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Fishmosy's zebra shrimp biotope tank (Mark II)


fishmosy
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So a sneaky preview from my new biotope tank for keeping zebras.

Here is a video of them munching on some Boss Aquaria snow.

 

 

 

 

Edited by fishmosy
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Can't claim them as me having bred them as the females came berried from Bob's stock. But I'm excited that the shrimplets have hatched and survived (so far).

Edited by fishmosy
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Great job fishmosy.

Look like a little crs shrimplet lol

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Very interesting. Curious about the details of wp, tank history etc.

​I'll be putting up all the details at some stage. the tank is still a work in progress, particularly given my dramas with a flimsy stand and the field trip photos and write up. More on that later. Suffice to say it will be similar in style and water parameters as my last tank but I'll be maintaining lower TDS.

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I see you have a couple of berried girls there.  Best of luck for the population expansion!

No leaves in any of your pics to date.  Are you still loading up with riparian leaves and mulberry?.. or keeping it lean to keep the TDS low?

Edited by Grubs
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Thanks mate. I'm feeding mulberry leaves but since they dont fit well with the biotope theme, I'm keeping only one to two leaves in the tank until they are completely gone.

Now the tank is getting a good coat of algae, they spend most of their time grazing from the rocks. I think that was a failing with my last set-up - too little light meant no algae growth. 

And you are right about the camouflage too. I was trying to take some pics of the shrimplets today. They are so hard to spot unless they move. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some shots from the tank. Set-up is a work in progress as I'm changing over my external filter (from a massively over-size Fluval to a Eden 511) so I have a sponge filter in the tank as extra back-up through the change over. Layout won't really change much, the base is sand and the rocks (granite) have been recycled from Zebra shrimp Biotope tank #1.

I'm using RO with a dash of benibachi salts to raise TDS.

Water parameters are:

TDS 40 ppm

temp 20*C

pH 7

GH 0-1

KH 0-1

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Just wanted to show off this pic to point out that not all zebs have he same black/white patterning. Lots of pics of the zebs show the 'nice' black and white coloured individuals, but they can also look like this. Still a nice looking shrimp but no large white stripes.

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Edited by fishmosy
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been asked by a member to provide some more information about how I keep my zebs with particular reference to water changes and parameters. 

The water parameters I provided above are accurate and I try to maintain these water parameters by doing water changes using RO. I change approximately 20% of the water in the tank every 1-2 weeks. To replace the water, I keep the RO in a 20L drum in the same room as my tank (the tank is unheated) so the water is exactly the same temperature as the water in the tank. I add the RO directly to the tank then I add tiny amounts of Benibachi directly to the tank to boost the TDS to 40-50ppm. 

The substrate I use is completely inert - granite and a bit of quartz. I do not use coral or any other pH boosting substrates, nor any pH decreasing substances such as peat. 

I believe a big part of how pH is maintained in my tank is that I have over-filtered the tank and ensure there is lots of water movement and agitation. I'm using an Eden 511 filter on the tank (60L) with a spraybar that faces back towards the pane of glass that the spraybar is mounted on. This stops the tank from turning into a whirlpool and agitates the surface. Why is this important? Well pH is related to two things - how much CO2 is dissolved in water as well as the dissolved minerals in water that buffer against acids. 

We know that water that is low in TDS is low in dissolved minerals. This means that there is little minerals that can buffer against acids. When CO2 dissolves in water, it forms a weak acid (carbonic acid). So in water with low TDS, it doesn't take too much CO2 for the pH to drop. 

Agitation is important because it tends to gas off CO2 out of water. That is agitation causes CO2 to move out of the water and back into a gas. 

Zebs like to have a fairly neutral pH (6.8-7.0). They also come from areas with lots of water falls and riffles (places where CO2 is gassed off). 

So its important to have plenty of agitation in a zeb tank. An air stone or sponge filter are a couple of options if you think you need to increase your agitation. 

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The other thing I have been asked about is feeding. And this relates far more to water parameters than you might think. 

Firstly in tanks with inert substrate, food is going to be the major contributor to increases in TDS. More food equals greater increases in TDS. As we know, zebs like low TDS.

I minimise any increases in TDS caused by food by:

- Feeding only every two or three days, although 1 mulberry leaf is always available and replaced when it is completely consumed

- feeding small amounts which are totally consumed overnight (excluding snow which tends to be consumed over several days)

- feeding foods that are low in protein (Benibachi kale pellets, Boss Aquaria Snow). Proteins are high in nitrogen. If the food rots, the proteins decompose straight to ammonia. When the shrimp eat and use the proteins, they release the nitrogen stored in the proteins as wastes. This increases the TDS of the tank, but also exposes the shrimp to 'high' levels of nitrogenous wastes. Nitrogenous wastes are not detectable in the water of their natural habitats so any level where these are detected is really too high.

Edited by fishmosy
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Good information @fishmosy.   I do regular changes with rainwater to keep my water "fresh" and low TDS.  I missed a weekend and got the distinct impression just from watching the shrimp that they were not so happy. Nothing certain.. just behaviour (less active) and they looked dull.  I'm slowly forming an opinion that the vividness of the white band is an indicator of vitality.    Could be my imagination. Have you noticed the white fading at all?

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I agree with you @Grubs. Mine definitely look and behave 'duller' when they need a water change, and colour up again after a water change. However I think the black also gets duller when they are unhappy (in addition to the white bands going dull, its almost like they lose their gloss and shine). 

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Good news :Kaboomm:, two berried females. I can actually take pride in these ones since they have become berried since their arrival into the tank. happy days :excited:

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