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Hello all,

My name is Matt. I live in south eastern Wisconsin (near Milwaukee). I've been in the hobby since I was a kid, however I've only really just embraced its possibilities at age 34 (amongst this madness that has been the pandemic).

I grew up next to a pond, and every day I wasn't in school or at a friends house I was knee deep in the water catching fish, frogs, crawfish, and turtles.

Throughout my life I've kept many species of reptiles, amphibians and most recently fish.

I'm married and have a three year old son (who runs this town), two cats, a 33gal Long community aquarium and am currently setting up a 15gal Tall shrimp tank.

I've been listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos and have decided this is a reputable, helpful resource and community. I hope to learn a lot from all of you, and also contribute with my knowledge and experience when it's appropriate.

I'm working on two projects I could use help with.


My Community Tank:

33Gal Long Planted Community tank:

Filter - Rena XP3 (output throttled to low) with a sponge pre-filter. Light - LED strip timed to run 9 hours a day. Air stone, and a heater - calibrated to 76degrees Fahrenheit. 

Flora & Fauna:  Active substrate with dwarf sag, broadleaf sag, rotala indica, red melon swords, ludwigia super red, anubias nana petite with neon tetras, serpae tetras, cherry barbs, mystery snails and a nerite snail (and hitchhiker bladder snails).

I dose about 5ml of Seachem Flourish and Excel daily - I've had many different sources provide different instructions how much or how little to dose.

Issue: I'm getting brown diatoms over the plants, substrate and glass. I'm also getting a population of beard algae (I think) on the far left piece of driftwood). However it isn't showing up on other driftwood. The aquarium is a little over a month old. Driftwood, rocks and filter media were re-used in this build from a larger tank that was established.image.png.a31b31ee024916b99ceb059abd132670.png






My Future Shrimp Tank:

I found a free 15Gallon tall aquarium from family and thought it'd be a good start to a "nano" shrimp tank. I wish it was a bit smaller, but it's hard not to use a perfectly good aquarium when it falls in your lap.

I removed the top trim with a putty knife and plyers and meant to leave the bottom trim on, however when I was moving the aquarium slightly the entire bottom trim fell off (in one piece!).  This startled me a bit and I was concerned for the integrity of the rest of the aquarium.

I filled it up with water and a large piece of driftwood and have been letting it sit for over 24 hours. So far no leaks or bowing. From what I can tell, the plastic trim on my aquarium was thin, poorly adhered and didn't provide any structural importance to the whole tank. The silicone looks solid and this tank may have sat for decades in a basement after its initial uses.

I have a few questions:

1. Have you de-rimmed a tank this size and has it held up alright?

2. What sort of filter and light would you recommend for a 15Gal tall (20x10x18) holding shrimp and maybe some Danio or other nano fish

3. Any tips on how to prep a shrimp tank? Plants, lighting, heat, other parameters. Fish that work well with them.


Edited by illconceivedart
Corrected aquarium dimensions
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Welcome to the Forum! Nice looking 33-long, and fun project with the 15 gal.

I’m sure this won’t answer all of your questions... but I’ll start thinking out loud with you here. With the 15 gal, my concern would be the actual long term durability of that 15 gal silicone. A few months ago, my 5-yr-old decided it would be good to swing a wiffle ball bat in his bedroom near his little 5.5 gal tank. He smashed a hole in the front... fortunately, big brother saved the fish... I saved the plants... but the dresser it was set on, a mattress on the floor, and digital piano all got destroyed. My point: that was 5.5 gallons. If you’re going to go with your rimless tank, put it somewhere that if it “pops” you’ll not be spending a ton of money to replace stuff.

As for shrimp set up, I find (as you’ve doubtless read and seen on videos) that they like an established tank and really do best where there are _no fish_. They will do well with a couple Catappa leaves added so they can eat the micro fauna on the decomposing pieces. I highly recommend a sponge filter. Our shrimp prefer the fine filter to nibble off of. Loads of Java moss is typical too. For lighting, look into the Amazon spot light that MD Aquariums uses.

The algae in your 33 gal is drawing nutrition from somewhere that your plants aren’t fully using. Perhaps your light is too bright. Maybe cut back on the ferts some. From my perspective, algae is just normative in our tanks. Here’s a shot of our 33-gal long...


You can throw in a couple bristlenose Plecos to help with glass algae. Others like hill stream loaches.

Good luck to you! Looking forward to hearing from you more on this forum.

Edited by Fish Folk
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Welcome to the forum I have had black bead in the passed link to nutrient deficiencie if you plants aren't getting what they need they will get out competed by algae what fertilizer are you using and I would cut your lighting period to 8hrs a day you can stop treat black bead algae with seachem flourish excel just be careful not to over dose as that will harm your fish I would add some Ramshorn or nerite snails to help with algae control Bristlenose pleco as @Fish Folk suggest will also work well

Edited by Colu
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Thanks all!

I've got a nerite snail, mystery snails and bladder snails. I dose Seachem Flourish (5ml) and Excel (5ml) daily. I'll bring the the light down to 8hrs as recommended.

I'm picking up a Chocolate Zebra pleco today from my local shop, but I've read conflicting information on whether or not they'll eat algae.

I'm leaning slightly towards buying a new 15-20 gallon instead of using the free 15gal tank I de-rimmed. I'm on the fence because the tank I de-rimmed is holding water fine and the silicone looks great. However it's manufactured date was the late 80's.

Do I want to risk planting it and stocking it, just to have it burst (and potentially lose livestock)? It will be in my basement (concrete floor).

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Petco had 20Gallon aquariums on sale for 50% off so I bought one to replace my 15gal that is suspect. I feel much better using that instead of the 15gallon that's over 30 years old. I just have to decide what I'm going to plant and stock.

I got a pleco today and the fish store couldn't give me the exact L number or name. They think it is a "chocolate zebra pleco" but they said it may be different. Can anyone identify this?


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Thanks! I'm going to sign up for the Milwaukee club one of these days.

My new pleco has ich, however I caught it quickly and started dosing the tank.

Let me say, I'm not into social media. I have dabbled in a few and at this point in my life it's just not for me. With that said I've been on Instagram and love that platform. Sharing images of art, nature and our aquariums is awesome!

I started an Instagram account dedicated to my art and aquariums (mostly aquariums for now since that's peaked my interest). Please checkout www.instagram.com/illconceivedart and follow if your interested.

I'll share my journey with my tanks, and its process.

New shrimp tank WIP:




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Welcome from a fellow Wisconsinite who now resides on the other side of the Cheddar Curtain! 

Regarding the 33-gallon tank, I haven't had diatoms, but a friend did, and his Amanos turned orange-brown from eating them all the time. Plecos do eat algae, but more during their juvenile stage. Nerite snails do a good job too, at least on the glass. You have a beautiful tank, and I'm having long-tank envy compared to my 30-gallon.

I ran a 5.5-gallon shrimp tank successfully with wild form and cherry neocaridinas until it was crashed by scuds. I didn't know what those little silvery crustacean thingies were for quite a while, and after I found out what they were, I didn't know they could be harmful until they crashed the tank and I researched why (they ate all the newborn shrimp). They arrived on some plants, much like snails do, and I probably had them in other tanks but they never established a population because fish eat them, thus eradicating the problem before it could start. For the set-up, yes plants, yes driftwood, usually no fish although sometimes people do ok with a betta in there, and definitely NO scuds. Watch carefully for them, and if you do see them, it might be worthwhile to run your shrimp tank with a betta or a few nanofish to get rid of the scuds. Good luck and happy shrimping!

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