I'm convinced I can't fit any animals in this planted 3g, but maybe I'm missing something?

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LeahK

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I have not had an aquarium for over 10 years, but I recently decided to set up a small planted tank--as in, for plants only. I have the Marineland Contour 3, with Aquasolum Black Humate substrate, some dwarf hair grass, java fern, and anubias. If this remains a plant-only tank, that's fine with me. I don't want to put in animals if it's just not an appropriate size.

I thought that one day I might get some ghost shrimp or some snails, but I really do not want to get anything that breeds, because I'll quickly outgrow the tank (I'm too soft-hearted to give extras away as feeders, or anything like that).

I'd also rather not have a heater.

Anyway, I crossed almost everything off my list except, maybe:

1 to 2 mystery snails
3 to 5 nerite snails

I have zero experience with snails. But from what I've read online, the mystery snails lay an egg sac that I could remove, and the nerites need brackish water to breed, and both can live at room temp (I think). But almost every care sheet I see says that these snails need a bigger tank than what I've got (10 gallons seems to be the recommendation).

Am I missing something? Are snails a good choice for this tank? Or is there something else I'm overlooking?

Last note: If I were to buy anything, I would get the tank cycled ahead of time using pure ammonia, and make sure it's stable. I won't be adding anything for several months anyway, to see how the plants do first.

Thank you for any ideas or advice!

tank 1.jpgtank 2.jpg
 

dudley

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Cute little tank!

I would think that once the tank matures it will be cycled so I don't see a need to fish-less cycle months down the road.

Does the tank have a filter?

I'm fairly certain that the way you have the hairgrass planted will be a problem because usually it is planted as individual plants and not as a clump the way it comes from the store. What you might see is die off of most of it as it is planted. The amount you have would seem to be suitable for a much larger tank but I'll let others with experience comment.
 

LeahK

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Thank you!

I was also not sure about whether this plant-only tank will start any kind of bacteria cycle, on its own. I was wondering if the humate soil I used might be an ammonia source, but I didn't see any info on it. That's why I thought I might need to build up the bacteria colony a bit by feeding the tank ammonia, before adding any critters.

I also have no experience with hairgrass! I probably crammed too many plants in :)
 

CichlidFins

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I think if its an aquasoil of any kind it should release ammonia.

For animals I think a mystery snail woulg get too big... you can do shrimp of some sort or least killiifish.. both tiny.
 

LeahK

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I think if its an aquasoil of any kind it should release ammonia.

For animals I think a mystery snail woulg get too big... you can do shrimp of some sort or least killiifish.. both tiny.
Thank you! I was originally thinking shrimp--just ghost shrimp--but I hear that they breed easily, and I was worried about them outgrowing the tank. Would that be an issue?
 

NoodleCats

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Ghost shrimp are tricky to breed as their larval stage of babies are nearly always eaten by the adults.


BUT.

What about Amano shrimp? They are like nerites, they need brackish to breed.
 

LeahK

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BUT.

What about Amano shrimp? They are like nerites, they need brackish to breed.
I had almost settled on those, too! But then I got scared off because I read they get larger than most dwarf varieties. This person here had a strong opinion on the tank being least 10 gallons. So that's why I ended up at ghost shrimp or snails.

What I really want is something like Sea Monkeys 😂

In the end, if my plants do well, then I'll need to thin them out eventually, and I can propagate more plants from the cuttings. So maybe at that stage I'll set up a new larger tank, and this little 3 gallon can be my quarantine tank....
 
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NoodleCats

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Personally, you could just go with male ghost shrimp, then no babies at all.

Males are smaller and have a straighter tail underneath. Females have a bit of a "skirt".

Or, go with all females and avoid choosing any with eggs on their tails.

But honestly ghosts don't breed as rapidly as cherries. I dont see you having too much of a problem with ghosts in the 3 gallon. Their bioload is so very small.
 

CichlidFins

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I think cherries should be fine. If the population grows too large there is always a market for RCS!
 
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LeahK

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Thanks everyone! That's helpful. Maybe I'll end up with ghosts or cherries after all. Right now I'll just try to keep the hairgrass alive :)
 
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