20 Gallon Tank Craigslist Find: Is It Worth It? - Page 2

St4rving_4rtist

Hey guys, I recently found someone selling a 20 gallon planted tank on craigslist (See attached Picture), which comes with, and I quote, "20G Aquarium with 1/10HP Chiller, 2x 300w Heaters, Fluval 206 Canister Filter and a Light." He says the tank has around 40 cherry shrimp, and its been one of my dreams to do a large planted shrimp aquarium - however, my previous shrimp excursions have ended sadly, and I haven't attempted it since. The seller is asking $200, and honestly I feel that's a pretty fair price. Would this be a worthwhile investment? I've never had a canister filter, so is the upkeep hard with one? Thanks for any advice!
 

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St4rving_4rtist

I just bought the API Master kit, which is what I used to get my parameters in the previous post. I use my everyday tap-water for all my tanks, but have never really tested it.
 
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RayClem

I just bought the API Master kit, which is what I used to get my parameters in the previous post. I use my everyday tap-water for all my tanks, but have never really tested it.

Testing you tap water should be you next project.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Ok, so another update - the pH of my tap water I use is around 7.6-7.4, so at a pretty good level. I have to assume its the activated substrate that's causing the dramatic pH drop, but I wouldn't know if that's one of the things the substrate does, as the entire bag is in Japanese :|
 
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Sanderguy777

Ok, so another update - the pH of my tap water I use is around 7.6-7.4, so at a pretty good level. I have to assume its the activated substrate that's causing the dramatic pH drop, but I wouldn't know if that's one of the things the substrate does, as the entire bag is in Japanese :|
I'm pretty sure I've heard that. Also, I think one of the main ingredients in those substrates is peat or some other form of mossy plant matter. Peat itself definitely drops pH...
 
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Juneaugoalie

True, but then again craigslist is weird. I got my current tank with a LOT of decor and food/care items, filtration stuff, basically everything needed for $100, yet have seen people sell crocs (the shoes) for the same price. The internet is interesting
 
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smee82

Ok, so another update - the pH of my tap water I use is around 7.6-7.4, so at a pretty good level. I have to assume its the activated substrate that's causing the dramatic pH drop, but I wouldn't know if that's one of the things the substrate does, as the entire bag is in Japanese :|

If its an aquasoil then yes it will lower the ph.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

If it's the aquasoil, is there anything I can do about this? Will putting a pH raising medium into the canister filter even make a dent in the pH?
 
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RayClem

If it's the aquasoil, is there anything I can do about this? Will putting a pH raising medium into the canister filter even make a dent in the pH?

You can use crushed coral to buffer the pH. However, as it dissolves in the acidic water, you will also be adding hardness to the water. Shrimp do need some hardness in the water for shell growth. If you have a GH hardness and KH alkalinity testers, that will help you monitor your progress.


Since your tap water has a pH around 7.5, do partial water changes every time you think the pH is too low. However, you do not want a massive water change as that will swing the pH.

The simplest thing might be to add a pinch of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to the tank. Just be careful not to add to much. I find that adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to my 55 gallon tank will raise the pH about 0.1 pH units. Thus, for you 20 gallon tank you do not want to add any more than about 1/8 tsp at a time. You want to raise the pH slowly. Rapid pH swings are stressful on the inhabitants of the tank.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

So what i've been doing is a drip-acclimation from the main tank into the bucket, which has slowly adjusted the bucket's pH to around 6.6 while the tank is still at around 6.4-6.0. Despite cleaning it and daily water changes, the 5g bucket had an ammonia spike, and im trying to fix that now with massive water changes. The few shrimp in the aquarium seem to be doing fine, and I've seen no deaths in the tank. The water parameters are essentially the same from yesterday, as well. Im still worried about a nitrite spike though.
 
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RayClem

So what i've been doing is a drip-acclimation from the main tank into the bucket, which has slowly adjusted the bucket's pH to around 6.6 while the tank is still at around 6.4-6.0. Despite cleaning it and daily water changes, the 5g bucket had an ammonia spike, and im trying to fix that now with massive water changes. The few shrimp in the aquarium seem to be doing fine, and I've seen no deaths in the tank. The water parameters are essentially the same from yesterday, as well. Im still worried about a nitrite spike though.


There are some nitrite removers like zeroltes that will absorb ammonia. You can also use something like Ammo-Lock or Seachem Prime to detoxify the ammonia. Be careful with your massive water changes and they would ell undo everything you are trying to accomplish with your drip acclimation.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

I understand, but when im talking about bad ammonia I mean like 1.0ppm-2.0ppm, because its been hard to clean the bottom out without sucking up shrimp, and the ammonia is at very lethal levels if I don't do something.
 
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Sanderguy777

I understand, but when im talking about bad ammonia I mean like 1.0ppm-2.0ppm, because its been hard to clean the bottom out without sucking up shrimp, and the ammonia is at very lethal levels if I don't do something.
I'm my opinion, it would be better for the shrimp to be in the tank. That bucket is a death trap.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

I agree, I never liked having them in the bucket in the first place. I was only doing so at the advice of my LFS, but i had so many shrimp producing so much waste that was almost impossible to clean without sucking up the hundreds of teeny shrimp in the tank, and it was unfiltered, I was just always scared to keep them in their. I transferred more to the tank, got an entirely new bucket and basically did 75% new water, 25% old water, then painstakingly transferred like 50 shrimp to the new bucket. I tested the ammonia, and its now down to around 0.50ppm, but that's till too much for my liking so I'm going to continue transferring shrimp to main tank.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Heres some updated pics of the ones in the tank. Feeding time!
 

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St4rving_4rtist

Hey guys, here's todays updates - water parameters remain the same, added some dwarf baby tears I hope will soon carpet the tank, and I have most of the colony in the tank, but a few are still in the bucket. What worried me today was a weird behavior they exhibited in the tank. About midday, almost all the shrimp gathered together in one corner of the tank and just kinda formed a big pile. It was kinda scary, because they weren't really doing anything and just sitting there, all piled on top of each other. I poked down with a stick to make sure they weren't eating a dead cherry that could spread disease, and most scattered save for a few. I'm just worried because this doesn't seem like normal behavior. Does anyone know what could be causing this, or if it's completely fine? There are a couple berried females still in the pile, so could it be a mating thing? Any input
would be appreciated! (New tank pic with new light and plants below)
 

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Sanderguy777

Hey guys, here's todays updates - water parameters remain the same, added some dwarf baby tears I hope will soon carpet the tank, and I have most of the colony in the tank, but a few are still in the bucket. What worried me today was a weird behavior they exhibited in the tank. About midday, almost all the shrimp gathered together in one corner of the tank and just kinda formed a big pile. It was kinda scary, because they weren't really doing anything and just sitting there, all piled on top of each other. I poked down with a stick to make sure they weren't eating a dead cherry that could spread disease, and most scattered save for a few. I'm just worried because this doesn't seem like normal behavior. Does anyone know what could be causing this, or if it's completely fine? There are a couple berried females still in the pile, so could it be a mating thing? Any input
would be appreciated! (New tank pic with new light and plants below)
I LOVE the set up!
Unfortunately, I have no idea what those shrimp are doing. Maybe something to do with water flow? Try moving the canister outlet (the hose putting water back into the tank) to a different spot and see if they bunch up in a different corner. If they do, then I'd put a diffuser on the end of the hose to make the water flow less powerful.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Thanks for the support, sorry my camera is terrible Ill try moving the output overnight and see if it changes anything. Hopefully they're not sick or stressed.
 
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Cherryshrimp420

Ok, so another update - the pH of my tap water I use is around 7.6-7.4, so at a pretty good level. I have to assume its the activated substrate that's causing the dramatic pH drop, but I wouldn't know if that's one of the things the substrate does, as the entire bag is in Japanese :|

The soil you have is actually meant for Caridina shrimp, or Crystal Red Shrimp, it lowers the pH of the water to below 7. But the good thing is Neocaridinas are pretty hardy and they can survive in whatever conditions Caridinas need. I would not worry too much about it and drip acclimatize whatever shrimp you want to put in there.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Yeah, I only realized that the soil would lower pH after I had bought it and put it in the tank - once again, the bag was in Japanese I could not read a word of what it said. It has shrimp on the bag, and the guy at the LFS recommended it, so I bought it.
 
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RayClem

Yeah, I only realized that the soil would lower pH after I had bought it and put it in the tank - once again, the bag was in Japanese I could not read a word of what it said. It has shrimp on the bag, and the guy at the LFS recommended it, so I bought it.
Apparently, the guy at the LFS could not read Japanese either.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Well, today they are still in "the pile" in the corner. A few are still slowly roaming and eating as usual, but a large chunk are still clustered together. There are a lot of molts nearby the pile, so could that mean anything? I'm just still scared because I can't find any information online as to why they'd be doing it. Water levels are all the same still, although nitrates are a touch higher today.
 
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RayClem

Well, today they are still in "the pile" in the corner. A few are still slowly roaming and eating as usual, but a large chunk are still clustered together. There are a lot of molts nearby the pile, so could that mean anything? I'm just still scared because I can't find any information online as to why they'd be doing it. Water levels are all the same still, although nitrates are a touch higher today.

Seeing the nitrates increasing is a good sign as it indicates your nitrogen cycle is working. Just do not let it get to high before doing a partial water change.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Well, today there is bad news - while the tank is fine, I just noticed that the detritus worms from the old substrate made it into the revamped tank. When cleaning out the old setup, I was astounded by how many detritus worms were in the tank, but it did make sense due to how much gunk and waste had built up in the tank. I has tried to keep them out of the new setup, but the inevitably made the switch. While these aren't to worrisome to me due to their benign nature, what does worry me is the tiny clear-whitish worms sliding along the walls of the tank. I can't get a good picture, but due to their shape and how they move, I believe it's highly likely it's Planaria. Does anyone have a recommendation for how to treat the Planaria or even both the worms without hurting the shrimp? I know shrimp are very sensitive to aquaticmedecineandI'm not sure how to move forward from here. Otherwise, everything else is fine. they are still mostly clumped up in T H E P I L E but otherwise the water is fine.
 
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RayClem

Planaria and detritus worms are often signs that a tank has been overfed; not surprising considering the history of the tank. Make sure you do not overfeed.

There are some Planaia traps that you can purchase online that might be useful in keeping the population under control.

Fenbenzadole might be a medication suitable for removing planaria. It is supposed to be shrimp safe, but it will kill some types of snails, so remove any you want to keep.

The Planaria might not be harmful to adult shrimp, but they are large enough to prey on newborn fry.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Update Time! So, I've moved all the shrimp from the bucket into the main 20g tank and a few of my others, meaning that the transition period is complete. I've been using some crushed coral in my filter to raise the pH, as it was to low for my liking, which has been pretty effective: my pH is now up to around 6.6-6.8. Water-wise, I'm now chilling at 0 nitrite, 0 Ammonia, and around 10 Nitrate at the moment. The worm problem is still there, and to curb the population a little I bought a school of 8 Pygmy Cory Catfish to both help clean up some of the extra food and to eat the detritus worms. On top of that, they're also just adorable little schooling fish that won't hurt my shrimp, and I'm possibly thinking of getting more, but I don't want them to out-compete the shrimp. I'm thinking of possibly turning it into a community tank now, and if anyone has fish suggestions that would be chill with the shrimp and other tankmates, I'm all ears. Health-wise, I've lost a few small shrimp and 2 larger ones, but otherwise they seem to be thriving and acting normally. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! (Current Pics Below )
 

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St4rving_4rtist

Well, went away for the weekend and came back to around 10 dead shrimp, big and small . Took them out and did a water check, all parameters were fine (Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 10), still did around a 25% water change and added an airstone, as most deaths were on the side of the tank away from the filter output, thought that the water might not be getting enough movement and circulation. Woke up and 2 more were dead. I'm kinda scared, have no clue what's doing this as all my tests are coming up with fine water parameters. The pH is now at around 7.0, but that's been a slow increase over the course of a week, so I don't think it's that. I haven't been medicating my water either, so my only thought is that copper may have gotten into the water? The worm problem has almost disappeared now and I've not seen any Planaria around. Also of note is that I've had a few smaller shrimp swimming around weird, sometimes they'll just float though the water aimlessly, then suddenly go crazy and dart around quickly before just ending up somewhere. I'm truly at a loss, most likely going to go buy a copper test kit today unless anyone who knows shrimp problems has any other suggestions.
 
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Bettybrown922

Well, went away for the weekend and came back to around 10 dead shrimp, big and small . Took them out and did a water check, all parameters were fine (Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 10), still did around a 25% water change and added an airstone, as most deaths were on the side of the tank away from the filter output, thought that the water might not be getting enough movement and circulation. Woke up and 2 more were dead. I'm kinda scared, have no clue what's doing this as all my tests are coming up with fine water parameters. The pH is now at around 7.0, but that's been a slow increase over the course of a week, so I don't think it's that. I haven't been medicating my water either, so my only thought is that copper may have gotten into the water? The worm problem has almost disappeared now and I've not seen any Planaria around. Also of note is that I've had a few smaller shrimp swimming around weird, sometimes they'll just float though the water aimlessly, then suddenly go crazy and dart around quickly before just ending up somewhere. I'm truly at a loss, most likely going to go buy a copper test kit today unless anyone who knows shrimp problems has any other suggestions.
If your parameters are that good, I'd definitely test for copper asap. I don't know much about bacterial infections in shrimp. Maybe someone who does will have some insight into symptoms. I just know that shrimp swimming erratically is a sign of stress. So, something is off in the water, I think. Good luck
 
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Andy S

If your parameters are that good, I'd definitely test for copper asap. I don't know much about bacterial infections in shrimp. Maybe someone who does will have some insight into symptoms. I just know that shrimp swimming erratically is a sign of stress. So, something is off in the water, I think. Good luck
 
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Andy S

Well, went away for the weekend and came back to around 10 dead shrimp, big and small . Took them out and did a water check, all parameters were fine (Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 10), still did around a 25% water change and added an airstone, as most deaths were on the side of the tank away from the filter output, thought that the water might not be getting enough movement and circulation. Woke up and 2 more were dead. I'm kinda scared, have no clue what's doing this as all my tests are coming up with fine water parameters. The pH is now at around 7.0, but that's been a slow increase over the course of a week, so I don't think it's that. I haven't been medicating my water either, so my only thought is that copper may have gotten into the water? The worm problem has almost disappeared now and I've not seen any Planaria around. Also of note is that I've had a few smaller shrimp swimming around weird, sometimes they'll just float though the water aimlessly, then suddenly go crazy and dart around quickly before just ending up somewhere. I'm truly at a loss, most likely going to go buy a copper test kit today unless anyone who knows shrimp problems has any other suggestions.
That's a bummer, the problem with test kits is that they only test certain parameters, there could be any number of harmful chemicals in your tap water that the test kit will not detect. The only guaranteed way is to use an RO/DI system to strip the water of everything and then remineralise it accordingly. I know it's a pain in the butt and not a cheap solution but if you can manage it that will at least take one variable out of the problem.
 
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86 ssinit

The shrimp probably died of stress. This happens. As to the Pygmy Cory’s I would not recommend them. They will and do eat shrimplets. Before worms!! How do I know. They ate most of my shrimp in a 30 that had been running for 2 years. I added the Cory’s about 6 months ago and today I will be draining the tank for they to go back to the store.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Another update, LFS and the nearby chain stores all didn't carry either the copper test kits (except for a master copper test kit that was $80) or the mentioned RO/DI system. I'm slowly losing around 2 shrimp a day in the tank now, so I've been moving as many as I can find and catch to a different 10g tank that's heavily planted and have had for around 8 years that currently houses 9 zebra danios (I know, it's a little overstocked), and they have all been thriving in there (I had added some to the 10g tank from the original bucket and they have all been fine in there as well). I guess 20g is gonna eventually become a community no-shrimp tank and 10g is gonna become the shrimp tank now, at least until I can find out what's killing the shrimp.
 
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St4rving_4rtist

Hello everybody! Unless something major happens, this will probably be my final update, as I'm pretty sure my tank situation has been figured out. So, all the shrimp have been removed from the 20g and switched to the 10g, while I transferred the 9 Zebra Danio's from my 10 to the 20, which I had also added 15 Neons to, thanks to a LFS sale. They have been doing very nicely in the 20g, which is over its stocking limit, but I'm trying to mitigate with twice weekly 25% water changes (There's still a good amount of swimming room and hiding spots in the tank, thanks to the neons still being babies, so I will eventually have to upgrade them again to probably a 40g, but that's a problem for future me). The shrimp are doing wonderfully in the 10g, and I've been carefully monitoring and haven't seen a death yet in the week they've been in there (some have been in for 3 at this point.) I'm gonna keep the tank species-only, and I'm happy with it that way. It's far from a good-looking tank, but it has tons of surface area and java fern to eat off, I think its better just to leave it for now. That about sums it up, I still don't know what was happening to my shrimp in the 20g, but I'm just gonna stay on the safe side and keep the shrimp out of there. Anyways, thanks everyone for all the help! I've definently sunk WAY more money than I would have liked to into this project, but I feel it was worth it in the end. Thanks for all the help! (Sorry for all the bad picture quality)
 

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