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Old 08-03-2020, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2.5 gallon low tech shrimp tank journal

Hi all, it's been a while since I've kept a journal of any sort. Like many others, I found myself starting up the hobby again (thanks to COVID) after a long hiatus from keeping planted tanks.

It's crazy how busy life gets as you grow up and sometimes when I see the 10+ tanks sitting in storage I marvel at how I used to really have all the time in the world. I dusted off my 2.5 gallon tank as I've always loved the form factor and I wanted something "easy" to start off with especially since the light, filter, and some leftover seiryu stone a friend gave me was already all ready to go.

Here are some specs:
2.5 rimless low iron Finnex tank (kit)
I believe the filter is an Azoo mignon 60 filter, though it seems this is a generic mini filter that multiple manufacturers make with the same features
Finnex Stingray LED clip light (JL-C18 4W LED)
Black sand (I think it's black diamond blasting sand + some seachem black sand)

Plants
Java moss
Anubias petite
Alternanthera reineckii 'mini'
Hydrocotyle tripartita
Monte carlo
Frogbit + duckweed

Livestock
1 horned nerite
11-12 blue dream shrimp



FTS

From the top, dealing with surface scum but sort of a lost cause at this point. I've found that it depends on my water level. It has to be just right for the filter outflow to break up the scum. I'm kinda over it at this point, but still open to any tips and tricks that don't involve a surface skimmer because there's no space




Previously there was a strip of mesh here with java moss since I wanted an instant carpet. I ended up taking it out and planting a few stems of monte carlo to see how they'd do. If I like the look of monte carlo more, I may just take out all of the java moss and switch to a monte carlo carpet instead.



Please excuse the diatoms. I had the timer set to 9 hours of light by accident for the past 3 weeks, but reduced it down to 6 hours this week and got a horned nerite to keep the shrimp company. Usually 1 nerite per 5 gallons is the general rule of thumb. Since this is a 2.5 gallon tank I'm going to refrain from scraping algae off walls as much as possible so I don't starve the little dude.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2.5 gallon low tech shrimp tank journal

Tank has been set up for about a month now. I know taking shortcuts is usually frowned upon in the hobby, but I'm really trying to keep tank maintenance/time investment to a bare minimum so I can spend more time enjoying it and less time asking myself why I created a chore for myself (also to increase the likelihood of me staying in the hobby). In spirit of taking shortcuts, for full transparency the tank was "instant cycled" using seachem's stability. Whether or not the stuff works or not, I have no idea but with a decent amount of plants and dosing stability per instructions, I was reading 0 ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates the entire first week and thereafter. Granted 12 shrimp is a small bioload but overall I'd say instant cycling went as well as it could have. In addition to instant cycling, I also went for an instant carpet (see the trend?) and tied java moss to some stainless steel mesh I had from years ago. The moss is just spread on the mesh and secured with some super cheap green nylon netting material from Walmart's fabric section.

To keep costs low I only scaped with free/cheap plants. The only plant I've bought was the java moss, everything else either hitchhiked with the moss or came with the shrimp. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. I'm excited for everything to grow in more, but all things considered I'm happy with the tank so far! This is my first attempt scaping with rocks. The 2.5 gallon's footprint definitely doesn't lend itself to easy scaping and I definitely should have created a steeper slope with the rocks on the left, but alas I didn't have enough substrate.

I don't dose any fertilizers, but if it comes down to it I have an 8 year old bottle of fluorish comprehensive. Does this stuff even expire?? I'm thinking I'm going to see how the tank progresses first, ideally not having to dose ferts would be nice especially since most of the plants I have aren't really demanding.
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Old 08-04-2020, 03:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2.5 gallon low tech shrimp tank journal

Hi @neilshieh,

No, the Flourish Comprehensive doesn't really expire....but it does turn dark over time.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2.5 gallon low tech shrimp tank journal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @neilshieh,

No, the Flourish Comprehensive doesn't really expire....but it does turn dark over time.
Good to know! I'm guessing that the macros will be covered by waste/food so if anything I'd dose the fluorish every other week to supplement micros. If dosed according to the manufacturer instructions I'd have to dose 0.2 mL which is really not much.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2.5 gallon low tech shrimp tank journal

Few quick updates... the surface scum has largely resolved on its own. Seems like it was just part of the new tank break in process as the tank is about 2 months old now. The blue dream shrimp have been doing really well, but I never really noticed how slow they grow. The tank is unheated but as of late the tank has been around 75-79 degrees so definitely on the higher end. I feed once a week and because there's only 12 shrimps in total, I only give a small fragment of a shrimp king complete stick. Thinking about increasing feeding to encourage faster growth but also nervous about over feeding and the problems that leads to.
Additionally, the horned nerite is truly the best algae eater, with one of these guys in the tank I won't ever have to scrape the glass! The only problem is that it seems like it might be running out of food as I noticed it in my HOB today eating the scum. I'm going to slowly up the photoperiod to encourage more algae growth on the glass to hopefully provide the nerite enough food. Who would've thought that one day I'd be TRYING to grow a bit more algae...

FTS




Other thing I'm thinking about now is that maybe the java moss carpet wasn't such a great idea after all. It grows so fast, it truly is a weed. The moss also forms rhizomes and adheres to everything which is desirable in most cases, but as pictured it's rather unsightly when it's in the corner adhering to the silicone. I'm considering switching the carpet over to monte carlo as it'll be much more manageable in the long run and less unruly. I had thought that the java moss would stay more compact but apparently it needs much lower light to get that dark green bushy look I was going for. You can also see that the java moss is starting to branch which should make it nice and dense, but at its current height it's too tall. I have yet to aggressively trim the moss but I don't know if that will train it to grow lower and bushier. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2.5 gallon low tech shrimp tank journal

did a quick google search about how monte carlo does in low light and came across a user's tank on TPT using the same light on a 2.5 gallon tank and WOW that's definitely more of a carpet I'm aiming for. Seems like that's definitely the way to go.
credits: Couesfanatic on thread titled "Fluval Edge,Trying To carpet Monte Carlo no growth HELP?"
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