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DavidJo23

New tank suggestions - substrate and decor

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DavidJo23

Hey all,
Found this site when I was looking for an ultra low maintainence fish for my office. When I saw that myv shrimp that didnt need a water change, only needed fed every 2-4 weekish...I was sold. I bought a small 2 gallon top fin tank and  Fluval canister filter  from petsmart for the task. I will use the lid and light, but I wanted to make sure that removing the pump completely was the right move? Just using ambient heat in the office 69-72F to heat the tank and putting the little light on a 8-10 hour timer (during work hours because it would be pretty). Wouldn't this work??

Substrate:
What sort of substrate do I use that will pop the color of the shrimp easily?

Decor:
Can I use texas lime rock or lace rock? I want the shrimp to have something to climb on and add an element to the tank so it's not just a box of water. Do you guys recommend any particular rock type to aid in maintaining water quality or that will help show off the shrimp better?

PH corrections:
I have a ton of crushed coral from my cichlid tanks, could I put a sprinkle of that into the tank to help keep the ph from getting acidic? Like how much for 2 gallons you suppose?

Thank you all, I will begin cycling the tank when I have some suggestions to the above. If we were talking african cichlids, I would be crushing this without worry..but I've never dealt with brakish water setups before.

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debbeach13
2 hours ago, DavidJo23 said:

Substrate:
What sort of substrate do I use that will pop the color of the shrimp easily?

Not sure there is a known substrate for this. For awhile black sand was very popular and believed to make coral colors pop. I think you would be better off using regular white live sand.

 

2 hours ago, DavidJo23 said:

Decor:
Can I use texas lime rock or lace rock? I want the shrimp to have something to climb on and add an element to the tank so it's not just a box of water. Do you guys recommend any particular rock type to aid in maintaining water quality or that will help show off the shrimp better?

I have no idea how that rock will react in salt water. I would recommend getting live rock and live sand as these are the best foundation for your biological filter. Since the tank is only 2 gallons this should not be very expensive.

 

2 hours ago, DavidJo23 said:

When I saw that myv shrimp that didnt need a water change, only needed fed every 2-4 weekish...I was sold

 

Again no experience with this particular shrimp. But in my experience you will need to do some water changes (this hobby is all about keeping a box of water)

 

and I would guess feeding that little will starve your shrimp.

 

2 hours ago, DavidJo23 said:

I've never dealt with brakish water setups before.

I I would check out some brakish aquarium forums. 

 

I hope I didn't pee in your cheerios and I hope you have fun with your new set up.

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natalia_la_loca

Never heard of myv shrimp. Do you mean mysis or...?

 

if you’re looking for ultra low maintenance brackish water shrimp, opae’ula (halocaridina rubra) are great and they would prefer the kind of system you’re looking to set up. I don’t know the composition of Texas lime rock. I used the kind of dry coral rock used in saltwater aquariums. Crushed coral is good too.

 

The petshrimp.com site and forum are a good place to learn about opae’ula. I love mine. They’re super active, self sustaining, long lived and truly ultra low maintenance.

 

 

 

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Clown79

Is this for a freshwater or saltwater tank?

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Tired

Do you mean opae ula? What you're describing, a tiny tank with minimal feeding and no water changes, is an opae ula tank.

 

Opae are tiny and eat algae, so as long as the tank has enough light to grow algae, they feed on that just fine. If you keep some macros with them, or sometimes even if you don't, their waste gets used up. You do need to regularly top the tank up, so it's not quite nothing but once-monthly feeding, but it's pretty close. 

 

Black sand is good to make the shrimp pop. I suggest lava rock from a reputable aquarium source, preferably black. Dry coral or reef rock is also appropriate. If you use coral rock, you won't have to worry about pH correction. Don't buy live rock, it'll all die in brackish water. 

 

Opae are super easy to keep. You can read about it on petshrimp.com, but it's really basic care. Just set the tank up, and ignore it (aside from topoffs) until plenty of algae grows. Then, add shrimp. Make sure to get captive-bred ones, not wild-caught ones. Feed a tiny bit of food very infrequently, until they multiply to the point where they start making an impact on the algae. Then, either start feeding slightly more often and doing very tiny water changes, or trade some away. 

Start with distilled or RODI water, and good reef salt. Top up with distilled or RODI so nothing builds up. Keep the tank topped up, make sure algae grows, and that's it. They don't want a filter, it harms the delicate little planktonic larvae. 

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DavidJo23
On 4/20/2021 at 7:14 AM, debbeach13 said:

Not sure there is a known substrate for this. For awhile black sand was very popular and believed to make coral colors pop. I think you would be better off using regular white live sand.

 

I have no idea how that rock will react in salt water. I would recommend getting live rock and live sand as these are the best foundation for your biological filter. Since the tank is only 2 gallons this should not be very expensive.

 

Again no experience with this particular shrimp. But in my experience you will need to do some water changes (this hobby is all about keeping a box of water)

 

and I would guess feeding that little will starve your shrimp.

 

I I would check out some brakish aquarium forums. 

 

I hope I didn't pee in your cheerios and I hope you have fun with your new set up.

Thanks a lot! As I see I need to do water changes for sure. I have started to feed shrimps more 

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Tired

Again, what kind of shrimp are they? If it's opae ula, there are people who've had tanks set up for years without water changes or feeding, and have the shrimp breeding and multiplying with no signs of stress. They don't like to be disturbed by things like water changes, and it's really easy to suck up the tiny planktonic babies. 

 

Also, if they're opae ula or any other brackish water shrimp, you need to NOT get live sand or live rock. Most of the stuff on it will die off and cause serious problems. 

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Wingy

I agree that Opae Ula are almost maintenance free.  They love to climb all over Redrum the blue leg hermit crab and pick algae off its shell.  Next I am going to try a small bit of GSP in the Opae tank and see how it does.  

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Tired

Oh, you have them in saltwater! Or do you have a blue leg hermit in brackish water? If the opae are in saltwater, have they bred in it? I know they'll live seemingly healthily in saltwater, but I'm not sure if they'll breed. I know they aren't kept in reefs, but I think that's mostly because they'll get eaten. And they might pick at coral a little, since they're algae-picking shrimp and picking shrimp tend to taste whatever else is under them. 

 

Anything else in the tank will make it a bit more complicated, but opae themselves are super simple. Because they're tiny, they need very little food and produce very little waste. And because they're just eating algae and you don't really add any food, you aren't increasing the overall amount of stuff in the tank, so you don't really need water changes. They're so simple to keep! Just top up the water. Which just makes it worse that the poor little things get crammed into those "ecosphere" things. Those don't actually work, the shrimp gradually starve to death. Properly kept opae should live 12-20 years and breed readily after getting used to the new tank, whereas opae in ecospheres live a couple years at most and don't breed. 

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Wingy

I moved the blue leg from the reef into the brackish tank.  It has been in there for a few months now.  

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Wingy

I just placed a dime size piece of GSP in the brackish Opae tank.  We will see how it does.  

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Tired

I will be very surprised if it does anything other than slowly die. Keep a close eye on it and pull it when it starts to rot, you don't want any decay in an opae tank. The hermit may do okay because that's a species that could reasonably wander into brackish water in the wild, but I don't think there are any brackish water corals. 

 

What salinity are you running? There are some corals that can tolerate some salinities a bit lower than ocean water. 

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Wingy

The salinity in the Opae tank is 1.011.  The piece of GSP did not do well and I removed it after 2 days, possibly because I removed it from where it had spread and dumped it in   Next time I will try some that is established on a piece of rubble and acclimate it better.  

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