A dedicated forum and online store for the Opae ula shrimp! 

Having issues with your tank or inhabitants? Need to know what equipment to use or have other questions? Post here!
 #9644  by mypeanutbutterspoon
 08 Dec 2020 02:38

Hello! I don't have the best camera, but here are pics of what I'm describing. I can't find anywhere else online with this type of algae/critter being described, so I figured asking directly would help ^^ It grows on the side of the glass alongside the green algae that's been forming; any help identifying it and if it's harmful or not would be really appreciated.

One other thing... I had an outbreak of white fluffy mold that grew above water that must've started around June. I only figured out what was going on in August & removed the heater that the mold was growing in the crevices of, and put cleaning vinegar on the other areas of the glass that it was growing on multiple times. Despite this, their nitrates are still always clocking in around 30 no matter how many water changes I do and it worries me. Everything else is fine. All my opae ula seem to be completely normal and have been breeding a lot, which seems to suggest to me that everything's fine. They do seem to be a bit lethargic until I do a water change, to which they get excited and swim about, encircling the tank and galloping. Should I redo their tank? Put them in another container with fresh brackish water and just entirely redo their tank / get a new tank to house them in? I'm worried the effects of the mold might never go away for some reason, I've done gallons and gallons of water changes and wiped down the outside glass with cleaning vinegar to ensure its completely gone to no avail. The amount of nitrates I have always clocks in anywhere from 20 to 40. Nobody's died, either, and I haven't fed them in 3 months to cut down on how much nitrates go into the tank. They graze on the wall of algae just fine for nutrition. I've only kept them for a year insofar, does anyone have any advice or experience with these problems?

Thank you so much for reading all this!!
 #9647  by odin
 09 Dec 2020 17:29
I’m not sure about the black stuff, if it bothers you just scrape the glass clean :cool:

With regards the nitrites and mould, please take some photos of it and list your tank details.

Water used

This will help us figure out the problem.
 #9654  by mypeanutbutterspoon
 12 Dec 2020 04:31
hi!! sorry you couldn't see the picture Johnny, maybe this will show up better on your end?

below is the picture of my current tank setup.
it's a 5.5 gal
i used CaribSea Aragonite sand. beforehand i used that live sand before i knew it was bad and before putting any animals in the tank, siphoned all that sand out and redid the tank with CaribSea Aragonite. this was a little over a year ago

the mold is not currently in the tank, it grew on the dark crevices outside of their partially submerged heater, which was since removed from the tank and the surrounding glass cleaned multiple times with cleaning vinegar

i use RO water to fill their tank, whatever i can get at the store that says it's been filtered with RO and has no other additives listed on it.
i use Instant Ocean Reef Crystals for their salt
inside are two lava rocks i got from PetCo awhile back
the only other additions i have are cleaned/peeled boiled eggshell that i scattered around the tank, and i formerly had some cuttlefish bone in there, both to help boost their pH (which i am also struggling with upping)

i did a 1 gallon water change 2 days ago, and this is the results of my water testing that i just now took and let sit for 10mins, i use API's Saltwater Master Test Kit:
to me this looks to read (but please let me know if im wrong):
ammonia - 0ppm
nitrites - 0ppm
pH - 7.8
nitrates - ~40ppm? i think? it looks 80ppm in these pics so now im doubting myself but its lighter orange in real life :upset2:
salinity - 1.010


these are about the results i get almost everytime i test their water, and its driving me a little crazy. these were also the results i got before i did their 1gallon water change. i must be doing something wrong, or missing something, but i'm unsure of what.

if you need anymore information please let me know and i'll try my best to give you more!
 #9660  by odin
 14 Dec 2020 20:18
The only thing that will fix this is large water changes until the Nitrates are very low, this could be a by product from the live sand you used, it could be holding onto organic matter in the rocks you have. You could try getting some macro algae or add some Biodigest to the tank to reduce the Nitrates while doing water changes. Once what ever has died and gone you will stop getting large amounts of Nitrates in the water.
 #9662  by mypeanutbutterspoon
 15 Dec 2020 05:01
Thank you so much odin!!!!
i have some macroalgae in the tank, but its honestly not a lot since i split the clump between two tanks. I will add another large clump of it to the tank
also, do you by any chance know if Microbe-life Nite-Out II works the same as Biodigest?
its starter bacteria that says it works to remove ammonia and nitrites, but i figured that wouldn't help me because i have a nitrates problem, but its bacteria I already have
if not i'll just pick up Biodigest as soon as i can!!
thanks so much again!!