Shrimp Tank Set Up Blog 5 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Shrimps and Crabs' started by Caffee, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    Tank: 5.5 gallon
    Lighting: low 0.75 wattage
    Filter: low flow adjustable
    Planted?: yes, not heavily atm

    thought i would share my learning process and thoughts so far when it comes to setting up amano shrimp tank.:emoji_nerd:

    While doing my research and talking to plenty of you on the forum i found out lots of important info that you cant find in care guides and such. Overall, the crowd here is really helpful and friendly and i found learning through others experience can be a lot more helpful in this hobby. Another thing i noticed is that its really easy to over complicate things. One thing you know they're a “hardy” invertebrate and the next you hear that peoples shrimp passed due to a simple water change. It made things a little bit more nerve wracking, but others seemed so calm about it. I had to learn to not over complicate their care too much in my head and stick to what i felt was gonna be perfect.

    What i plan to feed my shrimp pellet wise is omega one shrimp and lobster sinking pellets. Some may disagree on this choice due to omega one having some additives, but i chose them primarily due to them being one of the only shrimp foods i can find without copper sulfate. Even the supposed hikari brand i saw everyone loved had copper in it. So i weighed out my options and decided a few additives was worth it over having copper in my shrimps meals. As for what else i plan to feed, since it will be just amano shrimp, the algae and biofilm will be a little lower then the average tank. So i plan to supplement algae wafers in their diet as-well. Along with zuccini, spinach, and the occasional brine shrimp/bloodworm treat.

    Now, lets talk about my humorous beginners mistakes when getting things set up. To say the least, i defiantly struggled a bit when first setting up my tank. I got all my supplies and plants all bought and began to set up the tank as i liked. Easy right? Well dumb me thought adding crushed fish food on the bottom before the gravel would be a good idea for kickstarting the bacteria in the tank cycle. This normally would work well for most...when done correctly. I put my gravel in too fast and the food went piling up to the sides. Which i didn't fully realize till later on, which i’ll get to. So next i added my water, and this is where i realized i had screwed up. As soon as the first bucket when in, WHOOSH went chunks of fish food into my freshly added water. I panicked but went “this probably is supposed to happen and it will still probably come in handy for the cycle” and i continued adding the water. Once my water was at its filing point, i went on to add my decor. Which honestly, not too bad for my first shrimp tank. I had an anubia nana, a java plant, a nice large piece of drift wood with some java moss, and last but not least...and maybe a bit of a favorite....the cute little marimo moss balls (yes i called a tumble weed of algae “cute”). First i added my drift wood, which i had attached rocks to to prevent it from being...y,know...drift wood. But soon discovered that the rocks were not heavy enough...and my drift did what drift does...float. Now the rocks were attached with my good old buddy hot glue (if youre wondering, hot glue is animal safe), little did i know hot glue adhesive is not the best with water. To make a long story short, i glue several rocks with no success and nearly lost a toe as one came un stuck and crashing to my wood floor. I began to panic a bit again but found someone who suggested suction cups. Hey i had those! So sure enough i found a pack, stuck those suckers on, and it worked like magic. Whew...now the easy part. I added my plants, moss balls, and the tank looked marvelous!....many...hours later. I was planning to start my cycle that day, but it was late and i decided against it, so i saved it for tomorrow.

    Now, the cycling process. I woke up extra early that morning because i was so eager to start my very first cycle tank..as childish as that sounds. I decided i wanted to start the cycle at around 9am-12pm so that i was on a 24hr clock. I got my breakfast etc etc and went back to start the tank. Only to find the water had turned into an ugly cloud of yellow and green....great (forgot to add that the night before i added prime conditioner to the water to let the filter clean out any metals, chlorine, etc). I immediately...for the third time...panicked and began hunting the internet for answers. In my quick research i realized that the fish food obviously was a major culprit....but also the plants were going to be a problem. They didnt cause the filthy water...but due to the way i was choosing to cycle my tank, the plants would affect the process. I made the decision...to remove, clean everything, and start over:emoji_sob:
    I’ll skip you the details but thats exactly what i did, except this time the only thing in the tank was gravel. I promise this next paragraph does actually talk about me cycling the tank.

    NOW....i discuss how im choosing to cycle my tank. Ive decided to follow a well written tutorial/explanation of how tank cycling works. Its a video by christine Ha on youtube, i defiantly recommend her videos for any beginners such as myself! I simply started my tank by adding 10ml of API quick start bacteria (note, i do not believe the whole “quick start” thing. Im simply using the product for its nitrifying bacteria and am doing a full lengthy cycle). Then, i added 20-22 drops of dr. Tims ammonia, as instructed by the video. Tada! Day one is done. Next day i added another dose of bacteria. Then third day (today) was the more exciting part, i get to use my master test kit for the first time! Which probably isn't that big of a deal to the experienced, but my curiosity was defiantly there. Ammonia came out at about 3.0ppm (right about where i need to be) and nitrites came out as 0ppm. First testing day seemed to go pretty well. Now tomorrow i will just need to add my 10ml bacteria (this is a double dosage) and day 6 will be my next test day (i test every 2 days) and hopefully maybe we will see nitrites..? Who knows.

    Anyway, i feel there is more i could talk about; but i feel i got to the more interesting parts of my ~shrimp tank adventure~. Hope my little dumb moments made someone out there in this fish community laugh. Happy testing!
     
  2. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

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    Sounds like a bad case of new tank syndrome every aquarist has it when they set up a new tank
     
  3. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

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    It's great you're doing lots of research, but there are also a lot of misconceptions and false information out there. This is mainly because people read about something that is supposedly harmful, overreact, and repeat what they read or heard to others. What they don't do is look further into it, question it, and ask "Does this make sense? Is it logical?"

    Copper sulfate is actually not a big deal at all. The reason companies add them to shrimp and fish foods is because invertebrates actually need it to survive. If copper is so dangerous, you would think companies wouldn't intentionally add it, yet they do. Even many plant fertilizers contain copper and don't harm shrimp and other invertebrates, even when overdosed, whether purposefully or accidentally. If copper sulfate is so harmful, then my shrimp, crayfish, and snails would all have died days, months, and years ago.

    This copper-killing-invertebrates thing is actually a result of people using medications harmful to invertebrates like shrimp.

    Omega One should be fine, regardless. My main point was to dispute one of the many myths in this hobby.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  4. OP
    OP
    Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    Yea, ive been trying my best to find the most reliable info i could. Hence why i seek out some experienced shrimp keepers on this forum. Im someone who tends to be a worrier, so at first i defiantly over thought things a lot but i have to say im a bit more confident now that ive got things going. As for the copper, i swear it was blasted on every care guide out there in bold AVOID COPPER. But as i looked into this forum, i heard the same thing your saying. Im still a little bias about having it in the food they are going to consume though....but when it comes to other things such as ferts etc, i feel more confident in the idea that as long as your giving the correct dosage of things then its fine seeing how others have done just fine with their own shrimp and fertilizers containing copper.
     
  5. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

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    Copper sulfate is a trace element of copper, so it’s not harmful. If it were harmful to inverts they would have to mark the product as potentially harmful to invertebrates. Also copper can damage fish to an extent

    I once used a pellet food to feed my shrimp for 4 months straight that had copper sulfate in it. They were perfectly fine and enjoyed the food, but when I read about copper it scared me enough to stop using it
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    Ive defiantly heard my fair share of copper horror stories as much as ive heard that its okay as long as its supplemented correctly...as a beginner the gamble isnt worth it so until im more comfortable i plan to be a bit on the copper free side
     
  7. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

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    Copper sulfate is quite easy to avoid as we have an abundance of different aquatic foods on the market, as well as homemade supplements like blanched veggies. However copper sulfate is not the end of the world for your shrimp either
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    I’ll keep that in mind....maybe look into the forum a bit more
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    UPDATE: july 14th

    So ive been doing my research a bit more on stocking and such etc. Now, i did look into the future a bit when planning out my tank and i did possibly want to add a betta to my amano shrimp tank in the future. This is a HARD maybe, but if i feel like maybe i need a bit of ~pazzaz~ to the tank...then i may consider adding a betta. Now, trust me, im very aware of how much of a coin toss it is with betta and shrimp so if i did make the decision i would make every precaution possible. To start, i would likely add more to the hiding wise where my shrimps would be more hidden (and more for the bettas needs of course). Also, i read that an established shrimp tank actually has a tendency to do better with betta rather then putting shrimp in a betta tank since the betta will see its someone elses territory (also the fact that some betta may think that everything you drop in is automatically food). But again, personality is everything. Lastly, i plan to call around some local fish shops in my area and seeing if they keep their bettas in community tanks (and possibly if im lucky, community tanks with shrimp). I could take some time to observe the betta and see which seems to be more “chill” with the others and that would likely be my choice. Now, i know some say that females are the less aggressive type and that you should go with that if you have tank mates, but i would have to disagree on some level. Females can be just as aggressive as the males and if you manage to get an aggressive female then well...your shrimp are toast since females have small fins allowing them to swim a lot quicker. Now, ALL of this is again a hard maybe. If i felt that a betta would just kill my shrimps, then i wouldnt do it. But i feel if i take the right precaution, i could have a peaceful happy tank. Guess we’ll have to see what the future holds.​

    Now for an actual update on my cycle. Im day 6 (well, day 7 when you see the update) and so far only real change in the water is that my ammonia has ever so slightly dropped from 3ppm to 1.0ppm over the past 2 1/2 days. I still continue to add 10ML of bacteria daily and leaving the filter going. Its small, but at least its a sign im doing things right haha :emoji_sweat_smile:. Otherwise....not much excitement yet.​

    As for how my plants are doing. I very lightly mentioned this, but due to how im choosing to cycle my tank; i cannot keep my current live plants in the tank and since all my decor has some sort of live plant to it...i only have my substrate in the tank during the cycle. So i had to kinda figure out how im gonna keep them well and healthy for the next 2-3 weeks. Ive put them into tall containers filled with conditioned water and have been keeping an eye on the temps to make sure they dont get too cold since they are in more condensed space. So far, my anubias nana is doing well and seems healthy. My java fern has a little bit of brown spotting, but that was there before when i first bought the plant. It doesnt seem to be too unhealthy, but i still worry a bit. The java moss and moss balls seem to be doing pretty well aswell, im already seeing my java moss attach itself to my drift wood! They are also in conditioned water. I change out the plants water every few days and recondition it. I have no clue if this is the right thing to do, but it seems to not failed me yet so im sticking to it.​

    For some other updates, i think i might Want to add more to the tank. Or at least have some more decor prepared and cleaned in case i change my mind. I have some spare fish decor like large rocks, a fake plant, and a nice tall rock looking piece of decor. My only concern being that its only a 5.5 gal so i dont want to limit the shrimps floor space...they may appreciate they few extra things to climb on though. I also plan to get either 1 or 2 more plants for the tank, im for sure getting another anubia because i love the look of them. But im currently trying to find a good growing low-light plant. I was thinking either wisteria, anacharis, or frogbit. For a little while i wanted hornwort....but then i heard about the needle nightmare with it making a mess all the time. I may just stick to just getting another anubia for now...but we’ll just have to see.​

    Anyway, thats just my small update on things! Happy cycling!​
     
  10. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

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    Unless you get a uniquely aggressive betta it should work out. Amano are quite large, about half the size of a betta. I’ve seen mine try to attack my amanos when they steal her food. They’re too fast for any damage to be done. She can never get close enough for a good nip
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    Thats a relief to hear, i would hate to kill my shrimp all because i decided to add a fish to the tank
     
  12. Crimson_687

    Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

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    If anything, the problem might be the amanos. I don’t recommend any bettas with long fins because if they are slow to food the amano will steal it- and they don’t let it go. Really though it should be fine
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    Okay, thanks for the tip!
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    UPDATE: july 17th

    FINALLY. Just today im starting to see nitrites and im super happy about it, i was very worried about my cycle possibly not starting up correctly since i saw a small drop in ammonia, but no nitrites for nearly 4 days. I tested my water this morning and i am at 2.0ppm ammonia, 0.25-0.5ppm nitrites, and 0ppm nitrates. All seems back in order! The next step is to wait for my ammonia and nitrites to drop to or below 0.5ppm, then boost my ammonia back up to 4ppm. Im getting super antsy, but doing my best to stay patient with it. I want everything to be prefect.​

    As for the plants, I've been a bit worried about my java fern. My anubia seems to be doing very well (even has shown some growth), but my java fern has had some brown spotting. I think it will make it, but i still worry about it dying before i can get it into the tank ​

    Anyway, thats all i have for today! Happy cycling!​
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Caffee

    CaffeeValued MemberMember

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    UPDATE: july 23rd

    I thought my tank cycle was finally speeding up after i saw a major drop in my ammonia and a large spike in my nitrites, but now its seemed as if things have come to a pause. For the past 3 days my ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates have stayed the exact same. Ammonia being 0.25ppm, nitrites 0.1-0.5ppm, and nitrates staying at 10ppm. Not sure if this is normal, but my best guess is to keep an eye on it and wait to see if those nitrites finally start to come down in the next few days. Im still adding 10ML of bacteria daily. Maybe i’ll start adding 15ML if i see no change still. Im trying to be patient but man am i antsy.

    As for my plants, my java fern doesnt seem to be getting worse; but doesnt seem to be getting better either. I hope to try and bring more of its color back once it goes into the tank.

    Anyway, thats all i have for an update. Happy cycling!
     
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