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Thread: Two Foot Planted Shrimp Tank *Dry Start*

  1. #1

    Red face Two Foot Planted Shrimp Tank *Dry Start*

    Hi everyone, first time posting here!

    I have been into this hobby for about two years now.

    I'm trying to document my journey and share my learnings and hopefully make it easier for people with similar ideas.

    This is my second aquarium ever and a Christmas gift for myself.

    Been nagging the wife for two weeks prior to the purchase. She said yes eventually but I hope she never finds out how much I'm really spending on it

    Anyway.

    My idea is a planted shrimp tank with some sort of carpet. Due to the smaller size of the tank I went with HC Cuba in the end to have a better sense of scale.

    I don't have much experience in terms of carpeting so I thought a dry start method would be the safest bet.

    Below are my equipment list:
    (went weeeell over the budget)

    60x45x45 starfire tank $299
    ADA substrate + amazonia + amazonia powder (I know this limits my shrimp type to just caridina, but plants are my priority) $120
    AI Prime HD $275 + bracket $50

    These are the ones I bought from a LFS. The rest of the items are all from Ebay:
    Co2 Diffuser $17
    Co2 Solenoid $32
    Chihiros Doctor III $44
    Aquael Pat Mini $29
    Shrimp tank double sponge filter $10

    Plus a Co2 2.6kg bottle from Keg King when they were one sale $60

    The hardware came down to a total of $936 sans a heater (got a spare).

    If you'd like to do a similar build, you can probably get away with a $500 budget if you go for a 60x30x30 tank ($120) and a cheap LED light instead.

    Here is the photo for week 0 with just a rock and HC Cuba + Dwarf Sag



    Please feel free to provide suggestions or ask questions!

    **The following plants can be gown in a dry start environment based on my experiment**

    Alternanthera Reineckii
    Anubias (tried with a broken 1cm long rhizome and it sprouted leaves)
    Buce
    Crypts
    Glosso
    Iguazu 2009
    Pogostemon Helferi (tried with a broken stem, new plants sprouted near the joints before the stem wilted away. New plants survived. Best to leave the stem horizontally on the substrate instead of planting it.)
    Last edited by Orcustus; 06-02-19 at 12:42 PM.

  2. #2

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    Week 1 Update:

    Added some wood and Java Moss. I saw Youtubers using Yogurt as adhesive to paint moss onto the harscape, thought I'd give it a try.

    HC Cuba barely grew at all, but the brown patches are turning yellow and the yellow patches are turning green so I guess there is progress.





  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Lovely choice of equipment...

    Show us a FTS also.

    What type of shrimp are you going to keep there?

  4. #4

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    Week 2 Update:

    I tried the dry start method without covering the tank with glad wrap, thinking more CO2 and less stagnant air. But the difference for plant growth is hard to notice, and a lot of my moss at the upper part of hard scape dried out due to evaporation.

    Not much growth from HC Cuba still, though it appears to become thicker. Right now I am hovering around 12 hours of light and water spraying twice a day. Dwarf Sag appears to be shooting out runners and doing well in general though.


  5. #5

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    Sorry What is FTS?

    I think I would go for CRS since the soil is very acidic.

    Honestly I don't really know what kind of Caridina shrimp is best suited to this planted tank so I am open to suggestions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Taiwan Bees but depending on your experience maybe you should go with some Cherries.
    Whatever

  7. #7

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    Week 3 Update:

    I put some random clippings from my main tank (anubias/S. Repens etc) to see if they'd thrive here.

    Also caught a small huntsman. I promoted him to be the ranger of this terrarium.

    I am finally noticing some horizontal growth of the HC Cuba. Though I also noticed that they would not grow into areas covered by water. I now use a syringe to remove excess water daily.

    Dwarf Sage is going strong. Maybe a tad too strong :S

    Last edited by Orcustus; 25-01-19 at 06:16 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyAdo View Post
    Taiwan Bees but depending on your experience maybe you should go with some Cherries.
    I don't think Taiwan Bees and Cherries like acidic soils. From what I gathered on Youtube only Caridina shrimps can thrive in water <7.0 PH.

    I think once the aquarium is cycled, the ADA soil is going to keep the PH between 6.0 - 6.5

  9. #9
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    CRS will be fine as long as you can take due deligence to keep the temps below 24 at all times. CRS don't really like huge water changes etc so maybe introduce them in 6 months when the tank is fully stabilised.

    Taiwan bee will be slightly more sensitive IMO.

    Cherries (especially reds) on the other hand you can introduce way earlier within a month of flooding. Cherries while preferring ph >7 will do fine and eventually thrive given enough time.

  10. #10

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    Week 4 Update:

    Added a box of tissue cultured Crypts (they are quite small) to the back of the aquarium.

    Added small clippings of Pogostemon Helferi and AR mini.

    Moved one of my Iguazu 2009 to this tank. Hopefully it can survive and thrive here.

    Huntsman is still alive.

    Dwarf Sag are going crazy. Might have to start trimming them and replanting soon. Some are growing into the HC Cuba.

    HC Cuba is still growing quite slow. I noticed they have gained some heights. I think maybe I have cut the portions too big when I planted them. Looking back I should've cut them into much smaller pieces so they can grow horizontally.

    The lights are on 16 hours a day now - not sure if that is too much but Dwarf Sag absolutely loves it.


  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    CRS will be fine as long as you can take due deligence to keep the temps below 24 at all times. CRS don't really like huge water changes etc so maybe introduce them in 6 months when the tank is fully stabilised.

    Taiwan bee will be slightly more sensitive IMO.

    Cherries (especially reds) on the other hand you can introduce way earlier within a month of flooding. Cherries while preferring ph >7 will do fine and eventually thrive given enough time.
    That is good to know. If I try with Cherries first, do you know if they would inter-breed with CRS later on?

    Also I heard Cherrys will pop their red color when the soil is dark. I dunno if my carpet would affect the coloring of the shrimps.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orcustus View Post
    I don't think Taiwan Bees and Cherries like acidic soils. From what I gathered on Youtube only Caridina shrimps can thrive in water <7.0 PH.

    I think once the aquarium is cycled, the ADA soil is going to keep the PH between 6.0 - 6.5
    Taiwan bee's prefer acidic, ADA substrates and shrimp soils are mainly for them. They're easy as long as you remineralise RODI water to the correct parameters - water changes are minimal (10-20%) and less frequent so it's quite easy to keep a jerry can of remineralised water stored away ready to go. Also need to keep temps below 24!

    Caradina prefer pH abit higher, although both yellow and red cherries are doing fine in my taiwan bee tank.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orcustus View Post
    That is good to know. If I try with Cherries first, do you know if they would inter-breed with CRS later on?

    Also I heard Cherrys will pop their red color when the soil is dark. I dunno if my carpet would affect the coloring of the shrimps.
    Cherries and CRS will not interbreed, you can have both!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Of Destruction View Post
    Cherries and CRS will not interbreed, you can have both!
    That sounds like a good idea!

    I need to look more into Taiwan Bees...never really paid attention to them. Which color is more coveted?

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    To answer your question, FTS = Full Tank Shot

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