Opaeula.co.uk

THE forum and online store dedicated to Halocaridina rubra aka the Hawaiian Opae ula shrimp! 

Share photos and videos of your Opae ula setups, plus keep logs or journals for others to read.
 #2483  by rossantpat
 02 Jan 2017 21:30
Hi. Im just starting to shop for my first Opai Ula tank setup (well first of any kind of tank for that matter). I've read the excellent Tank Setup Guide by Odin but still have a few basic questions. I've bought a 1 gallon pickle jar for a tank, an artificial plant and pirate ship :) I've been holding of on the more important bits until I had a bit more understanding. In particular which type of coral substrate to use; would a coral sand be ok? Is it safe to assume if it doesn't say 'live' the coral will be ok? If I opted for a non coral substrate where would I get hold of a calcium carbonate block? Thanks. Ross
 #2484  by Ann
 03 Jan 2017 12:37
Hi,
It's nice to see a new member. I'm sure Odin will answer your questions.I asked some of the same questions and he adeptly anwered all of them.

Ann :smile:
 #2485  by odin
 03 Jan 2017 12:59
Welcome to our forum, always happy to answer any of your questions. Any coral substrate is fine if that is what you wish to use, the great thing about coral sand/gravel is it buffers your waters PH for you. You can use any inert substrate too but like you suggested it will need something adding to buffer the water when the PH changes and becomes acidic over time, you can use egg shells, a price of ocean rock, dead coral or a calcium carbonate block. You can buy them from eBay and aquatic stores online and are very cheap to buy.

I hope that helps a little! Any more questions then fire away.


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 #2486  by caine
 03 Jan 2017 15:28
Curiously, I never run any kind of buffer in my setups. I use Seachem's Salinity marine salt with R.O. water and that is it. Have you guys found that lacking the buffering agent, you get pH creeping in the acidic direction?
 #2489  by odin
 04 Jan 2017 07:51
caine wrote:Curiously, I never run any kind of buffer in my setups. I use Seachem's Salinity marine salt with R.O. water and that is it. Have you guys found that lacking the buffering agent, you get pH creeping in the acidic direction?
I've never run a tank without some sort of source limestone/buffer so I can't comment but from the many sources online it's advised to keep the water from becoming acidic.


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 #2533  by rossantpat
 12 Jan 2017 20:40
Thanks for responses, it's great to know there's somewhere to ask questions. I've decided to hopefully start the tank this weekend so have been reading up about the cycling process. Is there a store/product in the UK anyone would recommend that is a good source of pure ammonia? I see it's not available in my LFS, I'm assuming a lot of tanks are cycled using hardy fish. Also is there a particular test kit you recommend? My LFS is a watermarque.co.uk they do quite a few biological enhancers, I was thinking of getting Fluval Nutrafin Cycle, would this be a good idea. Thank you in advance. Ross
 #2534  by odin
 12 Jan 2017 20:48
rossantpat wrote:Thanks for responses, it's great to know there's somewhere to ask questions. I've decided to hopefully start the tank this weekend so have been reading up about the cycling process. Is there a store/product in the UK anyone would recommend that is a good source of pure ammonia? I see it's not available in my LFS, I'm assuming a lot of tanks are cycled using hardy fish. Also is there a particular test kit you recommend? My LFS is a watermarque.co.uk they do quite a few biological enhancers, I was thinking of getting Fluval Nutrafin Cycle, would this be a good idea. Thank you in advance. Ross
Im glad you find the forum useful and if you have any other questions then go ahead and ask! With regards the test kit i would buy a liquid test kit as most paper test strips dont have an ammonia indicator on them. Dont worry about cycling the tank with ammonia or any other starter product, just add your substrate, rocks, heater, thermometer, water then add your salt..let it dissolve and sit and wait for signs of algae growing. Once you get the brown/green algae test the water with a test kit and if you get;

0ppm ammonia
0ppm nitrites
Very low nitrates (below 10ppm) then go ahead and add your snails/Opae ula shrimp.

I hope i haven't missed anything and hopefully helps a little! I have put together some guides that may help a little more that covers areas in detail which you can read here: viewforum.php?f=6
Last edited by odin on 12 Jan 2017 20:53, edited 3 times in total.
 #2535  by rossantpat
 12 Jan 2017 21:11
Ok thanks I was trying to understand if ammonia was necessary to start the process as it wasn't mentioned on a guide on petshrimp.com. When should I first test the water? After 4 weeks then if I don't get the right readings each week after that? I assume it is important you have some nitrates? I only ask because I'm assuming fresh RO water would read 0 for all or would that not be the case?
 #2536  by odin
 12 Jan 2017 22:02
Technically speaking the best way to cycle any tank for fish and shrimp is indeed to do a fish-less cycle (nothing living in the tank during this process) with ammonia, when your beneficial bacteria has colonised and can convert waste and anything else that creates ammonia into nitrites and then into nitrates then the tank is 100% safe and perfect for living creatures. The nitrates will be sucked up and used by the algae that you do want to grow in the tank and in turn the shrimp will feed from the algae. The reason you can 'get away' just letting the tank sit for for a month or two and wait for the algae to grow before adding the shrimp without adding an ammonia source to cycle it is in theory if your tank is a few months old and you have algae growing, any ammonia the shrimps waste creates will cycle the tank, this *should* be completed before the levels get too toxic for the shrimp and the nitrates are so low from the cycle the algae takes care of it, hence no water changes needed if all that is in place.

Petshrimp.com wont discuss cycling methods or advise you to carry out water testing to check if your water is healthy because that means water changes if tank readings are bad (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates etc). This goes against their whole sales pitch of how low maintenance and simple it apparently is to give the shrimp a healthy environment, as unfair as it is the Opae ula shrimp appears to be very hardy and Petshrimp seem to ride off the back of that. The forum owner fell out with me for suggesting to a user there to do a water change when he had issues with his tank, he deleted a lot of my posts/advice that suggested testing the water quality and doing a partial water change to reduce the amount of ammonia in the tank then went on to remove my account access while leaving some of my posts that didn't go against his opinion for the sole reason to make it look like I was still there and still a member as if nothing had happened! My accounts not banned but he revoked access so I cant log in, this is because he'd look bad banning me for suggesting water changes, this is why i setup my own forum. I wouldn't post there again if you paid me, he was very rude.
Last edited by odin on 12 Jan 2017 22:06, edited 3 times in total.
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 #2539  by rossantpat
 12 Jan 2017 22:58
Thanks Odin. A forum without a sales pitch is always much better! Just to clarify then. Am I correct in thinking a tank without ammonia introduced (either through decaying food, live shrimps or adding pure ammonia) will never cycle? Should I go down the route of setting the tank up and letting algae grow them adding (I was thinking 10) shrimp or should I add pure ammonia to the tank and cycle as per your guide before adding shrimp? During the stage without having added ammonia, would ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels be 0 anyway?
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