No Electricity Eco Shrimp Tank

Gemmsy

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My old shrimp tank ended up getting decommissioned before it has got going as we had an issue with the electrics in the shed. So everything was cleaned and put away for another day.

My main tank is doing well, but the number of fish in there means it’s unlikely I’ll get the shrimp population going until the plants develop and it turns into a forest. Even then, from what I’ve read I’ll never get the level of breeding I need to actually build up a quality stock.

So the mission was to setup a nano tank for my office. I had also been reading about tanks with no filter/heater/fert/co2/lights, (just one for viewing when needed). Secondly reducing water changes to zero so just adding top up water when needed. The key from what I’ve read is to build up to heavily planted and limit nutrient input to create a balance. Should be easily achieved with shrimp so that’s where I will start.

Success will be if I can achieve all the above and have a healthy stock of shrimp happily living and breeding. Then I might move on to the same principles on a larger tank.

I used some peat granules and tropics soil, spare plant cuttings, drift wood, slab of slate, 12l tank and a cheap viewing light - just what I had in stock.
The light will be used initially to get the plants thriving then reduce to viewing only.

I added ferts, Bacter ae, one pellet of food, bioactive tap safe start and a squeeze of an established filter to get things going.

Long term I’ll be adding as little as possible and attempt to build a balance, always watching the test results.

So here it is…
Day1
46E6237D-FD18-4F6B-ABD3-D8DDDF18A30A.jpeg

Day2
BBBC58F8-A424-4244-ABCA-6DC421CAE52B.jpeg


Day 2 parameters:

Temp: 21
PH: 6.7
Ammonia: 1.5ppm (increasing)
Nitrite: 0.05ppm (slight difference)
Nitrate: 40ppm
Phosphate: 1ppm
GH: 9 deg
KH: 5 deg

If anyone has got something like this running please let me know.

It will be interesting with the current setup to see how long it takes to sort out the ammonia and nitrite.

Will update progress as the weeks go by.

🥳
 

Naughts

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Interesting. Please keep us updated.
Will you add more plants? How is the temperature maintained?
 
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Gemmsy

Gemmsy

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Interesting. Please keep us updated.
Will you add more plants? How is the temperature maintained?
Will do. Yes as I trim the main tank I will add cuttings, got some new Christmas moss but that needs to grow a lot before I can steal some for this one! Maybe get something that looks good in small form for nanos but haven’t really looked yet, happy to use what I’ve got for now.

Temp is just room temp, I’ve put foam strips underneath to prevent the cold rising from the sill. Room is 21.5 - house is heated by biomass so it’s always warm. Will be interesting to see how temps fluctuate as it gets hotter outside, but as I’m at absolute low end temp as it is I can’t see it being a problem (as long as it doesn’t swing too much).
 

Lajos_Detari

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My old shrimp tank ended up getting decommissioned before it has got going as we had an issue with the electrics in the shed. So everything was cleaned and put away for another day.

My main tank is doing well, but the number of fish in there means it’s unlikely I’ll get the shrimp population going until the plants develop and it turns into a forest. Even then, from what I’ve read I’ll never get the level of breeding I need to actually build up a quality stock.

So the mission was to setup a nano tank for my office. I had also been reading about tanks with no filter/heater/fert/co2/lights, (just one for viewing when needed). Secondly reducing water changes to zero so just adding top up water when needed. The key from what I’ve read is to build up to heavily planted and limit nutrient input to create a balance. Should be easily achieved with shrimp so that’s where I will start.

Success will be if I can achieve all the above and have a healthy stock of shrimp happily living and breeding. Then I might move on to the same principles on a larger tank.

You can keep shrimps and fish in these conditions but don't expect healthy shrimps, fish and plants in your tank without water changes and light.

All shrimps, fish and plants need minerals and plants will need nutrients and light.
Without all these, they will grow weak and won't be thriving.

I think your temperature is too low for most shrimps and fish.
 
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Gemmsy

Gemmsy

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You can keep shrimps and fish in these conditions but don't expect healthy shrimps, fish and plants in your tank without water changes and light.

All shrimps, fish and plants need minerals and plants will need nutrients and light.
Without all these, they will grow weak and won't be thriving.

I think your temperature is too low for most shrimps and fish.
Thanks for the input!

I’m hoping light is adequately supplied anyway as it is on a window ledge.

I’m happy to dose ferts until such a point as the plant is ‘heavily planted’. At this stage ideally I can find a balance in that the waste from the shrimp gives the plants what they need to look good - I won’t need and don’t really want them to grow at crazy rates from there.

My water is fairly hard, out the tap it is slightly harder than those tests showed, only a couple of degrees - maybe the peat had some effect? Also nitrate level out the tap is 30-40ppm and phosphate 0-1ppm.

So with top ups I’m hoping most of the bases are covered. Obviously I won’t let them suffer, if tests prove it isn’t working then a water change of a few litres is hardly a chore… I’d just like to try. Maybe a bi weekly micro dose of ferts will be required but the water changes will be fine, who knows.

From what I’ve read 21 C is low end for neocardinia for sure but within tolerance from most sources. If I have to get the room warmer for breeding - it’s an option, providing I’m not sitting sweating at my desk haha.
 

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Regarding the water changes, that is sort of unclear opinion. Many keepers on my site have tanks with half a year water changes, otherwise just adding water that evaporated. I am on my first month with new shrimp, they gotten way bigger and I only put 3 litres in (liter every week), will do first water change sunday after a month and I plan to keep a monthly cycle.
They do have heaters in winter, as the shrimp dont breed that much under 20°C. I bought the cheapest neocardinia (20 pieces), put them in an established tank and want to see what happens with monthly water changes. (they should start breeding in a week or two once they reach maturity, I bought them real small). Had no deaths, but they shed regularly and feed constantly, that should indicate they are ok.
I even have Utricularia gibba that should help me keep in check small critters, loads of plants, and my fishtank is at this moment at 21°C . 21°C - 23°C are the ideal range for breeding according to many studies .

I am excited for your experiment
 
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Gemmsy

Gemmsy

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Regarding the water changes, that is sort of unclear opinion. Many keepers on my site have tanks with half a year water changes, otherwise just adding water that evaporated. I am on my first month with new shrimp, they gotten way bigger and I only put 3 litres in (liter every week), will do first water change sunday after a month and I plan to keep a monthly cycle.
They do have heaters in winter, as the shrimp dont breed that much under 20°C. I bought the cheapest neocardinia (20 pieces), put them in an established tank and want to see what happens with monthly water changes. (they should start breeding in a week or two once they reach maturity, I bought them real small). Had no deaths, but they shed regularly and feed constantly, that should indicate they are ok.
I even have Utricularia gibba that should help me keep in check small critters, loads of plants, and my fishtank is at this moment at 21°C . 21°C - 23°C are the ideal range for breeding according to many studies .

I am excited for your experiment
Thanks!
Great to hear.
My room temp of 21.5 C should suffice then!
I’ll have to read up on Utricularia gibba.
I’m excited too :), stage one is the long wait for cycle and plant development though ha. After a previous comment prompted me to look, may be adding Anubias Nana Petite and Cryptocryne Parva as they meet my parameter and size requirements.
Cheers.
 

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To give you an idea what Utricularia gibba looks like, I started a thread about an unknown plant in my tank which turned out to be this plant.
 

Beastije

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Yeha, I wouldnt voluntarily put it in the tank, as it grows through most of stuff, but I have it intertwined in my riccia and I dont mind it, so keeping it there. Read about it on here and other forum, it cant kill baby shrimp, the pod is so small it has no chance and funnily enough the shrimp stand on the plant quite a lot. It is a bit controversial, some people say it is dangerous for a fishtank, I dont think so.

You should add maybe more quick plants. Not surface ones, you will have a hard time with light as is, but egeria densa or something like that might be good. Not now, but later on, once you add the shrimp, to help with the toxin removal.

I also have anubias, cryptocoryne, java fern, riccia, egeria and a mossball that is there just for pleasure, cause it aint doing anything for water parameters.
 
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Gemmsy

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To give you an idea what Utricularia gibba looks like, I started a thread about an unknown plant in my tank which turned out to be this plant.
Thanks I’ll have a read!
 
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Gemmsy

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Yeha, I wouldnt voluntarily put it in the tank, as it grows through most of stuff, but I have it intertwined in my riccia and I dont mind it, so keeping it there. Read about it on here and other forum, it cant kill baby shrimp, the pod is so small it has no chance and funnily enough the shrimp stand on the plant quite a lot. It is a bit controversial, some people say it is dangerous for a fishtank, I dont think so.

You should add maybe more quick plants. Not surface ones, you will have a hard time with light as is, but egeria densa or something like that might be good. Not now, but later on, once you add the shrimp, to help with the toxin removal.

I also have anubias, cryptocoryne, java fern, riccia, egeria and a mossball that is there just for pleasure, cause it aint doing anything for water parameters.
Brilliant thanks, I’ll probably leave that one for now then but good to know for the future!

Cool I’ll look at that and egeria densa! As you say I’ll probably stick with the plan for now to allow the current plants to develop before adding the nutrient drains.
 
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Gemmsy

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Yeha, I wouldnt voluntarily put it in the tank, as it grows through most of stuff, but I have it intertwined in my riccia and I dont mind it, so keeping it there. Read about it on here and other forum, it cant kill baby shrimp, the pod is so small it has no chance and funnily enough the shrimp stand on the plant quite a lot. It is a bit controversial, some people say it is dangerous for a fishtank, I dont think so.

You should add maybe more quick plants. Not surface ones, you will have a hard time with light as is, but egeria densa or something like that might be good. Not now, but later on, once you add the shrimp, to help with the toxin removal.

I also have anubias, cryptocoryne, java fern, riccia, egeria and a mossball that is there just for pleasure, cause it aint doing anything for water parameters.
Aha, I’m not good with plant names - but after looking I’ve had that one before in my main tank and it grew like mad to such an extent that I got rid! Wish I had kept some now haha.
 
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Gemmsy

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Day 6

Cycle is looking good so far!
6C981D90-AAF3-4EE9-9E33-8596EA1279FB.jpeg


Anubias Nana Petite and Bucephalandra Kedagang arriving later this week. Christmas moss is doing well in the main tank so I will be able to take some cuttings in a couple of weeks.

I’ll wait for the plants to establish and fill out before adding hornwart or Eloda.
 
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Gemmsy

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Added a temporary airstone to help get the plants and BB growing quicker, won’t be necessary once both are established. Also dumped a piece of filter media from the main tank for the same purpose.
(Ignore girlfriends plant pots stealing my lumens 😂)

3B92DE3A-EE0D-4ED8-885A-28E61E0B005C.jpeg
 
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Gemmsy

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Update & O2 test -

So the cycle is going well, added SafeStart the other day to speed things up and the Ammonia and Nitrite are dropping.

Thought it best to start testing O2 as that is my biggest concern for this project. Bought the following kit by Salifert.
7CD94856-81BA-44CB-8A3F-197B9024A3F4.jpeg


Test 1 was my main tank. Running Diy Co2 at 20ppm and has a fluval 206 external filter with the output head 1” below surface. The filter is due a clean so flow is minimal and the plants block most of it. I would describe the surface flow as Low.
FB8CEBE0-3BEE-469F-B143-EBD5881BDB02.jpeg


Results for this one below - looks like 9ppm in reality. But hard to show on photo.

9CEF8956-7392-44EE-BEEE-2AC363C34FC8.jpeg


Test 2 was the new project tank. No filter but an airstone in the centre creating what I would describe as High surface movement.

80CA23CE-A669-4751-A005-0FD7B6C03FD9.jpeg


Results below - looks like 13 or so.
6961BD1B-B1FD-46F4-B36D-A87C43D247AF.jpeg


Clearly without surface movement, keeping O2 above 8ppm will be tricky. Once the tank is cycled and plants establish I will be doing further readings after a few days with the air switched off completely.
Then I should be able to see what’s what!

Interesting stuff. More plants have arrived so I’m getting to that next.
 

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