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.
 #2986  by AdeDunn
 05 Apr 2017 17:31
As mentioned on the welcome thread, I had a never used 17 litre tank sat around and discovered that this was considered to be a decent size for Opae'ula shrimp. So, ordered some bits and made a start. No decor yet, I'm still gathering stuff together (got some marimo balls that can go in at some point), I wanted to get it filled with water though so it could start to mature and cycle.

Salt I used Kent Marine Reef Salt at half the stated quantity. Chose this brand as it was the smallest bag I could find on Amazon that was Prime eligible... lol Waiting for a refractometer and distilled water to be delivered later this evening (gotta love Amazon Prime same day.... lol) so I can check the specific gravity. Closest I've come to working with brackish or marine was when I briefly worked in the fish room of a local garden centre. :what:

I also had a brand new, never used, 25watt Interpet nano heater sat around, so I've used this too. It's pre-set to 25 degrees C, but all of the guides I have seen put this firmly in the middle of the safe temperature scale, so seemed like a win. Yeah I know, buying stuff, realising you don't feel happy using it, then discovering an actual use for it all, pure win. :laugh:

Substrate I've used coral sand (NOT live) to buffer the water. Water, well been a shrimp keeper I have a fairly high output RO system fitted under the kitchen sink. :wink: I also have a HMA system, but I retired this a while back as I found that re-mineralising RO worked much better than mixing waters. Another plus with been a shrimp hobbyist, I already have a selection of shrimp foods to try if I need them.

Anyway, nothing special to show you so far, just a tiny tank filled with water and covered in bubbles. The lighting is an LED lamp built into the lid. Background is DC Fix self adhesive vinyl stuck to the back of the tank.

 #2988  by odin
 05 Apr 2017 18:38
Looks good so far! I agree RO is by far the best water I have used in shrimp tanks (in my opinion). Your tank will go through a few stages of growing a lot of brown and green algae and looking unsightly but it will pass as the tank cycles and your shrimp eat it all.

Have you looked at any rock scapes for your tank? The more caves/hiding spots you incorporate into the rocks the better breeding you should get. Reason I mention now is because I started off with 2 large peices which looked nice but as soon as I swapped it to piles of rocks it really improved things.
 #2991  by AdeDunn
 05 Apr 2017 18:49
Yeah, at the moment I'm thinking of a "slag pile" style approach using small lava rocks. I tend to mostly use lava rock when I use rocks, I like how it provides a HUGE surface area for bacteria to colonise. :) Looks good with Marimo growing on it too. Need to wait a couple of weeks before I order any though as I've hit how much I dare spend for now. :blush:
 #2992  by AdeDunn
 05 Apr 2017 20:30
Refractometer came, so I got it calibrated and did some testing and tweaking. Got the SG bang on 1.012 after the first test which was 1.002. So got that sorted I reckon.

Sent from my NEM-L51 using Tapatalk
 #2993  by odin
 05 Apr 2017 21:01
1.012 is a great level to be at, have you got calibration solution? with the Refractometer meters they need to be adjusted every now and again. Not that a few points out either way will make a huge difference to the shrimp but its good to know your kit is calibrated. The calibration solution is just salt water with a SG of 35 which you can then you zero in the Refractometer to match what the sample is and in theory you have a correct reading meter.
 #2999  by AdeDunn
 06 Apr 2017 10:07
I've been using distilled water to calibrate, ordered it at the same time as the meter. Just been reading around about how using calibration fluid gives a more accurate reading though. I'll order a bottle once the tank is a bit further along, double check the results before anything animal goes in there. :wink:
 #3000  by AdeDunn
 06 Apr 2017 10:26
A thought just occurred to me. Have any of you folks ever tried growing a red mangrove in your Opae tanks? It'd need to be either open topped or very tall and palludarium style, but they will grow in water from 100% fresh to full sea water usually. I have 3 growing in a 100% fresh water palludarium at the moment, you just rest them on either wood or a rock (reef keepers tend to use a polystyrene float for them, or plant them in a mud refugium), they're serious nitrate reducers to the point where I worry more about not having enough to feed my other plants. lol

Just a thought anyway, as I see a bit of discussion at the moment about "plants" that will thrive in brackish water and reduce nitrogenous wastes.
 #3006  by odin
 06 Apr 2017 19:22
I have never tried growing this plant but it would be cool to get some feedback if you do try, it wouldnt work for me because i need a lid on my tanks as the Nerite snails would climb out and fall to the ground (it happened before :dead: :cry: :cry: )
 #3010  by AdeDunn
 07 Apr 2017 02:31
Yeah, I have a lid on mine too. Might be able to rig something though with a hole for it to grow through and some under shelf LEDs on the shelf over the tank.... hmmmm.... lol

Oh and I feel your pain! We used to keep apple snails years ago, and because they lay above the water line they were pests for trying to exit the tank, I found one on the back of a tank one time.... A cover got fitted not long after. lol
 #3013  by opae ula related
 07 Apr 2017 02:40
Interesting, are they slow growers?
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