Maintaining your shrimp tank.

Once you are up and running, you will occasionally have to maintain the conditions in your tank to keep shrimp healthy.


My tank glass is covered in algae

My fish tank is algae free on the glass walls. My shrimp tank … not so much!!!

The cause in my case was 

  1. direct sunlight 
  2. build up of Nitrate
  3. No filter cleaning

So, I used a metal blade tank scraper to clean the algae of the sides. Did a third water change (re mineralised rain water), and cleaned out the filter (put in some new filter pads/wool). I also cleaned out the cooler to maximise its effectiveness for the hot days when it will be working hard to keep my shrimps cool. 

If your tank is balanced (cycling well to keep Nitrite at zero and water changes to take out Nitrates) , your glass may stay totally clear. To help, Nerite snails will keep it clean but they don’t like low PH/acidic water so they may not be an option for shrimps that like low Ph water. 

Water changes

Some people do it daily, others weekly or even monthly. Some people take out a third water, others 50% or more.

Personally I do two checks to decide on what to do.

  1. How is my TDS?
  2. How are my Nitrates?
  3. How does it look!

If my TDS reading is a little high and the water is low from evaporation, I just top up with filtered rainwater. If it needs a big top up I add mineral powder. 

If my Nitrates are high (and algae is blooming) both are indicators for a good 25-50% water change. I re mineralise and make sure the water temperature is not going to dramatically change.

My shrimp are observed – irrational/frantic swimming can indicate the change is too much from what they have become used to … so slowly does it.  

Filter maintenance 

I have an external canister filter and an internal filter that came as a single unit. The internal filter sponge needs washing out monthly and the spray bar weekly. (Dental floss brushes are great for cleaning the nozzles). 

The external canister gets done yearly. 

Never throw out all your filter medium. Inside the canister are two sponges and the ‘stones’ which hold the good bacteria that keep your tank cycling. The sponges can be easily and cheaply changed or even washed out. The stones I change every 12-18 months – but only half of them. Don’t throw away your stones or your nitrogen cycle will reduce or stop! Never wash out your stones.

Here is my filter sponge!! Totally black and decayed. No wonder it wasn’t working.

I tipped out the filter stone medium and sieved out the black water. I then replaced them back into the filter. You don’t want to leave your stones out of water for very long  because the bacteria could die.

Anyone for coco pops?


Cooler maintenance 

Every year the cooler gets flushed out with tap water and reflushed with rain water. This pushes the slurry out of the unit and gets it working efficiently for the hot summer days. It’s an expensive bit of equipment so I want it to last. 

Soil changes

I never change the soil. Nutrients may deplete but my tank is a living tank with live plants and shrimp/snail poo which are also giving nutrients into the soil and water as well as taking them. The plants are healthy so I’ll take that as confirmation all is well.

Plant trimming

If you have live plants and good conditions they may grow like crazy! I have some aquascaping tweezers and sharp scissors to prune my plants. In the summer this might be weekly. 

Hygiene

If your hands are submerged most of the time, wear pond gloves to avoid transmitting poisons to your tank and being poisoned by bacteria etc in the tank. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. 

Other

Avoid over feeding shrimp so that food build up doesn’t accumulate for algae to flourish. 


All clean and looking much better.

Lottery ticket holders \ gifts


These lottery gift envelopes are a fun way to jazz up a gift of a lottery ticket – and the most viewed type of envelope in my shop this month! You could also store tickets in the bright envelopes for safe keeping.  I’ll be doing some more fun colours in the coming months. 

They are made from sturdy card, often with designer patterns, and a have a silver effect lotto charm that is lead and nickel free.

Unique to ohhowlovelygifts.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/487897002/lottery-ticket-holders-pockets-lotto

Designer gift card holders

There are four great reasons to buy  these hand crafted gift cards holders / money holders .  I have over 30 unique designs for you to choose from plus many prints not in my shop. Come and take a look.

People tell they love them because …

1) They turn a gift card or voucher that is a standard design every one will have into a personalised surprise gift.


No one will guess an iTunes gift card is tucked away inside an envelope with their favourite giraffe print and hand woven button fastener. And afterwards they will have a lovely keepsake to use rather than a throw away piece of plastic they will never remember. 

If Christmas and other special occasions are about memories and thoughtfulness then a personalised present is the perfect gift. 

Whether it’s traditional winter prints, new baby prints, celebration floral or wedding patterns or sports designs, my selection of designer papers (heavy weight premium textured card form sustainable sources for many products) have something’s for everyone. 

I also have thousands of prints not in my Etsy shop – on pretty much every possible theme so do enquire so I can make a present that’s right for you.

What else are people loving?

As well as for presenting a store gift card or voucher in a more personalised way, what about presents which haven’t arrived or don’t have a physical voucher to give?

What if your tickets are held at a venue and you have nothing physical to give?

More and more websites offer online vouchers – where you print off a code the recipient can redeem in an online store. 

Perhaps the most impersonal gift is a home printout stuffed inside a shop bought card! Not any longer.

We provide a colour coordinated insert with every gift card holder for you to present the voucher code or write your own message e.g. ‘ tickets to see Phantom of the Opera to collect at the venue on ….’ .


Gifting money

These are perfect for gifting coins and notes.

One final use – the gift of time or promise 

Some families like to use the insert to write their own gift of time or promise e.g. ‘ A family day out at the zoo’, ‘Gym membership starting in January.’, ‘A day out to watch [sporting event name].’ 


New parents might want to redeem a coupon for a night of baby sitting or a night of cooking …. there are so many possibilities.

Each gift card holder plus insert ranges from £2-2.20 and are available from my Etsy fundraising shop 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OhHowLovelyGifts

All profits to support adults living with Dystrophy in the U.K.

Glowing Christmas lantern cards 


​​​Instagram video link 

These cards are starting to go in my shop – and I’ll be making some in my Itsy Bitsy  range of A7 cards very soon.

These pretty lantern cards are designed with an opaque middle layer, made from parchment. When a battery powered tea light is placed behind, they have a beautiful glow. I like to use a flickering warm orange style tea light so it looks like a flame and creates some movement.

Designs will include:

  • Snowman
  • Snowflakes
  • Nativity 

and can be pre ordered on OhHowLovelyGifts on Etsy UK.

*tea light not included.

Crafting with a difference

Hello, I’m Louise and this year I wanted to show people that it’s still possible to create beautiful artwork with a progressive impairment like Muscular Dystrophy.

I have Limb Girdle 2C which is similar to Duchenne. My muscles have gradually lost their strength affecting almost every part of my body.

I’ve been crafting for for around 25 years and over this time I’ve had to adapt to losing the use of my body – but I’m still able to make hand crafted items.

Sometimes I have to shop around to buy products that are easier to use or decant media like glues and paints into different bottles. My grip is barely strong enough to hold a pen and I can’t bend my finger tips to pinch hold things well. I’ve got round this by using tweezers as prosthetic finger tips.

Other times I have to adopt a different method compared to someone with full hand use. Not being able to lift my arms up and moving my hands by crawling with my fingers across a surface, means I have to be very organised in my technique. e.g. Always painting an item or adding delicate details from the top down so I don’t drag my hands over these areas.

I work primarily in paper and mixed art media making dimensional greeting cards, pictures and gift card voucher / money holders.

These hand made items then go on sale in my Etsy UK shop (OhHowLovelyGifts) to raise funds for three charities that support adults living with MD. I’ve also set up a Facebook page to showcase my work and chat with buyers and crafters.

I get so much enjoyment from seeing them come together and the lovely comments from people who receive them. I work with my personal assistants who do a lot of the practical things for me.  They find the materials (I point to photos of my materials kept on my phone), pass me items, open bottles and feed things through my cutting machine. Describing what I need is very tiring so it can take me many days to make a greeting card – often over a few weeks. It might be slow going but it’s incredibly rewarding for both of us.

When I lost the ability to breathe properly and started using a ventilator, the nose piece kept blowing my paper and art materials across the table! It’s funny the first time round but not when your working with fine powders!! My husband adapted it for me so it blows away from my work surface. Sometimes you have to think of ways around things – do things differently through invention and modification.

I would encourage anyone to have a go at paper crafting because of all the benefits it can bring. Creating art is good for the mind, gives a sense of accomplishment and is immensely enjoyable .

The three charities I’m supporting are:

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK

http://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/

  • The Neuromuscular Centre

http://www.nmcentre.com

  • DMD Pathfinders

https://dmdpathfinders.org.uk

Shrimp gift card holders

Shrimp design gift card holder / money holder.

Available to purchase in the UK for £2.00 plus p&p from my shop. Show me this gift on Etsy. Please contact me to order packs for re-sale.

All profits go to raise funds for adults living with Muscular Dystrophy in the UK.

Contents

A luxury gift card or money holder with ribbon fastener. Hand painted, wooden shrimp embellishment. Heavy weight premium card. Includes one blank voucher insert of a matching colour.

Choose from: Red Cherry, Snowball, Blue Dream, Crystal Red Bee or Blue Panda Taiwan Bee.

Shown here on a wood background. Also available in sand, earth and leaves.

Perfect for:

  • presenting a purchased aquatic store gift card in a more personalised way. 

OR

Use the provided blank insert to …

  • present a gift where you might only have an Internet gift voucher code and nothing physical to give.
  • write your own personalised vouchers or coupons for friends/family to redeem. Eg ‘I will buy you a new shrimp tank of your choice’.

Ships in 1-2 weeks due to being hand made to order, first class. 

Buy more than one and just pay one postage fee.