Five weeks ago when my desktop tank was crashing, I decided it was time to get an old twenty gallon aquarium I had up and running again. Fortunately, the desktop aquarium survived, but once I got started with the new project, I couldn’t stop.
My twenty gallon aquarium is going to be a shrimp & peaceful fish tank. I was thinking about doing loyal biotope aquarium, focusing on Neocaridina davidii var. red or Red Cherry Shrimp and where the shrimp are from, but I am so out of practice with freshwater aquariums, I decided I better not. My aquarium is going to be a mixed community tank, focusing on shrimp.
Oh, and I’m going really slow.
I’ve had water in the aquarium for three weeks. Most of that time, I have been soaking the Hamburg Matten Filter and processing driftwood I found in the Provo River. Yesterday, I added rocks, substrate, an ornament and some of the plants I will stock in the aquarium with. In the picture you can see everything except one of the plants. There are two types of plants shown here: three green crypts (Cryptocoryne wendtii var green) and two Amazon swords (Echinodorus amazonicus). I’m not going to need any more of those plants. The green crypts will get about four inches tall and the Amazon sword should grow tall enough to go over the top of the water. Both of these plants were selected because they are easy to deal with, inexpensive, available locally, grow well in low to moderate light, and fit the needs of the livestock I want in this aquarium.
The green crypts, shown to the right were cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap and come highly regarded for ease of care according to several on line sources and reliable You-tubers (particularly Sean Peck at Pecktec — he has several aquariums filled with the red variety of this same plant). The other thing is they will provide good hiding places for the shrimp and two of the fish types I will stock.
The Amazon sword, shown here, cost a little more and isn’t as easy to care for, but I’ve grown it in the past and the cardinal tetras and zebra danios I had in the old planted tank I had twenty some-odd years ago, loved it. I found it in several local stores and in the LFS I like, but none of them looked very good. I had to trim half of the leaves off these two samples after getting them from Petsmart. The LFS samples looked horrible.
In fact, I got all three of the plant types from Petsmart. The selection from Petco was slim, except for their giant potted plant aquarium, but that tank was suffering from a cyanobacteria bloom and I didn’t want to deal with that again.
The plant shown here is anubias nana. It was inexpensive and I’ve had it several times before. The only thing that eats it, in my experience, are Koi and they eat everything. This little plant is tied to a rock and placed to the rear of the aquarium where it will very slowly grow over the big chunk of driftwood, providing loads of cover for fish and shrimp.
Yes, I got a cute ornament, but why not. I might get a couple more. If I lived in Seoul still, I know where to get similar ornaments made out of granite, marble, and quartz (probably jade, too, but I’m not the biggest fan of Itaewon). The other things I did today were to measure off and mark the aquarium where twenty percent water changes on the aquarium are and I added some fertilizer and dechlorinator after doing said 20% water change (no, I didn’t dose H2O2, but it’s nice to have around).
Lots going on with the aquarium, but it was also nice to do. In a week or two, I’ll be adding more plants and two weeks after that, I should be adding some fish and two weeks after that, I’ll be adding some shrimp and the last fish (maybe, depending on plant growth).