Jump to content

Fishmosy's zebra shrimp biotope tank (Mark II)


Recommended Posts

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
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great job fishmosy.

Look like a little crs shrimplet lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 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










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.


Edited by fishmosy
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 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. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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:



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • hihat
      By hihat
      I got some nice specimen from my mix-aquarium with TB's, pinto's, taitibees etc, etc, The first 2 photos (I think) must be a mix from a pinto zebra and a kingkong, The red one is probably a red tiger and the same father? I've got 2 of the  blacks and about 10 of the red ones, I have put them apart from the rest and see what the next genereation will be. Sorry for the quality of the photo's, they're just from my iPhone, the macrolens I ordered hasn't arrived yet :-(
      Greetings from the Netherlands

    • Joanne
      By Joanne
      Hi, does anyone have any information on Australian Zebra Shrimp? I got a free one in a fish order and don't know anything about their care or size or anything! ? It'd an awesome looking shrimp. I have popped her in with my cherry shrimp, hope that's ok?!
    • jayc
      By jayc
      I came across this Japanese website that shows the biotope of Sulawesi shrimps.
      Thought you guys with Sulas would be interested. (Need Google translate to English).
    • GotCrabs
      By GotCrabs
      Hi all, just looking into to doing an all Chameleon Shrimp only tank set up, I have a 27l tank which I had planned to do but decided against it, so now looking to perhaps do the same tank but with no plant life, except mosses, driftwood, just after some information for a I guess you could call a Chameleon Biotope tank.
      Substrate? Flora? Water Parameters? 
      The tank will be some time off from being started as I want to look into everything first.
      Mosses I have in mind are Native Weeping Moss, mini Pellia, any others I could perhaps consider?
      Driftwood will be a piece of Gold Vine.
    • Grubs
      By Grubs
      Not a very sophisticated tank - just 3 granite pebbles on a thin layer of inert sand.  Eucalypt leaves and sticks (aged in the bottom of a pond) with some Indian Almond and Mulberry added for variety.  ~ 30% rainwater changes 1-2x per week (water at room temperature from supply in fishroom).  Lighting is strong because the tank is sharing the light with some algae cultures = green rocks and side walls.  Tank is small 45cm tank (~20 litres) oriented end-on.  Just waiting to move some fish around and will upgrade them to a 40l tank.  Room temp is ~23C  GH<1 KH<1.
      The light is over the front part of the tank. most of the zebras hang out more on the filter sponges or under leaves during the day but always a few visible.  Seems to be more action at night.  I've noticed lots of activity when adding fresh rainwater - they really seem to like the current and fresh water. This is perhaps not surprising given they are found in flowing streams.
      There are a few juveniles that arrived as eggs on berried females - but no breeding evident  in this tank yet.

  • Join Our Community!

    Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Posts

    • sdlTBfanUK
      There isn't much to report on this at the moment, I am 50/50 as to whether this is going to work or not long term. I have seen 2 dead shrimp since adding the new ones and counted about half of the new shrimp bought, that I saw yesterday! This is going to be a long term experiment I guess, the best I hope will happen at this point is that the remaining shrimp survive and reproduce and that new borns born in the tank should be more suited to the environment/water etc. There is an element of the acclimating didn't go as well/to plan as it should with my knowledge/experience, but I did the best I could, so that is what it is! Simon
    • Franks
      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 
  • Create New...