New Nano Desk Setup - No Filter

Discussion in 'Planted Tanks' started by Alan Muller, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. Alan Muller

    Alan Muller

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    This is my first no-filter setup. It's a very tiny desktop tank with 5 ember tetras and 5 no-name shrimp (they hide quite a bit but frolic nicely when I am not too close). It has a soil substrate with gravel cap and has been running successfully for 3 days. I done quite a lot of research to make sure that I don't make any grave mistakes but would appreciate any advice if you think there is something pressing I must take into account.

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  3. Nirvashen

    Nirvashen

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    i think for a no filter tank you gonna need a lot more plant mass and lots of fast growing plants , and a very small bio-load, did you cycle the tank before hand?
     
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  4. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Nice @Alan Muller !
    Would be nice to get more plants in, for me things like eriocauron Vietnam and dwarf hair grass works well in the foreground in my no-filter vase
     
  5. OP
    Alan Muller

    Alan Muller

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    Thank you both, @A new day and @Nirvashen

    I used mature tank water from an existing healthy one. The plants were also pinched from the same established ecosystem (I hope this is enough 'cycling'). The water went slightly cloudy for about half a day and then cleared right up.

    I am in the process of getting more plants;in the meantime, should I perhaps float more the the cabomba-looking plant in the tank?
     
  6. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Floating plants will help yes. And Seachem stability for a week.

    A handful of seeded gravel or piece of hardscape from a seeded tank will help a lot more than water from a tank, as the beneficial bacteria occupy surfaces. Even a piece or two of seeded matrix dropped into the tank.

    Feed lightly and keep an eye on the water parameters obviously.
     
  7. Nirvashen

    Nirvashen

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    i agree this should give you a good start
     
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  8. OP
    Alan Muller

    Alan Muller

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    Thanks for the advice @Nirvashen and @A new day.

    Headed down to a small but really great LFS and managed to pick up some dwarf hair grass and anubias (I think). I also added some seeded gravel and hope it will be a sufficient insurance policy.

    I noticed yesterday that one of the shrimp is berried (must have been bought this way and I only just saw it). Do you have any idea if the ember tetras might snack on the little ones?

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  9. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Nice!
    If you add susswassertang / mosses etc to provide lots of cover for shrimplets you shouldn’t lose many to ember tetras. But yes you need more coverage
     
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  10. OP
    Alan Muller

    Alan Muller

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    My LFS doesn't have any susswassertang but has a fair range of mosses. Any suggestions?
     
  11. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    If you were in CT I would’ve sorted you out! Create a thread under the Wanted section for pta guys who might be able to spare susswassertang?

    Moss wise I’m having good success with peacock moss in low tech - fast grower, compact and pretty. Java moss also very easy. Fissidens moss very pretty but slower growing.
     
  12. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Also check in with our forum sponsors eg @ShrimpNation they can ship it to you
     
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  13. Radesh

    Radesh

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    Hello Alan, I have 2 small bunches of susswassertang each about 5cm wide which you are welcome to have.
     
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  14. OP
    Alan Muller

    Alan Muller

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    Thanks, @A new day. I managed to pick up some Christmas moss that has filled things out quite nicely - now just to wait for it to grow in a little. Since I have added the other plants, the tetras are a lot less skittish and the shrimp seem very busy with their assigned maintenance. There is a fair amount of biofilm in the talk but no algae to speak of (hooray!).
     
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  15. OP
    Alan Muller

    Alan Muller

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    Thanks, @Radesh! Midrand is perhaps a little beyond my current scope of travel but can I drop you a line if I come through that way? It is a very generous offer.
     
  16. Radesh

    Radesh

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    Sure no problem at all. Just let me know and I will PM you my number
     
  17. OP
    Alan Muller

    Alan Muller

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    Thanks to everybody here for the great advice so far. It is day ten and the embers swim freely and feed eagerly. The added plant cover seems to have made them far more comfortable. The shrimp are molting (at least this is how I am choosing to think about the ghostly shrimp-shaped husks I sporadically find) and crypts are growing very happily. The outcome of this little desk project might have been quite different without your help.
     
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  18. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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  19. OP
    Alan Muller

    Alan Muller

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    So, 6 weeks in and things are looking very different thanks to the input from everybody who has commented on this thread. Everything looks a little overgrown at the moment but I woke up to a few new shrimplets this morning and I don't want to fish them out along with extra plants by mistake.

    The dwarf hairgrass has taken off far better than I expected and the crypts are growing up a storm. As the older leaves melt back and the shrimp deal with them (remarkably quickly), new ones keep coming up. I added a handful of new shrimps from a private breeder and got three bladder snails as a surprise freebee. I know people frown upon them but I think of them as a hallmark of a healthy ecosystem (please correct me if I am wrong on this).

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  20. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Nice little ecosystem there :thumbup:
     
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  21. fux940510

    fux940510

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    Bladder/pond snails are awesome :thumbup: the amount of snails you see will probably die down once everything settles, plants stop melting, etc. Great cleaner inverts and a population explosion is usually a good sign that you might be overfeeding or plants are unhappy
     
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