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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!

I started up a 10 gallon a couple weeks ago.

Flourite black sand
1x 12w 6000k LED bulb in a clamp lamp just sitting on the glass cover
50w heater
Sponge filter
Rocks from outside (boiled/scrubbed)
1x driftwood (random piece purchased online for quite cheap - turned out ok!)

Here are the initial shots of the hardscape, complete with totally posh black trash bag background:




Went out and got some plants on Boxing Day:



Hydrocotyle leucocephala / Brazilian pennywort (back left)
Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae (back middle)
Hygrophila polysperma (back right)
Staurogyne repens (front left)
Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini' (front middle)

Ended up pulling out the pennywort and cutting off more of the bottom stem since it was quite bare and replanting. I've been dosing excel/flourish/iron and have a timer giving a split (5 on)-(3 off)-(5 on) photoperiod.

One Week Progress (Jan 1) - A. reineckii growing quite well! Glad I had that first shot to compare. Sorry this one is so blurry. There was a nice fluffy bacterial growth on the log and large rock (somewhat visible in the picture). The crypt melted a bit but I was prepared for that to happen. Still cycling...



After this picture I ended up getting some flame moss and tied it to the wood, and also stuffed a baby wendelov java fern that was floating around another tank in the top end. Not sure if the fern is staying yet.

I'm planning on getting another light - I've noticed that the Hygro in particular is growing a bit bent now, arching sideways towards the light. Hoping the second light will get me a bit more even distribution.

SO here are my questions:
1) Floaters
- Looking to get some kind of floating plant and I'm leaning heavily towards Phyllanthus fluitans / red root floater. Good or bad idea? Any other suggestions?
2) Stocking
- I'd really love to have some cherry shrimp in here but there's so many options. Which colors do you think would look best?
- Also considering a pair of Tateurndina ocellicauda / peacock gudgeons - any experience with them and cherry shrimp together? Am I just looking at giving them some tasty snacks?
- Would a small group (6?) of Pseudomugil gertrudae / spotted blue eye do okay with the above?

Next weekly update should be tomorrow! Hopefully with less blur. :)
 

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Very pretty!

As far as floating plants go, I had some water lettuce from Stuart (CRS_Fan) once, that grew quickly and always looked pretty. i don't know what red root floaters are, but they sound pretty wonderful.

Cherry shrimp are comical and add a nice bit of colour. I like painted fire red, but regular red cherries colour up nicely, too. (For all I know, they may be the same thing.) I don't have any experience with any shrimp more complicated than that.
 

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Week 2 - Jan 8 Update



Pictures looking better as I enlist the help of a second party to hold my light fixture a bit higher to avoid some of the glare from the shiny background that gets picked up in the photos so much.

The flame moss I've tied on is already looking bigger. The crypt is still melting - need to trim off that leaf resting on the driftwood and some general other plant trimming. Other than that, everything doing well! Just waiting for it to finish cycling so I can add a bit of livestock - though apparently I had some hitchhikers on my plants as I spotted a tiny snail on the glass today.

There's a HOB temporarily in there (needed some place to stash it while swapping to a sponge filter in a different tank) - but black on black makes it hard to see. My second light setup I ordered of course got split into two shipments and only the clamp lamp portion has arrived - hopefully can get that second bulb set up soon. There's a lot of patience involved in this hobby!
 

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End of Week 3 - Jan 15 Update

Second light finally came in! Old HOB from last week removed as well.

Growth is good on everything except that poor, poor crypt. Hoping it bounces back from all the melt soon. It's harder to keep track since it's a bit hidden behind everything at the moment. Saw some root growth from the A. reineckii against the front glass - glad that it seems to be anchoring in well!

Looks like it's time for a bit of a trim this weekend during the water change for the other background plants though!

Still cycling - ammonia dropping quite slowly, some nitrites... pretty sure that the ammonia readings would drop a bit quicker if I didn't have plant matter breaking down and adding to the ammonia load (mostly that crypt).

Two baby ramshorns spotted but pretty sure there must be more. Lots and lots of nematodes, copepods, and other tiny things swimming around in the water. Will be a nice snack once I get some fish in there!
 

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End of Week 4 (Jan 22)

So I didn't post this last week because there wasn't much change. Still took a picture though! Things getting a bit overgrown... the good news was that cycling seemed to be done! Which brings us to the next week...

End of Week 5 (Jan 29)

First of all the Hygrophila on the right got a well-overdue trim. The crypt finally seems to be done melting and is growing new leaves - really hoping that one keeps going strong - since it's there in the back behind the log it's really difficult to see anything except the longest leaves. It would look great if it could grow in a bit thicker.

Those pennyworts were driving me crazy. They didn't seem to want to hold into the soil at all and were constantly getting dislodged. I pulled them all up, trimmed them down a bit and they're now floating. Seem to be doing just fine that way! There's also a stem of asian water grass (Hygroryza aristata) floating up there too (the fuzzy green roots belong to it). Interesting plant; I'll give it a shot!

So in the place of the pennywort I've put some stargrass (Heteranthera zosterifolia). Just planted yesterday it just looks like a bright green mess right now but I'm sure it will fill in nicely. As long as it manages to stay rooted it'll be an improvement over the pennywort.

Also got two other plants to try but they're a little hard to see in the photos. Scattered in clumps on the left behind/around/in front of the S. repens is some Rotala 'bonsai'. I know it's got bonsai right there in the name but I was surprised at how small these were.

Then in the front right there's two clumps of Marsilea hirsuta - one on either side of the rock cave. Hoping that one fills in to carpet some of that empty space.

Last but certainly not least I added some shrimp!

There's only 5 adults in there right now, one female had her eggs hatching the first day as well as some baby shrimp I found in the bag (could have been hatched from that female, could have just been stowaways on the bit of java moss/riccia that was in the bag with the adults). There's another female with eggs as well right now (they have eyes - hatching soon) and another with a saddle. Here's hoping at least one of the two remaining adults is a male.

I wanted to get more shrimp but I didn't want to spend too much to figure out if my situation would kill any shrimp I put inside. Everything LOOKED good on paper (cycled, PH just under 7, ~150 TDS using Seachem Equilibrium since our tap is very low) but I didn't want to put $50 of shrimp in just to find out something else would kill them all overnight. Could have gone with something less expensive like low grade cherries but then I'd have to figure out what to do with them when I added the color I DID want - wouldn't want them breeding with my pumpkins and giving wild colored babies.

Even with just the 5 adults in there the shrimp are quite a bit more entertaining than I was expecting. Those tiny feet move incredibly quickly when they're picking through the sand, and the couple times I've watched one swim across the tank has been amusing. Spotting the babies that seem to be getting bigger and bigger is fun, too.

I was trying to get a picture of my favorite this morning but couldn't get a clear shot - she's the one currently berried and she's a nice vibrant orange that darkens to almost red on the top of her back.

The resident populations of nematodes and copepods are still going strong. There's been a tiny outbreak of ramshorn snails but I'm hoping now that there's less plant melting going on their numbers will stop going up as much. There's only one bigger snail (.5cm diameter about) and the rest I've seen have been tiny babies crawling on the glass. Also spotted a pond or bladder snail (didn't check shell direction) the other day, heading over to where I had dropped a tiny piece of a spirulina wafer for the shrimp.

I figure I'll give the shrimp a few months to settle in before I add anything else. Was watching some videos of Spotted Blue-Eyes (Pseudomugil gertrudae) and I'm starting to really firm up on the decision to add them, but I want to give the shrimp some time to populate in safety. Like I said earlier they're plenty entertaining on their own anyway!
 

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Looking great! I love planted nano tanks and it was a great choice for you to put dwarf shrimp in there! The addition of Gertrudae Rainbowfish as well as other smaller nano fish will feed on those copepods and nematodes.
 

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Gertrudae rainbows are excellent shrimplet hunters. I would suggest adding a good clump of subwassertang as a refuge for molting, brooding, and as a shrimplet hide out.

Best regards,

Stuart


Tankless in Vancouver
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Gertrudae rainbows are excellent shrimplet hunters. I would suggest adding a good clump of subwassertang as a refuge for molting, brooding, and as a shrimplet hide out.
Thanks for the suggestion, Stuart!

Seems like pretty much anything I'd want to add wouldn't pass up a chance at a tasty baby shrimp.

I'll keep on the lookout for subwassertang - I've certainly got a lot of time before I add any fish.
 

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End of Week 7 (Feb 12)

I skipped a week again as nothing earth-shattering happened. Stargrass is growing in nicely - really excited for this one to fill in that empty space on the back wall. Finally feeling like the crypt is getting to be in a good place and is completely over the melting - little worried that it's too close to the hygro now that I'm seeing it fill in more. I've had to untangle crypt leaves from the mass of hygro on the right. I definitely don't want to move the crypt else it go all melty again, so I might just end up taking out some of the hygro closest to the center.

Sadly I lost an adult shrimp last night - found the body wedged in the bit of the log touching the substrate. I couldn't see anything wrong with the body other than being dead, which I guess I'm thankful for, so I did some water tests. Params were fine at 0/0/5 for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, pH somewhere around 6.8-7.0, and TDS was 170ppm. The other shrimp in the tank have been quite active as well, so I'm pretty stumped on what happened. I've seen lots of molts by now with no issues, too. Hopefully it was old age but I'm a bit tense making sure I can count all 4 of the remaining adults every time I sit to watch the tank.

I'm pretty sure all 5 (well, 4 now) were/are female. Really tempted to see if I can get a male adult pumpkin shrimp or two (PM me if you have any leads in the Surrey area!) - I've got tons of babies in the tank thanks to the two that were already berried when I got them, but from what I understand that means I've got a few months before those are sexually mature.

We'll end off with a nice picture of two of the babies! The biggest of them are over 1cm now. Lots of movement in the tank at all times seeing them in search of food. The rock on the far left is a popular gathering spot - it's right under one of the lights and so has a nice cover of algae they seem to love picking at. Thankfully haven't had any issues with algae yet - it's only growing in places I don't mind.

 

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Mini-weekend update: I found some more orange shrimp this weekend and picked up two more - one I'm about 90% sure is male and it's a bit of a toss up on the second one. Or maybe I'm just really unlucky and the first one is just smaller because s/he is younger. Tried to go by the shape of the underside of the tail as well. Maybe once I have a better mix of adults I'll get better at telling the sexes apart.

Got a picture this morning after dropping in some algae wafer crumbs. Unfortunately it's not of the two new ones or I'd ask opinions on sexing!


The one on the right is my favorite of the bunch with her darker red/orange back, and she's just gotten her saddle back after her babies hatched. The one on the left, in comparison to the one on the right and in the background, looks downright yellow. Can there be that much color variation in orange shrimp or should I be concerned that she's something different and I could end up with wild babies?
 

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Not too much going on the last few weeks but added some new fish today, so here's the last month in recap. :)

End of Week 8 (Feb 19)

Added some Lobelia cardinalis to the front/right of the stargrass. We'll see how it does!

End of Week 9 (Feb 26)


End of Week 10 (Mar 4)

Spot the snail acrobat... he likes to float mid-tank sometimes too, not connected to anything. It's a little weird!

End of Week 11 (Mar 11)

Pulled most of the watergrass. There's still a bit in there and I'll probably have to do a massive cutback again 3 weeks from now. The stuff grows fast! The oldest of the baby shrimp aren't quite babies anymore. I'm excited for them to soon be reproducing (fingers crossed).

Dropped the temperature a little bit and also added 4x Hara jerdoni from April. They are tiny and adorable.


 

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Just keep an eye on your shrimp, the catfish may go after them.

Respectfully,

Stuart


Tankful in Vancouver!
 

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Thanks for the warning Stuart! Not too worried right now as they seem pretty timid and the adult shrimp are bigger than they are. :D

Will definitely keep an eye on the shrimp population and move the catfish if it turns out I'm being too overconfident.
 

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I got a few hara jerdoni from April as well, they look real cool! Got shrimp in my tank as well so keep us updated.
 
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