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Finally set up the 30L Shrimp Tank


sdlTBfanUK

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I have finally got around to setting up my old Taiwan Bee shrimp tank (30L) which was shut down when I moved just over a year ago.

I am using Tetra Active Substrate (clay based granules) this time, which doesn't buffer the PH but I will be using remineralised RO water once fully set/sorted. Eventually I hope to keep the Taiwan bee shrimps again but won't be rushing anything at this stage, I will see if I can get the water parameters right and try a batch of 10 (cheap) crystal red shrimp in a couple of months and see how they do for 3-6 months? I will keep the tank simpler this time with a lot less plants. The substrate is obviously releasing nutrients into the tank at this point. I added 50% RO water and 50% tap water (only using part tap water for the start up, will always use RO from this point) and next day parameters were, TDS 232 (200 the day before), GH 9, KH 6, PH 7.5 so is way off at this point but I will do a 50% RO water change in a week and hopefully it will be going in the right direction, not rushing? Tap water here is dreadfull, PH 8 TDS 300...........etc

I do still have a new bag of the JBL substrate in the cupboard but decided it needs a bit too much prep for me for the moment.

 

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If it doesn't work out for the shrimps then I will get a killifish and dwarf Rasboras as I did before (or other fish that suit the parameters if they are off), but I will be taking it very slow with this tank this time. In reality it is unlikely I will have Taiwan bee shrimps before autumn even if everything goes well but hopefully there will be crystal red shrimp for the summer?

I will keep testing for the 'cycle' but as the PH is likely to drop a fair bit and as discussed with beanbag on here before, that may not be as straight forward as with a 'constant parameter' tank, but anyway, no rush.

 

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How exciting!!!

I have just decommissioned 2x 2ft tanks.

Been debating with myself whether to set them up again or just leave them empty.

But looking at your new tank is giving me ideas.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not gettng too excited at this point! The water is way off but I plan to do a 50% water change at the weekend with pure RO water which 'should' bring the parameters nearer to those required. I do quite like the simpler tank setup, the plants came from the betta tank where they had grown too big, so that tank also looks better and the fish has more swimming space. Definitely slow and steady this time, one step at a time. The tank is opposite where I usually sit so it will be good if shrimps work as I will see them much more often than before and in a sparser tank will be able to see more, so keeping my fingers crossed. The substrate was meant to be neutral and ready to use immediately and not buffer the PH, but it must be releasing minerals etc, not a problem at this point but I'm not 100% convinced it will work with the shrimp longterm, but it is still very early on?

What did you have in the now empty tanks? Any ideas for the tanks IF you do decide to keep them going, anything tempting you? 

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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8 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

What did you have in the now empty tanks?

One was a hospital tank that I could not be bothered maintaining any longer.  

The other was a fry grow out tank, which had Longfin White Cloud Mountain Minnow - Tanichthys Albonubes, that have now grown up enough to be moved into my main fish tank.

I have not settled on any specific ideas yet. Maybe an Australian native tank with one variety of Blue Eye Rainbow fish. Maybe a Killifish tank. 

Edited by jayc
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Good luck in your new tank.  My only suggestion is to NEVER use tap water and always use RO + remineralizer.  Many long-running tanks can suddenly get nuked due to something in the pipes.  (In particular, I'm thinking of that youtube guy Foo the Flowerhorn)

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  • 3 weeks later...

It has been a few weeks now and I have done a couple of large water changes. I tested the water parameters this morning, GH6 and KH2, TDS 140 and PH 7.5. Obviously the PH is off but there isn't anything in the tank that should cause the PH to rise to this figure so I will just run the tank for another month with 10% weekly water changes (probably just with RO water) and see where we are at that point. The RO water tests at PH6, and the KH and GH in the tank could come down as they are at the upper limits for Caridina shrimps! There are only about 10 very small snails in there at this point, but they seem to be doing well enough.

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  • 1 month later...

Time for another update!

The PH this morning is 6 and KH 0-1 (you can't measure zero obviously). I plan to check everything tomorrow and then a water change on satuday. At the moment the TDS is 190 which should drop to 170 after a water change and then 150ish after the following/next weeks water change. Last time I checked GH it was 6, but again I will do ALL the tests tomorrow. I had to resort to using a PH/KH- product (AQUACID) to get to where these parameters are now but as the water I use has PH6, GH0 and KH0 I assume/hope I won't need to use that from here on, but will see if the parameters stay stable for the next week and have a PH alert disc in the tank which should indicate any significant change. I don't like using these sort of products as a general rule and wouldn't if there were any shrimps in situ and that product has raised the TDS at about .5TDS per drop.

I may well order some blue bolts towards the end of next week (the road to the house will be closed for a month from 3rd June so it is next week or wait another 6 weeks) and see how that goes. I plan to drip acclimate them overnight this time so as to not rush that as it shouldn't get cold indoors overnight anyway this time of year. This all depends on the tank parameters staying stable for the next week (aside from the mentioned TDS adjustments with the water changes), though the GH  may drop a tiny bit with using just RO to reduce the TDS but that is fine, and even could be a bonus.

I did manage to find some nice floating plant that I had before (good old ebay), and will try and get a photo of that at some point to attach, Azolla red I think it is called?

Anyway, keeping my fingers crossed for now but all appears to be going well at this point! Snails seem to be doing well at least. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a photo of the floating plant (Azolla). Looks great!

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I am probably tempting fate by even mentioning this but the first shrimp arrived yesterday and went into the tank today, fingers crossed.............. Pandas and shadow Pandas, I ordered blue bolts and shadow pandas so I may be getting the blue bolts next week free as it was the sellers (ebay) error, but at this stage it is one day at a time - will these survive even.

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Keep your fingers crossed for me please! I have to say I am enjoying seeing them in the tank even though black isn't the easiest to see in my tank as the background is black? The parameters are a bit off, GH 7 the main one thats off, but hopefully the 24 hours slow drip will have paid off and the parameters of the sellers tanks were generally close to mine, hence I got them from them for that reason. I guess it will be a 'black and blue' tank as there is no-one selling red ones at the moment, but blue bolts are my favourite and as long as they survive, well thats a bonus on the last attempt anyway so I'll take that as a win! Maybe sometime further down the line I may get back to what I had before??? Not rushing anything this time.

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Good luck.  I hope the Ph / KH issue is under control.  If not... Maybe use peat?

Edit:  looking at a previous picture - maybe you should just remove those rocks for now

Edited by beanbag
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Thanks, day 2 in the tank and the shrimp seem fine (not done roll call yet today), I saw 9 (got 11) yesterday and no dead bodies  so I 'assume' the other 2 were hiding somewhere. I drip acclimated them over night so they had a longer acclimate and hopefully that helped, but it is early days yet, however so far so good.

I am looking forward to getting blue bolts at the end of the week but I doubt they will be as pretty as yours, but at this point I will be happy enough as long as they survive. That will be the lot this time so I am calling this tank 'bruiser tank' as it will only be mixed 'black and blue' shrimps! 

I don't have any rocks this time just some small pieces of lava rock. The tests I did yesterday show KH is 0-1 (you can't test for 0 obviously) and PH was 7 on the drop test but the disc meter thing in the tank shows yellow so should be below 7 (the nearest match I think is 6.6) but all the test kits show in stages, and it can be difficult to tell when they are just different shades of the same colour. The seller of the shrimps said his tanks were PH 6.8 so we are at least closely matched. GH should go down slowly with the regular water changes/maintenance etc so hopefully the shrimp can handle it being a little high temporarily, seller had GH 5-6 (I assume 6 drops) and mine is just on 7.

I am pleased with the sparser/simpler tank and the fact I can just glance over and see it when I am in my usual seat is great. I have a stick on thermometer so shouldn't have a similar disaster to before and have the heater set cooler at 21 this time, though in summer the tank will go above that most of the time.

Hope everything is fine with yours!

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All done now, I drip acclimated 11 blue bolts and 6 blue steel overnight and they are now in the tank so now is just wait and see if this works. 28 shrimps have now been put in and I have yet to SEE a dead one so fingers crossed! A couple of pictures of some below;

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I don't plan on buying any more shrimp so plan this to be a blue shrimp tank, though if it doesn't work out I have seen some female bettas I would like, but hopefully the shrimps will work out. The water parameters are still the same as before, so a bit off!

I need to sort out what foods and shrimp stuff I have in the drawers and cupboard tomorrow as it's been a while, hopefully I find a shrimp lolly so I can give them one/part of those tomorrow, and it may bring as many of the shrimps out as possible. 

Fingers crossed everyone...........

 

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I have just done the planned weekly maintenance and 10% water change and everything 'seems' to be going very well, I saw 12 blue and 9 panda shrimps so am very happy about that as there are always some hiding (and they are small) so there must be more than that at this point. Early days yet (especially with the off parameters) with the blues only been in the tank for a week and the pandas for 2 weeks. Not seen any dead ones yet and the shrimp seem happy enough and beautiful colour and pattern, all small so must be young!

Parameters were TDS 159, GH 7-8, KH 1-2, PH 7 yesterday so still a bit off the usual ideal! Hopefully these figures come down slowly in time, I used pure RO water for the water change so Tds should drop 10. I will get a different PH test kit with a narrower range/increments as the one I have measures in .5 increments over a wide range which is probably a bit much. I bought these shrimp because the sellers parameters (PH 6.8) were the closest to mine so hopefully it will work out long term. I changed my zerowater filter as well, as the old one was measuring TDS 6 so passed its best.

I will definitely overnight drip acclimate shrimp in the future, not that I plan any more in the forseeable future.

I will add/edit photo when available, hopefully later today.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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? 

Edited by DemonCat
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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.

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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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