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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, first of all this is my first post so hello everyone!
i currently have a 15 gallon tank with a few fish but i also want to start a 10 gallon planted red cherry shrimp tank. (i have an empty 10 gallon tank).
I need help because I dont know anything about planted tanks. Ive done research and read several posts but i still dont know what i need exactly.
what i believe i need so far is:
water(obviously lol),
substrate (i want black pool filter sand if i can find any),
plants i want easy to care for low light plants. i was thinking java ferns and java moss but can i use any moss? becuase i found some moss on Bobs Tropical Plants[/url] and is moss easy to care and low light?
is there a limit to how many plants i can keep in the 10g i want the rcs to have ample hiding spots and i dont want a bare tank
OK so what i need to know is how to do this?????
so do i cycle the tank first and then add the plants or can i add the plants as soon as i add the water? as for the filter i plan to make a sponge filter. should i start the sponge filter in my established 15g or is it okay if i just put it in the 10g and have it cycle normally.
Another question how long should i let the tank cycle enough for bacteria to build up before its safe to put the red cherry shrimps in there? im thinking 3 weeks should be enough? can it be 2 weeks if i use some fish to help along the process. orrr can i use the 20% water from a water change of my 15g tank to make it 1 week?? or is this too bold lol(haha pun)

ohh also do i need a co2 diffusor or whatever its called(sorry i dont know anything about planted aquariums) because im hoping the java ferns and java moss are low maintenance enough to just require regular aquarium hood lighting.
thanks in advance! sorry for the wall of text lol just have alot of questions any of my questinos answered would be a great help! and i want to save as much money as i can! im so excited to start my red cherry shrimp only tank!*c/p*
if anyone knows any links to buying cheap driftwood, java ferns, java moss and rcs is greatly apreciated!:)
 

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Queen Platy
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I have a bunch of RCS breeding all over my tank. I first had 12, and now I think I have 70+. The only thing you need to worry about is keeping the Ammonia and NitrIte and 0ppm and NitrAte at 10ppm or less. My Ammonia and NitrIte is always 0 and my NitrAte is always 5ppm give or take 2 ppm.

substrate (i want black pool filter sand if i can find any),
I believe sand isnt good for planted tanks because the roots cant burrow through and the debris that gets trapped under the sand, rots, and gives off this sulfer like smell because of the gas it emits. You would have to churn the sand once every now and then and that would not be good in a planted tank with roots. What I use is small to medium sized gravel and mineralized substrate under the top layer of gravel.

plants i want easy to care for low light plants. i was thinking java ferns and java moss but can i use any moss? becuase i found some moss on Bobs Tropical Plants[/url] and is moss easy to care and low light?
is there a limit to how many plants i can keep in the 10g i want the rcs to have ample hiding spots and i dont want a bare tank
Any plant will work in a RCS tank. If you plan to keep fish I would suggest a ton of plants. My platies I think would eat a baby RCS if it ever sees it. But I have so much plants and a foreground so its impossible for them to even find one. Also the more plants you have.. the more it will keep your tank safe because it removes the toxins from the water. Since you are just starting out, I suggest very very fast growing plants such as Water Sprite and Hornwort. There are others but i dont know them off the top of my head.


so do i cycle the tank first and then add the plants or can i add the plants as soon as i add the water? as for the filter i plan to make a sponge filter. should i start the sponge filter in my established 15g or is it okay if i just put it in the 10g and have it cycle normally.
Cycling is first priority cause they are sensitive to water parameters. Any spike in Ammonia/NitrIte or NitrAte will kill the shrimps. I dont use a sponge filter but I raised my intake higher so the baby shrimps dont get sucked up. Because I also keep plants and fish, a sponge will just get clogged up too fast due to the shedded leaves and such. Im sure ive lost a few baby shrimp due to my filter but I inspect each cartilage before I discard it and Ive never seen a baby shrimp in it before. I guess they just stay hidden under plants and driftwood until its safe to play with the fish because every baby shrimp Ive seen are always hiding under things. I see them crawling out once in a while and pop back in when they see movement.

Another question how long should i let the tank cycle enough for bacteria to build up before its safe to put the red cherry shrimps in there? im thinking 3 weeks should be enough? can it be 2 weeks if i use some fish to help along the process. orrr can i use the 20% water from a water change of my 15g tank to make it 1 week?? or is this too bold lol(haha pun)
Do you know how to cycle a tank? If not I can explain. There isnt really a length of time for a cycle. Some tanks end up finish cycling early and others take longer. Usually takes 4-6 weeks and 1 week is not long enough. Your water change from the 15 gallon tank will have no Ammonia nor NitrIte in it, it will just have NitrAte. And ammonia is what you need. You can take the old cartridge from the 15 gallon tank and put it in the new tank to cycle faster because it has the beneficial bacteria to break down the 2 toxins. And in your new tank you should either be cycling either by "fish" or "fishless w/ ammonia". fishless w/ ammonia is faster

ohh also do i need a co2 diffusor or whatever its called(sorry i dont know anything about planted aquariums) because im hoping the java ferns and java moss are low maintenance enough to just require regular aquarium hood lighting.
CO2 isnt necessary for a low lit tank. But it can help.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for all the information! i will cycle the tank with an old cartridge from my 15g for about a month.
just so i understand correctly i can add the plants in the beginning as the tank cycles?
i also plan to get a master test kit to check if all the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels are at optimum levels for the RCS.
Thanks for the help! i plan to post pictures of the RCS in their tank as soon as theyre in there.
 

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Queen Platy
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thanks for all the information! i will cycle the tank with an old cartridge from my 15g for about a month.
just so i understand correctly i can add the plants in the beginning as the tank cycles?
i also plan to get a master test kit to check if all the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels are at optimum levels for the RCS.
Thanks for the help! i plan to post pictures of the RCS in their tank as soon as theyre in there.
No problem. Yea the cartridge will complete the nitrogen cycle faster.

If you plan to do a fishless cycle by intoducing staight Ammonia then I suggest no plants and no fish. Nothing alive. Just gravel, water and ammonia.

If you plan to cycle with fish. Then you have to have fish or something to release Ammonia. The plants will be very very very beneficial because it removes toxins from the water and prevents health problems for the fish during the cycle. You need a large amount of plants to work well. 3-4 stems in a 10 gallon probably wont do anything. Try to find very fast growing plants such as Hornwort and Water Sprite.
 
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