New to the game. A few questions.

operativeme

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Hello. I've lurked here for a few years and decided to create an account. A few years back I had multiple aquariums, the largest being a 55g. Long story short, my girlfriend at the time and I split; she kept the aquariums and I kept my sanity.

I've decided to start a small aquarium again. I currently have a 10 gallon aquarium that I set up a few months ago. It has been cycled now for a couple of weeks. It is currently the home to 5 white cloud minnows. I'd love to have a bigger tank(s) but my landlord would not like that at all. I originally was hoping to get some catfish for the bottom of the tank but decided against it due to a number of reasons.

After a lot of reading and browsing some fish stores, I've thought about trying some RCS to inhabit the bottom of the tank. I realize that there might be some predation from the minnows but I can accept that fact as I believe I have created a lot of hiding places.

Here are my tank stats: Temp 72f, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate hasn't gotten higher then 15, ph 6.4-6.6.

Like I said before, I think I want to get 10 red cherries. But before I do it I have a few questions that I hope you all could help me with.

My ph is around 6.6. It comes out of the tap at 7 but I have a largish piece of driftwood that is still releasing tannins and I think that is dropping the ph a bit. I also found a nice rock on a hike a few weeks ago. I have been soaking it a few days in a bucket and it has slowly raised the ph from 7 to 7.6. Do you think I could put this rock in the tank to help with the ph or is that too risky? Should I worry about the ph or should I just let it be? Maybe try crushed coral?

I have 2 filters in the tank. A Terra Whisper 10I and a small sponge filter. I'm worried about the internal filter pulling in small shrimp and I don't want to make shrimp smoothies. I tried wrapping a piece of stocking as a guard but it restricted the water flow to a trickle. Any ideas on how I can cover the intake without killing the water flow?

The bottom of the tank is pretty covered with plants, driftwood, and a few rocks. Plants are some java moss, anubias, and a few crypts. I'd like to find a floating plant to give some cover and also nice visual effect, but I don't want something that grows too fast and covers the top and blocks light. Any recommendations?

Lastly (I swear) a lot of lfs are closed in my part of Ohio due to the pandemic, can anyone recommend a good online retailer?

Thanks in advance and I apologize for writing a novel.
 

Protz

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Hey I’ve had a little experience with shrimp in both of my 10 gallon tanks. Cherry shrimp and other neocaridina are perfect for your tank as they tolerate neutral PH. The tank sounds very planted so they might breed. As for the floating plants I love dwarf water Lettuce or Frogbit they don’t spread as much as duckweed and are easy to trim.

operativeme said:
Hello. I've lurked here for a few years and decided to create an account. A few years back I had multiple aquariums, the largest being a 55 gallon. Long story short, my girlfriend at the time and I split; she kept the aquariums and I kept my sanity.

I've decided to start a small aquarium again. I currently have a 10 gallon aquarium that I set up a few months ago. It has been cycled now for a couple of weeks. It is currently the home to 5 white cloud minnows. I'd love to have a bigger tank(s) but my landlord would not like that at all. I originally was hoping to get some catfish for the bottom of the tank but decided against it due to a number of reasons.

After a lot of reading and browsing some fish stores, I've thought about trying some RCS to inhabit the bottom of the tank. I realize that there might be some predation from the minnows but I can accept that fact as I believe I have created a lot of hiding places.

Here are my tank stats: Temp 72f, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate hasn't gotten higher then 15, ph 6.4-6.6.

Like I said before, I think I want to get 10 red cherries. But before I do it I have a few questions that I hope you all could help me with.

My ph is around 6.6. It comes out of the tap at 7 but I have a largish piece of driftwood that is still releasing tannins and I think that is dropping the ph a bit. I also found a nice rock on a hike a few weeks ago. I have been soaking it a few days in a bucket and it has slowly raised the ph from 7 to 7.6. Do you think I could put this rock in the tank to help with the ph or is that too risky? Should I worry about the ph or should I just let it be? Maybe try crushed coral?

I have 2 filters in the tank. A Terra Whisper 10I and a small sponge filter. I'm worried about the internal filter pulling in small shrimp and I don't want to make shrimp smoothies. I tried wrapping a piece of stocking as a guard but it restricted the water flow to a trickle. Any ideas on how I can cover the intake without killing the water flow?

The bottom of the tank is pretty covered with plants, driftwood, and a few rocks. Plants are some java moss, anubias, and a few crypts. I'd like to find a floating plant to give some cover and also nice visual effect, but I don't want something that grows too fast and covers the top and blocks light. Any recommendations?

Lastly (I swear) a lot of lfs are closed in my part of Ohio due to the pandemic, can anyone recommend a good online retailer?

Thanks in advance and I apologize for writing a novel.
Edit: Aquahuna has great shrimp for cheap on their website as well.

operativeme said:
Hello. I've lurked here for a few years and decided to create an account. A few years back I had multiple aquariums, the largest being a 55 gallon. Long story short, my girlfriend at the time and I split; she kept the aquariums and I kept my sanity.

I've decided to start a small aquarium again. I currently have a 10 gallon aquarium that I set up a few months ago. It has been cycled now for a couple of weeks. It is currently the home to 5 white cloud minnows. I'd love to have a bigger tank(s) but my landlord would not like that at all. I originally was hoping to get some catfish for the bottom of the tank but decided against it due to a number of reasons.

After a lot of reading and browsing some fish stores, I've thought about trying some RCS to inhabit the bottom of the tank. I realize that there might be some predation from the minnows but I can accept that fact as I believe I have created a lot of hiding places.

Here are my tank stats: Temp 72f, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate hasn't gotten higher then 15, ph 6.4-6.6.

Like I said before, I think I want to get 10 red cherries. But before I do it I have a few questions that I hope you all could help me with.

My ph is around 6.6. It comes out of the tap at 7 but I have a largish piece of driftwood that is still releasing tannins and I think that is dropping the ph a bit. I also found a nice rock on a hike a few weeks ago. I have been soaking it a few days in a bucket and it has slowly raised the ph from 7 to 7.6. Do you think I could put this rock in the tank to help with the ph or is that too risky? Should I worry about the ph or should I just let it be? Maybe try crushed coral?

I have 2 filters in the tank. A Terra Whisper 10I and a small sponge filter. I'm worried about the internal filter pulling in small shrimp and I don't want to make shrimp smoothies. I tried wrapping a piece of stocking as a guard but it restricted the water flow to a trickle. Any ideas on how I can cover the intake without killing the water flow?

The bottom of the tank is pretty covered with plants, driftwood, and a few rocks. Plants are some java moss, anubias, and a few crypts. I'd like to find a floating plant to give some cover and also nice visual effect, but I don't want something that grows too fast and covers the top and blocks light. Any recommendations?

Lastly (I swear) a lot of lfs are closed in my part of Ohio due to the pandemic, can anyone recommend a good online retailer?

Thanks in advance and I apologize for writing a novel.
Also you could probably get rid of the trickle filter completely and just use the sponge filter. Filters are great but I’m running an aquarium with no filter at all and my fish are thriving. (It’s heavily planted of course)
 
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operativeme

operativeme

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Hi Protz, thanks for your responses. I will look into those plants you mentioned. 10 gallon isn't very big so I don't want anything running amok.

I probably could get rid of the trickle filter but I like having plenty of filtration. Call it paranoia over bad experience in the past lol.

I got some new toys from Amazon today. I got a TDS meter which reads 185. API copper kit reads 0.

Also using API my kh turned slightly yellow with 1 drop 0-50 ppm kh. Gh was 6 drops so 100-200ppm. Is that kh reading possible or did I do something wrong?

Ammonia and nitrite holding steady at 0, nitrate is still below 20. Ph is still around 6.4-6.6.
 

CrayfishAreAwesome

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i would try pygmy corydoras. could you say why you don't want catfish? it is confusing to me. you should get a couple more mountain minnows. you could even do 10 cherry shrimp, 6 mountain minnows and 6 pygmy cories if you don't remove a filter.
 
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operativeme

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Eh good question. I think partially I want to try something different. Also since it is a small tank I want to keep the bio load small.

I love catfish. Ultimately I'd love to get a much bigger tank and get petricolas again but that's down the road a bit.
 

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When I started my rcs keeping experience, I also got rid of the hang on back filter and used that space to hang pothos and peace lilies, the roots help with the water prams and give the shrimp more grazing places. I'm sure your minnows would enjoy the roots as well. I will admit to using a grow light for these plants since my rcs tank is in a dark corner, but it's been several months and the plants are growing and the peace lily is always in bloom. I'm starting to wrap the pothos vines around the tank, I like the look.

I now just use 2 double sponge filters (it's a 20 gallon tank), those also create grazing places, especially for new babies. But if you want to keep the hang on back filter, for my live bearer grow out tank, I put a sponge from a sponge filter on the intake. It reduces flow a little, but never seemed like too much or at least my marineland bio filter wheels kept rolling, and they are easy to remove and rinse out, plus do collect beneficial bacterial. I think it's because the sponge is more porous than a stocking, not going to get as blocked as fast.

As far as surface plants, again, I use the emersed roots from the pothos and peace lilys. But I'm also thinking about adding some duck weed from my natural pond just to see what happens. I did try this in the big tank but the silver dollars had a feast, none of the duck weed survived, lol. I do have a few small hornwort pieces that float around or get tangled in the emersed roots in the rcs tank. For a plant that is suppose to be a pest, mine are very well mannered.

Now on to your rock. I use rocks from my gardens or hikes, if I find an interesting rock, it goes in one of the tanks. I also live in Ohio so I'm sure your rock will be ok. As far as ph, I'm rural and on a well which has very hard water, my ph is off the chart even with buffers like drift wood, I'm like a grain of salt away from brackish. And my rcs's are doing great, I never have to worry about adding any extra calcium. They have easy molts and in my short rcs keeping experience, I now have 3 known berried females who will produce my 3rd generation. I don't know what a higher ph means to your minnows, but my guppies and mollies are happy as all get out and my snails are doing well, too well.

Side note, I'm in northern Ohio, what part are you in? Yea, this pandemic is really making fish keeping hard. I find I'm doing more and more on line to keep my fish keeping passion going and I do need to keep it going. I'm still working through all this, constantly exposed to hundreds of people every day, and the stress keeps getting worse and worse, I need my tanks to keep me grounded, I can actually feel them lower my blood pressure . And I feel your frustration in that we can not even add live animals. For over a month now I have been cycling a 3 gallon tank, my smallest. I started it as a rescue snail tank to keep my beloved rams horns safe while some assassin snails handle a bladder snail infestation. But I want to make this tank a betta tank once I get it stabilized, But now I don't even know if I can get that betta.

The lfs's are more curbside pick ups now. I'm just glad that I'm an experience groomer and able to keep my standard poodle groomed at home, have a complete professional grooming set up in my basement. I feel for all those who have groomable dogs and can't get them groomed, grooming is important to the health of long haired dogs.
 
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operativeme

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Hey thanks for the advice. I'll check out those plants as well. I'm not opposed to swapping out the current internal filter down the road, but I'm trying to get things established now.

I grew up in Medina County but live in the City of Cleveland now. Normally this time of the year I'd be gearing up for a road trip and Cedar Point soon to open (I'm a roller coaster nerd) but obviously that isn't happening.

I can understand the stress from your job. I work in the entertainment biz and dealing with the public can be rough. I am currently laid off for Lord knows how long. At first it was kind of nice but now I'm fighting to keep my mind active. So far this tank has given me something to do and once I'm satisfied I'll look into maybe setting up another one. Stay safe out there!
 

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Fish and Neo shrimp (Red Cherry) are not normally going to turn out well. Most fish will go after adults and will eat the shrimp fry. If you want fish and shrimp look to a couple 3, or 4 of Amano’s or maybe a Bamboo or two. Ghost shrimp are another good choice, but they don’t normally live long.
I would like to see your water PH closer to 7 but I think if you acclimate slowly and correctly you should be ok. Do your research on shrimp and you will be fine.
 
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operativeme

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Without messing around with it too much what is a safe way to raise the ph a bit? I soaked I rock I found in a bucket for a few days and that raised the ph close to 8 so that's not going to work.
 

tjander

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You can start with a small amount of crushed coral In a mesh bag. Like a 1/4 cup it will take time to raise your waster PH so go slow. If a 1/4 don’t do it then go with a half. I put it in my HOB filter. One note of caution. Make sure you keep it clean. It can harbor gunk that will spike your nitrates. I would not try to add chemicals to raise it that often results in wild swings in ph which is worse then leaving it alone
 

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OMG, Medina county here too. I'm west of the town of Medina, in a rural area, York township, Go Buckeyes, lol. I have my little house on my little 4 acres, it's enough for an older lady and in my younger days, it was a hobby farm. Also bumming about Cedar Point, like, what is a summer without Cedar Point?

As much as I say I would love time off, my job is very stressful, not only the work, but the fear, I seriously doubt I would be able to handle it for long, even if I could afford to do so. Glad you found something to put your energy into. I think this is one of the worse parts of it all, just finding ways not to go stir crazy. With me it's not so much a way not to go stir crazy as much a way to keep me grounded because of the stress I'm going through. I can't believe all the work I put into my tanks instead of resting, but so far, it's working for me.

And don't be surprised it your shrimp tank becomes a passion. I didn't expect that, I only got my first because I thought they were cute (this was back when you could actually buy them at a lfs). Now it is my favorite tank, I'll just sit and watch them, it has become a fascinating little world.
 
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operativeme

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Ha that's cool. I grew up in Brunswick Hills right on the border with Liverpool Twp. My parents still live in Valley city. (Frog Jump Capital of Ohio!)

I'm thinking my ph is still low because I have a fair amount of tannins in the tank. I might just ride it out and see if it resolves itself in its own.

Also a little curious about the kh. It's literally testing at the lowest possible level according to the API kit.

Like I said I'm in no rush. I have plenty of time right now lol.
 

barbiespoodle

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Valley City isn't all that far from me. I live close to the intersection of 57/18 and 252 in Mallet Creek and of course Valley City is basically 252 and 303, and I have supplied many a kids frogs from my pond for the frog jump festable , guess my frogs weren't good enough, none ever won, lol, but that's ok, I still love my frogs. There is a fish store in Valley City, on Grafton Road I want to visit, which I plan to do so once all the covid 19 madness is over. I hear it's great.

I don't know what makes kh, kh, I just know mine is high thanks to my well water. In just now looking at my api water test strip, the only thing I can think of is that it says carbonite hardness and my well water filters through limestone and that must add to the carbonite hardnes. So as a thought since you are not in a hurry, maybe adding a limestone to your tank and see if that ups your kh and ph. All I can say is that my well water seems to be just right for shrimp without me doing anything. It's a pain as far as sink/shower/appliance fixtures and I have to buy drinking water, but I don't have to do a thing as far as adjusting in any of my 3 tanks and just yesterday I saw my 5th berried rcs female, which will make my 3rd generation.
 

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Hello and welcome to fishlore operativeme!

I’m also a cherry shrimp keeper and like you I like the extra filtration. Take a sponge cut out a hole in the middle big enough for your intake to go into. Don’t go all the way through. Your just covering the opening of the intake tube. Most would call this a prefilter intake sponge :). Works great for shrimp tanks. Shrimp will be all over the sponge eating whatever it catches. As to your ph I wouldn’t mess with it. The worst thing is a fluctuating ph. Barbie how is your ph? Thing with shrimp is you must drip acclimate. Take at least an hour to acclimate. Once acclimated they should be alright. Cherry shrimp once they get going are very strong and breed like rabbits. My water is similar to yours my kh is 4 gh1. If you read the given chart with the kit where in the same range.
One of my shrimp tanks has Pygmy Cory’s and they don’t bother the shrimp. They are the same size as the shrimp. The white clouds will eat shrimplets. But as long as there’s hiding places they won’t get them all.
 
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operativeme

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Ha barbiespoodle my parents live on Station right by St. Martin's. Small world!
I'm thinking of adding a small amount of crushed coral just to see if it will bump up the ph/my a bit. Although it seems as if my oh is slowly rising on its own.

86 ssinit thanks for the advice. I can handle a little predation if it happens. I also had the same thought about using a sponge to cover the intake. It would have to be a large sponge though and require a lot of cutting because it's an internal filter. We shall see what happens.
 

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