Now that Christmas is well and truly over, Its time to get back to fishkeeping. The first thing I want to share is the latest tank Ive set up. Its a small 20l nano aquarium that will house some shrimps.
I really wanted this tank to be low maintenance and straight forward so I decided to use a new bit of kit I've been looking at for some time. This is the Starter Box Shrimp from Prodibio. As you know Ive used some of the Prodibio water treatments in the past so I know how good they are. What appealed to me the most about this box was the all-in-one kit idea.
In the box was:
- Aquashrimp Powder (soil)
- Bacterkit Soil
- Chloral Reset Nano
- Startup Nano
- Bioclean Fresh Nano
On the outside of the bucket, you have five simple steps to setting up your aquarium which are really easy to understand. All the products are clearly labeled inside and its pretty much failsafe. The hardest part of setting up this tank would prove to be the choice of rock and plants.
- Conditioning the water using Chloral Reset. Using tap water I filled my watering can and cracked open the first of the vials, adding one for 30l.
- Once the water was mixed, I poured about 2cm of the water into the empty tank and added the entire contents of the Bacterkit Soil. The bacteria and nutrients in these vials will establish a healthy colony to kickstart the biological filtration. The bacteria will actually favour fish waste and turn it into food for any live plants you add.
- Time for the soil! I always enjoy this part. playing with mud and water takes me back to childhood haha. With such a small surface area, you don't have many options for laying out the soil. However, the small grain size of the Aquashrimp powder Soil makes is slightly easier to manage. This also allows any baby shrimps to remain on the surface with ease. Unlike some soil there is no need to rinse before using either. I knew I wanted the internal filter on the left hand side so I sloped the soil from the back right down to the front left. This was giving me plenty of space on the back left corner to attach the internal corner filter.
- Adding my hardscape and live plants. Aquascaping is never easy in smaller tanks and with limited resources, I opted for some rock ive used before. Placing the rock in position, I added a little more soil to finish off the setting. My choice of plan was a variety of African Water Fern I picked up last year. I will add some more plants in the coming months but for now this will do just fine. With everything in place , its time for the water. Not wanting to disturb the substrate, I used one of my daughters toy kitchen colander. It sat perfectly in between the two rocks and done a great job of preventing the substrate from being disturbed as the water was poured in.
- Once water is fully added and everything is set, I added the two vials in the Startup pack. This initiates the Nitrogen cycle by adding more bacteria and an Ammonia binder. You should be able to add 1/3 of your toughest fish after four hours when using this product. I added my shrimp about six hours after completing the setup.
Like all the other Prodibio water treatments ive used in the past, this was no different. After adding livestock six hours after setup, everything was looking healthy and the shrimps were feeding, moving about and displaying good solid colours. The instructions on the box state that after one week you need to maintain the biological filtration by performing a 1/3 of a water change. replacing the water with conditioned water by adding Chloral Reset & Bioclean Fresh to make sure your bacteria remains healthy. From this point onwards, a 1/3 water change every 15 days plus Bioclean Fresh with conditioned water will keep your water crystal clear.
Ive been using Prodibio in my aquariums for some time now and the vials included in this bucket, I have used them all before. I know they are good. What I like the most about this kit is that it has everything you need. For someone setting up their first shrimp tank, this is perfect.
One thing worth pointing out though is that if you are planning on keeping some of the more delicate species like crystal shrimps that require a slightly harder water then you will need to buffer your water slightly to accommodate that. There are many different ways to do this including KH+ and GH+ from Prodibio.
Although there is nothing new in the Starter Box Shrimp, Prodibio have cleverly Bunched together the essential ingredients for making the perfect shrimp aquarium - All you need is the shrimps!!
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bye for now