Floating plants are a great addition to the home aquarium. The first few times we tried to keep floating plants, it all failed. Water lettuce, frogbit, and red root floater all melted away and died within days.
After multiple tries, we think that we have figured out the tricks to keep floating plants in the aquarium! The YouTube video below summarizes 8 essential tips for keeping floating plants alive and thriving in the home aquarium.
For beginners we recommend Salvinia, or water spangles, as the first starting floating plant. It is also easy to remove, as a great contrast to duckweed.
Recently, one of our phoenix rasboras (cousin of chili rasbora) is getting a little round in the belly. Is it pregnant (or the more technical term is gravid)?
We are not very sure, will ask in a forum soon afterwards. Possible alternative reasons is that it is bloated, overfed or even dropsy!
From our experience, it is better that the phoenix rasbora is fat rather than thin. A thin rasbora signals a possible internal parasite problem, which proves to be fatal for this small rasbora species in our experience.
For more footage of the pregnant rasbora, do check out the YouTube video below.
We showcase 3 fish that won’t eat shrimp, tried and tested in our very own 5 gallon nano planted tank.
1) Phoenix Rasbora
2) Neon Tetra
3) Lambchop Rasbora
These 3 fish are shrimp safe, in our experience.
There are many baby shrimp, juvenile shrimp, as well as adult blue shrimp (blue version of cherry shrimp) living happily alongside those fish. As well as 1 Amano shrimp.
From what we observe, the fish don’t disturb or bother the shrimp as well. Music is “Foo the Flowerhorn” style peaceful music, aka the Gymnopedie No. 3.
Usually, aggressive or predatory fish like the betta tend to eat or hunt shrimp.
It is relatively easy to breed shrimp, especially cherry shrimp and its color variants. There need to be enough calcium source in the tank, what we did is put some coral chips (crushed corals) which has calcium carbonate. The most common way for shrimp to die is due to unsuccessful molting.
The above video is Day 1 (21 July 2020) of planting Monte Carlo. Hopefully it will survive and carpet in the low tech tank, without CO2!
Monte Carlo Carpet Without CO2 (Day 7 Update)
Day 7: Noticeable improvement in the Monte Carlo carpet in my low tech, no CO2 tank! I do have a mini “time lapse” photo of the Monte Carlo before and after, the difference is quite noticeable. The Monte Carlo has “rooted” itself deeper into the substrate. Hopefully it continues to improve and spread out even more.
Day 13: Monte carlo time lapse (Day 13 Photo Time Lapse), Turning a little brown!
Monte Carlo low tech time lapse (photo montage), up till day 13. Growth is noticeable, but yet there is some yellowing and browning. I think the Monte Carlo is still adapting, and possibly transitioning from emersed to submersed. I just heard that another plant, Marsilea hirsuta, may be even easier than Monte Carlo to grow. Tropica rates the Marsilea hirsuta as easy, while Monte Carlo is rated medium. Maybe will try it if the Monte Carlo melts and dies.
Monte Carlo Low Tech Day 25: Growing Upwards!
This is Day 25 of growing Monte Carlo in low tech, no CO2 tank. The Monte Carlo is growing and surviving, however the growth is vertically upwards instead of carpeting horizontally. In other words, the Monte Carlo plant is not carpeting.
How do we ensure that the Monte Carlo carpets and grow horizontally? Please comment below if you have any suggestions!
Recently upgraded my air pump to the Eheim Air Pump 200, with dual output. My previous air pump was not strong enough to power 2 sponge filters simultaneously.
This Eheim Air Pump is very strong. In fact, it is almost too strong, I had to lower to the lowest setting for my 2 gallon nano tank. For the 5 gallon tank, I select the medium setting, and angle the output towards the wall. The sponge filter output was made to be above the water level (there is less turbulence this way).
Overall, this air pump is very good and quiet. Do expect some noise though, it is not totally silent. I would say it has the same noise level as a fan, which is totally acceptable. Also, I find that the 2 adjustable valves are not totally independent, when I adjust one valve it will affect the other output as well.
Review: The Eheim Air Pump is a highly recommended air pump for fish keepers with 2 aquariums.
The Eheim 200 Air Pump is also labelled as Eheim PHL207184. There is a more powerful Eheim 400 (twice the output), but based on my review most aquariums under 50 gallons should not require such a powerful pump (maybe 50 gallons and above may need it).
This depends on how many shrimp you have, and also your tank setup. Ideally, shrimp such as cherry shrimp or Amano shrimp can survive on algae and biofilm. Hence, if your tank is well planted, you only need to feed lightly. Personally, I only feed the shrimps once a week, at around 2 Hikari Shrimp pellets per shrimp.
If your tank is bare (no plants), you need to feed more, maybe once every day or once every two days.
Supplementing with Hikari Shrimp food is good because it contains essential minerals like copper (shrimp need small amounts of copper) and other minerals that can help shrimp molt.