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I had a small planted 10 gallon tank running for nearly 3 years with nothing more than a population of Red Cherry Shrimp that are all descended from 10 I originally bought on eBay of all places. That tank was remarkably resilient, thriving even when my roommates didn't do a single thing for nearly 3 months (came back to find a thick mat of plants in the 2" of water that hadn't evaporated yet, and the HOB filter fried from running dry for god knows how long). I was tired of always having to cut back the plants to keep it from getting overgrown and unsightly, so I decided to upgrade. I bought my current tank, a 20 gallon bow front, on Craigslist for $20 and set it up that night. And thus began my current adventure!


I don't even remember where I got it from its been collecting dust in the garage for so long, but I'm using an Aqueon 30 HOB filter (200 GPH) in this tank. The intake is covered by a sponge prefilter to protect the shrimp fry and provide a quality food source for the adults.


I use a 300 lumen Marineland LED light that has a night setting that leaves just the 3 blue LEDs on. The daylight setting is used for about 10-12 hours each day before being turned off for the night.


The HOB filter I use generates a moderate current, especially because it is meant for a tank 50% larger. The current is strongest right at the surface before being directed downward along the front wall of the tank. The curve of bow front seems to help moderate the flow through the tank.




103 Invertebrate

3 Malaysian Trumpet Snail Melanoides tuberculata
100 Red Cherry Shrimp Neocaridina denticulata sinensis

5 Plants

Anubias Congensis Anubias afzelii
Crested Java Fern Microsorum pteropus
Dwarf Spikerush Eleocharis parvula
Giant Red Bacopa Bacopa caroliniana
Java Moss Vesicularia dubyana



Other than the SeaChem Prime I use for water changes, the only additives I consistently use are SeaChem Flourish and Instant Ocean Reef Accelerator. I add the former once a week at the recommended dosage to feed the plants, and the latter every other week to help provide the minerals the shrimp need for their exoskeletons.
I'll also occasionally add some API CO2 Booster, but more so on a whim rather than my observations of the tank's health.


I've got an automatic feeder that drops a combination of Omega One Super Color flakes and spirulina flakes 3 times a day that keeps the shrimp happy without their population exploding. I'll supplement this with a variety of pellet foods a couple times each week, especially when I want to draw them out to an area with better visibility to keep tabs on their health.

On average you perform a 50% water change every 3 days.

0% total water change in November.

0 activities in the last year

Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov

Disasters & Regrets

Not even 2 weeks in I already have my first regret: being too impatient and adding livestock before the bacterial colonies were properly established and the nitrogen cycle completed. After adding somewhere between 50 & 100 RCS the ammonia began to spike, sending me into a scramble. I performed a 50% water change and moved the Aqueon 10 HOB filter from the tank I'm transferring all these from to this new tank. Fingers crossed, because I know I'm not out of the woods yet!