Self-Sustaining Tropical Fish Tank with Shrimp
A recent Forum post in tropicalfishkeeping.com raises a lot of interesting questions about the concept of a tiny eco-system for a tropical fish tank that features freshwater shrimp. It seems he wants one works all by itself with no interference from the aquarist who is responsible for it. I think a few comments on the post’s topic are in order. Hopefully some of the advice will help other new aquarists reading this post to understand the initial processes that are happening; and the time it takes to allow them to run their full course.
A brief summary of the aquarium:
I started out my aprox 1/2 gallon tank(picture attached) with 1 plant(not sure what it is but i know its from petco), some gravel, two ghost shrimp, and 1 snail. After countless hours of research i thought i knew everything i needed to begin my SSA, but as soon as i had put my invertebrates into the tank, i knew i had rushed the cycling system. Not realizing the important role of bacteria in the water, i figured i would just put some algae wafers into the water to feed the invertebrates and everything would be fine till the algae started to grow.
It is a small (Nano style) tropical fish tank with only 1/2 gallon of water that is destined to hold shrimp and a snail. Obviously the writer is new to keeping aquatic organism, but I must give him credit for trying to find the right way to do it. He seems to have attempted to research the project from available research material. But the information does not seem to have been of a high quality. I have tried to provide all that in this blog’s sister site Freshwater Tropical Fish Tanks although the site is dedicated to larger aquariums and the proper maintenance of tropical freshwater fish.
What really worries me is the lack of understanding about the nitrogen cycle – the words are there, but the timing is way off, it takes much closer to a month or even six weeks to mature the appropriate bacteria into almost any tropical fish tank, certainly not just a week and a half.