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Fluval 13.5 gal Sea Evo for a planted shrimp tank?

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I have a Fluval 13.5 gal Sea Evo and I want to set it up as a planted shrimp tank. I have had a lot of aquariums but never a planted shrimp tank


-Tank size 22 x 11.5 x 15 in

-Fluval 3 stage filtration. Its an overflow type filter

-Pump Output: 500 L/h (132 US Gal/h)

-Lumens: 1383 LM

-Color Temperature: 14000K


Right now the tank has:
-50w EHEIM Jager heater
-Flourite Black Sand and rock for aquascape
-Dwarf baby tears
-A Coco Petite Nana
-A Nana Golden
-4 Echinodorus Aflame
-3 Blyxa Japonica

Is the water flow strong for Shrimp and the plants, can I actually have shrimp in this tank, additional plants if needed, is the stock lighting is good enough for the plants and basically any good advice you guys are willing to give

I basically need help from people with expertise and experience. I have asked this question on other forums and got no answers or just a "yep your good to go". Please help

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Hi @She11kat,

is the tank completely cycled? It must not have any detectable ammonia or nitrite.

What type of shrimp will you be planning on keeping in the tank?

The type of shrimp will determine what pH, TDS, KH and temperature the tank should be.

While we are at it... you need to get a reading of pH, TDS, KH and temp of your tank/water parameters.


Do you know what type of rock you have in the tank? Many rocks leech minerals and will alter water parameters, especially in a small tank. If you don't know, remove the rock. Stable water parameters is better than a constantly changing environment.

Apart from that "yep, you're good to go".

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I haven't decided on the type of shrimp yet. My tank has fully cycled, well if just having plants in the tank counts. All my plants are babies right now so I am waiting until they fill in a bit so the shrimp have a good home. I purchased the Nutrafin Master test kit but I am not sure it test for everything I need for shrimp.

The rocks I have in the tank are local river rock that has been cleaned an sterilize via scrubbing and baking in a 450 degree oven for 90 mins. I have used this process for 16 years for the rocks I put in my tank but if you think I need to get rid of them I will. 

The filter out put is pretty strong it makes quite a current in the tank. I am worried it maybe to strong. I was also wondering about the overflow. Is it going to suck the shrimp in?

Oh and I don't have moss in my tank, I have dwarf baby tears. Is moss a must?



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3 hours ago, She11kat said:

Nutrafin Master test kit

That kit will not have tests for TDS and temp.

Temperature is easy. You just need a thermometer. 

TDS is measured with a TDS meter, which can be purchased easily and cheaply off ebay.


As for the rock, it's best to test pH, KH and TDS to see if it is leeching carbonates. If the rock is limestone based, the pH and KH will increase slowly over time.

3 hours ago, She11kat said:

wondering about the overflow.

All those holes need to be blocked off with mesh or foam. Otherwise adult and baby shrimps will get sucked into the filter area. I think filter foam would be easiest to apply.

Doesn't your Sea Evo tank come with a little plastic plate that fits over the overflow holes? That plate allows you to control the water flow, which should help with the output strength.

3 hours ago, She11kat said:

Is moss a must?

Moss is not crucial. But it is good for a shrimp only tank, since moss is low light, low maintenance and offer lots of hiding and grazing area for adult and baby shrimps alike.


Edited by jayc

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Ok I will get a TDS meter and watch for any changes in PH/KH/TDS. The test kit tests for Phosphate, Calcium, Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, pH High Range, pH Low Range, Carbonate Hardness, General Hardness, and Iron. Beside the TDS is there other additional parameters I need to be testing for?

The tank does have a little plastic plate that fits over the overflow holes but it doesn't affect the power of the pump. If you raise is eventually the filter chamber water level just gets lower and lower.

I really appreciate your help, out of 3 different forums you have been the only person to really help and provide some guidance. I don't know what I am doing wrong but I must be forum handicapped



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3 hours ago, She11kat said:

Beside the TDS is there other additional parameters I need to be testing for?

The most common tests for a shrimp tank are pH, KH, GH and TDS.  

Temperature is also important and needs to be constant cool 22-24degC (not sure what that is in F, but you can convert it).

Ammonia and Nitrite is another important test, but is done less frequently after the tank is cycled.

3 hours ago, She11kat said:

If you raise is eventually the filter chamber water level just gets lower and lower.

Hmm. Then the only other way is to replace the pump with a lower flow one if you are concerned it is too strong. The SeaEvo tank is built for a marine setup, hence the high flow, as corals like the high flow.


3 hours ago, She11kat said:

I don't know what I am doing wrong but I must be forum handicapped

Nah, not you. The forum is only as good as the people on it. SKFA has the most friendly of people on any aquatic forum that I have been on. 


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  • Posts

    • sdlTBfanUK
      Did you measure the water capacity before you put anything in the tank, or after you had done the scaping? The rock/substrate etc uses up some of the capacity! I have never used CO2 and I think it is usually only used for plants (aquascaping) so don't think you need that unless you need it for the plants - hopefully some one more experienced will let you know about that? It looks like there is a cycle going on but I have never actually 'SEEN' this myself  so I am not too sure what stage you are at with it (I'm not being much help........) all I had with my tanks was a bacteria bloom for a couple of days, though I wasn't very good at checking in all truth - should have done more (daily) tests really at this stage. When the Ammonia and Nitrate/ite are the same as the ones in the pail you should be there I think as those look perfect. Aside from the TDS the other parameters also look very close so you should be ok there as well? I looked at the pictures of the shrimp and they looked orange to me, but maybe the pink pale made them look less yellow? Shouldn't be much longer before you can transfer the shrimp, always a relief as you will be able to see them better and can clear the pail away!  Simon ps I will leave the stone post you have done to others as although I have 'bits' of rock in my tanks I haven't had a problem and don't know about that!
    • jojowhisky
      Some of the rocks i had.
      Light grey being either seiryu or sekyri rock, till now i cant be sure.
      Reddish coloured rock is dragon stone. (Safer option)

      Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

    • jojowhisky
      Hello everyone! So recently i got down to scape my 2nd tank. This time for hardscape i decided i was going to use rocks instead of driftwood. As i had already a small inventory of rocks of different kinds from too many trips to the fish store(hands up people), i could not decide which ones to use!  I learnt a lesson in the end to just stick with what you know to be safe and inert. Especially if the intended livestock for the tank are soft water lovers.  Because the local fish stores that i patronize do not have correct labels of the rocks they sell, i had to experiment and research on them as much as i could.  Most of the rocks look so similar and matching them to pictures on the internet proved to be more frustrating.  So to use or not to use? Rule of thumb, if you are not too sure, dunk the rocks intended to use in a pail of water and test its ph, if it changes, dont use that. The vinegar test is a hit or miss. I got too carried away looking at the beautiful scapes from ADA and went out to buy the same light grey coloured rocks only to find out that they can alter the ph by a ton. A fish store owner told me to ask for an exchange of those seiryu rocks i purchased from another store as he said his friend had the ph climbed to 9.4 in his 10gallon, just half a day with just one of that rock.  Got my exchange thankfully but store ower was very displeased to do that:( Sign...   Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk    
    • jojowhisky
      Hi simon!
      Alot had happened on the week i was supposed to do the tank. Things did not go according to plan!
      Had plans to finish 2 tanks, one for the yellow neos another for the tetras.
      However just as i was starting to get things going, i noticed that the tetras were down with something! Looked to be fungal. Anyways that will be another thread in the correct department, better not rattle off here and go off topic again.
      Anyways back to the subject of this tank for the yellow neos.

      Yep i did manage to measure the amount of water in this tank. I topped it up to exactly 9litres, erm, it got to be really full, thankfully weather here was very warm so evaporation brought it down to a more comfortable level so im gonna say it can hold 7 to 8litres well. 9litres being too full.

      The glass contraption is a co2 diffuser. Im using neo co2, product is made in korea and its basically running like a diy co2 setup. Just that this comes with the solution mix, bottle, tubing and diffuser. All you need to do is to just mix warm water to the mix as per instruction and it will do the rest of the job for you.

      Yep this tank came with a glass lid, only thing it is not a full covering lid. The lid is only half the size of the top of the tank. So you would only be able to cover half the tank.

      Now the technical bit. You beat me to it because i was going to ask if i can assume my tank HAS already started the process of cycling?
      Here the parameters.

      Tds: 159
      NH4: <0.05
      No3: 25
      No2: 2
      Gh: 4
      Kh: 4
      Ph: 6.4 (test strip reading, ph pen coming in the mail, the pen HAD to spoil when i started the project of course.)
      This is week 2, 1st water change of 2litres with pure distilled water tds 004
      Above readings were taken 3hours after water change.

      Pail parameters
      Tds: 268
      Nh4: <0.05
      No3: 10
      No2: 0
      Gh: 5
      Kh: 4
      Ph: 6.4
      This reading was done 3 days after water change.

      Yep on the issue of the identity of these shrimps. I think we can just assume they are yellow neos, precisely what you said, they are so hardy!
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Good to see you back, I was wondering what was happening? You have a good eye as the tank looks great! Glad to hear the shrimps are still doing ok in the pail as well. Did you measure the amount of water you pit in the tank, if it is a 10L TANK, I would guess about 6L with all the soil/rock etc? Not sure what the glass tube thing is on the right hand side? Do you have a clear lid/cover for the tank to reduce any evaporation? Do you know whether the cycle has started yet, ie any ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings? Is it running similar water parameters as the pail the shrimps are in, I would guess they are neos as they are the hardier shrimps? Keep up the good work and I look forward to following the progress.  Simon