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240ric Sulawesi Adventure


240ric
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This past January, I drove 3 hours from Austin to Houston to attend the South Texas Area Shrimp Hobbyist Meeting. Discobee, Han Aquatics, Elevate Shrimp, and Buypetshrimp.com sent a bunch of free stuff to take home. I even got some Snow White shrimp as a door prize from a local breeder in Houston. Anyway, I also met some great people there and got to speak to a breeder from Houston that sells on aquabid that goes by "Ark". From what I hear, he is famous for his OEBTs. He also mentioned that he breeds Cardinal Shrimp locally and normally starts listing them on aquabid when the weather gets warmer.

I've seen pictures and videos of Cardinals and thought they were cool, but I was really concerned about my ability to keep them. After speaking to him and listening to some other hobbyist's presentation on Sulawesi shrimp, I decided I needed to try them out. I tore down my 20 gallon Rasbora tank and am in the process of converting it to a Sulawesi tank. I used PFS as substrate and added a 10 pound Texas holey rock for the centerpiece. This is a starting point and may have to pull the plants out since I am thinking of housing rabbit snails with the Cardinals. Water is RO remineralized with Sulawesi 8.5 (What a PITA to dissolve this stuff).

Anyway, it's gonna be a couple months before I add any Cardinals to this tank. I'm trying to make sure there is enough biofilm for the shrimp to graze on and enough algae on the holey rock.

post-3070-0-59846500-1455758159_thumb.jp

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I've ordered from, and corresponded with, Ark from aquabid. His prices are really good, and it seems like he really knows his stuff when it comes to shrimp. I'm actually getting ready to place another order with him. That's awesome that you got to meet him, as well as other shrimp hobbyists.

Good luck with the cardinal tank. Always loved those shrimp.

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What a good looking setup! I have always been tempted, but never made the leap with Cardinals. Hope to have a shrimp meet soon in the South East.

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Went to my LFS this morning and was surprised to see that they carried rabbit snails.  Bought a few to put in the tank to carry me over until I get some cardinals.

 

post-3070-0-81610300-1456000918_thumb.jp post-3070-0-18523400-1456000916_thumb.jp

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just placed an order of 15 Cardinals from Ark, the breeder I met in Houston earlier this year. I also ordered some of his BTOE for a new tank I just set-up. They should be here next week Wednesday. Counting the days until they arrive...

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Shipment of Cardinals and BTOEs arrived today from Ark. Best packing so far out of all my shrimp orders to date. Large breather bags with at least two cups of water per bag. Bags were filled with lots of plant trimmings. Each bag was wrapped with around 20 sheets of newspaper, and the box was lined with thick pink insulation. Probably overkill, but didn't lose any shrimp during shipment.

Now for the shrimp, I ordered 15 Cardinals, received 17. I also ordered 6 BTOEs, received 13! :thumbsu:   Shrimp are high quality from what I can tell so far. Will post pics once they get settled in.

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Shipment of Cardinals and BTOEs arrived today from Ark. Best packing so far out of all my shrimp orders to date. Large breather bags with at least two cups of water per bag. Bags were filled with lots of plant trimmings. Each bag was wrapped with around 20 sheets of newspaper, and the box was lined with thick pink insulation. Probably overkill, but didn't lose any shrimp during shipment.

Now for the shrimp, I ordered 15 Cardinals, received 17. I also ordered 6 BTOEs, received 13! Shrimp are high quality from what I can tell so far. Will post pics once they get settled in.

Cant wait for pics :thumbsu:  Sounds like you found a good breeder/seller.

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Here's the latest set-up prior to introducing the cardinals.  Moved some stuff around and added a smaller holey rock.

post-3070-0-16824300-1458254257_thumb.jp

 

Also, here are a couple of pics of the cardinals.  These guys are hard to photograph being shy buggers.  My photo skills aren't the greatest either.  Hopefully I can share some better pics once they get braver.

post-3070-0-51952600-1458254254_thumb.jppost-3070-0-81635900-1458270194_thumb.jppost-3070-0-87362500-1458342174_thumb.jp

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wanted some contrast to my Cardinals so I got some Sulawesi White Orchid shrimp today from Blue Crown.  Slow drip acclimating them right now.

They are advertised as tank raised so hopefully they will be more hardy than wild caught.  They also have tank raised Cardinals and Yellow Cheeks.  I see Joes Aqua is also advertising tank raised Sulawesi shrimp in their pre-order.   It's nice to see more US sellers importing Sulawesi shrimp.white orchid.jpg..

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14 hours ago, seaj said:

Ark posts some cool stuff on Aquabid. I'm gonna order some opae ula from him soon, maybe some albino full red guppies, and hopefully some cardinals in the future too.

I hope they do well for you! Cardinals are incredibly beautiful.

I highly recommend this guy.  Not sure about his other stuff, but his BTOEs and Cardinals that I got were high quality.  His communication was excellent, and has the best packing job so far.

 

7 hours ago, ShrimpP said:

Would they interbreed?

By the way,  I have seen Bob's Tropical Plants get in rare Sulawesi shrimp and snails from time to time. Maybe he can get something that interests you?

https://www.bobstropicalplants.com/shop/en/8-inverts

I really want that Sulawesi King Snail he has :)

From what I read, they do not interbreed.  Also, the reason I bought the Cardinals from Ark, and the White Orchids from Blue Crown was because they are tank bred.  From my research on Sulawesi shrimp, it seems like most people recommend that you try to get tank bred ones as opposed to wild caught.  The one guy that presented at the meeting in Houston imported a bunch of wild caught Sulawesi shrimp a few years back, only to have a majority of them die off during shipment and acclimation.  He recommended Cardinals to start since they are more tolerant to wider water parameters, and said to get tank bred if possible.  I think this is true to some point since it seems like the most tank bred Sulawesi species being sold in the US are Cardinals.

Anyway, the only other Sulawesi species I would be interested at this point is Harlequins, but only a few people seem to have success with them.

 

 

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The Cardinals seem to have settled in and are out and about more often.  Tonight I noticed at least three berried Cardinals.  Hopefully my new White Orchids do as well as the Cardinals...

berried.jpg

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Congratulations on the berries! Seems like everything is going well for you.

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I use Salty Shrimp Sulawesi 8.5 to remineralize RO.  Like other people, I had to double/triple the recommended dosage since I could not fully dissolve the powder.  My water parameters ends up to be GH 8, KH 4, TDS 170, pH 8, 80 degF.

 

Not sure about Ark, I never bothered to ask since I was set on using Sulawesi 8.5 to make it easier on me to control the water parameters.  He does list his parameters on his Aquabid auctions:  TDS 200-250, GH 7, pH 7.6-7.8, nitrite - 0, nitrate - 0, temperature 78-80.

 

I just drip acclimate my Sulawesi shipments for 6-8 hours.

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  • 1 month later...

Any updates?

I'm about to order some Cardinals from Ark, and maybe get a few from Joe's Aqua (was trying to get some from Blue Crown as well, but the seller told me he is having some health issues at the moment) to mix in some fresh genes. I know Ark has had his for a long time (same with his BTOE, Opae Ula, etc) and not sure if he ever introduces new blood into the lines. I'm sure Ark's are hardy and well adapted though. Hope Joe's Aqua line will be just as hardy as well.

 

If Ark is having great success at his parameters, I think I will just replicate that.

Curious to hear how all your Sulawesi are fairing (the White Orchids too).

I'm also thinking of getting Yellow Cheeks as well.

 

 

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The Cardinals from Ark are doing very well.  Out of the 17 I got, I only lost 2 in the past 3 months.  There are at least two batches of babies so far, and at least three of females are still berried.

 

The White Orchids I got from Blue Crown and Joe's Aqua did not do well for me.  I got 9 from Blue Crown and that slowly dropped to 2 over the course of two weeks after arrival.  I tried to order 10 White Orchids from Joe's Aqua to see if I can have better results with his stock, but he only could supply 4 due to unforeseen DOAs during his shipment from overseas.  So sad to say I started off with 13 total, and only have 4 left.  Not sure what kind of water they use, but I measured the TDS of both shipments and they were 250-300.  My tank water is around TDS 170.  I do have one berried White Orchid, so hopefully I can build up my population from the remaining 4.

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  • 1 month later...

Out of my original batch of White Orchids, I only have one female and two male adults remaining.  The female has been berried three times already and there are a bunch of baby and juvi White Orchids running around.  Hopefully they make it to adulthood.  My Cardinal population is booming too, probably double from what I started with.  This shirmp tank is my favorite so far as they are so interesting to watch.  They no longer run and hide when I sit myself in front of this tank.

 

Lone Adult Female Orchid

orchid.jpg

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/15/2016 at 8:35 AM, 240ric said:

I use Salty Shrimp Sulawesi 8.5 to remineralize RO.  Like other people, I had to double/triple the recommended dosage since I could not fully dissolve the powder.  My water parameters ends up to be GH 8, KH 4, TDS 170, pH 8, 80 degF.

 

Not sure about Ark, I never bothered to ask since I was set on using Sulawesi 8.5 to make it easier on me to control the water parameters.  He does list his parameters on his Aquabid auctions:  TDS 200-250, GH 7, pH 7.6-7.8, nitrite - 0, nitrate - 0, temperature 78-80.

 

I just drip acclimate my Sulawesi shipments for 6-8 hours.

Does anyone make a liquid form? From my understanding to properly dissolve the SS 8.5 you need to use CO2? is this really necessary?

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I haven't seen any Sulawesi specific remineralizers in liquid form.  If you are thinking of getting Cardinals, you maybe able to get away with using tap water if your water is hard enough. Also, I think I read that someone on this forum is using RO wastewater for their Sulawesi tanks.  It seems like Cardinals are more tolerant to wider water parameters since they are the most offered Sulawesi shrimp species out there.  

 

Anyway, I don't fully dissolve my SS 8.5.  I just take a 5 gallon jug of RO water, remove 1 gallon from it, boil the 1 gallon of water, and mix in around 3 scoops of SS 8.5.  I stir this mix for a couple of minutes, then add it back into the 5 gallon jug.  I then aerate this 5 gallon jug for 1-2 days until the water is clear.  There is slight layer of powder that settles on the bottom of the jug, but the GH of the water ends up being around 7-8.  I don't normally test Ph, Kh, or TDS anymore.  When I do water changes, I just slow drip the water directly from the jug without stirring up the layer of powder.  I only do a 10-15% water change once a month, and my tank is doing well so far.  

 

Luckily, I was able to get a 1000g container from TheShrimpTank for cheap when they were having a broken container sale.  Even with my triple dosage, the 1000g container should last me a while.

 

 

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