All Advice Welcome - First Planted Tank, Nano Shrimp Build

Hi everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I took the dive and started my first planted tank. It is a 7.5-gallon cube tank, and my intention is to make it a shrimp specific tank (some neocardina davidi variety, maybe with a nerite or two). I am just in the early fishless cycling phase now, although I did have the advantage of being able to pull some filter media from my established larger tank to give things a boost.

Below I have a bunch of details on my tank as well as photos. I'd love any advice relating to:

- possible plant incompatibilities/challenges
- Aquascaping suggestions
- Any suggestions for changes/additions in equipment, if you think something is insufficient.
- Any other suggestions relating to it being a shrimp tank.

Tank Equipment
- 7.5 Glass Cube (12x12x12)
- EcoComplete Substrate
- Aquaclear 20 Filter, with added prefilter
- 50w heater, (set to 74 degrees)
- Fluval Plant Spectrum Nano (10 hr light cycle for baseline)
- NilocG Aquatics Thrive S, 1 pump added 1x week
- No CO2 setup as yet, but open to the possibility

Tank Water Parameters (2 weeks into fishless cycle)
Nitrates - +/- 20 ppm
Nitrites - 3 ppm
Ammonia - +/- .25 ppm
Ph: 7.2
K. Hardness - 120 (my tapwater is always super hard, it hasn't interfered with my main tank, but will it be a problem here?)
G. Hardness - 180 (ditto)

- Marimo Moss Balls
- hydrocotyle tripartita
- Rotala rotundifolia (at least, that's what the store told me, online plant pics look different)
- Anubias variants
- I will also be adding some Chola wood in the near future.

Shrimp Tank Week 2 (1).jpg

Shrimp Tank Week 2 (2).jpg

Shrimp Tank Week 2 (3).jpg

Shrimp Tank Week 2 (4).jpg
That looks great I wouldn't touch it, it will mature nicely, just leave the cycle go then adjust anything that needs later, leave at least one wall free from cleaning for food to build for the shrimp.
I like it
I was just looking at that fluval light today. It said it won't hook in rimmed tanks Looks great! Sounds like you have it down pretty good! Totally agree with Richie.
Loving it and will be following. I just bought the exact same tank dimensions. I haven't decided if I will keep shrimp only or shrimp AND fish. I am curious to see if you will have a fast algae build up too. Like you, I am thinking about c02.
I'm curious what others think, but I wonder if it might be a good idea to put the filter media back in the other tank and just let this tank sit there building up biofilm. Then in 2 or 3 months put the filter media back in the new tank and add the shrimp.
I was going to say the same thing as richiep. Even if it’s already been said I will also strongly recommended you leave at least one panel of glass completely untouched. In time you may enjoy the look of a natural food garden on algae growing on a vertical wall , I know the shrimp will.

edit .
My experience has been that a fully cycled filter sponge is all you need to add CHERRY shrimp to any new ( second hand) dry tank. I have set up fry grow out tanks from dry many times and added a cycled sponge filter ,old leaf litter, old bark, old wood, OLD pot plants ,snails and CHERRY shrimp all on the same day. I have never had a letter of complaint from the cherry shrimp.
  • Thread Starter
Hey everyone,

One month update: A week or so after this I had a cycle of diatoms, followed by some green algae. Kept me busy for about 2 weeks, and unfortunately led to having to throw out my hydrocotyle tripartita and Rotala rotundifolia. I had decided I'd avoid going for a CO2 in this tank, so I replaced them with a few simple plants (java moss & guppy grass).

Both of these have taken to the tank well, and following those two blooms/the switchout my tank parameters lined up perfectly. I let it sit another week, and then went and got some shrimp. I was originally going to wait a bit longer, but was getting pressure from the family to try stocking so decided to experiment. My kids also demanded 2 colors of davidi shrimp, which I assume will quickly turn into three (brown) but I'll just deal with that as it comes. I'll keep you all updated in another month or so!

Great to hear that things are progressing! I am in my second week of my cycle and I am desperately trying to avoid algae. Based on advice I have seen I did daily water changes last week and now I am doing water changes every other day to keep it at bay.
  • Thread Starter
Update: My ecosystem has predators now apparently...

Hi everyone, short update. The last month has been great for the tank. There are some of the usual problems (i.e. an outbreak of BBA that I've been treating with Flourish Excel) but overall the tank has matured well. Most importantly, my RCS have begun to breed like crazy. There was one early batch a few weeks ago with 3-4, and now there are 20+ little shrimplets everywhere.

Baby Shrimp.jpg

My surprise for the day was waking up this morning and finding this - a damselfly nymph! You can see from the photo its about the size of a shrimplet. I promptly removed it, and then found another around lunchtime. I DON'T want these in my tank, and I have no idea where they came from. My only guess is they were on a plant, and hid until now there are prey their size to hunt. I'm also paranoid there are more hiding in my rocks. If anyone has advice on how to get rid of them apart from manual removal I'm all ears!

Pest 1.jpg

Pest & RCS.jpg
  • Thread Starter
Another short update: after removing those first nymphs, no more have been spotted. My RCS are exploding, so if there are any more hiding somewhere they don’t seem to be making hole in my population.

In other news, did a Seachem Excel treatment to stop some black beard algae that was starting, worked like a charm. I was a bit worried I’d overdose given the small amount of water in the tank, but everything cleared up and the RCS didn’t seem to notice as far as I can tell.

I’m debating adding a few friendly fish (chili rasbora maybe, or some endler guppies) but I want my RCS stock to be a just bit higher before I try.

Overall, I’m super happy with how this little project is turning out! Thanks for following!
Wow, I love this. Super jealous Anyway, I'm following as well, and make sure to keep us updated with pictures!!

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