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Opae Ula tank build in progress! [Photo Heavy]


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Hey guys/girls


Decided after months of collecting items for my Opae Ula tank, i will finally put together a build thread as im VERY close to setting it all up and getting the tank cycled! :D


Here are some of the bits i have gotten so far (click to enlarge!)


Tank Turned up!



Tank unboxed: Hugo Kamishi Simplicity 24"x15"x12" 67 litre









Tank mat to even out the desk it will be sat on



Lid and Lights



Spondge filter



pump to drive the filter, i heard a filter is not required with these shrimps but im stuborn,



Sand: went with Caribsea black sand



Timer for my lights,






Calibration liquid for the refractometer



Salt water test kit









Ocean Rock #1





Ocean Rock #2







White sea Fan remains to look pretty :D



Frag Tray - to attach some Chaetomorpha too and keep suspended









So i need to pick up my RO water containers and eggcrate for putting under the sand to spread the weight of the ocean rock and pick a few new buckets up! If all goes well i should have some Brackish water mixed up and have my tank setup cycling this weekend,


I have been collecting all these bits for months and im hopeing it will soon all come togther! i will keep you all updated!


Update #1


Purchased the last few bits for my Opae Ula tank today, i belive this is all i need but im sure i have forgot somthing :P



Heater: not needed through 3/4 of the year but in winter time it drops well below minus figures so this should kick in when needed.



EggCrate: this will get burried under the sand and sit on the tank glass and spread the weight of the sand and rocks rather then it pushing down on one place.



3 x 10 litre buckets: you have all seen these before :P



suction cups to secure the airline pipe to the wall of the tank inside



3 x 25 litre food grade containers filled with pure RO water



i will only need to change around 25% of the tank every 6 months or so which makes life easier as my tanks going to be in a spare room upstairs.

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Ok so i cut down the eggcrate to fit my tank and washed all my things going in and on the tank in decholrinated water. I tested the RO water i bought and was about 5 - 6 TDS which isnt the best reading as 0 should be perfect but still its better then nothing. I wont be buying an RO unit for this as the water changes are not needed weekly like fresh water tanks.






Next i put the washed sand ontop of the eggcrate in my tank and spread it around, i added around 50Litres of RO water to the tank and put in the air curtain and heater, as the water was sitting at around 13 degrees in my spare room. this is mid day so it will only get colder at night. once it gets to around 20 degrees i will add the salt and work out what salinity i want and how to achieve it.




Having movement and 20 ish degree water temp should help the salt disolve correctly. i will keep it at around 20 for the shrimp but will remove the air curtain after its cycled and before adding anything living, i'll simply add the filter once its disolved and remove the curtain.


Once the salts done and its all good i will add the ocean rock and anything else going in and wait for my Angel Hair Moss to be deliverd from the USA if it makes it over alive :D When it does i will add it strait away to aid in cycling the tank, i am not using ammonia in this cycle.


more coming soon!

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So i added my Instant Ocean salt tonight, i took the tank up to 1.016SG and tested the waters PH :




The Opae Ula like the water PH to be around 8.0 - 8.4 ish so as you can see my water is pretty much close to what i need, i will still get a slight buffering from my ocean rock hopefully. If it doesnt i will add some calcuim carbonate blocks.

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So my hair Moss order got cancelled because of the postage distance, bought some. Marine chaetomorpha and added that to the tank, if this doesn't make it I will try again but slowly acclimatise it. Photos to follow later :)

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update: Here are the results so far,


28th November

SG: 1.017
ammonia: 0 - 0.25
nitrite: 0
nitrate: Not tested because no nitrites

PH: 7.8

Temp: 21.5 deg C



I added the Chaetomorpha to the tank on the 21st of november and its been in the tank a full week today, hasnt lost colour yet so im hoping it will live, it was in marine previously.






I have started to get what looks like a film on the surface of the water, could be scum or bacteria, who knows at this point :) I also noticed the PH drop slightly and the SG raise very slightly but this could be down to the temp or evapouration.


Here is a photo looking directly up at the surface hence the reflections of the heater and plant, press to enlarge.


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  • 9 months later...

Just a quick update; ive had alot of my time taken up recently but i have got my tank matured and shrimp in the water :)


In the meantime i have setup 2 30litre shrimp tanks and also stocked a few in it! pictures to follow but here is my 67litre from above.


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  • 7 months later...

Im no expert but i dose Biodigest every 2 weeks into the tank, feed a algae based food once a week or once a fortnight. I have females in another tank which i don't dose with minerals and have never fed which are starting to show signs of getting ready to be berried (becoming wider and having swimmeretes extended constanlty)


Heres feeding time in one of the big tanks and 2 photos of the other soon to be berried females in another tank.







banded only tank:





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Nice! How long have you had this colony? Do you selective breed at all to keep the colony a nice red? Or do you just let them all breed, never culling and just attribute their nice red color to diet, water parameters, health, etc.?

Do females only carry 3 eggs at a time like seen in the pic?

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They usually carry around 10 or so eggs, this one in the photo is a first time mum so shes dropped a good few of them which is normal. I have started selective breeding and have 3 tanks on the go :)

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What all are you breeding for? I have two setups, one has darker reds and one is mixed from pale to mid-reds. I have heard reports that there are pure white (albino?), they have green eggs, and yellow. Mustafa has many tanks and thousands of opae'ula and he has a few mixed in his tanks.


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