11 gallons dwarf sp. aquarium

This aquarium houses dwarf species, like fish, shrimps and snails (excluding plant sp.). As well as that it's a home of diverse micro life forms, including algae, fungus, microorganisms and bacteria.


Short video update


The ever changing aquascape

It is time to update this blog and show the current scape. Hygro Rosanervig developed very nicely into a bushy plant. The tanks inhabitants are thriving. No algae what so ever, not even on the glass :-)


Crown-tail Betta splendens :-)

This Betta wasn't part of my plan for this dwarf species aquarium, but it happened and here it is :-) This was the only aquarium suitable for him. Anyway, I need some sort of predator since my Red Cherry Shrimps are breeding like crazy, and this aquarium is over-populated with shrimps. I don't sell shrimps privately and have no one to give them to, so this absolutely gorgeous Crown-tail will have something to do for some time.



I added Active Carbon to the Filter system to remove everything that might possibly hurt the shrimps and fish. Since I experienced a few shrimp deaths, I had to do something. I believe this was the best solution.


Calling Neritina snails for help...

The Staghorn algae;

This aquarium got suddenly infested with this threaded Staghorn algae. It is only growing on Microsorum leaves and on the filter out-let. Shrimps don't show any appetite towards this type of algae. After two days of observations I have found the culprit. Algae infected only the old Microsorum leaves. So, I pruned off the infested leaves. I am not sure will this algae show up again, since my shrimp population has tripled (possible ammonia), but time will tell.

Neritina sp. Zebra snail;

I didn't clean the back glass for a while and of course it is now covered in Green Spot algae so badly that it looks like a carpet. I tried to scrape it off with a razor blade but no luck...way too hard. I introduced one Zebra snail and already after one day the glass looks much better.
This snail sp. have a very strong and sharp teeth being able to scrape this type of algae off.
One can see the way this snail scrapes the algae (tracks on the glass). I will update this blog after one week. I am positive this snail will totally clean off this back glass.
NOTE; since this snail originate from South/Central America this aquarium officially isn't Asian Nature aquarium anymore ;-)
Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Crystal Red shrimp babies

I have noticed Crystal Red shrimplets about a month ago, but never had an opportunity to make a good shot really, until now. Since this tank is fully planted it is hard to see all the shrimp babies. I can count around 10 shrimplets at a time.
Water parameters;
pH 7.1 Temp 24 Celsius KH 5 GH 7 ammonia/nitrites 0 ppm nitrates 10 ppm

Photo by Dusko Bojic.


Crystal Red Shrimp eggs !!!

I am very pleased with this low light aquarium. It is maturing into an aquatic beauty :-) Yesterday the Crystal Red Shrimps gave me a surprise. Two of the females are carrying eggs. The eggs are brown in color. I apologise for the poor photo quality.

I have noticed that CRS spend more time feeding on withered oak leaves than RCS. When I introduced new leaves they just went mad over it.
Photos by Dusko Bojic.


SE Asian biotope

New fish+shrimps were introduced at the 10th of January 2007. approx 18 Rasbora maculata and approx 20 Crystal Red shrimps (CRS). This aquarium sure deserves to be called "the South East Asia biotope". The Flora and the Fauna of this tank of mine can be found in Asia.
Flora; Java fern, Java moss, Hygrophila "Rosanervig". Fauna; Rasbora maculata, Red Cherry shrimp, Crystal Red shrimp, Malaysian Trumpet snail and Red Ramshorn snail.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Aquatic Nature

This blog page deserves a little update :-)
I started feeding my RCShrimps with a new brand. They are fed with Aquatic Nature Shrimp food pellets. http://www.aquatic-nature.be/english/details/foodschrimp.htm

They go crazy for it and are showing great color and reproductive capacity ;-) Baby shrimps are all over the tank. The Java moss is beautifully taking over the aquarium. I have to trim it every two weeks.


2 1/2 month old set-up

Mature set-up ;Newly established set-up ;
As you can see on those two photos above, the tank did mature alot. The Java moss is beautifully taking over. I will leave it for one more month before I trim it back. Too much of Java moss will choke the whole tank. There are some good news since my last posting. All females are carrying eggs and there are many baby shrimps around the tank. The shrimplets are feeding exclusively of off the glass walls and filter sponge. They can be spot on plant leaves but not on the withered oak leaves. It is sure that their main diet are microorganisms, bacteria and algae. I feed the mature shrimps with very little algae flake (three flakes for 12 shrimps) every day. One day fasting. One of my mature females died a few days ago and was eaten by the Malaysian Trumpet snails in about two days. There are lots of snails, so I presume there is lots of microorganisms for them to feed on, because I am not overfeeding this tank but rather underfeeding. At all times the shrimps and snails are picking up on something from the glass, plants, stones, etc.
I am very happy with my shrimp population growing :-)
Click on the link to see the shrimplets video;


Good news-bad news-great news

The good news is one of the Cherry shrimps is carrying eggs, which was a pleasure to see.
The bad news is that the same female dropped the eggs the same day :-( and I still don't have a clue what is causing this problem. On the photo one can see the female dropping the eggs, but she left a few. I hope they stay in the pleopods and become baby's soon.
And just before I decided to post the photos above, I looked at the aquarium and saw one of the female Cherrys feeding on the power head...but that wasn't all !!! I had to get closer to the tank, because I had a feeling something tiny was moving beside that shrimp... SHOCK !!! I had a feeling it was some kind of worm or something but not a tiny baby Cherry shrimp!!! Yes it was a baby shrimp, behaving the same way as the adults do, AMAZING !!! I am so pleased with this news. I don't know how this is possible since I am observing them daily. The first carrying female must have left a few eggs that I wasn't aware of. This is a great proof that my only one male is performing good !!! BTW, the miniature shrimp is approx 3mm long. To see the Red Cherry shrimplet video click here.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


RCS becoming more RED

I am very happy to see my female Red Cherrys becoming more red. Young females are known to be more pale, but after each moulting the are turning more red. And because of that I am starting to realise that I probably have only ONE MALE !!! I just hope this little guy can fertilise all the females...hm. I believe I am better off buying another male or two. The next two photos are showing the one male I have. RCS males are very pale with very little red on the top of their abdomen, and that is more like red dots. The abdomen shape is not as deep as the females is. If you take a closer look (the first female photo) you will notice that the females abdomen is rather deep, so it can store and protect the eggs. I am 99% sure that the pale shrimp is male. Time will tell.
I fed my Neocaridina denticulata sinensis with cooked carrots but they didn't spend much time eating it. They rather feed off of the aquarium glass and from the Oak leaf litter. I am observing them very closely for the last few weeks and I believe that their main diet is formed out of microorganisms, algae and fungus, rather than boiled veggies and algae wafers. Just a few days ago, I fed them with a small piece of algae wafer but they didn't eat all of it, instead they were picking "things" from the stones, leaf litter, glass, filter, plants and gravel. I am prity sure shrimps will do much better in mature set-ups, where aquarium mulm has been formed.

And since they enjoy eating microorganisms from the Oak leaf litter, I collected some more from a near by park. I am soaking them in a bit of dechlorinated water, so they sink readily. The more leaf litter, the more surfaces for the microorganisms to grow on. I will try to collect more withered Oak leaves before the season is over.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Another female lost the eggs :-(

Another female lost the eggs. I can see one carrying only 2-3 eggs, how sad. I am not sure what is causing them to release the eggs so soon. Is it possible that those two male RCS can't fertilise???
Are they too young? I believe that they are far over 6 month old. Is it possible that they can feel this set-up not being mature yet? There probably is not enough food resources. I have to observe more.


Eggs at last.

One of my RCShrimp females has eggs :-) and the way it looks to me she is keeping them. One can be sure only after up to 7 days really. I hope for the best of course.
I apologise for the low photo quality (didn't have much time).

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


One female lost the eggs + Ramshorn snails

One of my female RCS released her eggs after just one day of carrying them. They probably weren't fertilised.
Other then that, I have noticed a few 2-3 mm baby Ramshorn snails, that most possibly hitchhiked on the Java fern. On the photo one can also see diatoms and microorganisms that this snail is feeding on.

Photo by Dusko Bojic


New filter...soundless :-)

For the reason this tank is set-up in my bedroom, and the air pump is making lots of noise, I decided to get a soundless internal filter. I had luck to find, probably, one of the most silent filters on the market. UNI-Filter 280 from Polish company AquaEL is a very quiet filter and has also some other qualities; adjustable water flow, adjustable O2 flow, two ways of hanging the filter box...etc. More info.

Because the air pump (box filter) was very loud, I use to switch it off in the night time for 5 hours. And that is something one should not do. Tanks with no/less filtration will very likely experience blue-green algae, which favours still water. CO2 is highly reduced in tanks with strong air flow. Because of that I highly recommend internal filters instead of corner box filters driven by an air pump in planted shrimp tanks. Of course the filter should have adjustable water flow, like this one (UNI-Filter 280).

The shrimps seem to adjust fine to new conditions and several females have white saddles. I am expecting to see the eggs attached to the females pleopods (swimming legs), soon. I wonder, how long are they developing the eggs before dropping them into the pleopods?


One shrimp, dead

Today I found one of my shrimps dead amongst Java moss.
I tested the water;
pH 7.8
ammonia/nitrite 0 ppm
nitrAte 10 ppm
KH 5
Temp. 26' Celsius
I did 35% water change today just in case.



I discovered that the Oligochaetes spp. is not the only worm I have in this tank. I have quiet a lot of those Flatworms shown on this photo above. They glide very fast for a 1.5 mm creature.
The second photo shows the Flatworm on the right side and the creature I couldn't find an ID for. That smaller organism on the left appears to be a Ciliate ( Dileptus ciliate or Loxophyllum).

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Oligochaetes spp.

Today I discovered lots of approx. 3mm long worms on the aquarium front glass. According to many web sources it is one of the Oligochaetes spp. with bristles on their sides that are used for moving. It is not the Oligochaete Chaetochaster diastrophus that I experienced in the past.
I am not sure will Red Cherry shrimps eat those worms. If not, I have to find a fish or a snail that will eat them but not harm the RCS babies.

The second photo is showing an organism (question marked) that needs to be identified. I am not sure, but this 1/3mm microorganism could be the protozoa.

On the last photo beside the Oligochaetes spp. one can see long hairy algae. That is cyanobacteria aka the Blue Green Algae. It is impossible to see it with bare eyes.

Photos by Dusko Bojic


19th August white saddles in females

Two days ago I discovered few RCS females having white saddles forming in their carapace and spreading into the abdomen, dorsally (producing eggs, see the 1st photo). In the beginning I had a feeling that I got 9 males and 1 female, but now I am quiet sure that it is the other way around. Some females are not that red which is confusing with sex ID, but the white saddle makes it clear now.
I will wait a bit before introducing Rasbora maculatas, if at all. I would like to breed RC Shrimps and R. maculata would probably eat the shrimp babies. I wonder how long does it take for the N. denticulata to hatch eggs? Non is carrying eggs at the moment. I started feeding the shrimps every day with a very small peace of Hikari Algae wafers. I believe that this tank is not mature yet to provide enough natural foods like algae, microorganisms and fungus.

Photos by Dusko Bojic



Red Cherry Shrimps and Malaysian Trumpet Snails are the only inhabitants at the moment.
Next week, Rasbora maculata is going to join this 11 gallon community, since the upper level needs some movements :-)

Photos by Dusko Bojic


14th day; 1-1.5 cm long shrimps

Toady a realised that I probably have more than one female. They are more red today as they settled down. All 10 of my Red Cherrys are active in search for food, and picking up "things" from stones and plants. Just in a case that they were starved in the LFS, I fed them with a very small piece of the HIKARY Algae Wafers, which they seem to like. My plan is to feed them with algae wafers two to three times a week. I am not sure should I feed them with other food types in between. I would rather have them eat the algae and the microorganisms that are growing inside the tank.
The Oak leaves fit very good into this aquascape of mine. I will probably add some more. The Java Moss is providing lots of shelter places for the baby shrimp to hide in. Today I measured the shrimps and they are between 1-1.5cm in length. They are still very young.
Water pH is 7.8 with hardness of KH 5. Temperature is at 26'C. These water parameters should favour breeding conditions. I measured for nitrIte today and it is on 0ppm.
I made a bit better photos today, but still far from satisfying :-(

Photos by Dusko Bojic.