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.
 #764  by Halocaridina
 21 Jun 2016 20:24
Hi everyone. I've always been very interested in aquatic life and wanted to set up an aquarium or a pond. However, I'm at university most of the time and so I don't really have the time to maintain a typical aquarium or pond. I did some extensive research, and it seems like the only two real options would be:
- A wildlife pond
- A basic opae ula tank
The former requires much more effort, money and space than the latter, so I decided to go with the opae ula.

Here is the equipment I used:
Dennerle NanoCube 10L
All Pond Solutions 3W LEDs
Dennerle Nano Marinus Densimeter
Dennerle Nano Hang-on Thermometer
Dennerle Nano Marinus Reef Salt
Tetra AquaSafe Water Conditioner (haven't used yet, only used bottled water to fill it up so far)
Pettex Roman Gravel - Black Sand
Black Lava Stone

The S.G. right now is about 1.012 but it's not fully filled yet. Not sure if cycling is necessary with opae ula.
Will have some pics up soon.

I am hoping to just keep opae ula in there because I don't think I'd be able to feed (and subsequently water change) often enough to keep snails. Will probably source them from the Ebay supplier.
Last edited by Halocaridina on 22 Dec 2016 17:10, edited 1 time in total.
Ann, opae ula related liked this
 #765  by odin
 21 Jun 2016 20:33
Welcome to the the Opae ula forum, let me first say that is a really good brand of tank and kit you have purchased and the shrimp will really love it when its ready. You can add a few snails and still not have to worry about bio load and doing water changes. They will just eat up the extra algae that grows on your tanks walls which will let you view the inside of the tank better, the less algae scraping and cleaning of the glass you do the happier the shrimp will be from not being disturbed.

Ideally after you see some green algae growing in your tank its around the right time to add the Opae ula, you can however add a tank additive like biodigest by prodibio which will speed up the cycle and remove any unwanted waste from the tank created by your Opae ula before the cycle is complete and starts doing that job on its own. If you are using bottled water you wont need the water conditioner but it never hurts to keep a bottle in for emergency situations. You will need to get something to buffer your water (keep it from becoming acidic over time) and you can do this with having some ocean-rock, coral skeleton, a lump of aquarium calcium carbonate etc in your tank somewhere, this will break down really slowly and keep the PH nice and high. If you need any help just put up a post and someone will be along to help :happy:

PS: your SG is perfect.
 #768  by Halocaridina
 22 Jun 2016 10:29
Hi, thanks for the welcome.

Here's a photo of what it looks like right now:

Is this a good substrate depth for this size tank? I don't want it to go anaerobic, and since this tank will likely go around 1-2 months at a time without maintenance, I can't disturb the sand manually. If snails would work, I might go for some Malaysian Trumpets. What would the process be for acclimating them to this SG, given most are sold as freshwater snails? My other concern is their breeding rate - is there not a risk they could breed excessively, then run out of food, die off and crash the tank?

Or would it be better to raise the SG further and get some sort of burrowing marine snail instead? Since this is my first aquarium, I'm a little wary of marine livestock because I've heard they're delicate and have special requirements.

I've read tubifex can survive in brackish water but I'm not sure if it's worth the disease risk.

I don't have test kits yet but I will check the pH when I get them. The bottled water was 7.8 and lava stone seems to be fairly neutral so I think it is still around that.
 #771  by odin
 22 Jun 2016 18:21
What country are you in Halocaridina? Just so we can get an idea about what brackish snails are available in shops online which you could buy. I would fill the rest of your tank up to the top and keep the SG at 1.010 to 1.014 if you can, the PH needs to really be above 8.0 so i would defiantly get something to buffer the water like ocean rock, coral skeleton, a block of aquarium calcium carbonate. the PH will always try and drop down on its own so this will stop it becoming too low on its own.

The substrate depth is perfect and don't worry about anaerobic gas build up in a tank this size and substrate that deep, when your tank is setup you wont have to touch it for months and months except water top off's. If you are away for months on end i would suggest making your SG 1.010 or 1.011 at the beginning so when evaporation sets in and the water lowers, the SG wont raise too high until you are back home to fill up the lost water with pure bottled water and dilute the salt content.

With regards freshwater snails like Malaysian Trumpet snails, unless you can buy some ready acclimatised it will take over a month to convert freshwater ones to brackish, i would go with some sort of nerite snails as they can tolerate fresh and brackish water. Its also very difficult to keep nerite eggs alive and get them to hatch so you will not get over run with them. Marine and freshwater snails will die in brackish and opae ula tanks which will release alot of ammonia and foul the water.

Just to help,
- Fill up the tank to the top and add some salt and retest the SG.. rinse and repeat until you hit 1.010 to 1.011 SG.
- Add something to buffer your water because it will drop on its own and crash your cycled tank.
- Buy some brackish snails like zerba nerites, zebra thorn nerites, pippin nerites etc.

Hope that helps.
Halocaridina liked this
 #774  by Halocaridina
 22 Jun 2016 18:43
I am in the UK, which was actually one of the reasons I was drawn to your site, since there seems to be very few opae ula keepers here. Would those nerites require a heater? Right now the tank is in a boiler room so it's a pretty constant 23 degrees centigrade, but once it's in good enough condition to display, I'll probably move it to another room which can drop as low as 14 or 15 at night.

Most of the nerites commonly on sale here seem to be either freshwater or marine, so I would guess there'd be some acclimation required too. I looked for the "pipipi" (same as pippin?) Hawaiian nerite snails mentioned on the Fuku Bonsai site but couldn't find a UK supplier.

Will try to get some rock to raise the pH in the coming days. I'll probably be away 2 months at most at a time so I'll try to bring the SG down to 1.010. I've heard densimeters aren't that accurate so my figure may be a little off, but hopefully not too much.
 #777  by odin
 22 Jun 2016 18:53
These shrimps are very hardy when it comes to SG swings so dont be to worried, its just a good spot to start in with 1.010 so if it does shoot up it wont do any harm to the opae ula. If you had 1.015 to start off (which they will tolerate) and it goes up more because of evaporation it can be stressful on them and will prevent them breeding and having a nice red glow to their shells.

I purchased 5 of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ZEBRA-THORN-N ... 0655315993 and put them strait in my Opae ula tank and 3 survived, 2 didn't but that was probably because their water was stone cold when they were delivered :oh: im not 100% sure if they would be ok at 15deg C or cooler in the tank so you would have to experiment a little and let us all know what you find out. Are you trying to stay away from using a in tank heater?
Halocaridina liked this
 #780  by odin
 22 Jun 2016 19:03
I run mine between 1.012 and 1.013, They stay pretty small but don't dig in the substrate, they just whiz around the rocks and glass eating.

edit: I was amazed nobody was interested or knew much about Opae ula in the UK so i had to help these guys get well known over here lol. The forum is still pretty new but im slowly getting it all together i think :lol: .
Halocaridina, Ann liked this
 #781  by opae ula related
 22 Jun 2016 19:11
Nice setup. :grin: Does it come with a top?
Malaysian Trumpets multiple like crazy if you keep them :nerner: . I am still trying to get rid of them after several months since I only wanted pipipi snails. The MTS hitched in with some algae plant I got and I keep for a while but then decided not to have them.
Halocaridina liked this
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 19