My paludarium, Day 72.
I DIY’d a contraption to add CO2 that only recently ran out. It seemed to do a decent job, but I don’t know that it made a lick of difference with the dwarf baby tears.
Paludarium Day 72: pH 7.6 temp 78 degrees
Today I saw the ghost shrimp, and have counted at least 11 of the dwarf shrimp running around. They aren’t as lively as they’ve been, so I’m hoping this is not a sign of something going wrong.
The tank is heavily planted now, despite the removal of the hornwort. The plants have been growing great (except dwarf baby tears). I’m hoping that moss will begin to carpet more. I’m wanting to get some fisseden moss or comparable to go with it. I’d like the whole substrate to be covered in moss, now that I’ve had to give up on the baby tears.
New, fun aquarium plants: crinum aquatica & bolbitis heudelotii
Paludarium Day 70: 78 degrees F
I purchased approximately 15 dwarf shrimp from the swap. It is a little hard to count them, as they are very active and tiny. I was also given some fun new plants and another staurogyne. I don’t actually know what one of the new plants is. It is the one on the left that is very ribbon like. I REALLY like the crinum aquatica (African onion) that I was given & the bolbitis. I took out the hornwort & added it to the assassin’s area instead. I needed a good place for the crinum aquatica, which I like better than the hornwort.
If things go well, these new dwarf shrimp will be able to breed in the tank, and I won’t have to buy additional shrimp. I’m going to have to prune some of the new plants though, as they are a bit too big for my little tank.
Paludarium Day 70: dwarf shrimp in action
The aquarium swap meet was a success. I purchased some yellow and orange varients of the cherry shrimp for an AMAZING price & got a few new plants. The dwarf shrimp are so tiny & lively! The ghost shrimp seemed very pleased to have tank mates again & has been hanging out with her new buddies.
Day 65: pH 7.6, temperature 78 degrees
My last shrimp has just molted (see ghostly apparition below the shrimp). I seriously thought it was dead today, as it is QUITE lethargic. I decided to see if it was hungry, since I stopped adding shrimp food awhile back. It was completely uninterested in the wafer. You may think that I starved the shrimp, but this isn’t the case. I stopped adding the shrimp food once the algae and mulm started to develop & the shrimp didn’t go to the wafers any more after I put them in. There is enough food in the natural tank ecosystem for the shrimp now. Adding additional can be harmful, since it can cause the shrimp to molt too quickly, which kills them. The carbon dioxide diffuser has bubbles, so the CO2 appears to be working.
Am I ready for cherry shrimp? Maybe so. I’m going to check my ammonia levels (I need to purchase a test kit) first. There is an aquarium show I was invited to this weekend. There should be some good advice there to move me forward or keep my playing around a bit more until I take the cherry shrimp leap.
DAY 64: pH 7.6, temp 78 degrees, 0 nitrites
I now have cycled the tank for 2 months & it is stable. Time to try CO2! I removed the water circulating power head today & replaced it with an air filter. The air filter will add oxygen & carbon dioxide to the water. The sponge filter for the air is the same one I’ve been using. I also increased the water level in the tank a little, since my palm has grown tall enough to do so. Using DIY instructions I found online, I made a yeast mixture (2 cups of sugar, 1/3 tsp yeast, warm water) in a 2 liter pop bottle. Sexy Face drilled a hole in the cap for me, and I shoved in an air hose. I attached the other end of the hose to a Fluval CO2 diffuser, which I stuck in the tank.
CO2 can lower my pH. It also can cause pH swings that would hurt the shrimp. Buffering is important to prevent this. My pH is very stable, so I’m not too concerned. I hopefully will also not blow the house up with my McGuyver’ed CO2 contraption.
I priced the local pet store for cherry shrimp, and the price was outrageous ($6/shrimp!!) so I will decidely not be purchasing through them. There are several breeders through aquabid.com that will serve my needs fine.
I also added another new moss (also from Bob- thanks, Bob!) which I treated in the same manner as I did to add the previous moss.
I hadn’t noticed a shrimp in a few days, but did see 1 today (of course it was after I was messing around like crazy, thinking they were all dead). I had thought that maybe it had been the assassin snail eating the shrimp & that’s where they were vanishing to, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Where are the shrimp bodies?
Paludarium Day 51: pH 7.6, temp 78 degrees
Observed 4 ghost shrimp walking around today, but also had to pull out a dead shrimp. I added a new aquatic moss. No clue what it is. I got it from a guy named Bob who has amazing pond plants. I left the moss sitting for a few days and then thoroughly rinsed it out with aquarium water before adding it to the tank. Something was still in there though, as I witnessed some sort of tiny worm and a bug like organism swimming around in the tank. I removed numerous pond snails & threw them in with the assassin. By the way, the assassin seems completely fine in it’s new vase home. I haven’t seen the other pregnant shrimp since yesterday. I’m starting to get some algae, which I have to be careful about it. I’m going to pull out the affected shells/rocks & clean it off.
Day 55: temp 78 degrees
The circuit breaker tripped, so the tank didn’t have water circulation for about 24 hours. Pulled out 1 dead shrimp today. I haven’t seen the pregnant shrimp in days, but also haven’t seen any babies. There is more dead plant material.
Day 42: pH 7.6, temp 78 degrees
Only observed 1 shrimp in tank & the assassin snail. No shrimp bodies. Where are the shrimp going? Added 13 more ghost shrimp to tank, and adjusted the biological sponge filter covering the power head for better coverage of it. Did a very gradual add of the shrimp to the tank, by exchanging their store water for tank water a baster full every 10/15 minutes until a complete water exchange took place. Then left bag floating in tank until I was sure the temperature equalized before releasing them into the environment.
Day 44: pH 7.6, temp 78 degrees
Saw 3 active shrimp and the assassin snail, but also found 1 dead shrimp. Removed some pond snails. Observed molted exoskeleton of a shrimp.
Day 45: 78 degrees
Removed 2 more dead shrimp. The internet says that molting can sometimes kill shrimp. It also tells me that ghost shrimp aren’t well cared for in capture, transit or the store because they are viewed only as food. I accidentally damaged the longest arm of the sword plant by tangling it on the drift wood, so it broke off. Saw 7 shrimp running around today. 1 has eggs in it’s saddle.
Day 46: 78 degrees
Ahh!!! The assassin attacked one of my pregnant shrimp! I tried to save it, but it was too late. The shrimp is now dead. Moved the assassin out of the tank. Now I have a water plant vase going only with snails, as well as my paludarium. The shrimp blogs have some postings about assassins eating their shrimp. There is dispute as to whether they do it (THEY DO) and why. Some say it is because the assassin is starving. This is absolutely not the case for me. There is plenty of food for the assassin. Is this where my missing shrimp have been going??
Paludarium DAY 39: pH 7.6, temp 78, nitrites 0
The last couple of days I have only seen 1 shrimp running around. Since I had 2 very active ones previously, it makes me wonder if I lost more shrimp. It’s hard to tell if this is the same individual I keep seeing or not. No dead shrimp bodies anywhere though.
The assassin has been running around, but seems to have little impact on the prolific pond snail population.
The plants (MOST of them) have been GROWING. The lily has doubled its footprint, although it doesn’t seem any taller. One of the palm fronds has gotten taller. I’d like to increase the water depth a bit but can’t until the other fronds do as well. Currently 2 of them have their leaves sitting in water.
There is a small amount of algae build-up on some of the shells.
I have yet to vacuum the gravel, though I know I should.
I’ve been doing a little over a 1/2gal water change twice a week. Sometimes I also do smaller water changes throughout the week as well. On average, I’d say its a weekly 1 & 1/2 gal water change. The water I pull out from the tank goes directly into my watering can to water my house plants. It’s a simple, nutrient rich water recycling that seems to be working well.
I’m going to be building my own carbon dioxide delivery system soon. I know that will hugely improve the happiness of the baby tears. Carbon dioxide alters the pH, so I will have to be careful, but mine is usually high anyway.