Beginner's Shrimp Vase - Surface Film & Water Change or Not

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travellife
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Beginner's Shrimp Vase - Surface Film & Water Change or Not

Post by travellife »

Here's a Google Photo Album of my setup: https://goo.gl/photos/45C4ZB4nDbunWsi46

I used a heavy leaded glass flower vase with Aquasolum substrate, about 1-1/2 gallons. It's been up and running since Mid October this year. No filtration or heater, lighting is a desk lamp running a 13watt CFL for 12 hours. Plants are Anubias, Wisteria, and Java Moss. I’ve been wrapping a blanket around the sides of the tank at night for warmth. I added the plants and waited a couple of weeks before adding my 1st shrimp, supposed to be a Sunkist?, and a Horned Nerite Snail. Then I added a pregnant shrimp, also supposed to be a Sunkist, 3 weeks later. She had her babies 2 days after adding her to the vase. So far I've counted 6 babies.

I'd really appreciate feedback about the following:

Should I leave surface film totally alone and only top off evaporated water as needed. Or, should I be doing a small, say 5-10% water change and if so how often? I've been experimenting with no water changes and only doing topoffs, the shrimp seem happier when I do this.
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Re: Beginner's Shrimp Vase - Surface Film & Water Change or Not

Post by Mustafa »

Yeah...leave the surface film alone. It's useful as food and filtration actually. And if you're not feeding much at all you can just top off. If you are, at some point your nitrates will get super high and you'll have to do water changes.
travellife
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Re: Beginner's Shrimp Vase - Surface Film & Water Change or Not

Post by travellife »

Hi Mustafa,

What I've been doing lately is removing a little of it with a turkey baster when it gets thicker and is to the point of covering the entire surface. Then doing a slow drip for topoffs which kind of mixes in most of the remaining film, it starts building up again within a day. I'd like to introduce a fine mist air stone but am waiting until the babies are larger. I only drop in a small fish flake once a week, if anything I'm worried about underfeeding them but they all seem to be doing well.

There's an interesting discussion about surface film on the planted tank forum at http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8-gen ... -film.html

I typically let it get to this stage before removing any of it, very much reminds me of pond scum which in a natural tank should be a good thing: http://tinyurl.com/heuhtyr
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Re: Beginner's Shrimp Vase - Surface Film & Water Change or Not

Post by Mustafa »

I'd just leave it, but then again people may not like the aesthetics of it. If you have *really* low nutrients...(i.e. you don't feed for a very long time and only top off with RO or DI or distilled water) you may not have any surface film at some point...or very little.
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