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  1. KeenShrimp

    First Sulawesi Cardinal Tank

    Yep, I have to choose between buying shrimp stuff or a fancy camera and the shrimp always win- please excuse the photo quality. This tank is now 2.5 months old: It's not pretty at all as I cannot cover bits with plants and am too worried about upsetting these guys to scape it. The ramshorns will be removed at some stage, but I am messing with the tank as little as possible. I was very nervous about starting a Sulawesi tank as I read that they need stability. I wanted overfiltration, and as much of it that I could stuff in a small tank as I could. So I took a 29 litre Animates desktop tank and altered the filtration: I cut a 2cm x 1cm window where the filter intake slot was and covered it with nylon mesh and coral glue to increase water circulation (the solution does not look as classy as it is efficient). I also wanted something better than a sponge filter as my second filter: I bought an Acrylic corner filter: upon receiving it I noticed that the factory didn't even put intake slots in the filter, so it was just blowing bubbles and not circulating any water at all. I cut my own holes, rearranged the sponges so that shrimplets can't get sucked in. Then I stuffed that puppy with Eheim substratPro and a few other bits (yup, all I need now is a fake Nemo, suspended from fishing line to complete the plastic look :(, but it works like a charm and that water is crystal clear. Pisces black inert quarts in the bottom. MarinePure filter media in the built-in filter. I have to thank very patient Chelsea @The Tech Den: I emailed her explaining that I wanted a reef shelf/base rock that I could prop up and grow algae on and have the shrimp hang upside down at the bottom- she emailed me photos and measurements and we found perfect rocks for cheap as chips! Next I harvested every algae type from 4 other tanks and stirred it into the water. 6 weeks later, I had lovely algae cover over the large rock. The corals in the photo are genuine coral skeletons. I use Sulawesi 8.5 due to improved formulation, and now I am a sucker for boiling the salt solution mix on the stove for an hour when mixing my water, but the shrimp are looking very happy. If you have not used SaltyShrimp Sula 8.5 before: that stuff does not dissolve, no matter how much air you pump into a bucket it will be as white and cloudy as skim milk! I boil it on the stove, use 3 times the recommended amount, let it stabilize for a week with a heater and ensure that GH is 8 before it goes near the tank. The water is then crystal clear and the sediment has sunk to the bottom of the bucket. The shrimp photo below are of Bonnie and Clyde. They went hiding when I took the insulating towels off the tank ( it's freezing in Canberra). The breeder of these beauties is @JPN07- how gorgeous are those blue dots on the body? They get fed every 3 days with Shrimpy Daddy Sinewy cereal. Micro amounts of trace minerals/nutrients and probiotic solution is added every day as well as weekly minerals ( ShrimpyDaddy) and Vivace (ShrimpyDaddy). I will be getting more Cardinals soon so that I can have an actual little colony.
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