Hey everyone, I am new to the forum. I finally got my tank up and running so I figured these boards would be a good place to learn as a I go.
I have a 75 gallon freshwater tank with 8 small (1 inch) Koi Angelfish, and 20 Rasbora Hets. I will begin planting in a month or so when I get my Co2 system.
I purchased 7 Japonica shrimp from a local store who assured me they would be fine with my existing fish since the Angels are small and the shrimp were all over an inch long. However, after only three days I can only find one shrimp. There is lava rock in the tank which is very porous and provides plenty of nooks to hide in. But today I found two bodies lying on top of the substrate. Is it likely that the Angelfish are responsible? My water conditions appear to be fine (ammonia/nitrates 0 ppm).
First of: Welcome to the Forum!
Very good move to test the water first and post this here, a lot of times that's reasoning for issues right there is nitrate peaks etc, but in your case we can rule this out.
There could be a number of reasons for the shrimp. First of shrimp generally seem to have troubles in new tanks and die quick in tanks that are not established (established meaning fully cycled and running with the fish for a number of months). Also a possibility: Have you used any type of fertilizer in there of any kind; they react deadly to Copper in ferts? Last but not least, what type of filter are you using depending on the size they were when you got them they could have litterly went down the drain?
Now both of your exiting fish may look sweet & innocent to you, but they will feed on the shrimp well, so this could very well be the case, despite what the Salesman promised you, I'm sorry to say that.
What I would do in your case: Heavily plant the tank once the plants are beginning to establish themselves and start growing, then try to have shrimp again (so they have better chances of hiding/ running away from their predictors).
For a well planted tank, you do not need a CO2 system, this is definitely not a must have for having plants.
My own tanks are all set w/out CO2 nor fertilizers nor nothing but GOOD light and good water. IMO a good light is the biggest key to healthy plants. So save yourself the $ for the machinery and spent the $ on a TON of plants and a proper light (What lights do you currently have on there?):-)
Also I'm sure Byron will check in here later and tell you all about the lights and the non-necessity of CO2 :-)
Thanks for the response!
I have not used fertilizer yet since I have no plants (I do have rich substrate including flourite if that makes a difference). I currently have two Emperor 400 Bio-wheel surface filters since my canister filter burst last week. One of the surface filters I've had since day 1 so the biological filtration is established. My tank has only been cycling for only one month though so that could be the problem. I'll take your suggestion and try shrimp again when the tank is planted. I just really enjoy the shrimp as they add an element of interest on the ground level of the aquarium.
As far as the Co2 goes, I still am not sure what to do. I have read seemingly hundreds of opinions on this subject. From what I understand, it is a necessity to allow the plants I want to grow nice and hardy while reducing algae. For instance I am planning to use 'Dwarf Baby Tears' as a foreground/ground cover. Would that grow rapidly without Co2 injection?
I forgot to add that I have a Sundial T5 HO lighting system. It has the built in dual-timers and lunar lights all on one electrical cord. It has been great so far and runs surprisingly cool. It has 4 54 watt bulbs (216 watts total). So I am looking at approx. 2.88 watts per gallon.
I hear you about the shrimp, that's why I have 'special' extra shrimp tanks, I LOVE them lil guys. Let the tank run some more, plant nicely and try again. Like I said there's a number reasons that can cause this.
You know all my tanks always exploded plant wise and I never had used fert's nor CO2, all I had was good water and good lights.
In my new 55g I have baby tears as foreground as well and again no CO2.
IMO THE most important for proper plant growth is adequate lights, followed 2nd by either very good source water (rich on minerals) or alternatively 'normal tap water' enriched by fertilizer followed strait by proper tank care such as weekly water exchange and plant trimming as needed.
Having the proper combo out of Light-Water-Maintenance, IMO you def do not need CO2.
I absolutely do not know this kinda lamp, so we'll need to fin BYRON :-) what you would want for plants is full spectrum lights if these are or not, I can't tell you not knowing them at all sorry.
You can buy a variety of different bulbs for this fixture which cover different UV spectrums. What lights are you currently using?
PedrosPinnacle, welcome to the forum. You've asked questions about lights and planted tanks. I totally agree with Angel, CO2 is not a requirement for lush thriving planted aquaria. I have no direct experience with baby tears and have heard it is not easy without higher light and maybe CO2 to balance [more on that in a moment], but Angel says she grows it without so clearly it is possible.
I had a look at the Sundial lighting online, and this appears to be actinic lighting geared for marine reef tanks. According to all the plant authorities I have read, actinic light is not recommended for freshwater planted tanks, so I am going to suggest some good tubes. Some, perhaps all, of these are available in various types to fit different fixtures, so you will have to check into that aspect.
The overall best light for planted tanks is full spectrum with a kelvin rating around 6500K. The sun at mid-day is around 5500-6000K, so tubes in this range replicate the sun. But not all tubes are the same just because they are "full spectrum." It depends upon the colour enhancing and this is shown in the spectrum graph for the tube; most manufacturers put this graph on their packaging or website. Plants use light in the blue and red range to photosynthesize. They reflect green, which is why the leaves appear "green" to us. But green in the spectrum balances the blue and red, which otherwise makes the aquarium look purplish and the plant and fish colours do not appear natural. Having a balanced full spectrum achieves both goals, providing what the plants most use and providing a natural colour of fish and plants.
The Life-Glo and Life-Glo 2 are my personal favorite tubes. Zoo Med makes a similar called Ultra Sun. Phillips and Sylvania make daylight tubes that are comparable, and they also have enhanced daylight tubes that are slightly higher in the blue. When you have two tubes in the fixture, you can mix these to create the best possible light, full spectrum and cool blue combined. Plants have been shown to grow stronger under this combination.
One watt per gallon of normal fluorescent light is ample for most plants, and no CO2. I have the above-mentioned combination of tubes over my tanks, and you can check the photos under my "Aquariums" to see what they look like plant-wise. If you have further questions to follow-up, just ask. There are many members with considerable experience in various aspects of fishkeeping here, and all are eager to assist.
I too have a low-tech i.e. low light tank. (just shy of 2 watts per gallon) As far as to CO2 or not CO2, I won't stear you one way or the other. As the above posts have mentioned you can grow many plants without CO2. On the flip side, with CO2 you can grow a variety of plants that wouldn't grow in your tank without it.
The deciding factors are usually first and foremost which plants would you like to grow and how much money and effort are you willing to put into the hobby. But normally with that much light, without CO2 you would have algae problems.
My Sundial had the option of marine actinic lighting or freshwater 'daylights'. Obviously I chose the latter since I have a freshwater aquarium. I'll have to look at the lighting specs when I get home but they should be geared towards plants and not coral.
By the way thanks for your help and the warm welcome. Your tanks look fantastic.
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