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Shrimp Rack time!


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After receiving some fantastic shrimp from a few sources, I've bitten the bullet and am finally going to build a rack system.
*Pictured is a rough sketch of what I plan to build*
Today I purchased the 1800x1800mm Rack-It shelving from Bunnings (minus the actual shelf as I will use 18mm Marine Ply). 
Im going to use the plumbing plan from Boss Aquaria (https://skfaquatics.com/…/2961-bossaquaria-how-to-plumb-a-…/) as it seems to be a very easy, tried and tested plan.
A couple of questions I have are:
In regards to lighting, I dont plan on going for high light but I want enough to be able to grow mosses and a few nice plants. Would 1 of the MakeMyLed tubes be ok per rack? 
Also do people use Co2 on Shrimp racks? Im guessing not.
Is it better to have the Chiller set up on its own as opposed to having it inline with the plumbing?

Im open to any suggestions as well thanks guys!

Cheers everyone!


Shrimp Rack 1.png

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G'day Mitch

Always a big move going the full rack system. MTS in it's highest form..Lol

There are some big advantages going the rack system you have chosen. This is assuming that they are plumbed together to that sump/chiller. 10 tanks and a sump full of water will make it easy to keep water parameters stable and WC easy. Cost effective in the set up and running. Only one cycle to worry about. etc

There are also some big downsides. The first and worst is one tank infected, all infected. Other things to consider might be that not all shrimp types like the same water conditions for breeding or even healthy living. Having the ability to shut off one or more tanks from the system and setting up an individual filter for them in the future should be incorporated from the start.

I'm jealous of you being able to set up a rack system. Desperately trying to kick the kids out of the house so i can do the same but i have a few years yet before they even finish school..

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11 minutes ago, Madmerv said:

There are also some big downsides. The first and worst is one tank infected, all infected. Other things to consider might be that not all shrimp types like the same water conditions for breeding or even healthy living. Having the ability to shut off one or more tanks from the system and setting up an individual filter for them in the future should be incorporated from the start. 

Gday mate!

Yes all the tanks will be connected into the system. 

I was going to have a Biospon sponge filter in each tank and the ability to completely isolate each tank via ball valves and taps as well. I didn't think about disease/infection though, I was thinking about certain species liking different water parameters. 

I have been wanting to do this for a long time and just thought stuff it, I'll do it! I don't have to worry about kids though, only uni work.

*pic is 2 of the Mosura Blue Bolts I got from Ken Lee that have inspired this build


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Sorry if there is any confusion, I was on my phone when I posted the above reply and it logged in via facebook for some reason and created a new account.

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Step 1 - Build Rack.

This thing is awesome! 1800x1800mm, and each shelf can hold 1000kg. 

Its a Rack-It system from Bunnings, and I'm extremely happy with it. It wasnt too cheap but well worth the extra money.

I wont be using the premade shelving though as it is just cheap MDF. Ill be using Marine ply instead and the bracing is fairly flimsy so ill be using 90x35mm pine as per the Newbreed Aquatics build here - 

I also hit a snag with the custom tanks. In Townsville there seems to be a Townsville tax on everything. For 10 tanks (22x15x13in high) I was quoted at $150 each! So ill be going with standard 2ft tanks from the LFS that are $65 each and he said he will do me a bulk deal. I nearly laughed in the blokes face when he told me the price for the custom tanks! 

Thanks for reading and ill keep everyone posted.


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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

*** Its been a while so I thought I would update ***


Progress has been slow due to the one and only tank builder here in Townsville taking 3 months to build the tanks! I finally have them and to say Im happy with the quality would be a lie! Bubbles in the silicon and massive chunks of it slathered everywhere... Oh well gotta work with what Ive got...


- I drilled 35mm holes in each one of the tanks and was pretty stoked I didnt smash any! I took my time, kept it wet and used an El Cheapo Diamond bit from eBay that came in a set (shipped from Australia as it was here within 4 days).

- I have purchased the Pond Pro Air lab EV60 from TheTechDen to run the sponge filters. I will review this once it is all set up. I have also started making a PVC airline with taps to each tank and will upload some pics as that progresses. I got 4mm irrigation fittings from my LFS as he has used them and stocks them as well.20170919_154958.thumb.jpg.def98f6f5aa341ebf8605656f2f2b911.jpg


- Ive painted the shelving in a waterproof sealer and it looks ALOT better than the original dull brown. 

- Getting the plumbing supplies has been a bit of a hassle as Ive had to order most of it in (Bulk heads, strainers ect) but the supply shop has been great to deal with!

- Ive set up the lights; 4 x 3ft UP Aqua U series for plants. I purchased these from Newbreed Aquatics closing down sale at an absolute steal as well as a whole heap of other stuff! I have no idea how Im going to keep them attached to the underside of the rack bracing as I dont think I can drill in to the light itself. So far I just have it tied up there with some black craft string (cant see it and it works).

- Ive set 2 tanks up to start the cycle; they have the bulkheads and strainers attached but blocked off. The Substrate is Benibachi Shrimp soil, with a layer of Mironekuton powder. Ive done this purely because I have a whole heap of Blue Dreams and Neon Yellows hanging off the front of another tank in Sudo Breeder boxes. 


Thanks for following the build. Once Ive completed more of it, I will update with details and plans as well from the Air System, Plumbing and parts lists ect.

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?  I normally dislike tank ornaments....   but those realistic looking skulls on the bare substrate look..... great!... and will look better with a few shrimp crawling out of the eye sockets.

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6 hours ago, Grubs said:

1f44d.png  I normally dislike tank ornaments....   but those realistic looking skulls on the bare substrate look..... great!... and will look better with a few shrimp crawling out of the eye sockets.

I usually do as well mate, I'm usually all plants and hardscapes but I saw this image a while ago and always wanted to duo something similar. Mosses and other plants attached to the skulls will look pretty cool I think. 

images (16).jpg

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On 22/06/2017 at 8:36 PM, Madmerv said:

Desperately trying to kick the kids out of the house so i can do the same but i have a few years yet before they even finish school..

Now we know what Mitch did with his kids !! :surprise: ? 

(no, not funny. Really)


Dammm @kingmitch84. Scary looking, and lifelike skulls you got there.

You gotta post a picture of them after you plant something on them.

You could use mosses, subwassertangs, and maybe even Vals ... you know, for different hairstyles!! LOL ?

I crack myself up sometimes.

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15 minutes ago, jayc said:

Now we know what Mitch did with his kids !! :surprise: 1f609.png 

No kids to worry about mate, although I do have Pugs! That like to try to climb the rack and chew dangly things like power cables!


I will definitely upload progress pics as I go with the plants. Might give one a Flame moss Mohawk! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Wow! I completely forgot about updating this sorry guys! So much has happened since the last update.
So I filled the bottom rack with water and blocked the top off (As I was going on a holiday and wanted to keep it simple for the lady looking after the house). That was really a bad idea! I had automated everything in the fish room, Dosing pumps for ferts, Aircon on a timer program, auto top off RO Water ect. no expense spared. She thought she was doing me a favor by turning the aircon off to save power (it specifically said on the instructions to let it go as it was on a timer....) ALL of my shrimp were cooked, my Threadfin Rainbows all died, and a vast majority of my plants turned mushy as the room temp would have been sitting on about 38 degrees. I was devastated when I got home...
Moving on, Ive just began to restock the shrimp rack now.
Ive also filled the top row of tanks, and they are isolated so they can cycle with their individual Biospon Filters before I connect them into the sump loop.


Plumbing - 
I hate plumbing hahaha! I stupidly did it all after the tanks were in place and the bottom row was cycling. Im not a small bloke so it was a bit of a tight squeeze behind the rack ahhaha! But saying that, it allowed me to cut everything to exact size, and I had no leaks when I finally had the water flowing through it. And it looks pretty neat so Im happy with my first ever attempt at plumbing, I also have a new appreciation for plumbers!
Outflow is 25mm from the tank to 40mm into the sump, and Inflow is 20mm. Im not happy with the inflow into the tanks. They work well, and are self made rain bars, but they look dodgy AF. If anyone has any suggestions on something that will look nice, im all ears.


Lights - 

I got 4x 3ft Up Aqua U series from Newbreed Aquatics closing sale (Thanks Jamie!). I have just zip tied them to the bracing above each tank and it works well and you cant see it. Saved me drilling things and was cheap. They are on a single power board with a timer so all go on at the same time. The bottom shelf has the sump and another tank that I cant bring myself to shut down (it did have my Bloody Marys in there from Saul Henebery but they were all killed in the shrimpocalyps so maybe its time to go....)

Sump -

3ft long X 1.5ft wide X 1ft high custom build. Im not particularly happy with it as I had specific measurements it was supposed to have for the internal baffles to suit the media I had, and the dude stuffed it up. And there isnt anyone else in Townsville that builds tanks so Im kind of stuck with it for now. Just seeing the one bit of media sticking up f*cks with my OCD hahaha. 
Ive never had a sump before so if anyone has any tips for young players, im all ears. What kind of media are you guys using? I have Jap matt, and the rest is bio balls, bakki rods and marine pure balls.

The chiller is on its own loop now as well back in to the sump.

(disregard all the hoses everywhere, its a bit neater now).


Other working parts - 

Auto Top Off - I made an Auto top off system that flows into the sump, its a simple float valve with 2 x 25 liter drums of RO Water. Its gravity fed as the drums are on the top shelf. It works really well and will last around 10 days depending on how hot it is.

Equipment shelving - I got the 2 side shelves that are made for the Rack It shelving. They hold a fair bit of weight and look good. Happy with these as they hold all my food, ferts, test kits ect.



Now Im in the process of restocking after the Shrimpocalyps, Ill update with some pics of the new occupants when they arrive.

Thanks for reading, here are some pics of the poor shrimp that got cooked while I was in Japan :-(

20170802_165042.thumb.jpg.e8672f3112c514482c623274dcd1f086.jpgRuby Reds from Ken Lee

20170803_112536.thumb.jpg.3bc638fdff3ecef009aac49480b5a3c8.jpgBlue Bolt from my LFS.

20171014_181521.thumb.jpg.fbd3a9e7259f89db523422be30cf15a8.jpgBloody Marys from Saul Henebery (These were my fav!)

20171015_190245.thumb.jpg.8313ea0d6a973c75c8a6755b69465240.jpgSneaky girl trying to escape up the filter!

20171025_171052.thumb.jpg.d567a94b88ddb9c6ed776706220bd07b.jpgBlue Dreams from Saul

20171025_171213.thumb.jpg.e7ea4a3cbb35cefa63ec323ddad65b40.jpgYellow Cherries from Saul.

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