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Fishmosy's zebra shrimp biotope tank


fishmosy
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Well I finally got to put together my new tank set-up this weekend after floods and work have prevented me doing so for six weeks. It was probably a good thing though as Bob has noted that zebs are susceptible to disease from other shrimp and the tank has housed RCS in the past. Hopefully having the tank bare for that time has helped to kill off any disease/parasites.

My aims with this tank are to:

- keep and breed zebra shrimp

- use a hamburg mattenfilter for the first time

- provide a realistic biotope aquaria inspired by Bobs video of the zebras at Tully Gorge and other pics he has posted.

http://www.shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/showthread.php/1511-Zebra-shrimp-in-the-wild-Video

Specifications for the tank are:

Size: 32 (L) x 12 (H) x 12 (W) inches

81 x 30 x 30 cm

Filter: Air driven Hamburg Mattenfilter

Circulation: Air driven

Heater: None

Lights: LED spotlight (1 or 2 10W, haven't decided yet).

So heres what I started with:

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I've placed the tank low on my rack in my fishroom next to my CRS tank which remains at 21-25 C throughout the year.

I purchased Poret filter foam for the hamburg mattenfilter from a New Zealand supplier. Its 5cm thick, 33*33cm wide/high and is 30ppi.

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The Poret filter foam fits in perfectly into the tank so I didn't need to glue it in place. Next thing I did was to make the pipes for the air uplifts.

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There are two uplifts in the photo above but pnly one is used to draw water through the foam. The reason for this is because the hamburg mattenfilter functions best with low flow rates (2-3 tank exchanges per hour through the filter is recommended). However zebra shrimp enjoy a bit more flow than this uplift will provide so I added another purely for circulation.

The circulation pipe looks like this:

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I cut a series of slots at one end for water intake.

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As you can see from this pic, the water is drawn from and returned to the main part of the tank without passing through the filter mat. The rock is just to hold the pipe in place.

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the uplift tube for the filter looks likes this:

P1030619_zps055556b3.jpgP1030623_zpsb49f18a3.jpg

Note the plastic modular airstone. I didn't glue the pipes, only press fit for ease of access for cleaning.

The uplifts behind the filter mat. Also note the pipe at the base of the filter mat. This keeps the filter mat from moving back against the glass.

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Now came the aquascaping.

First some gravel to cover the intake.

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I was able to find some rocks with similar texture and colour to that in Bobs zebra video. I placed the larger rocks on a layer of river sand to protect the tank.

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More rocks and a solitary piece of driftwood jammed amongst the stones. I purposely left some space under some of the rocks to form shelters for the shrimp.

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Next was smaller rocks (forgot to take pic) and then I rinsed river sand in between the stones. Also washed a couple of handfuls of dark river sand (collected with the larger rocks)in amongst the stones at the front of the tank as the river sand I used was light in colour and contrasted badly with the main rocks. Little bit of clouding was syphoned out as new water was added.

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Top view

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Top view of the tank when filled. I left one lid on the tank to avoid losing extra water through splashing.

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Final step was adding some leaves and twigs collected from a rainforest stream. The leaves were carefully checked for hitchhikers to ensure I don't end up with snails or dragonfly larvae in the tank.

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I wiped down the tank and added a florescent light so I could take pics to give you a better idea of what the tank looks like.

I'll be adding one or two LED spotlights to encourage algae growth so ignore the pink hue of the florescent. The water is still a little cloudy too as this was not long after it had been filled.

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I'll be posting good pics once I have the LED spotlights set up. I'll also cycle the tank using the fishless cycling method as I suspect anything I put in there will be very difficult to get out without pulling the tank apart! I'm hoping to make the biotope more authentic by obtaining submerse plants from Tully Gorge.

Enjoy.

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  • HOF Member

Hi Fishmosy , great write up, glad you finally got to set it up. Please keep posting and show us the finished tank and the zebras of course. Well done:encouragement:

Cheers

Ineke

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Thanks Ineke. Will do.

After studyng these pics have realised the large rock at the back needs to be higher as the whole scape seems flat. Please feel free to comment.

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  • HOF Member

I think it depends on the plants you use. Plants can give some height. Are you going to use moss on or inbetween the rocks? I'm sure you will play with it a lot until you are satisfied - that's the advantage of fish less cycling.

Cheers

Ineke

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There will be no plants other than some moss that will be glued to small areas on the rocks. If you look at Bobs video, there are no plants except for the moss and algae, and this is what I'm trying to emulate.

Essentially what you see will be how it will stay.

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Looks awesome dude, love the hamburg matten filters, I divided a tank into two with one, great write up, keep the pics coming :encouragement:

image-74_zps6f707266.jpg

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Looks Good Ben, just like where they come from.

I have some Zebs coming along in a pond, must have been some survivors.

Wayne is up this weekend and we are going down to Tully so expect more photos

Dam I would like to know how I got this dark lettering?

Bob

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Pretty sure you've just hit the "bold" tab in the boarder of the post, it's the B symbol :encouragement:

image-74_zpsd1b91c37.jpg

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Thanks Squig but in Blond now please LOL.

No I got it thanks heaps, handy to Know see

OH meant to say to Ben that foam will provide a good Bio area for them and I think you will be safe with that tank now, so check you emails.

Bob

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Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I was told to watch out for shrimp climbing the foam, I have mine flush with the lid to stop the little guys climbing between sides :encouragement:

lol, nice work bob, I knew you could do it :applause:

image-74_zpse4672472.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow that looks amazing! I can't wait to see it stocked!

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  • 3 weeks later...

So a further update for this tank. I've added a 10W LED floodlight overhead and played around with the large stone at the back and rescaped the right hand back corner as it was annoying me. Added a lot more of the darker fine gravel around the larger rocks. I'm happy with how the tank looks now. Would have preferred the large rock at the back to have a bit more height but I can't get it any higher without being able to see the bottom of it (ie the rock in front wont hide its base, which would look totally unnatural). Maybe the moss (from Bob) will add a little more height but I'm not certain yet where I will put it.

I've also added a tiny bit of plant fertiliser to help kick start some algae growth for the shrimp to feed on when they arrive.

I'm really happy with the light from the LED spotlight, in person the sparkle lines are amazing. Hoping I can get a movie of them to show here as the tank looks much better in person.

Anyway, only thing now is to put in the moss and shrimp. (Hint hint Bob, :victorious:)

P1030742_zps3e82b907.jpgP1030747_zps638d3150.jpgP1030751_zps1faacb64.jpg

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Looking good Fishmosy should be really great with the shrimp in there

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Stunning looking biotope Fishmosy, good luck with the zebras & I hope you get them to breed, they are my favourite native shrimp :encouragement:

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Looks Good Ben, I will get the Zebs from the pond next week, so they will be right to send in 2 weeks time

Bob

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Looks Good Ben' date=' I will get the Zebs from the pond next week, so they will be right to send in 2 weeks time

Bob[/quote']

Sweet thanks Bob

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Chris WHO???? No worries Chris I wont forget you and Ben I will yell when they and the snails are coming

Bob

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Chris WHO???? No worries Chris I wont forget you and Ben I will yell when they and the snails are coming

Bob

You might need to get your memory checked. You've forgotten who I am and the shrimp :p

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Just fishing for a bite, DAM I wish the fish would bite like that LOL

PM me you addy details Mate

Bob

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  • 2 months later...

So the zebs have finally arrived and are now in their new home, no thanks to Aus Post who idea of express post was to hold onto the parcel for 7days over a long weekend. Luckily I only lost about 18 in total out of the about 75 or so Bob sent me (another forum member who can't count). Bob also kindly supplied me with two kinds of moss from Tully Gorge that I added to the tank for a genuine biotope.

First things first, I made a temporary bracket out of some scrap aluminum for the 10W LED to hang lower to increase the amount of light for the moss and encourage a bit of extra growth of algae for the shrimp to feed on. I'll be lowering the shelf above the tank at some stage, hence temporary. Also note the blue airline, was drip acclimating the zebs when this pic was taken

e9bb9218-0af5-4e96-89ee-efa461718d77_zps4d92f24c.jpg

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To add the moss in to the scape, I first lowered the water level, keeping the water from the tank.

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Then patted the rocks dry with a towel, and glued the mosses on with superglue.

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I put bigger pieces in behind the rocks as mosses are a shrimps best friend, but there aren't any big bunches of moss in Bobs Tully Gorge video, so you cant see them when the tank is viewed straight on.

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Now anybody who has ever used superglue in aquariums knows it turns white underwater and is pretty bleeding obvious. It is really noticeable in the last two pics above.

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Looking good mate. I need to setup a native tank I think. Is there much in the way of shrimp around coffs. Im doing a trip to a couple of properties around glenreagh soon to hunt the elusive aussimo. So wouldnt mind finding some shrimp up in the mountains.

Cheers mick

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