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Old 08-13-2020, 07:34 PM   #1
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Restarting the hobby with a small tank

I have been away from the hobby for about 15 years. At one point I was up to a 700 litre tank but while my fish stayed healthy I had no success with plants (unless you count algae...). Anyway after all this time the bug has bitten again and I have an open top 30cm cube coming my way.

My goal is an unheated richly planted tank with a couple of interesting critters. If possible I want to regulate the water chemistry through plant growth supplemented by a simple sponge filter and regular water changes. I have bought a 13 watt LED clip on light which also has a moonlight feature.

I have bought these in-vitro plants together with aquatic soil and dark gravel:

Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini'
Helanthium tenellum 'Green'
Salvinia auriculata

I am doing a dry start (except for the Salvinia of course) and after a few weeks when filling the tank I will add one stem plant, possibly a Rotala.

My ideas for wildlife are more vague. I would like possibly 3 amano shrimps as they don't reproduce, and some small fish. I have looked at Dario but think they are too delicate. Other ones I have considered are pygmy sunfish and endler livebearers.

I would appreciate any advice or suggestions. I'm sure I have already made a ton of mistakes!

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Old 08-14-2020, 09:46 AM   #2
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I am sure that you are aware but fish eat shrimp. Shrimp is one of the main ingredient in fish food. That being said they may survive until thier first moult and then if your tank is not heavily planted then they will get eaten. The endless are voracious and will hunt and eat anything that is smaller than they are that is why they are sometimes used to control mosquitoes because they hunt and eat the larve. Not trying to discourage you and everything else sounds good. Good luck!!
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:54 PM   #3
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Thanks! People do seem to keep shrimp and fish together. Maybe in bigger tanks?
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:03 PM   #4
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Well, the tank is planted but in a moment of weakness I got nervous about trying a dry start and went ahead and filled the tank. So now I have to do frequent water changes while the tank establishes itself. How critical are water changes when the aquarium is pure plant? The substrate is black gravel over ADA Amazonia soil.

I was surprised how many plants I got from the in vitro plant dishes - but I think they will have to grow for a couple of months before I can consider adding anything from the animal kingdom (although I am a bit concerned the local mosquitoes might colonize the tank while it is establishing).
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