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Cycle a Brackish shrimp tank for Opea ula shrimp?

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Hey Guys and Girls,


Im pretty new to the forum and would like some advice if anyone has any? or links to some (i don't mind lengthly reads). I am going to be setting up a Opea ula brackish shrimp only tank, now this isnt my 1st tank as i already have 2 freshwater tanks but from what i have read i cannot seed the brackish tank with media from my other fresh water tanks as this would kill the bacteria? if im mistaken let me know!


How would i go about cycling the brackish tank after i have it at the correct salinity and specific gravity? I will not be using a heater and as im the UK the tank wont be getting very warm from my home, i will be using a sponge air driven filter. Ive also seen 'Biospira' used to start a cycle in salt water tanks setups, if anyone has heard of it?


Also what water should i start the cycle off with.. Ro water or distilled water to be mixed with the salt? do i need to use anything to buffer the PH to stop it becoming acidic and has anyone used live rock in their opea ula tanks?


thanks for any helps and ideas.


- mech

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Hey Guys and Girls,


Im pretty new to the forum and would like some advice if anyone has any? or links to some (i don't mind lengthly reads). I am going to be setting up a Opea ula brackish shrimp only tank, 


Hi Mech,


Lucky you! Wish we could get Opea Ula in Aus. 

We never get the good shrimps for our hobby here. 

For those on SKf that don't know what an Opea Ula is, here is an intro 





 read i cannot seed the brackish tank with media from my other fresh water tanks as this would kill the bacteria? if im mistaken let me know!


Partially true. If you add your matured filter media into a tank that is already brackish, then you could shock the Beneficial Bacteria and may kill 'most' if not all at least a good majority of it.


Since you don't have any shrimp or fish yet, you could start the tank out as a freshwater tank with the mature filter, and slowly convert the tank into brackish water. You do this by adding salt weekly to increase it to the desired SG levels. Opea Ula will be satisfied at the lower SG levels.


Alternatively, you can look at setting up the tank as brackish immediately, and using Prodibio Biodigest marine to kick start your tank with beneficial bacterial. Prodibio is a much better product than Instant Ocean's Biospira. 

You can potentially have a cycled tank in less than a week. Make sure you have your test kits ready to test for Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates.


You can use either RO or Distilled to mix with the salt. It won't matter.


You can use the regular marine tank shell grit or aragonite to buffer the pH to around 7.5 - 8.5.


Don't know why you'd think that not using a heater is a good idea.

Bacteria will multiply faster when the temperature is warm. Turn the heat up! till about 26-27 Deg C. Give the bacteria a warm place to colonise and multiply - your cycling time will be reduced by weeks. Once the tank is cycled, you can turn the heat back down to suit the Opea Ula's needs, although they seem to be able to tolerate wide ranges in temp (16deg C to 30deg C).


Oh, one more thing. Be patient with the cycling if you take the route of using your old filter media. 


Lastly, PICTURES when you have set the tank up with Opea Ula.

Edited by jayc

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Thanks for the information, I will be buying the tank next week after the filter turns up so I can get a rough idea of the height of it etc, I'm aiming for around 70 litres and somthing with as bigger foot print possible. As they can live for over 10 years and breed fast when established I will maybe start with 20 shrimp. I will start a build thread but I warn you it will be slow moving.. I want to take my time with this project :)

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