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 #10640  by ShrimpCityForever
First attempt at keeping these shrimps and non-freshwater. Have lots of previous freshwater aquarium keeping experience.

For for post sharing setup and progress, just filled yesterday, of two 5 gal Opae Ula tanks. Planning to order chaeto and then shrimp a few months from now.

Have tank A and tank B, A (in first picture shown below) I've filled, from dry tank and hardscape, with distilled water mixed with Instant Ocean Reef Salt to reach 1.003. Yeah, doing the moss ball acclimation attempt. Plan to increase density in 4 weeks to 1.006, then repeat delay and increase until reaching 1.012.

B was filled, from a dry tank and hardscape, with and same water and salt but by amount to measure to 1.012. (I'm tempted to move some of the moss balls over and see how well they fare and compare over time to the others at 1.003. Previously the moss balls were in a container with fresh water from a cycled aquarium.)

Beyond the marimo algae and salt level differences, tank A has some dragonstone for no reason but it was laying around. From my limited salt water understanding, this rock should not effect water paramaters even in brackish.



Each tank has ~2 lb crushed lava rock and ~2 lb tan aragonite for the substrate.

Most difficult item to source for these I found to be the large (2" to 5") lava rocks.

For anyone who may be interested sharing the overly excessive shopping list. Unless noted items were acquired though Amazon. No real need for the lava rock substrate, sea fans, marimo, dragonstone, full spectrum lights and thick acrylic covers, without those looking now I see costs for two tanks would be far less than half the below total with same results outside of astetics.

CaribSea Aragonite Aquarium Sand, 10 lbs., Tan

onlyfire Black Lava Rock 10 Pounds, 2.75-5 Inch

Black Lava Rocks Granules for Indoor Outdoor Plants Vase Fillers,Aquariums,River Rocks Outdoor Landscaping.(2.2 Pound)
$10 bought two for $20

SEAOURA Led Aquarium Light for Plants-Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light with Timer Auto On/Off, 18-24 Inch
$23 bought two for $46

Ipetboom 1Pc Natural Coral Ornament, Black Sea Fan
$10 bought four for $40

Marimo Decorative Moss Ball (2 pcs)
$10 for 2, bought 4 packs for $40

AUTOUTLET Salinity Refractometer

Aqueon 5.5 gallon tank
$12 bought two for $24
purchased from petsmart

OPTIX 18 in. x 24 in. x 0.220 (1/4) in. Clear Acrylic Sheet
purchased from Homedepot

Great Value Distilled Water, 1 gallon
$1.34 purchased 10 for $13.40
purchased from Walmart

5 gallon food safe plastic bucket
$4.28 bought two for $8.48
purchased from Walmart

Aqua-Life Gravel Vac
purchased from Walmart

Instant Ocean Reef Salt
 #10644  by ShrimpCityForever
odin wrote:Nice post! How are you finding them? They are smaller than freshwater shrimp but I love them :happy:

Very much looking forward to stocking the shrimp in the spring. Based in the states so planning to go with gotshrimp who I believe on here is Vorteil. I mostly keep Goldfish in planted tanks, with Opae Ula having nearly opposit needs with tank and water keeping it's been an enjoyable change of study.
 #10645  by ShrimpCityForever
Update 12/23/2023 - about a week after filling both tanks

Added sponge filters four days after filling. Water surface had some dust and fine particles floating around. imho more biomedia the better. Easy enough to remove once the shrimp are in. Set the air to just enough to move around all of the top water surface.

Setup a timer to run 12 hours of light, 6AM to Noon and then 4PM to 10PM, on the lowest brightness settings.

Took about a week for the air bubbles on surfaces to mostly all disappear. Was interesting to see how much more trapped air was in tank B (1.012 salinity) compared to tank A (1.003 salinity). Surface tension being greater in higher salinity water caused this?

Measured the water parameters, I expected the KH to be higher. The aragonite subtrate had listed on the bag to use 1 lb per 1 gallon of water to keep up PH, which it has done. Each tank has about 2 lb of aragonite. I do have a freshwater Calcium test kit but not for Magnesium or GH. No rush, figure give things time to cycle and age in.

Marimo that had been in water from a freshwater aquarium, and who knows before that (ordered from out of the country), are helping the cycle in tank A. tank B has not yet started cycling, so ordered some Dr Tim's Ammonia to kick off the cycle. I've always just used fish food and plants. I've read some posts here and there that with brackish the nitrate cycle can be maintained when adjusting salinity when as gradual as 0.001.

tank A
dKH: 2
PH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0.5
Nitrite: 0
salinity: 1.003


tank B
dKH: 4
PH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
salinity: 1.012

 #10651  by ShrimpCityForever
Sharing an update of two 5 gallon I've been cycling and aging in.

Tank A, that I started with just distilled water and have been raising the SG by .001 a week, finished cycling after 6 weeks. Converts 2 ppm of ammonia in 24 hours. Algae started showing up once the ammonia went to 0 after week 4 (1.004). Dosed Fritz 7 nitrifying bacterial around week 5 for 8 oz. Started seeing the darker green algae few days after. Got what looks to be brown diatom dust type on the glass, that fuzzy brown whispy kind that balls up, and the green stuff. At 7 week and half now (1.007 SG) sharing some pictures of the different algae. 0/0/10 for nitrate. KH has risen to 5. PH hanging at a steady 7.8.

Been turning the moss balls, turned the one last week and saw the dead spots that were underneath. Going to remove this one back to freshwater. Rest look healthy, we'll see...

The other tank I started at 1.012 SG stalled out around week 4. Still read near 2 ppm ammonia with only slight nitrite. Added 8 oz of Fritz 9 (nitrifying bacteria for salt water). Seemed to have helped, ammonia is at 1 and nitrite is 2/5. Not much algae, some green lighter patches and few small dark green on the aragonite.




 #10663  by ShrimpCityForever
Update after fours months, one month after adding shrimp.

Advice was shared to get rid of the blue green algae and moss balls. Moss balls were easy to remove. Manual removal of the BGA helped for the bulk of it but kept returning. Tried UltraLife's Blue Green Slime Stain Remover with little to no results. Spot treatment using a few ml of hydrogen peroxide daily was just as ineffective. Dropped the lights from ten hours a day to eight which slowed growth but still had growth of the BGA, green hair, brown diatoms and possibly some type of coralline algae.

Got 100 Opae Ula a month ago, split up with 50 to each tank. Took them about two weeks to clear all the algae including the BGA! Have bumped the lights back up to 10 hours a day, probably need to increase to 12 to grow more than they can eat. For now been feeding pure spirulina powder every two weeks.

Added the brackish adapted chaeto sold by GotShrimp. Tanks are looking good. Have yet to get any deaths including zero DOA after shipment. These guys really are amazing.

Thank you to everyone for the advice, informational saved discussions and supply of this type of unique animal keeping. It's easy to over complicate these habitats. I still don't know if cycling was of any benefit. True had no deaths but I've read from many who added shrimp from the start to uncycled tanks with same results.

Mustafa, just read your reply to get rid of the sea fan skeletons. Yeah, I probably should. I agree they are going to decay which will lower water quality. Fighting my own sunk cost fallacy here. I'll have to figure out a new use for them to justify the removal. :D Thank you for the advice.


 #10664  by odin
I wouldn’t worry too much about the sea fans, I have snails and all sorts die in my tanks and nothing throws it off as it’s a large ish tank.

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