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bluestarfish

Red Tank

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bluestarfish

It has a lot of red things in it...

It's a 20long (75.7 liters?) And somewhat new. I made a three day move a couple of months back, and decided I'd rather get a new tank than try to transport the old one. Brought two buckets of water with me, along with some fish a gajillion sword plants. (Those started as just two or three, and somehow multiplied into...many), and an anubias I got a month or two before moving.

It currently has 9 cherry barbs (7 female, and two males)

1 female bristlenose pleco

and 10 very very red cherry shrimp

Unfortunately can't really remember the exact names of most of the other plants, but I've been adding them to the tank for a couple of months. They are all medium/low light plants that are supposed to be easy to care for.

 

The shrimp and the male cherry barbs are actually brand new as of today. The barbs were very excited to meet.

The shrimp also appear to be doing well so far...they've only been in there about two hours, so I'm still holding my breath. They move around a lot more in my tank than they did at the store, so I guess they like it here, or at least there is more for them to nom on.

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Edited by bluestarfish
I can count, promise...
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Jarad

Nice aquascaping,  Looks great !

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bluestarfish

Thankyou very much! :D

It's been slowly evolving for a month or so, the middle used to be a little bit cluttered and I had to move things around for the pleco. She seems to think she's much larger than she actually is, and gets herself "stuck" simply because she doesn't think she has room to turn. I suppose at least she is considerate of the plants and doesn't just rip through them like some plecos like to do.

Now that its night time here and the fish are sleeping, the shrimp are really zoomy, they've been swimming all over the tank! I can't believe how fast they can run and swim when they feel inclined to do so. We turned on the moonlight for a short bit to watch them, it was pretty fun.

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bluestarfish

I didn't realize just how deep the cracks in my driftwood were until all the shrimp decided to cram themselves into it...

At least I assume that's where they all are, I can only actually find 2 or 3 of the larger ones. I tried to get a picture but they just wedged themselves even deeper into the wood and disappeared completely.

 

 

 

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bluestarfish

I  got a TDS pen today, TDS is not something I even knew about until looking into getting shrimp.

The first order of business was of course to test all the water in the apartment, because by golly I have a new toy and I'm going to play with it!

Tested the tank first: it was catastrophically high- over 700ppm, I was going to do a big water change today anyway....(am now more seriously considering removing the rocks for the time being).

Tested the tap and filtered water (170, and 150 respectively)

Tested what some of the conditioners I have on hand to see what they do. (I don't use all of these I just have a bunch of different kinds..) Nova Aqua+ wins by adding no more than 10-20ppm, it's cousin Amquel + loses by adding well over 100 to the total.

 

I know that I need to lower the TDS, but I also know it'll probably kill the shrimp if I drop it too quickly, so that's another thing that I will be slowly lowering. Seems like lowering the TDS and gh will likely go hand in hand. Hopefully the shrimp can bare with it a little bit longer.

My main goal right now is the get it so that I can do water changes without having to add anything to the water. (this includes avoiding straight RO because that would require me to recondition the water to have the proper minerals for the tank). Though I do think doing top offs with RO could be beneficial.

Also I love DIY stuff, so coming up with an RO solution gives me an excuse to build something serviceable.

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Madmerv

Wow 700ppm and your tap water is 170ppm. 

I would say there is something doing some serious leeching in your tank. I would say that with tap water at 170ppm there is no need to go with RO water at all. Start doing 10-15% water changes daily until you get it down to the desired level and then start removing things until you work out what is driving up the TDS. If that rock on the left is limestone then start with that but the bad news is looking at your gravel sub the larger white bits might be marble and that can do it also. What is the PH of the water?

 

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bluestarfish

I already took out the limestone, the gravel is supposed to be inert, but I'll see what I can find out if anything. I've never had trouble with the gravel before. (then again I've never been able to test TDS before either...) the thought of changing the substrate makes my head hurt so hopefully the gravel doesn't have anything that can dissolve in it.

 

The pH in the tank is sitting around a 6.5 right now (out of the tap it's somewhere between a 5 and a 6 depending on what I use to test it). I originally got the lime specifically to help with the pH and kH, one being very low, the other being nonexistant.

 

I shall continue small water changes, I knocked 100 TDS off the total today with a 40% change of the tank.

 

 

 

 

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Madmerv

With a PH that low anything that has the possibility to dissolve will. The best way to check the white rocks in the sub is to pull a few out and put them in some pure white vinegar. Watch real close and if you see small bubbles forming then they are marble. Any acidity in the water will dissolve them but the pay off is the bubbles are CO2 and great for the plants.

Good luck and i really hope you dont have to change the sub.

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bluestarfish

Well the good news is the substrate is definitely inert, I grabbed a whole bunch of it and dropped them all one by one into some vinegar. So that's one headache averted.

 

We'll see how things go with the water without the rocks in it...they might be at fault, it could also be the Amquel+ (or a combination of the rocks and the amquel) causing the huge TDS. I'm switching to the Nova Aqua+ since it seems to be better on that front.

 

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bluestarfish

Well I've been working on lowering the TDS (and also in tandem lowering my gh) and it's getting pretty close.

TDS is down to 319, at the rate it's been going down per change I expect it to be around 260 tommorow.

My dgh is down to a 5 now too.

In the meantime I have also been running an experiment on my rocks to see how quickly they dissolve particles into the water. So that's been going up by less than 1ppm a day. So I'm leaning more towards one of my old conditioners being the culprit in the TDS rising. I've decided I probably won't be adding the rocks back in either way, I just gotta figure out what I want to do with the open side. (at the moment I've moved all my plants over there to make a forest of sorts).  I'm getting some java moss soon, though I'm not sure exactly what I want to do with it... maybe let it grow on the sticks I got in there or something.

 

While poking around in the tank I moved the driftwood temporarily, and so many tiny shrimp heads poked out to see what was going on. I don't think I've seen that many at once since when I first put them in there. They really don't want to come out in groups larger than 2-3.

 

 

 

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Madmerv

Really good you got a handle on the TDS and so glad you didnt have to rip up the sub. 

Moss always looks more natural when hanging off some wood so putting it on yours would be good. It also seems to attract some of the mulm and the shrimp love it. You should find those hiding coming out more and grazing amongst the moss like a little heard of sheep. You can also get one of those corner brackets for the moss and put some on the left hand side, forcing the shrimp to move over there for a graze. Brings them out into the open more.

Edited by Madmerv
Correct dyslexic typing

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jayc
3 hours ago, bluestarfish said:

TDS is down to 319

Wow, well done. Just a little more if you can manage it.

Then maintaining it should be just a matter of performing your water changes regularly.

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bluestarfish
3 hours ago, jayc said:

Wow, well done. Just a little more if you can manage it.

Then maintaining it should be just a matter of performing your water changes regularly.

Yeah, doing daily waterchanges is starting to wear me out, I look forward to when I can go back to once or twice a week.

I am also very pleased that I can control the gH without doing any extra work.

 

I also discovered that my old thermometer was...garbage. It wasn't even 3 months old before it stopped reading accurately.

So now I know that I hate both suction cup thermometers and digital ones. Got a thermometer that uses a magnet this time. So now it can't break, or refuse stay stuck to the side.

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bluestarfish

So I was watching my tank today, and caught sight of a little shrimplet near the back.

 

I couldn't get a good picture of it. But I was really surprised to spot one, I guess one of the shrimp I got was carrying eggs and I just didn't notice, cause I don't think I've had them long enough for them to have bred in my tank...I hope that there are more, and that they can survive to be fully grown. I'm now extra glad I ordered some Java Moss.

edit: I spotted another one (or perhaps the same one) and got out my better camera...at least I can get a clear-ish picture of it, but I'd need a fancy new lens to get anything closer and more detailed than this.

shrimplet.png

Edited by bluestarfish
adding a photo

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Madmerv

Congrats on the shrimpets. Hopefully the Barbs will leave them alone so they can get bigger.

If your cherries breed anything like mine then this will not be the only batch in the next few weeks.

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DemonCat

Congrats on the shrimplets. I love the look of your tank too.

My wife spotted three in my tank today. I do have 7 berried females at the moment too!!

Edited by DemonCat
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bluestarfish

Thanks!

 

I hope the barbs leave them alone too, it's very exciting to have even one or two shrimplets. They stay in the very back under leafs and in some java moss I attached to the log on that side. (I ordered "3X3" inches of Java moss and got a literal brick of the stuff, it's everywhere lol). I don't think the barbs can see them yet.

 

Luckily for the shrimp (unlucky for the barbs) I've got some doctoring to do on some of the school, those water changes I needed to do kind of stressed out the fish. So there will be fewer fish in the tank to potentially nom on any new shrimplets.

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DemonCat

If you have two, I bet you have more that havnt been discovered yet!!

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bluestarfish

Yeah, I spotted at least 4 more smaller ones together today (or at least the guy says they look smaller to him).

I have to be very careful next time I do a water change, I'd hate to suck up any of these little ones.

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Kaylenna
20 minutes ago, bluestarfish said:

Yeah, I spotted at least 4 more smaller ones together today (or at least the guy says they look smaller to him).

I have to be very careful next time I do a water change, I'd hate to suck up any of these little ones.

If you're doing something like a gravel vac, try disturbing the intended area first without actually sucking any water up to scare away the shrimp.  I will usually do quadrants of the tank at a time so they have 3/4 of the tank to hang out in safely.  And I also painstakingly pour the waste water into a large white flatish bowl to check for babies.  If it makes you feel better, I usually only get 1 baby per 2 gallons or so.  Sometimes none

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bluestarfish

I will try all of those things out! I use a fairly small/weak vacuum, so hopefully spooking them away will be enough.

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DemonCat

In your original pictures - are they white clouds?

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bluestarfish
11 hours ago, DemonCat said:

In your original pictures - are they white clouds?

The fish?

The ones visible are Female Cherry Barbs.

 

The only fish I have are Cherry Barbs, currently 6 female and 1 male...I know my first post says there's two males, but one of them died suddenly with no readily apparent illness a couple of days after introduction into the tank.

 

Edited by bluestarfish

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bluestarfish

Well I lost a female, she was the worst of them when they started to look under the weather (she had bloated up real bad, I suspect it was a bacterial infection). The rest have recovered, no more clamped fins, constipation, listless swimming, or itching.

I gave the hospital tank and everything else used in it a good cleaning out (rinsed repeatedly, bleached, and then de-chlorinated), it's a 2 gallon (7.6 liter), I'm thinking of using it as a nursery if I can ever spot it when the shrimp are berried.

 

The shrimp have been quite happy, well the 5 or so that are usually out. (2 big red ones, a striped one, a small red one, and a pinkish orange/red one, +4 babies). I don't know if all the rest died, or just never come out. I really should have gotten a TDS pen before getting the shrimp. :\ Oh well, I learn best from making mistakes. All my water parameters are correct now, and the fish and shrimp are happy!

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Kaylenna
6 hours ago, bluestarfish said:

it's a 2 gallon (7.6 liter), I'm thinking of using it as a nursery if I can ever spot it when the shrimp are berried.

Do you have a full set of stuff for it? heater, filter (with baby-safe everything), light, and tons of easy float-able plants (I usually stuff mine with bits of mosses I don't have a place for or want to grow out a bit)?  It's a bit tricky to manage a 2 gallon well when you know you have to be extra careful about water changes and things because there are babies in there.  You could, on the other hand, get a breeding box.  It would then just share water with your original tank and you won't have to acclimatize the mommy shrimps when you move them either.  I found some 2L / .5gallon external ones (Marina) on Amazon for $13.  They're big enough to hold about 2-3 batches of babies for a month without overcrowding.  At that point, Cherries my cherries are about 7-9mm and more or less big enough to not be easy fish food.

Spotting berried mommies is tricky - they like to hide more than average.  I will sometimes purposely put things for them to hide in near the glass where I can peer at them more easily, but that hardly guarantees you'll see any.  Feeding time is the other time they're more likely to be out - if yours have a favorite food, try offering it in an easy to see area.  You probably have to keep watch while feeding though - some of mine will run in, grab some food, and run to a more secure location to eat it.  Feeding leaves is useful for this if they like the leaves - they can't easily run away with it.

If you KNOW you have adult males and females and see mature saddles, you can try to INDUCE a batch of fertilization by using water cooler than the tank water during a change (dropping the tank temp 2-3 degrees seems plenty for mine).  I usually get a few newly berried girls the next day.  I think the idea is that in nature, the water temp will often drop with new rains.  Rain will wash in/down new food sources, so it's a good time to breed. 

7 hours ago, bluestarfish said:

Oh well, I learn best from making mistakes. All my water parameters are correct now, and the fish and shrimp are happy!

That's why most people recommend you start with a few hardy Cherries!  At least you've figured it out - Yay! 

And then you can get more Cherries... and different kinds of shrimp... and then more tanks...  mhmmm.

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