Small Planted Setup

You're doing a wonderful job those are some happy shrimp! Loved watching the vids and I was laughing at your surprise to their racing action. Too cool
Water remains nitrogen free, had some kind of mini bloom this week, I added a ball of filter floss on top of the filter and it's all cleared out today, water is back to crystal clear. With a good scraping of the front glass the tank looks pretty good. Shrimps love it when I scrape the glass, I leave the rolls of film in the bottom and they eat it all.

I went to replace the Catappa leave "skeleton" left in the tank, but it was covered with tiny baby shrimps... A chance I looked closely before removing it, left it alone for now.

I'm working on a little home made "shrimp proof" surface film remover. At the moment I use an old Hagen box filter and it's ugly as it gets... But it sure keeps the surface 100% clean. I'm going to use parts from my old Aquaclear and make some kind of air driven powerhead with them.

New babies are coming out everyday and was able to count a dozen more on one anubia leaf yesterday :) :) :) and still at least 3 berried mommy are swimming around.

It's a demographic shrimplosion.
All right, here it is :)

Part list:
Aquaclear A625 : Extension tube.
Aquaclear A16050 : Intake Stem.
Aquaclear A1216 : Heater bracket & cups.
Aquaclear A1387 : Pre-filter sponge.
Air line tubing.


Looks like a commercial product ;)
Going to try it next filter maintenance.
All right, here it is :)

Part list:
Aquaclear A625 : Extension tube.
Aquaclear A16050 : Intake Stem.
Aquaclear A1216 : Heater bracket & cups.
Aquaclear A1387 : Pre-filter sponge.
Air line tubing.

View attachment 340652

Looks like a commercial product ;)
Going to try it next filter maintenance.
I like it! I have a constant surface film in my tanks. I wish I could deal with it without an air-driven filter/surface skimmer. The noise is an issue as the tank is in a bedroom.
I like it! I have a constant surface film in my tanks. I wish I could deal with it without an air-driven filter/surface skimmer. The noise is an issue as the tank is in a bedroom.

Yes, me too, the bubbling sound always draws my attention like something not going well somewhere. But at least I was able to put the air pump far enough not to ear it at all.

After doing it, I found these on Amazon...

Hygger Super Mini Aquarium Filter​


They look like very good little water polishing tool.

You could get something like that and put it on a timer, so it works when you are not in the room.
And shut it down during the night. You could also make it work 5 minutes per hour during day time,
And adjust it to have minimal use to keep the surface clear.
I installed my little Power head Monday. Copiously seeding it with a good squeeze of the intake cover from the Aquaclear. while testing it in a bucket... And finally removed the old Hagen box.

The tank is already walking on the ridge line of equilibrium... While all the filter tempering I did have not influenced ammonia and nitrite that are remaining at 0. Slightly reducing my lightning, turned into nitrates apparition under 2 days. I used the occasion to do a good 50% water change while switching the hardware. And ramped up the light back to where it was, balance plant fertilizer skipped a meal and hope... Nitrate went back and maintained 0 right after.

I should keep in mind "One modification at the time".

Since the little Power head I concocted, is somewhat more violent then the old hagen, (Shrimps are turning 90° when they cross the output) it lifted a lot of my maintenance rounded corners mulm in the water... And effectively blocked the Aquaclear to dripping performance in the process. I was able to do another Filter tempering under 2 days... and Seed the new media with the the already 1 week old new medium sponge that came with the filter That was already spewing clay and ostracods. I replaced the medium sponge with a large mesh pot scrubber that I unraveled and rolled back a little more loose and replaced the bottom media with it and placed my coarse sponge that was on the bottom on the top.

Good news the water cleared out pretty fast... Bad news the filter is already clogging... Removed everything unraveled everything and wrapped it even more loose, removed a part of it... re inserted and next days will tell. For the moment it looks good. the flow seems to remain consistent with all the crap the shrimps are moving around.

On the other fronts the ostracods are preparing another attempt to invade the tank, theres large patch of eggs layed at the moment, and are met with good retaliation, I baited the adults to the thousands and dropped them in my betta tank, I don't know if they will be able to populate the tank but Big sure loves to hunt them.

Hydras are going off the map, If i can find one, it's a limbless stump. I only brushed them off the area that where propice for them, the shrimps did the rest.

Some of my oldest shrimps have past by this week, leaving only 3 shrimps alive and kicking from the original colony. one of them became the alpha female, bullied everyone never molted and never had babies. At the moment there are at least 4 contenders for the position.

But she was berried when I received her and more than five of her offspring's are berried at the moment.
She is awol for 2 weeks now and it makes me sad. I could see she was old and was not to molt again. But there are all these little babies that makes me happy at the same time. I'm getting to the point that the love for the colony should supersede the individual.

But still, "Big O" will be missed. Maybe not by the way she kicked off the males approaching her, but. loll...
Since my next post vanished in limbo for unknown reason, and I type approx. 3 words per minutes. I was not about to restart to write that again.

So I took revenge by editing a small video that give a couple views of the tank, with a smooth numbing background music. If one pictures worth a thousands word, a video should do 🥴

I received my Lollies yesterday :)

Since these poor babies have been on the cut this week, because I modified the filtration media again. They where starving to death. So I figured they earned one.

I have more shrimps than I thought. I wonder how high the carrying capacity will be in a 5 gallons.


These pics reminds me that the tank is due for a front glass cleaning, loll.
Nearly 3 weeks with almost no staple food (that lolly stick was nutritious) . I have to get over that nitrate build, and I have only slow plants. I went over the last rise by adding more plant fertilizer... More algae.

Almost no shrimps in view, Just an incessant swirl of of crap in the water layer during activity hours, clogging my intakes for the last 9 cleanups. There's nothing to vac anyway.

I tend to let it last a cleanup more now before vacuuming, It results with nearly no job to do in accumulating area. So if I feed them less = they clean a lot more.

I thought it was the time for a little experiment (no shrimps where hurt during the making of this)

I chosen the worst hour for feeding... No one in there can even think of it... I used a quite precise pipette and, Closely an slowly peppered the sponge of my mini sponge filter with Shrimp Baby, so the smell would come from everywhere nearly at the same time... And waited a bit.

Loll. Shrimps started popping out of everywhere "On the radar" And the subsequent interactions between them brought me right to the point, that they are a lot more conscious and aware than we think. They know exactly how their environment is made. They anticipate and precurse their actions. They even profusely showed happiness, playfulness and kidding around when they found the place. Babies following teens like they admire them. little couples dancing around. Teens competing one with each other and showing their prowess.

Going to bed... Brain Blown out. That was too much at the same time. Not enough eyes to witness everything.
More than due, for an update...

After a step back it the colony, more than a hundred died in 2 weeks 😭 That I can only attribute to a poisonous substance that came in with water changes.

I installed a Ro/Di unit and started to replace all the water in the tank with pure reminarilized water. I'm at my 4th 25% on a stretch of 9 and the general comportment of the shrimps is playfully back to the flower and the bees...

I'm still mad to have lost that much beautiful shrimps... But gratefull that the tangent seems to sort out.

Utmostly that every new water changes, things are getting better and better.
Woah woah woah woah, wait a second. Your tank is only five gallons?! Are you 100% positive on that? If that's the case, you can't even have half of the fish on that list. Plus, dwarf Gouramis need a minimum of ten gallons. Even a high maintenance setup couldn't hold that much stock.

I couldn't comment on light settings, sorry. I don't know hardly anything about that. I would recommend asking someone else who is more knowledgeable. :)

Also, sorry about the pleco. I misread the original post. lol
Hi mine is also five gallons. It's not uncommon
You have to surveil all the time while the shrimps are at feeding time.

I try to disperse the aggression as much as possible, but shrimps are piling up thick on pellets. To the point that those that are under, suffocates. and I'm scared to feed them.

A shrimp dragged a pellet in a very narrow space between a rock and the glass.. the pileup that ensued was mortal.

I dispersed them gently with a turkey baster and then blew the dissolving pellet all around the tank... And was able to see that those under the crowd... Where stuck and in total distress, some also died...

The dead shrimps brings more crowding because they are immediately consumed and more shrimps dies...

Like an infernal wheel... Two time this week I, dispersed them like that because it's too crazy... I need a mortar and pestle to be able to make all the food I have like it's snowing all the time.

Besides that, all the shrimps are looking vigorous, molts and dead shrimps get scavenged in minutes, and they are springing around the tank having fun...

At some point I think you have to accept some losses until the tank balance itself... But I think for the moment I'm forced to start to disperse the food all the time because feeding spots starts to be dangerous... loll

I was able to look closely with a magnifier and when you see a small baby with the face stuck in the glass, with the expression that "I'm waiting for it to end... Because I cant move..."

I felt it wasn't good... And dispersed them immediately... To conclude that, it really wasn't good.

Another step in experience.
I use Dennerle Shrimp King (sticks rather than pellets) for my cherry shrimp and had the same problem if I just dropped a piece in so now I crush it in a small pestle and mortar until there are lots of small pieces. Now there are enough bits to go round and no piling on top of each other.

This food
On a more positive note,
The last clever little tweaks I did to my Aquaclear, really changed everything trophy1

The Bio-media stopped clogging completely, I checked yesterday and and it looks like new and is filled with seed shrimps.

By cutting a thin slice of the coarse sponge so it can be installed stuck to the front of the basket and leave a little 1/8 inch gap between the sponge and the back of the enclosure. Instead of the normally tight fit.

It creates a little channel where a part of the water can rise faster following it. while a slower movement goes trough the sponge, I installed a piece of poly-wool on the top and the water that goes trough the channel and the sponge gets polished before returning in the tank. The results are perfect. My bio-mass is not clogging anymore and the water is clear. Lowering the maintenance to regular intake sponge cleaning and a quick rinse of the wool.

Without reason the Hygger super mini sponge filter started to backfire air from the sponge and quit pulling water. after 2 attempt cleaning it and blowing compressed air in all it's orifices. it's still not working.

So I replaced it for a Medium one that I never had problem with. It's a lot larger but it still fits well and wont let me down this time.

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