.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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following!! I'd love to get rcs eventually
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:42 AM   #14
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Plants arrived from Peabodys Paradise! Some updated pics:
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Moss ball and Crypt undulata
Crypt wendtii red
These two are posing nice here. However, I might move the Amano to the planted tank because of bullying. It charged one of the RCS and actually took a shrimp cuisine granule from its mouth.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:34 AM   #15
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Plants arrived from Peabodys Paradise! Some updated pics:
FTS
Moss ball and Crypt undulata
Crypt wendtii red
These two are posing nice here. However, I might move the Amano to the planted tank because of bullying. It charged one of the RCS and actually took a shrimp cuisine granule from its mouth.
Looking good! I want to start a shrimp tank that big one day. Are you planning on putting any foreground or carpeting plants?
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:22 AM   #16
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Looking good! I want to start a shrimp tank that big one day. Are you planning on putting any foreground or carpeting plants?
I originally was going to use a Fluval 6g or less or a schuber-wright rimless but for less money and maintenance went with the 20g long.

A carpet would be nice but I would have to change out the lights. It is a dual T5 NO and when I ran it in the 20g planted tank, growth (especially dwarf sag) was okay. So I put a Finnex Fugeray on the planted tank which helped out a lot and moved the T5 fixture to the shrimp tank. Oh, I'd have to build more rails for the tank if I upgrade to a Finnex.

So it is kind of empty in there but for a shrimp tank I want to spend time watching them not looking for them. The DW has lots of nooks and crannies for hiding spaces. The moss and crypts will grow out a bit to provide additional cover. The amano in the planted tank is not small but I have trouble finding him in the chain sword Bacopa "briar patch".
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:21 AM   #17
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Hey i have a question about your filter, i recently got the same one last week but still haven't opened yet. My question is if you use all the filter media layers including the carbon, biobag and the white foam thing. I wasn't sure if using them all would be shrimp safe since im clueless on what they all do. Especially the carbon one. I was thinking of double stacking the bio bag if the carbon media isnt safe.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:22 PM   #18
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Hey i have a question about your filter, i recently got the same one last week but still haven't opened yet. My question is if you use all the filter media layers including the carbon, biobag and the white foam thing. I wasn't sure if using them all would be shrimp safe since im clueless on what they all do. Especially the carbon one. I was thinking of double stacking the bio bag if the carbon media isnt safe.
The AquaClear (AC) series of hang on back (HOB) filters are shipped with 3 types of media:
Foam sponge
Carbon bag
Biomedia

The foam sponge insert is used primarily for coarse mechanical filtration of particulate matter.
The carbon bag contains activated carbon and it is used for removing impurities in the water.
The biomedia is ceramic media in the form of large granules or "noodles". They serve as a place where the beneficial bacteria (BB) reside.

The carbon insert is generally used when removing medications from the water. Nothing really wrong with using it but it will lose its effectiveness over time. That space is better utilized by adding more biomedia, filter floss, or purigen (another impurity removing insert). I use additional biomedia.

The one thing you want to do with filters and shrimp is to cover the filter inlet to prevent shrimp from getting sucked into the filter.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:38 PM   #19
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Thanks! What if I just had took the carbon out or do I have to fill the extra slot with something else
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #20
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Thanks! What if I just had took the carbon out or do I have to fill the extra slot with something else
You can take it out; its optional to replace it with something else
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