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wot_fan

wot_fan's 1st shrimp tank

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wot_fan

I thought I would share my experience setting up my first shrimp tank.  My hope is that it may help other newbies as well as provide a tank history for those that are willing to help me with the problems that I undoubtedly will have.  I have spent a lot of time reading threads here so hopefully there won’t be too many mis-steps.  

 
My plan is to establish a healthy colony of red rilis.  Assuming I can manage that, I would then like to try a more difficult shrimp.  I tried to setup a tank that would give me options down the road.
 
My Tank Setup
Tank: 20 Gallon High
Substrate: ADA Amazonian 
Heater: Eheim 100W Heater
HOB Filter: 2 x AquaClear 50 Filter
Sponge Filter: Jardin Dual
Lights: Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus 24"
Digital Thermometer: General Tools AQ150 Digital Aquarium Thermometer
 
Day 0 12/28
I sprinkled Benibachi Mineral Powder and Bee Max over the bottom of the tank.  I then carefully added the Aquasoil on top.  Finally, I filled the tank with RO water.
 
I ran the water into a cup that rested in a large petri dish so as the tank filled the substrate was disturbed as little as possible.  Even with this precaution the tank was pretty cloudy.
 
Day_0.jpg
 
Day 1 12/29
The tank cleared up quite a bit by the next day.  I checked the WPs and did an 90% water change using RO water with SS GH+ in it to raise the TDS to 160ppm.
 
Water parameter before WC
TDS: 58ppm
Temp: 78.4°F
GH: 2
KH: 0-1
Ammonia: 4.0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
 
Day_1.jpg
 
Day 2 12/30
I forgot to plug the heater back in after yesterday’s WC so the tank got colder than it was supposed to.  No harm done this early in the process.  The digital thermometer I have has temp alarms so once I set it up, I should catch this type of problem if it happens again.
 
I checked the WPs and added a few plant clippings from my 65G community tank.  I did a 60% WC using RO water with SS GH+ in it to raise the TDS to 160ppm.
 
Water parameter before WC
TDS: 130ppm
Temp: 69.4°F
GH: 6
KH: 0-1
Ammonia: 4.0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
 
Day_2.jpg
 
Day 3 12/31
 
I added a piece of spider wood as well as several pieces of cholla wood to the tank.  They are slowly becoming water logged.  Hopefully they will all sink by tomorrow.
 
I received some mini pellia moss in the mail today.  I placed some of it on a rock and some on a piece of cholla wood. I then wrapped them in fishing line.  This is my first attempt with anything but java moss.  Hopefully I will have some luck it and the other mosses I have on the way.
 
I checked the WPs and did a 50% WC using RO water with SS GH+ in it to raise the TDS to 160ppm.
 
Water parameter before WC
TDS: 137ppm
Temp: 77.7°F
GH: 7
KH: 0-1
Ammonia: 2.0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm

 

 
Day_3_Moss.jpg
Day_3_Moss_1.jpg
 
That's where the tank stands as of today.  I should be getting some more moss in the mail Friday so I will probably post an update then. 
 
I would appreciate hearing any comments or suggestions you might have.  Thanks.
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Disciple

Very nice set up your shrimp will enjoy it. Looking forward to future updates.

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newbreed

What a difference from day one to day two.

This setup has come along way in just a few days. Look forward to seeing it develop!!

Thanks for sharing this all important stage with us!

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NoGi

Nice work, cholla will bleed tenins in your tank. I've got a couple for mine but currently leeching it out in a bucket before I put into mine. Won't do any harm to your setup but you may notice a slight brown tinge to the water colour.

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fishmosy

Coming along nicely mate. Cant wait to see how it looks once everything matures.

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wot_fan

Thanks for the comments.

 

Day 4 1/1

Most of the wood sunk overnight, though none of it is completely waterlogged yet.  I did a 50% WC using RO water with SS GH+ in it to raise the TDS to 160ppm.  I added a few more plant clippings and I rearranged the tank a little.  Finally, I squeezed one of the sponges from my community tank's canister filter into the tank in an attempt to seed the tank with bacteria.

 

As always, I appreciate any comments or suggestions.

 

Water parameter before WC

TDS: 123ppm
Temp: 78.4°F
GH: 7
KH: 0-1
Ammonia: 1.0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
 
Day_4.jpg

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jayc

Looking good.

The ammonia levels are coming down. Seeding with bacteria from the other tank will definitely help in reducing the cycle time.

Just remember to wait till ammonia is down to zero before adding any livestock.

You might want to add a mesh pre filter to those filter intake though. Otherwise, your shrimps will be sucked into the filter and it's impeller.

You might also want to poke the substrate to get rid of any air bubbles. There are always air bubbles trapped in new substrate.

Apart from that, everything else looks good, and you are on the way to a newly cycled tank.

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wot_fan

I received some flame and anchor moss in the mail today.  It wasn't labeled so I hope I guessed correctly on which one was the flame moss :D.  I attached some of each moss to the spider wood.  I also attached some of each to pieces of tile.

 

The mini pellia moss I added earlier doesn't look good.  Hopefully it didn't get too cold on the trip to me and will come back.  

 

I did a 50% WC using RO water with SS GH+ in it to raise the TDS to 165ppm.

 

Water parameter before WC

TDS: 155ppm
Temp: 78.1°F
GH: 8
KH: 0-1
Ammonia: 0.5ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm

 

Looking good.
The ammonia levels are coming down. Seeding with bacteria from the other tank will definitely help in reducing the cycle time.
Just remember to wait till ammonia is down to zero before adding any livestock.

 

Thanks.  I think the ADA substrate is almost done leeching ammonia.  Once it does, I plan on adding ammonia to make sure the tank has finished cycling.  From what I have read, once the tank can process 1ppm of Ammonia in 24hours it should be ready for shrimp.


You might want to add a mesh pre filter to those filter intake though. Otherwise, your shrimps will be sucked into the filter and it's impeller.

You might also want to poke the substrate to get rid of any air bubbles. There are always air bubbles trapped in new substrate.

Apart from that, everything else looks good, and you are on the way to a newly cycled tank.

 

I plan on adding sponge filters on the intakes of the HOBs.  That should keep the shrimp out, shouldn't it?  

 

I saw a DIY video on a thread here (I think) showing how to make your own SS pre-filter with a little mesh and heat shrink.  I could make a couple of them if that is a better option for a shrimp tank than a sponge filter.

 

I poked around the substrate and released the trapped air.  Thanks for the tip.

Day5.jpg

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Shrimpy Daddy

Hi wot_fan,

 

ADA AS has 2 stages where it releases massive amount of ammonium and organics. First is when it is first water logged, second is about 1 month later after the grain are totally soak and loosen.

 

As such, don't be deceived by the test reading saying 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite will be safe for shrimp. The best way to gauge this is by observing the critters's population and activity. When you see their population bloom and increased in activity, that means the first stage one completed. After awhile, their population will decrease tremendously. This signify the start of stage 2. During this stage 2, perform regular 20 to 40% water change. Once you see the population and activity of the critters bounce back, then it is the almost time for stage 2 to complete. After that, perform approximately 80% water change (drain the water until 4cm above the highest point of the substrate). Let the water run for 48 hours before adding in the shrimp.

 

If you want to speed up the leeching of ammonium and organics, use mild alkaline water. Approximately pH 7.6 or 4dKH.

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jayc

I plan on adding sponge filters on the intakes of the HOBs.  That should keep the shrimp out, shouldn't it?  

 

I saw a DIY video on a thread here (I think) showing how to make your own SS pre-filter with a little mesh and heat shrink.  I could make a couple of them if that is a better option for a shrimp tank than a sponge filter.

 

I poked around the substrate and released the trapped air.  Thanks for the tip.

 

 

Sponge filter will work. So will the mesh prefilters. The choice is purely aesthetics. One looks nicer than the other.

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wot_fan

@Shrimpy Daddy

I didn't realize that ADA AS released ammonia and organics a second time.  Thanks for the info. 

 

As far as I know I don't have any critters in the tank yet.  I will keep checking my WP daily and wait until the second ammonia spike is finished.  Will the ADA leech enough ammonia in between the spikes to prevent the cycle from stalling?  Or should I add some ammonia to keep the bacteria multiplying?

 

@jayc

Thanks for the info.  The sponge filters should be in today's mail.  I'll start with them and work on getting some mesh to make some pre-filters.  

Edited by wot_fan

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Jenbenwren

Your tanks looking great and I look forward to seeing your updates.

 

I used ADA Amazonia in my last tank and it took about 6 weeks to stop releasing ammonia.

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wot_fan

@Jenbenwren

Thanks.  I am anxious to get shrimp but I will be happy if my tank is fully cycled at the 6 week mark.  I have read several posts on different forums by people whose cycles aren't finished at the 2 and even 3 month mark. 

 

Day 6 1/3

The gentleman I bought the moss from sent a lot more than I was expecting.  I put the extra on tiles. Depending on how it grows in this tank, it may be temporary.  I also added sponge filters on the intakes of the HOBs.

 

I noticed that there is something white and fluffy on the spider wood.  Based on what I have read, this is not uncommon.  It is a fungus that will die off on its own as it is outcompeted by bacteria.  You can see it in the second picture below.  Am I correct that this is nothing to worry about?

 

Other than that, not much has changed.  I did another 50% water change.

 

Water parameter before WC

TDS: 140ppm
Temp: 78.1°F
GH: 8
KH: 0-1
PH: 6.4
Ammonia: 0.5ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
 
Day_6.jpg
Day_6b.jpg
Edited by wot_fan
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wot_fan

Day 7 1/4

The tank has been set up for a week now.  The white stuff on the spider wood is getting worse.  If this continues, I am going to try to clean it off.

 

 I did another 50% water change.

 

Below is a summary for the week. I tested for Nitrates today to see if the AS was leeching any into the water column.

IMG_1908.jpg

IMG_1906.jpg

Edited by wot_fan

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OzShrimp

The issue with using sponge filters over your filter intake is it will clog up a lot quicker so if your not aware of it then it will greatly restrict your canisters flow rate. Then your going to have to be putting your hands in your tank alot more to remove it and clean it leaving it the intake open in the process.

 

Personally i would recommend going for the SS Mesh cover you wont regret it, i used to do the sponge method and would never go back for the above reason.

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jayc

Both methods have their pros and cons.

Sponge is easier to clean by just wringing and rinsing in clean water, even if it clogs quicker.

I used aqua scaping thongs to slide it off the filter intake, minimising hands in the tank.

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kizshrimp

Great looking tank wot fan. Some good advice coming together in this thread. 

 

For the sake of clarity for readers and since nobody else has said it, I will. Cycled ammonia will show up as nitrite on your tests - right now the ammonia level has only dropped because of the regular large water changes. I wouldn't expect to see the ammonia level reduced to 0 due to biological cycling for 3-4 weeks. By 6 weeks you might hope for the nitrite to be reducing to nitrate too. Adding bacteria from another tank can help speed things up if the water conditions match closely, but at a week in it's made no difference yet. 

On the one hand, your regular 50% water changes probably help to leach organics from the substrate faster. On the other, they're probably slowing down the total cycle time by reducing the ammonia concentration. 

 

Your shrimp will eat that stuff from the wood once they go in. I wouldn't disturb it. 

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jayc

Good advice Kizshrimp.

 

Wot Fan, you can also turn up the heat to 80degF as well. Bacterial multiply faster the warmer it is.

Can you get your hands on a pack of Mosura BT-9?

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wot_fan

Day 8 1/5

The ammonia level has dropped to 0.25ppm.  It appears that the AS has finished leeching ammonia for now so I didn't do a WC today.  Should I add ammonia or just leave things alone?

 

As you can see in the second picture, the white stuff on the wood is growing.  I am glad it isn't a problem.

 

Water parameters

TDS: 158ppm
Temp: 78.6°F
GH: 7
KH: 0-1
PH: 6.4
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

Day_8.jpg

Day_8b.jpg

 

Great looking tank wot fan. Some good advice coming together in this thread. 

 

For the sake of clarity for readers and since nobody else has said it, I will. Cycled ammonia will show up as nitrite on your tests - right now the ammonia level has only dropped because of the regular large water changes. I wouldn't expect to see the ammonia level reduced to 0 due to biological cycling for 3-4 weeks. By 6 weeks you might hope for the nitrite to be reducing to nitrate too. Adding bacteria from another tank can help speed things up if the water conditions match closely, but at a week in it's made no difference yet. 

On the one hand, your regular 50% water changes probably help to leach organics from the substrate faster. On the other, they're probably slowing down the total cycle time by reducing the ammonia concentration. 

 

Your shrimp will eat that stuff from the wood once they go in. I wouldn't disturb it. 

 

Thank you.  It is good to have confirmation that the stuff on the wood won't do any harm.  It is pretty unsightly though.

 

The issue with using sponge filters over your filter intake is it will clog up a lot quicker so if your not aware of it then it will greatly restrict your canisters flow rate. Then your going to have to be putting your hands in your tank alot more to remove it and clean it leaving it the intake open in the process.

 

Personally i would recommend going for the SS Mesh cover you wont regret it, i used to do the sponge method and would never go back for the above reason.

 

Thanks for the comment.  I hadn't thought about how much my hands would be in the tank maintaining the sponge filters.  I thought the sponge filter would be better than a screen because it provides another place for bacteria to grow as well as giving the shrimp a second chance at food that would otherwise have ended up in the filter. 

 

I think I'll purchase the mesh to make pre-filters.  The less I have my hands in the tank water the better.

 

Both methods have their pros and cons.

Sponge is easier to clean by just wringing and rinsing in clean water, even if it clogs quicker.

I used aqua scaping thongs to slide it off the filter intake, minimising hands in the tank.

Thanks for the comment.  The thongs are a good idea.  If I am unhappy with the way the mesh pre-filters turn out, I will use that tip.

 

 

Good advice Kizshrimp.

 

Wot Fan, you can also turn up the heat to 80degF as well. Bacterial multiply faster the warmer it is.

Can you get your hands on a pack of Mosura BT-9?

Will the moss be OK at higher temp?  If so, I'll turn up the heater. I am up for just about anything that will make the tank cycle more quickly.

 

I found Mosura BT-9 on eBay.  I ordered some and should have it in about a week.  How much and when should it be used?

 

Thanks everyone for taking the time to help me.

 

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jayc

 

Will the moss be OK at higher temp?  If so, I'll turn up the heater. I am up for just about anything that will make the tank cycle more quickly.

 

I found Mosura BT-9 on eBay.  I ordered some and should have it in about a week.  How much and when should it be used?

 

Thanks everyone for taking the time to help me.

 

Moss will be okay with that temp.

The BT9 packaging will have written instructions.

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wot_fan

Moss will be okay with that temp.

The BT9 packaging will have written instructions.

Ok, great.  I turned the temp up.  Thanks again.

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jayc

Just don't forget to turn the heat back down after the tank is fully cycled.

73-75degF (23-24degC) will be good for most shrimps.

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wot_fan

Day 9 1/6

I just checked the WPs and not much has changed in the last 24 hours so I just topped off with RO water (no WC).  I am still unsure if I should add more ammonia or let things be.  Any advice?

 

I increased the temp about a degree.  I may turn it up some more but I am going to leave it run for 24 hours and check the min & max readings reported by my digital thermometer before I decide.

 

Water parameters before top off

TDS: 157ppm
Temp: 79.0°F
GH: 8
KH: 0-1
PH: 6.2
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

 

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keego

Looking good, love the scape

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wot_fan

Thanks keego.

 

Day 10 1/7

Not much has changed in the last day.  Since the ammonia level is still low, I chose to top off again instead of a WC.  Unless someone here advises me against it, I am going to start adding ammonia once the BT-9 arrives. In the fishless cycle guides I have read they state that the ammonia level should be kept above 1ppm so I'm wondering if I am causing the cycle to stall.  Any advice?

 

Also, I think I am going to reduce the TDS of my WC water from 160 to 140.  From what I have read, the shrimp prefer a GH of 4-6 and now mine is 7-8.

 

Water parameters before top off

TDS: 153ppm
Temp: 80.1°F
GH: 7
KH: 0-1
PH: 6.4
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

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      Would appreciate sources to get from Newcastle or Sydney! Gumtree makes me hesitate though I have found people with them up on there. One seems a safer bet but maybe not as easy to get to. A second one has potential and very easy for me to get to for Newcastle (no car).
      -          Now... going with plants that don’t need a planted substrate.... should I still actually go with an actual buffering/planted substrate for bacterial reasons...? Should I add hidden biomedia sock or anything like that since the bacteria won’t really colonise in a thin layer of sand, unlike a planted tank.
       
      Starting to get into the excited but freaking out I am doing something to mess it up bad stage.
      Blue dreams are more expensive than I was wanting to be learning on... but if I get red cherries that would just mean another tank later lol
    • jc12
      By jc12
      I have been a long time lurker on this forum and have learnt a lot from past and present members who have contributed to this forum. Thank you.
      This is my first 'real' post and I hope this would help anyone who might be considering building a rack themselves. As requested by @Disciple, hope this helps you too.
      Just a bit of background on my experience. My only previous build attempt was for a stand and sump for a 4x2x2. It was my first build dabbling with staining wood and using silicon for sump baffles, etc. As you can see from the photos below, they are pretty amateurish but I am happy for how it turned out as a first attempt. Next step is to fit some doors to it.
      The stand was built following this video by King of DIY. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN4Y9AYuwcQ
      Anyway, this gives you an idea of the level of experience I have before I embark on my ambitious attempt to build a rack.
      Below are some photos of my 4x2x2, sump and stand build, and some of its inhabitants. Sorry they are not shrimp related and not of great quality taken using my phone.
       
      Stand and sump

       


      Filled up and planted.

       
      Display tank front view.

       
      Display tank side view.

       
      With background in place and tank inhabitants added consisting of altum flora discus, german blue rams, panda corydoras, cardinal tetras, otocinclus, red cherry shrimps, darwin algae shrimps and darwin red nose shrimps.

       
      Altum flora discus.

       
      Panda corydoras.

       
      German blue rams with their fry.

       
      I have browsed many build threads including some from here and have built on my ideas collectively from different sources. The specific post from @BlueBolts here: http://shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/topic/1415-breeding-rack-no2/ has inspired me greatly and I would like to acknowledge that.
      I followed the DIY rack build as outlined here: http://shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/topic/7063-diy-rack-for-under-50-in-under-2hrs/
       
      The plan, materials, and costs
      This rack will be located in the lounge room so it has to be 'display-ish' quality and light from it must not interfere with the TV or be too blinding to people sitting around the lounge room. Also, no unsightly hoses/pipes are to be seen. I managed to convince the Minister for Home Affairs that a canister filter and chiller by definition, is not categorised as hoses or pipes, and would be in no way unsightly. The LED display from the chiller would provide subtle mood lighting, and the gentle humming of the filter and soft soothe whirling of the chiller fan would be therapeutic for lounge surfers, and would also greatly enhance movie watching experience with enriched sound depth and effects.
      Hence I received approval to have a canister filter and chiller located next to the rack.
      I used 5 x 5.4m long 90x45mm MGP10 untreated structural pine bought and cut to size from Masters for $83.75. I find Masters generally sells timber cheaper than Bunnings. Since I have both of them close to where I live, I selectively buy what I need from where it is cheaper.
      The frame is held together by 10-8 x 75mm zinc plated countersunk screws. I bought a box of 250 screws from Bunnings for $27.50.
      The rack measures 1390 x 420 x 2200 mm (L x W x H). The plan is to hold 2 x 2'x15"x15" tanks on the top and middle tier each, and a 4'x15"x15" hospital/quarantine/grow out/sump tank on the bottom tier.
      Each tank would be insulated by 20mm foam around the sides, back and base as I plan to run both tropical (28-30 degrees C) and chilled (22-24 degrees C) tanks on this rack. Plumbing for air and sump would be hidden within the frame.
       
      Please disregard the mess in the background. Still sorting out stuff in the garage after the move.
      From this:

       
      To this:

    • KillieOrCory
      By KillieOrCory
      Hi all,
      As some of you know, my currently my set-up looks like this.
       
      With enormous amount of help and encouragement from my fiancee, we have now got the fishroom to this state.
      It feels awesome walking in there to play with water :o
      Amazingly for me things have not stop improving here! We are in the process of building a new house and getting a purpose build fishroom in it.
      The construction started just before Christmas last year.
       
      In this fishroom I wanted to have some of the things I wished I had or I had done in my current set-up.
      1st Priority: Insulation
      I wanted to be able to keep the room warm in winter and cool in summer with minimal power consumption. Living in Canberra we get cold winters (nights especially) and a week or two of extreme heat every summer.
      We decided to build the the whole structure; house and fishroom, with a relatively new building material suggested to us by our builder. It is a thermal facade system called 'Exsulite' it is manufactured by Dulux.
      It is a system that uses foam, foil, airgaps and various boards. It provides a lot better thermal protection than regular bricks for example.
       
      Between this system and the gyprock regular insulation batts are fitted. The whole house including the fishroom and the garage has insulation batts on the ceiling as well.
      I also decided against a door that opens to outside and windows to minimize heat loss through these.
      2nd Priority: Access to water
      I wanted to make sure I had all that I needed within the room in terms of access to water as well as getting rid of waste water. I decided to have a 42L laundry tub fitted into the room to provide all important 'cleaning' station. I no longer need to take over the laundry or worse the kitchen during certain maintenance of various fishkeeping related items.
       
      I have also got a separate tap installed next to the laundry tub to have my water reservoir line to be permanently connected to this tap. I won't need to connect and disconnect this line unnecessarily in the future.
      A center drain in the middle of the room was also a must.
       
      3rd Priority: Access to power
      As with almost everybody that is in the aquarium hobby, I always found I needed more power points than what is available around the tank/tanks. This always inevitably leads to using of powerboards, but even with using quality ones there is always potential to overload or something to go wrong.
      As much as possible I wanted to avoid using power boards and double adapters in the fishroom, though I know resistance is futile and I might resort to these at some stage.
      To ensure I have access to power where I needed I decided to get 20 quad power points installed in the room! That is 80 power points!!! I had to show photos of my current set-up to the builder and the electrician when their eyebrows were raised when I requested this. They were wondering why I need this much power? :anonymous:
      I am getting the power points put in two lines; one over the other. One line is going to be connected to a wired timer. These power points are for the lights. The second line is ordinary points for various other equipment.
       
      The electrician have put another box and 3 circuits in this room alone!
      4th Priority: Lighting and ventilation
      As already mentioned, will be lighting all my tanks relatively well by fishroom standards. I do not see the point of having a fishroom where you can't see the inhabitants of the tanks very well.
      Each row of tanks are to have LED lights fitted above them. I have recently been replacing my T8 fluoro units with these.
       
      I am finding this is saving me a lot of energy.
      As I have been known to leave smelly things in the fishroom; like a bucket of blackworms that have died, it was super important for my fiancee that the room can be easily ventilated! This was something I wanted anyway as the room has no windows and no access to outside aerating the room is not possible.
      We are getting a toilet/bathroom style exhaust fan installed in the room.
       
      Its a type of model that has flaps that close when not in operation providing no gap for heat loss.
      The room is getting two ceiling flouro lights as well, for the times I might walk into the room when the tank lights are off.
      That's about the progress so far. We are still couple of months away from completion.


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  • Posts

    • DEL 707
      Put them into the tank over 2 hours ago. Turned the light on quickly to have a look, no visible corpses and they seem to be enjoying themselves picking away at the wood. Fingers crossed, no major diasters yet. I know I shouldn't have, but I tipped them in, along with the water when I was acclimitising them in. Was bloody hard to net them in the bottom of the bucket. Edit - Even in the dark, its great to final see some life in the tank 😀
    • sdlTBfanUK
      You're fine as you are, you want some KH! You can slowly reduce the TDS by topping up the tank with just RO water, it is ok at 252 but that is pretty much regarded as the upper level (150-250). From here in you don't need to do ALL the tests every time just use the TDS when preparing new water and I would aim for about 200-220 when mixing new water as that way you have quite a margin for inaccuracy as it will probably be difficult to get it spot on anyway with the powder GH/KH+. As you are using the salty shrimp mineraliser that means the GH will tie in with the TDS anyway. Probably do fortnightly set of tests for the first few months just so you can be sure all is well? I'll keep my fingers crossed it is all plain sailing now! Enjoy watching your new shrimps and snails. Simon  Edit - suddenly realised what I wrote! YOU SHOULD ALWAYS top up with RO water as evaporated water leaves everything in the tank water anyway. To get the TDS down you can mix the new water to TDS 200-220 when you do a water change, or even use just RO water for the water change if it is very small and dripped into the tank!
    • DEL 707
      Thanks. I've got them drip acclimatising at the moment, 5 shrimp and 2 nerrite snails. CO2 is turned off, will keep it off for a few days. My TDS is 253. With my soil, is it worth switching to Salty Shrimp GH+, or should I keep using the GH/KH+
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Fantastic news!!! They may slow down/stop breeding in winter remember but that's not something you need to worry about at the moment. I think most people leave at least the back (I leave back and both sides) alone, to grow algae/biofilm, the babies especially like that? If you don't like seeing the growth on the back glass then you can get some black background to put behind the tank, this will also show the shrimps off better, especially babies if they are on the back???? Also as the sponge is black and the filter is also black etc they won't be so visually obvious????  Always great to hear a success story so thanks for the update! Simon
    • sdlTBfanUK
      GO FOR IT! As I wrote earlier mine are kept in KH2 and KH3 and do fine so I would think yours will be as well but just stretch out the acclimating as a precaution. My KH3 I use KH elixir which I got from ProShrimp but that was for the betta - incidentally using the elixir also increases the TDS, but I would go get those shrimps and see how you go first before trying to complicate things as I think they should be fine, so see how they go and expect maybe 1 or 2 may die in the first couple of weeks (expect that and if they don't you will be happier). As you say the soil is probably softening the water and that will stop eventually, so over time it will probably increase slowly, but my shrimp have lived for 5 years in KH2! Do you know what the TDS figure is now? Simon
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