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BossAquaria Shrimp Lab :)


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Hello to you all,

I thought I would share with you all one of my latest projects i have been working on in my spare time.

I hope you all find this thread interesting and useful.

So I have decided that after spending the last 3-4 years buying shrimp from many many people and spending ridicules amounts of money on the promise of premium quality shrimp, only to be disappointed! that it is time to take matters into my own hands and start a selective

breeding program of my own, to try and obtain the perfect shrimp

my current setup has only really allowed me to breed numbers and not quality, hence the need to setup this better system.

The room has been built with every possible precaution taken to ensure nothing can go wrong. (touch wood)

so ill start with the room, tanks and equipment specs.

* Room Size internal dimensions - 4.8 x 3.6 x 2.4 meters. (Length x Width x Height)

* Floor- insulated, waterproofed and tiled.

* Walls -​75mm thick refrigeration cool room panels (Thermal Performance (Properties at 6oC) ‘U’ Value (W/m²K) = 0.51, ‘R’ Value (m²K/W)=1.92)

*Tank Stands -Custom build pallet racking system. Built to fit wall to wall, for "shrimp tanks" with a weight load rating of 1200kg per shelve. (a little over kill but for good reason, later explained) and standard long span shelving for the plant grow out tank system with a weight load rating of about 300kg per shelve.

*shrimp tanks - all custom built to suit racking system modules. 12 large tanks in total.

12 tanks @ 2200 x 450 x 400.

8 of those are divided with 4 equal sections per tank.

and the other 4 are divided in 2 equal sections per tank.

Total individual tanks is 40

*Plant tanks - all custom built to suit racking system modules. 4 large tanks in total.

4 tanks @ 2130 x 450 x 260

* Sumps - all custom built to give maximum volume of water to system to maintain long-term stability and maximum filtration capabilities.

4x Shrimp tank sumps 2200 x 350 x 260 with multiple dividers creating a tear system.

1x plant system sump 2100 x 500 x 400 with multiple dividers creating a tear system.

total sump tank is 5

* Equipment

1 x 2.5KW reverse cycle split system air conditioner

1 x HG-370 Air Blower * 800 litres pr minute *


1 x EHEIM COMPACT PLUS 3000ltr/h

12 x 6ft twin T5Ho lights (10000k)

54x duel sponge filters

1 x 100meter roll airline

And to many plumbing fittings, lengths of conduit to count.

so this is the room after all the walls and roof were built. Waterproofed the floor and added the lights.


and tiled the floor.


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  • 2 weeks later...
A soft bump to this thread for Dean ;):p

haha +1 for this.... and wait for the site visits to climb!

edit - dammit i squandered my 100th post on this ;)

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waiting ,waiting,Waiting love the suspence!!!

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I put in the airline system that you can see around the top of the room above the racks. 40mm pressure pipe

in a continues loop around the ceiling, that i can attach airlines to later.

this is what the huge air pump was for.

While the racking system was being made i started the task of plumbing in the return lines.


they go to the sumps which are in an enclosed, insulated sub-floor to keep them clean and temp controlled

whilst giving me maximum space for tanks in the room.

The black boards are marine ply, water resistant and nice and smooth so i can just slide under when needed.

All 4 sump @ 2200 long are in this space with room either side for me to clean and adjust things.

Its a tight squeeze.


and this is the holes I drilled through the tanks for the bulkheads. 6mm double base tanks. Not the easiest to drill.

40 holes drilled in about 3 days. no record but also not one breakage.


Only downside to double base tanks is the mess that gets trapped between the glass when you drill them.


The New custom built Racks arrived

So the new rack arrived and I started building.

There is no way these babies will have any strength issues. Strength rating of 1200kg per shelf.

Another thing i realized while assembling the new racks was that i may have a problem with point loading! While the floor was built with a weight load of 800Kg/M2. The weight from the racks was not spread evenly, so i decided to double up the timber uprights under the floor where the legs of the racks will stand, just to be safe.

There is approximately 2500-3000Kg of weight (tanks, water, substrate, and racks) on each side of the room.


i cut all the foam bases and started to add the tanks!

foam sheets come in 2440 x 1220 x10mm then i cut them to size.

this is the tanks going in smiley.gif



and i started to lay out the plumbing fittings



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so now all the tanks are in on one side of the room and its time for the plumbing to start. this was my first time doing any plumbing on this scale. i learnt a lot of things about plumbing up large systems mostly through trial and error

so this is the list of what i used that i can remember, some things i cant remember the name of.

PVC pressure pipe & fittings

8x Cross 25mm

50x 25mm Bulk Heads

50x Tee 25mm X 25mm X 15mm

15x Tee 25mm X 25mm X 25mm

50x Tee 40mm X 40mm X 25mm

15x Tee 40mm X 40mm X 40mm

50x 45º Elbow 15mm

25x 45º Elbow 40mm

20x Cap 25mm

20x Cap 40mm

50x Valve Socket 25mm

50x Faucet Socket 25mm

50x Ball Valve Slip 15mm

22x Ball Valve Slip 25mm

45x 50/25 reducers

15x 25mm slip joiners

4x 6meter lengths 15mm pressure pipe

15x 6meter lengths 25mm pressure pipe

9x 6meter lengths 40mm pressure pipe

2x pressure pipe glue bottles.

10x rolls Teflon tape

Airline/irrigation fittings

200 x 4MM Barb x Threaded Adaptor

200x 4mm Barbed Vari-Flow Valve

100meters of 6mm airline

6x whoops plugs (thats what i call them)

they are little plugs you push into the pipe when you mess up the threaded whole for the barb threaded adapters. (what your airline connects to)

its not the easiest thing to drill a 3.5mm threaded hole in pipe that is only 2-3mm thick.

so this is the start of the plumbing.


everything was measured twice and cut once

all the bulk heads had 60mm of the threaded rod end cut off so that when the fittings and reducer tee was fitted it had minimal hang distance down from the tank above. the spacing between the top of the tanks and the above row was already minimal to maximize the space i had.

All the fittings were joined "without" glue until the complete system was plumbed in. Then when i was certain everything was right and would work, i labelled/ numbered every piece, pulled it all apart and started to glue everything together in modules that would all connect together in sections.

all the overflows in each tank were measured the same then glued into the fitting that screws to the bulk head. i then used the tape measure and measured the distance from the bottom of the tank to the top of the overflow pipe as i tightened it to the bulk head. this ensured all the tanks will fill to the same level when they are filled.


now i decided to add some black background to the tanks and do a test fill on one tank before i got to ahead of myself with all the plumbing and gluing.


happy days, i had no problems with the first tank so added background to the rest of the tanks and started a full system fill, very nerve racking. using the normal garden hose it took about 4-5hrs.



as this was the first fill and all the extra weight being added i was getting a little worried when the floor was settling and moving to find its natural resting place. but nothing went wrong so it was a relief and also a little pat on the back to myself for not under engineering the floor.




so no leaks or problems with the first side of the room after a week of running. so i started the other side of the room.


everything was a lot easier the second time round with plumbing etc.


started to run out of room for all the fittings and tools so started using the stands

so i was about to put in the last tank and what do you know! i cracked it

always the last one, so i had to get a new one built. while i was waiting for that i used the time to start all the plumbing etc.


so after waiting for the new replacement tank for a while with nothing much to do i decided i may as well get the air conditioner installed.

no chillers needed

so the other side of the room is now finished. no more cracked tanks

this is what it looks like now.


i also decided to add a medicine cabinet instead of using shelving for all the foods and test kits.

it also keeps the mess out of sight.



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This how i stop the shrimp/shrimplets from

taking a ride to the sumps!

so there are 2 parts to this,

the first is the 50 - 25mm reducer


and the next part (shrimp guard) is something i stumbled on in the hardware when trying to solve this problem.


Now the mesh guard is actually 2mm wider than the reducer, I think it’s because the reducer is a pressure pipe fitting and the mesh guard (cant remember name) is a standard plumbing fitting. so what i had to do was use the 4 inch grinder and grind 2mm off from all the way around the mesh fitting to make it fit inside the reducer but without it being too loose and babies still being able to squeeze down the side. (about 15 minutes for each one) not pretty but effective.


so this is how the reducer sits at water level


and now with the guard fitted inside.


so a few more bits of info about how i did a few things.

after the room was complete and all the tanks filled and running with the air-conditioner on climate control mode, i started to notice that there was a lot of humidity in the room. I’m guessing this is because the water in the tanks is slightly cooler than the set room temp, so what i did was cut a hole in the floor directly below the Ac and fitted a small computer fan (well it looks like one but is actually for Hydroponics rooms) under the floor in the sump area. This has two purposes! Firstly to force nice clean cool air into the room and secondly to keep the sump room under the floor from becoming humid and getting mould growing everywhere.

so this is the whole in the floor. it has a fine mesh on it to stop insects coming in the room and most importantly stop the shrimp from leaving.


so the plumbing to the room is quite simple in its working, basically there is (for each side of the room) one main pipe that feeds the water and one that returns the water to the sumps.

the main line that feeds water to all the tanks is a vertical pipe running up the centre of the rack with a X (cross fitting) that splits up/down/left/right. on either side (left/right) there is a ball valve to control the flow of water to each level of tanks.

as the bottom level get more water pressure so ball vale needs to be restricted a little and the top level remains open.

then over each tank there is also another ball valve to control individual flow to each tank.


a lot of adjusting and fine tuning but very effective. this gives me the option of closing off any tank and running it separate from any other, then to add water or change water i just open the ball valve.

then the same principle for the sump plumbing, each tank has a overflow that feeds to a main line under all the levels of tanks and down to the sumps.


Now a little about the sumps. They are overkill x1000 but stability is the key to keeping shrimp!

So the first part of the sump is where all the water lands from the tanks above. This has approximately 20-30 kg of various types of media (balls and noodles)


This then passes through a very course filter pad in the baffle (behind timber sorry) into the next section which contains about 90 Bio House logs


It then passes through another baffle which contains the very fine white filter wool into the return pump area


Then on the main line that sends water up to the tanks i also have this split into two lines. one line is the main feed to tanks and the other is like a re-circulation line to keep about 20% - 40% of the total volume of water passing through the pump, continually circulating through the sump.


Now there is also a overflow system in place. This is something I learnt about the hard way! When the power goes out the water in the pipes all flows back to the sump and because everything in this room is built to its limit, that causes the water to fill the sump and overflow.

so what i did was drill a hole in the side of the sump just above the running water level and connected it to the spare sumps beside it


this way when there's a Power out or problem with the pump the water simply passes to the Spare sumps without spilling everywhere


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This is the planted system i have made to grow all the driftwood covered in mosses and other types of mini plants for the shrimp tanks.

These tanks are only shallow as there only purpose is to grow mosses and driftwood creations.

It also has its own sump system so i can also put shrimp in there

And here is the first 100 pieces of driftwood i purchased to start the driftwood creations. There is going to be many many many many hours tying mosses....


to be continued......

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and watch the member base grow....

thanks mate for the re-update ;)

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we just have to get the word out to the good people :) so we can keep this forum a great place :applause:

and watch the member base grow....thanks mate for the re-update ;)
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the next update will take a few weeks as i need to write up everything again i think, i cant find the rest of my notes anywhere :stupid:your shrimp and everyone else's shrimp come from this setup. so rest assured they come from a happy place :)

Exciting Dean! Cant wait for further updates! Its good to know im getting shrimp from an amazing setup like this :)
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That's a very nice setup that inspired my small rack. Can't wait till I can get some nice shrimp from you mate

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  • 3 weeks later...

thanks for digging this up mate :mad: honestly i just dont have time at the moment to spend a few hrs writing up everything.

ill get to it eventually but just not soon :dejection:

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      How is now the condition of pH?
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Summary from the old thread; I managed to destroy my wonderful Taiwan bee tank with a faulty heater that cooked them. I then set up the tank afresh May 2019 using shrimpking substrate, new plants and wood etc. The tank looked very drab from the start and several batches of new taiwan bee were added and died out instantly. Covid came along so I decided I would give up with the taiwan bee shrimp and get some fish instead about a year later (1 kilie and 12 mosquito rasbora). September 2020 I tried another batch of tawian bee but they fared no better and the tank was still very drab looking (and still is to this very day). I very much doubt it is the substrate but won't be using that again but have aquired a large bag of the old type of substrate I used before, but I really don't know what caused the problem, maybe there was some sort of bacterial infection or I accidently poisoned the shrimp, or there was something on the new plants/wood??? The parameters were always perfect and I have to just accept I will never know? At some later date I dumped some wild type red cherry culls into the tank as food for the killie but he didn't seem to eat them (they were clear/brown so maybe he didn't see them) and they seemed to settle into the tank and bred! Fast forward to a month ago and I decided that now the postal service is better than it had been early in the pandemic, I should maybe try some more taiwan bee as the cherry shrimp had been in there for a year or so and doing well, so I assume whatever the problem was had gone, although the tank is still not as healthy looking as the other tanks using the other substrate! I ordered 15 black shrimps 2 weeks ago and put those in the tank and they seemed to be surviving so earlier this week I order 20 red/blue shrimp and put those in the ttank yesterday. This morning I counted 18 shrimps (about half) so it looks as though it maybe going to work now, the tank is so densely planted that I would never expect to see ALL the live shrimp anyway! The killie fish died a few days ago so he isn't a threat anymore and I doubt the rasboras are either. I am now in the process of fishing out the wild type cherry shrimp as/when I see them! Here is the link to the full thread about the above but I decided to start a fresh thread from here on, https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/14523-here-we-go-again/ I will keep this thread updated and get some photos at some stage, though the new shrimp are a bit small at the moment.  Simon
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I think I should start a new thread on this now as this is getting a bit long and it seems to be working now, and to keep it tidier and easy to find/follow! I will attach a link below once done! Simon https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/15621-here-we-go-again-again/  
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Hopefully it will settle quite quickly now and it was just everything sorting itself out, and at least you caught it before it caused problems with the fish and shrimps. As you also say, it will take a bit of time for the neneficial bacteria to spread in the new sunstrate as well! The  packaging of the substrate should tell you if there is any routine you should carry out when first using it because of mineral build-up or ammonia, so if the packaging didn't say anything I think it is safe to assume it was not the substrate (Fluval stratum is volcanic soil), and other people may have just assumed it was the substrate without considering anything else if they had a similar episode to yours? Simon 
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