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Here is a picture of my Betta, not very interesting in terms of colour but easy to see in the tank as it is quite dark! He is with some high grade red cherry shrimp and it is fairly densely planted (sounds better than the truth - overgrown) but I am sure he wwill be eating some of the baby shrimp when he sees them. If you get to the stage of having a cull tank for poor grade shrimp then putting a betta in that would be ideal, otherwise it is a risk keeping shrimp with a betta so only try it with your least favourite shrimps in a well planted tank. Betta are fairly easy to keep (as other tropical fish) and interesting as they will interact with people who go near the tank and at feeding and tank maintenance time.


For creating carpets of moss, I used to use pads/squares of stainless steel mesh, on which I put the moss then wound fishing line to hold the moss in place. For attaching plants/moss to wood or rock though the superglue is much easier, it may need to be a certain type/make though??? I always buy it from my shrimp supplies supplier.

I saw my friend earlier and the apistos seem to be doing well so most likely I will try those in the 35L aquarium, so won't have many. Not got any further than that at this point. I wouldn't even consider putting shrimp in with apistos.

What you have been reading about 'ageing' water I suspect is to get chlorine from the (tap) water?

The friend I saw today (with the apistos) bought a 360L aquarium about 10 years ago so we had to modify/strengthen his sideboard to take the weight. His floor is concrete so that wasn't an issue. Even with just the 3 tanks before I moved the wiring was crazy with each tanh having, heater, light, filter - looked  a real mess, but it didn't actually use much extra power as only the heater(s) were >10W.


Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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Awwww he is stunning!! I love his colour and his fins are beautiful! Does he have a name? I'm in love with him! How long have you had him for? 🤍🤍🤍

Yes I would only put them in with low grade, cheap shrimp and I would ensure the shrimp have loads of hiding places and caves etc. Lots of Subwassertang or Java moss, lots of guppy grass, then loads of other plants. Also would make sure the betta is well fed. 

Thats a great idea for carpeting with moss. I'll definitely do that with my next tank, but it would be a bit hard with my 60L as its already scaped in the foreground. i would love to add moss in some spots that are bare. I think bending lead weights and pinning it in the substrate may work. Right now I have scattered rocks over the sand, but I could use them for weighing the Subwassertang down too. Maybe a combination will work best. 

Superglue- I had the right stuff however if either is damp it just won't stick well I found. I have had much better success with fishing line. I'll be able to just wind fishing line around the cave. 

They'll do really well in a 35L. I cannot wait to see what you do aquascaping wise. Yes I understand not wanting to go further and set up more tanks. It's honestly very costly, and very time consuming. It's hard work! With the fertiliser I use it says you need to do a weekly 50% water change. Which I hate! I changed today to api leaf zone and I'll see how that goes. I'm getting a fair bit of algae growth and I think there is just too many nutrients in the water and substrate. So I'm dialling down the lights and using less ferts. We'll see what happens. I actually think I want to re scape the tank already. I'm not loving it but it's so hard to do with a small tank. I'm going to look at some designs and consider what to do. I would love to buy a similar sized tank, but opticlear and no frame and make this tank my hospital/quarantine tank. Do you quarantine? Is it just too much of a hassle? My friend who has tanks, just added fish without quarantining and every fish got ich. He lost about 20 fish, some he had had for years. He is still treating them and more could be lost yet. It's really sad. I don't want it happening to my guys, so I think im going to set up a quarantine tank. 

Ahh yes, def need to reinforce a sideboard to take 360+kgs! Lucky he is on concrete. Im looking at the moment at some different buffets/sideboards and even came across someone selling steel frames, that you could then put a bench top on and if you wanted, doors and pannelling. My 235L tank has a stand, but I honestly think im going to build something stronger for it to sit on. I have a friend who is a fabulous welder, so I may ask him if he would weld me some frames up and then I'll add a bench top, panels and doors. I'll go pay him a visit and see if he'll do it for me. 

Yeah electrical cords...I have a heater, filter, air pump, and light but my heater plugs into my inkbird which is plugged in to the power board 😑 I decided I'm going to label all of the cords with different coloured labels and write on it what it is, but I'll continue to use those colours for each device throughout my fish room so it's all coordinated and I can easily tell what's what. Plus have the cords plugged into the power board in the same order for each one. 

Geez I think I will be paying to upgrade our electricity. We are already at the point of plugging in just 1 thing in too many and the power board trips and we lose everything. $7k it costs to upgrade. The aquarium stuff doesn't take a whole lot of energy, but living on old, 1 phase power, you easily lose it all if you overload the system. Last night we had a mini blackout but it came back on after a couple minutes. Im seriously thinking of buying the ecoflow power bank that people use when camping. As long as it's charged, I could plug in heaters, filters and airpumps and continue like normal. I think I'll consider buying 1 when I get a 2nd tank, and def make sure I have it when I set up the 235L. I think it'll make me feel more relaxed if we get a blackout, cause we get them often in our little region. 

Sorry, my messages are getting so long. Sorry about that. 

Oh and ageing the water...yes Jason clarified I don't have to given im on tank/rain water. Yay!! 

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I have probasbly had Bertie the betta about 3 months now. I didn't want a white one initially but it works well as I can see him swimming about from a distance as the tank is fairly dark! Betta are fiddly to feed as they have tiny stomachs (about the size of their eye) so get constipated when overfed and even if you feed them well they will still eat food (or baby shrimp I expect) when they come across it even if they aren't 'hungry'. I think feedind balance is probably the trickiest aspect of keeping a betta, from my experience anyway.

 My tanks weren't all together before so were in different wall sockets. Where I lived before we got power cuts occasionally, really annoying, especially having to reset all the timers......... lights on the tanks, but many others to do as well not tank related. I guess it sounds like a house rewire would be a good idea for safety and useability, though these things do cost a lot and will be messy whilst being carried out. Had that done a couple of times and great peace of mind once done.

The superglue may need to be a special one (as per the link I sent) because it will be used on wet/damp serfaces. I have used it on wet driftwood etc with wet plants and moss and it works very well and easily. If you buy it from an aquarium or aquascaper I assume that would work on wet/damp surfaces?

The mesh mats can be cut to fit any area, though you may need a special tool to do that. It can also be bent/folfed etc to whatever shape you want.

I have never used any fertilizers in any of my tanks and am always giving away plants that grow too big. I don't think ferts are needed if you are using soil/plant substrate, especially if keeping fish/shrimps in the aquarium, they produce their own plant ferts. 

I haven't ever used a quarantine tank but I tend to do one tank at a time so the creatures are going to an empty tank anyway and they are small tanks anyway so not many fish go into them anyway. I have been ultra luck but it is better if you can have a simple and basic quarantine/hospital tank available ad once everything else is running well you could stick a betta and cull shrimps in it?.

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    • sdlTBfanUK
      I just watched the video again. With that tank I would take 1 of the sponges and put it in the left compartment (where he put the heater in the vid) and the heater can go in the middle section with the other sponge, so that would work well and be very simple and no extra costs or modification involved. The water level in the back drops either because the pump is set too fast (if it is adjustable) or mostlly just because the sponge directly behind the inlet slots is getting blocked. Somtimes just pressing the sponge insitu at the top will blow some of the gunk back into the tank, but you will probably need to take the sponge out weekly to clean it, though I imagine you would probably do weekly water change/maintenance anyway. The tank in the video is also quite good because the back is covered so that will help with reducing evaporation from the back working part, mine was open/uncovered at the back so evaporation was more of a problem. I freaked out when I saw the level drop in the back the first time, especially as I had a glass type heater in the back! If you only very rarely need a heater then you could just put that in the main part of the tank on those rare occasions to be safer? As you say, you have time to see if you even need a heater but I suspect you won't as indoors will be warmer than the outside temperature overnite, and I have seen vids on youtuube where some Australians keep Neocaridina shrimp outside all year with no heaters in huge tanks or even ponds, and I doubt there is anywhere in the world where the temperatures don't fluctuate between night and day so all creatures must be ok with that (within limits of coarse).  My problem last week was the same only opposite, overnite it dropped to about 13 degrees outside but inside overnite it rose to 28 because the sun had heated the roof etc all day, so I did lose a few shrimps then (but they are Caridina so not as adaptable or tough as cherry shrimp), only babys though strangely? Of coarse, it's your winter now, whereas it is our summer. Do you have A/C in the house for the summer, even Neocaridina won't survive much over 30? I only have a portable room one which requires a tube out of the window hense I couldn't leave it running overnight as it is a ground floor room!
    • DemonCat
      Thanks for the response and interest! I'm planning on ignoring everything about the filter media provided and will do my own thing. But yes, a simple idea to save shrimp is put the filter right next to the intake bit.. I hadn't thought about that and was already thinking about adding mesh... your idea is much better and straightforward.  In regards to heater, where we are in Australia it gets 40 degrees in summer, but we had -7 last week at night.. this morning was a much warmer -3! The heating in the office is a bit whack too... it seems to be boiling hot or freezing cold, so the heater is something i'll just play 'wait and see' with. I don't propose to stock for a while anyway so will have substantial time to monitor the temperature and see if/how/when a heater is needed.  I saw a short youtube video on the water level at the back.. I'm glad I watched it / you told me because if I went in without knowing I'd be freaking out the first time I noticed it. 
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I had a very similar tank to the petworx one and they are very clean to look at and easy to maintain, but obviously you are losing some volume/floor area for the shrimps to inhabit. You will probably need to work something out so the shrimp don't get through to the back area, especially babies (sponge behind the slots etc) - you may be able to just move part of the sponge to that compartment looking at this video:  I would only get a 25w heater, I learned my lesson when my 50w stuck on and cooked the shrimps in my 35L tank. 25w should be adequate as you have a much warmer climate, in fact do you really even need a heater? One drawback with this type of setup is that the level of water in the back can drop drastically when the sponge starts to get clogged, though this is mainly only a problem with the heater which may break in insuficient water, or the pump in really severe circumstances. You will need to clean the sponges at least weekly.  The level drop in the back can look quite alarming when you first see it happening.  The other makes may also have the same issues? I would have thought nearer $250 as it already has a light and pump, and if you don't need a heater? I tried the 'let the idea fade away', but it keeps returning???
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I am still thinking it is 50/50 at this stage and will see what happens after another month! Th parameters seem to be slowly getting there, when I tested a few days ago, PH 6.5, KH 0-1, GH 6-7, TDS 150. I have around 10 shrimp left (25 were put in a month ago) but we did have a few hot days which ran together last week which killed at least a few, tank water got to 28 overnight, got a/c during the day, but that requires having the window open for the exhaust hose when running so a bit risky to leave it running all night. I may invest in some specific cooling if this works out for longer with shrimps, but we don't get much hot weather in the UK usually? The remaining shrimp seem fine, swimming about and coming out when I add food. I tried shrimp lollies but they aren't bothered with those at all so they seem to be just a good way of gathering snails to remove and keep their numbers down. If most of the remaining shrimp survive another month I will likely try some more, and by then hopefully ALL the parameters will be good and within the acceptable range as only GH seems to be a bit off. If I didn't have the shrimps in the tank I would try another 50% water change, but for now I will just see what happens in the next month with regular weekly water changes and running/parameter testing etc.
    • DemonCat
      Looks very nice! Similar scope to what I'm looking to do so am snooping for inspiration!   After another few weeks, how is everyone going? 
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