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Old 06-12-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
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new shrimp tank: PetCo 2.5g with mods

I've decided that the 2.5g tank that I've had as a hospital tank is ineffective for other temporary uses, like a QT or breeding tank. I've therefore decided to do the appropriate thing: succumb to MTS and turn it into a shrimp tank!

Here's a link to the tank I'm starting with.

Amazon.com: PETCO 2.5 Gallon Desktop Aquarium: Kitchen & Dining

The filter that comes with the tank is a substandard cartridge filter, so I'm replacing it with a Tom Aquarium Products mini filter (45gph). I already have one in my 10g tank as my backup, so I'll move that one to the 2.5g and put the new one in its place. The great thing about this filter is it comes with a spray bar attachment that I can use instead of the diffuser, which will spread out the water flow a bit.

Here's a link to the filter.

Amazon.com: New Tom Mini Internal Filter-Dive Clean High Quality Popular Practical: Sports & Outdoors

The substrate will be Fluval Stratum simply because the tank is acrylic, and I want to avoid scratching it up with something else. I have a 25w Marina submersible heater on hand that I'll use to heat the tank.

Picture attached.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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The mini filter comes with a filter sponge and enclosed container of carbon. This all pulls out of the bottom of the filter media attachment, shown in the pictures.

I did the same thing to this that I did to my other filter; pried open the container, dumped the carbon out, and replaced it with a cut sponge insert.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:08 PM   #3
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Below is a picture of the driftwood I was going to add to my tank. Why "was" I going to add it? Well, I had a bit of a mishap...

I was boiling the driftwood to take as much of the tannins out of it as possible, and it was working well.

That is, until I fell asleep.

Let's just say it wasn't fun waking up to a kitchen/livingroom hazy with smoke and a smoldering piece of wood on the stove.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #4
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Here's the decorations I decided to go with instead.

I'll put the grasslike fake plants inside the alien skull so they can be seen through the eyes of it. I'm using fake plants since it won't get any light inside the skull.

I then intend to take out a large amount of the java moss in my 10g tank and drape it over the top of the alien skull to resemble hair.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:15 PM   #5
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thats a cool idea,i lol'ed when i saw the driftwood post.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_in_MN View Post
Here's the decorations I decided to go with instead.

I'll put the grasslike fake plants inside the alien skull so they can be seen through the eyes of it. I'm using fake plants since it won't get any light inside the skull.

I then intend to take out a large amount of the java moss in my 10g tank and drape it over the top of the alien skull to resemble hair.
LOL that's awesome! Can't wait to see it when it's finished!
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:35 PM   #7
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I used silicone adhesive to glue together two of the fake grass plants together in a V, then put them inside the alien skull. I then added the Fluval Stratum, alien skull, and dechlorinated water to the tank. The sediment makes it look creepy right now, LOL.

I'll wait until it settles down before moving my Tom Aquarium mini filter from my 10g to the new tank, then put the new mini filter in the 10g. It should be pretty much cycled at that point.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:20 AM   #8
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I just recently discovered that I can fit Biomax in the container of my filter media, so no more sponge insert. I shaved down a couple of pieces of Biomax so I can fit 4 in it instead of the 3 you see in the camera shot.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:17 AM   #9
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I swapped the filter media in the mini filter in my 10g with new media, put Biomax in the container (like I did with the new one), and set the filter up in the shrimp tank. I put the spray bar attachment on this filter, which spreads out the water flow to the point that the water flow is barely noticeable. I highly recommend this filter to anyone setting up a nano tank or a 5g tank with a betta in it.

After the filter was set up, I moved the lone surviving ghost shrimp from my 20g tank into it. He seems to be doing well after the move.

My next trick will be to move the majority of the java moss from the 10g tank into the shrimp tank, and hopefully as many RCS that's left with it. I'll probably try to scoop the java moss out so that the RCS will just come with it; I'd prefer not to try to net those small guys all day. I'll also have to watch that I don't accidentally move either of the ADFs or a pygmy gourami in the process.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:03 AM   #10
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what kind of shrimp you going with?
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:14 AM   #11
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Very cool idea w/ your tank! I really like the Alien ornament!

Oh and next time, try putting the driftwood in a crockpot w/ potatoes and carrots. YUM! lol Teasing! :P
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpfitness23
what kind of shrimp you going with?
I've moved my only surviving ghost shrimp over from my 20g tank, and he'll stay there provided he doesn't try to eat the smaller shrimp that I add to the tank.

I'll also be moving my RCS from my 10g tank. Hopefully the pygmy gouramis didn't hunt them all down.

I haven't decided whether I'll move my amano shrimp from my 10g over yet.

The only shrimp I'm planning to purchase right now will be bumblebee shrimp. We'll see if I run across any other interesting ones in the LFS.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:11 PM   #13
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After looking at a video of two ghost shrimp vivisecting a yellow variant of the RCS, I decided to move him to the 10g tank. He's a bigger shrimp, so I don't think the pygmy gourami will try to eat him.

I moved about 1/2 of the java moss to the new 2.5g tank from the 10g. Right now, it sort of makes the alien skull look like someone who just rolled out of bed.

I was able to save 1 RCS from my 10g tank when I moved the java moss. Out of 20+ RCS, only one survived the pygmy gourami hunting grounds.

I went out and bought 6 more RCS and 4 bumblebee shrimp. You can see one of the BBS in the camera shot near the shrimp pellet.

I don't think I'll add anything more to this tank for now. I don't think there's another type of shrimp I could put in there that won't either eat the others or interbreed with them.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:48 AM   #14
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Your alien has bedhead!! I am seriously laughing so hard right now!!

That is the most awesome tank I've ever seen!! I would have never thought of doing something like that w/ a small tank!

Very, VERY cool!!
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:29 AM   #15
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Your alien has bedhead!! I am seriously laughing so hard right now!!

That is the most awesome tank I've ever seen!! I would have never thought of doing something like that w/ a small tank!

Very, VERY cool!!
Thank you very much! I had fun coming up with it.

And thank you to everyone else following this thread. I'm glad I decided to make use of my 2.5g tank other than the purposes that it couldn't fulfill.

If anyone thinks of another shrimp that I could get away with putting in this tank, feel free to let me know. I can't really put a RCS variant (yellow, blue, etc) in because it would interbreed. I don't trust ghost shrimp because I saw a video of it eating a smaller shrimp species. I don't trust amano shrimp because I saw one carrying a baby RCS once in my 10g tank, and it wasn't giving it a piggyback ride. Bamboo shrimp are way too big, and I don't have the water flow for it either.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:30 PM   #16
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I found another RCS in my 10g and transferred it to my new tank. Unfortunately, I may have had an RCS expire on me (doesn't look like molted shell). So I think my net is still 7 RCS.

After thinking it over for a while, I've decided against adding another species of shrimp even if I could find one. I already have over 10 in there, and both species should breed pretty quickly, so that tank will be pretty full in a while.

One thing I find odd is the readings I'm getting from the tank. The GH reading is 6ļ, which was expected. The KH reading, however, was 2ļ, which is 2ļ lower than my other two tanks. I'm not sure why that would be; the only thing I can come up with is the substrate.

Ammonia and nitrIte readings are 0, which is good. I do find it interesting that I'm reading nearly 5ppm nitrAtes, but that likely came from moving the java moss (and some water with it) to the new tank from the 10g.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:18 AM   #17
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Great setup James

I'm surprised that you're having issues with RCS & ghosties, mine get alone great. I can see an AES (amano) hauling a baby shrimp away though lol. I want to do a shrimp only tank too at some point.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #18
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Great setup James

I'm surprised that you're having issues with RCS & ghosties, mine get alone great. I can see an AES (amano) hauling a baby shrimp away though lol. I want to do a shrimp only tank too at some point.
Thanks!

I don't personally have any issues with ghost shrimp and RCS in the same tank; I'm just avoiding potential issues that could exist. I saw a video of two ghost shrimp grabbing a hold of a yellow shrimp (RCS variant) and they looked like they were eating its tail. So, I prefer to be on the safe side and not put ghosties in.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:44 AM   #19
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Here's the youtube video of ghost shrimp attacking a yellow shrimp.

YouTube - ‪Ghost shrimps hunt, kill and eat yellow shrimp‬‏

FYI, they may also eat MTS.

YouTube - ‪Ghost shrimp eating a Malaysian Trumpet Snail‬‏
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:37 PM   #20
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Whoa!

Well this certainly took a turn for the disastrous. I came home to 5 known dead RCS in my tank.

After fishing them out, I retested my water parameters.
0 ppm ammonia
0 ppm nitrItes
5 ppm nitrAtes
5 degrees GH (dropped one from yesterday)
2 degrees KH

Then I tested the one thing that I've been taking for granted, pH. Mine has always been 7.8 pH in both my 20g and 10g tanks, so I must have overlooked checking this in my 2.5g tank.

Low and behold, the pH is crashing, currently testing at around 7.0.

Fortunately, I did count at least 3 of the BBS, so they seem to have survived this problem. But now I have to figure out what I should do to rectify the situation before I have more shrimp expire, and almost certainly before I add any more RCS to the tank.

I have to start by figuring out what the heck is dropping the pH. I guess it could be the alien skull, but the more likely candidate would be the substrate. It could be the only one that would have enough mass in the tank to drop the pH that quickly.

I then need to find out if the pH crash is over, or if it will fall further. If it might continue to drop, then I will probably have to try to counteract it naturally.

I wonder if Fluval Stratum neutralizes pH? The research begins...
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