looking for your suggestions and comments on my budgetish setup

  1. Allan Initiate Member

    Hi all,

    I'm hoping you might part with some know how and comment on how I can improve on this very inexpensive nano tank.. the aim is to keep costs down as low as possible. That in mind, I can spend more if it's common sense; and that's where you come in

    The tank is a gift and it is (I think) ideal to be a home to a small family of cherry shrimp. The dimensions are 45 x 25 x 25 cm and is made of glass. Unfortunately it's also in a pretty bad state and will take quite a bit of cleaning to bring it up to usable standards. I have the chance of owning a second hand aqua nano 30 which is a 22 litre tank with dimensions 30 x 30 x 30 cm and despite my budget concerns I'm tempted due to the poor state of the free tank.

    Substrate has still to be decided and definitely need guidance. I will be buying inexpensive, easy to keep plants but does that mean I need plant friendly substrate? Do cherry shrimps get any benefit from the better substrate or can I source and use fine 1-3 mm black gravel? This is one component I am prepared to spend on if it means a clear benefit to the shrimpys and or plants. Currently looking at Dennerle shrimp gravel sulawesi black or borneo brown inert 1 mm but at 6.00 quid per 2kg plus postage it's a bit steep. Looks about as good as inert gets however..

    Filter. OK I have a brand new cheap as chips Hidom internal filter with pump spray bar which I was going to make shrimp proof simply by attaching some fine mesh stocking or tights material over the inlet. The model is AP300L which should turn over 200 LPH and is equipped with a basic carbon filtered sponge. It has an adjustable flow rate which i think will be needed in a tank this size especially with the inhabitants being so tiny. This may or may not do a good job, and if someone can recommend an inexpensive HOB unit or similar then I am prepared to spend on this as this is something the tank will very much need to be working efficiently and effectively.

    Heater is unbought and will be buying a 50 watt. Planning on keeping the water at or around 77 to 79. Any suggestions will be well met.

    Accessories supplements and plants. I have already bought some Catappa leaves, cholla wood and plan on getting the crusta tubes purely to make them feel secure. Plants will be a straight forward affair consisting of Java fern and Moss. Possibly a moss ball and or an anaeubis plant if I think the tank would benefit. Before setting the substrate I'll be adding Glasgarten AE and possibly mironekuton powder in order to give the tank as best a start as I can, but if anyone can recommend alternatives or additionals then please please leave a comment. I'm not sure how to go about providing calcium for them so any cheap and cheerful methods would be most appreciated. Food will be a mix of my own home made recipe, which I think covers a lot of their needs and will be delicious for them, some blanched green vegs and some shrimp lab foods when I have the cash to spend. I have a fair bit of Hikari micro pellets from my daughters neon tank so I can use them sparingly to mix up their diet.
    Water will be Scottish tap treated with seachem prime, another benefit from my daughters tank and I may or may not add some fluval bio bacteria when doing the weekly or fortnightly water changes.

    Phew, I think that's it, sorry for the wall of text, for the TLDR people - any tips for a newbie shrimper would be well received thanks.

    Thanks for reading and unreserved thanks in advance for those of you taking the time to offer help by way of ideas, suggestions etc..

    Allan.
     
  2. Bithimala Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to the forum!

    Tank size would be fine for shrimp.

    I have my shrimp with just standard gravel mixed with crushed coral (really low KH in my source water) and they are fine.

    I personally use a pre-filter sponge on my HOB instead of nylons. I like having the extra place for BB to colonize and the shrimp love hanging out on it to find extra food. I'm running an aqueon quietflow on my 10 gallons, and they have been doing well with that.

    77-79 is ok, could even drop it a degree or two. Mine seem happiest and most active at 76. I would just make sure whichever one you get is fully submersible and adjustable.

    As to calcium, in addition to the veggies (spinach, green beans, zucchini are all good ime) you could pick up a cuttlebone. They are usually sold in the bird section for a couple dollars. Just drop it into the filter or into the tank - may need to wedge it under some wood for a bit so that it stays down. It will slowly dissolve adding calcium to the water, and if they want, they may munch on it directly as well. Mine also get a decent amount of snail jello, possibly something similar to what you would be making, and I add powdered calcium into that when I make it.
     

  3. Allan Initiate Member

    Hi Bithimala,

    Thanks first and foremost for taking the time to answer what was a lengthy post, I really appreciate it.

    I am really fortunate in that my local water is stable soft with very little chlorine typically used, I suppose it's one of the benefits of living in a country where the natural filtration is good fish tank water.. However I'm thoroughly unconvinced by the 'love fish' brand of tap safe I've been using to maintain my daughters tank so have bought some seachem prime in order to have a bit of confidence when doing the water changes for huge shrimps.

    I'm absolutely going to use your suggestion of using a pre filter sponge (any suggestions on what to buy?) on the inlet of the filter which I received today. It is tiny (the power filter) and I am now having second doubts about it, but in reality it's only looking at turning over 29 litres which I'm sure it will do, however I'm not sure I've made a good call on this one and now thinking about finding an alternative. If I can find a good bargain on a decent HOB I might just be tempted, although my funds are not healthy..which makes me all the more happier to read your suggestion of cuttle bone, I'll be buying some for sure.

    Have you tried the mineral rocks? I've seen them at a fairly low price online and was thinking these might be a great way to slow feed minerals into the water but I don't know if it's cost effective or even worthwhile. My plans to home cook some food for the shrimps is still very much a plan and the recipe will include spinach, romain lettuce, cabbage, peas, all blanched for about 60 seconds, then I'll cook some white fish fillets (whatever is on special that day) some prawns and garlic. I'll crush up a multi vitamin and a small vitamin c tablet then blend it up. some powdered unsweetened plain gelatine will make it easier to control amounts of feed and I'll freeze the rest. Thanks for the crushed calcium tip that will be added also! If you can see anything wrong with the recipe or if I have missed something let me know, I'd be obliged.
    After some reading up on foods I've came to the conclusion I simply need some shirakura food to treat them, but man its pricy in the UK but I think it looks worth it. Do you recommend any brand in particular? I would be willing to spend a one off premium fee for some high end food for the wee guys and gals as a weekly or monthly treat, and as far as I can tell the shirakura food seems the most respected but I could be wrong.

    Anyway another wall of text, sorry bout that, when I start I tend not to stop. Looking forward to your thoughts on mineral rocks and additives in general and some feedback on my recipe.

    Allan
     

  4. Bithimala Well Known Member Member

    Here's what I use for a pre-filter sponge: https://www.amazon.com/Fluval-A1387-EDGE-Pre-Filter-Sponge/dp/B002LL32RY I usually just grab the first link on google when I'm linking it, but I'm sure you should be able to find them for less if you look around a little. I just ordered some more and I paid $2.49 for them. You can always use a rubber band to hold it on if the intake is too small. I do that anyway just because I don't trust my mystery snails to not accidentally pull it down anymore.

    I'd be hesitant about using the multi vitamin and the vitamin C unless you have used them with success before. It is very easy for them to get too much vitamin D (just like it's actually surprisingly easy for people to OD on it), which can lead to health issues. The only vitamin supplement I add into my jello is the calcium with no vitamin D in it.

    I have honestly not spent extra money on any specific shrimp food at this point. Mine get snail jello (a couple of the mixes I've used) and fresh veggies. Occasionally I'll give them one of the meat based bottom feeder discs that I put into the jello.

    I have not tried mineral rocks, nor had I heard about them until you asked, but those look like they could be beneficial.

    Here's what I have in my tank, and they seem to be doing well (minus the recent temp spike that we had that one didn't make it through) and are happily growing and multiplying (one or two have just recently given birth and another two or three are berried). Some live plants/moss balls, some driftwood, mix of standard gravel and crushed coral for substrate, Aqueon Quietflow 10 with pre-filter sponge (Matrix in the filter as well as the standard stuff because unlike you, my tap water is miserable), heater. Other tank inhabitants are two male mystery snails, two nerites, and far more pest snails than I can count.

    Here's what I add into the tank. Small amount of liquid calcium once a week just because I have so many inverts in there, Prime with water changes, I have root tabs for my plants, food as previously mentioned.