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  1. Hello. I've written the following based on my own time scouring the internet and then personal experiences with my mud crab Gaston. Mud crab aquarium care. Tank setup: Minumim 4ft aquarium. A 4x2 ft much better. Like with turtles, larger footprint is important. Not so much how tall the tank is. Seriously big crabs. Be open to having a 6ft aquarium if you plan on risking tank mates (other than glass shrimp, snails and tiny fish). Unless your in Western Australia, you'll get Scylla serrata aka Green mud crab (not named green for being green. Can be brown and blue also). They can grow up to 30cms and 2.5kgs with 20cm claws. Have a cycled aquarium with brackish water about 1.006-1.010 SG. Heated 19-25°c. PH around 7 or higher. Harder water is important. Crushed coral can help balance out soft tap water and the use of driftwood. Breaking up some cuttlefish bone in the water column is important. Calcium for shell development. They are from estuaries. So have a great tolerance for temperature and salinity fluctuations. Decent filtration is a must as they are exceptionally messy eaters. I recommend a sump. The crabs are very strong and can snap heaters, damage power cables and move tubing. So a sump for the hygrometer and heater helps, with the benefit of the overflows and returns being secure. Also clamps to hold parts in place. Pvc tubing can be used to protect power cables and keep equipment protected. The lid needs to be very secure. With only small gaps and also weighted down. The crabs are strong and can easily lift glass. Some additional glass pieces on the lid to keep it down is recommended. The crabs will want to get their mouths above the water line periodically. So don't fully fill the aquarium. About 20cm deep. Deeper depending on if you have driftwood or rock climbing areas so it can still reach above water line. Note: ensure all rocks and driftwood are very securely and purposefully positioned. Remember they are very strong and can move unsecured rocks and driftwood. Poorly placed rocks could be moved and break the tank. Using larger rocks and wood is safer than easier to move small pieces. Sand as a substrate is best. 6cm or so deep. Mixed with some crushed coral and aesthetic gravel. They sift through sand for scraps plus it will help fill cracks between rocks n such to secure them even more. They will eat plants. So not a great aesthetic addition. Don't put strong lighting on the tank. The crabs like to hide. Plus they'll grow algae over their carapace under too strong and or long exposure. Glass shrimp will help keep this down. Aquiring: Can be bought from a fish market. Sold as live food. About $50 per kilo. A standard mud crab will be about 0.8-1.4kgs. Google how to pic a healthy mudcrab. You want to select the healthiest male you can get (not the biggest). Note. They'll all be male. Transport in Styrofoam box or esky with a little ice. They'll wrap it in newspaper. When home. Unpack it (keep the claw string on) then move it into a large container or tank with no water for about an hour as they 'defrost'. Remove the claw holding string as you move into their aquarium. Have a friend around to help with lid for safety reasons. Feeding: They are scavengers and eat a wide variety of foods. They will make a big mess when they do, so some glass shrimp, Malaysian trumpet snails and a few tiny fish are beneficial for cleaning up the shower of food particles. My favourite foods to feed are small whole cooked tiger prawns and marinara mix from the deli. Some white fish cut into pieces then frozen. Repashy with added calcium (powdered egg shells or cuttlefish bones). Make big skeets in flat zip lock bags and freeze. Snap off a piece for feeding. Can also feed worms, clams, scollops, crab pieces, garden snails, plant matter (like excess Elodea from another tank). A varied diet is important. But most of all is getting plenty of calcium in their diet. The repashy +calcium or a similar diy mix with agar agar, calcium, seafood and added vegetables is gold. It might not take to eating well initially. I recommend using long planting tweezers. Carefully. Don't want them to grab the tweezers. You can train them onto eating by attaching a piece of meat or prawn to some cotton string. Jerk it around infront of him until he goes for it. Might take a few tries. Don't leave large pieces of uneaten food in the tank to spoil. Be very careful putting hands into the tank. They can go from slow to very fast moving in an instant. Here's my Gaston.
  2. The in depth guide to keeping as well as breeding Amarinus lacustris by Hervey Doerr-Rolley Overview The aim of this article is to educate and warn people of the mistakes I made and how I was successful with breeding and keeping this species. I published an article about this species several years ago so thought it was time for an updated guide for anyone wanting to keep and breed this species. All my knowledge about this species has been developed over the 4 years I've kept this species as well as the many scientific articles I've studied, I first kept this species when I was 15 and now 19, my colony is still going strongly. Currently studying a bachelor of Marine science. Firstly I'd like to point out this species does not have a larval cycle, it is a far too common misconception people have. I believe this thought is derived from their much larger cousin the Amarinus laevis and the Thai micro crab, Limnopilos naiyanetri. Amarinus lacustris have fully formed offspring, meaning their offspring are essentially miniature adults once hatched from their egg. Some points of interest about this species, there are 8 instars before their pubertal moult. Females up to two moults before their pubertal moult can copulate and store spermatozoon, once she reaches the pubertal moult she can then impregnate herself without the need of copulation. The stored spermatozoon can then be used up to 15 separate brood cycles (15 clutches of eggs). Adult females can carry up to *35 eggs (anecdotal) and take around 25-30 days at 15 degrees Celsius to hatch as fully formed offspring. Water chemistry A. lacustris have a strong preference for hard water, I keep and breed mine in; pH: 8-8.2 Ammonia:0ppm Nitrate:0ppm Nitrite:0ppm KH:125ppm *25% water changes are done weekly* Breeding and Husbandry Key points for their care; Gravel substrate - fine pea gravel is best. Air pump sponge filters are essential as this provides cleaner water as well as a feeding ground for the offspring as well as adults. Mulm and moss are essential. A good rule of thumb from my experience is 500ml of aquarium space per baby-sub adult, and then 1L per adult crab, this allows for less aggression from male to male behavior. It is up to you but the less stocking density the better due to the aggression of breeding from males, keep in mind this aggression is only towards other males however females that are being copulated with may sustain serious injuries if too many males are kept together. The best ratios are two males to 8 females. When a female sheds she releases hormones into the water column just like shrimp, if any of you are familiar with breeding shrimp you can note this by the erratic and fast speeds the males zoom around the aquarium searching for the female, this is the same case with A. lacustris except the swimming, rather they crawl quickly around the aquarium in search for the female to copulate with. Once the male finds the female he will grasp the female tightly underside to underside in a 'hug' embrace, he will then fertilize the female. This embrace can last minutes or hours depending on the male. Eggs will soon become visible and as described above hatch within 25-30 days*. This species is a cold water crustacean so you must remember that, breeding will cease if the temperature goes above 22 Celsius. Keep them in a mature mulm filled aquarium with leaf litter (I use oak leaves) with plenty of hiding spots and moss, a 8pH and 15 Celsius and before you know it you will have berried females. Feeding Surprisingly my A. lacustris do not eat commercial foods, I feed mine cultured white worms which are perfect as they grow to a max size of 3cm and survive underwater for several days. I also add snails to my aquarium as the crabs feed on their feces. Funnily enough baby crabs will eat the white worms too once they are 2 instars old, so it is not uncommon to see a 2mm baby crab hanging on to a 2cm long white worm! I feed my crabs every 3 days and small amounts of the worms to reduce water quality issues. Common questions I am asked As I was the first person in Australia and the world to raise fully tank raised F2 offspring i have come across many commonly asked questions. "can I get these crabs in country x?" so far you can legally only get these crabs in their native geographical regions, however once these crabs are even more commonly bred their popularity over the Thai micro crab will be clearly abundant simply due to their ease of breeding which you know, therefore I wouldn't be surprised if these hit the international market once they're being large scale bred. "Do you have any for sale?" when I have crabs for sale I have a waiting list, If you want to ask questions or be on the waiting list email me: zebradanio88@hotmail.com. "can these go with fish x?" if the fish is 4cm or less they are fine generally, my opinion is keep the species only or with shrimp which leads to the next question "are the shrimp safe" and yes they are, however they are naturally scavengers so if you have dead or sick shrimp they will eat them, if your shrimp are healthy they will not predate on them. "how long do they live for?" they live for around 2-3 years+. "why are all my crabs dying" this question is addressed below; Major issue that needs to be addressed Since my first sales of A. lacustris I suddenly saw a spike of ads for them in Australia, unfortunately I could tell the individuals for sale were all wild caught and at best had only lived in an aquarium for a couple weeks of their life. This then would result in people encouraging the decimation and local extinction of the species in our waterways due to peoples greed of wanting to make a quick buck off this amazing native species. The crabs that I breed and sell are all aquarium raised individuals ONLY, I have put time, money and effort into the crabs I breed to ensure I do not impact the wild populations and offer aquarium suited specimens for people wanting to keep them. I have had a plethora of emails from people asking me why crabs they had sourced outside of my individuals had suddenly died off, this is simply due to the fact these crabs have not been aquarium raised and selectively bred for years like mine have. I find it horrendous that people think it is okay to collect many wild individuals to then sell knowing full well they will die within around a 3 month period just for their sake to make some 'fast' money. So please before you buy from a seller of these crabs ask as many questions as you can to find out how many generations old your crabs are and how long they've been bred for etc. If they cannot supply a high amount of detail or simply quote my articles about them do not buy from that seller. Do not support poachers for your aquarium! This applies with all species, worldwide. Thank you for reading my article, again if you have any questions feel free to email me as I'm always happy to help out ethical keepers and potential breeders of this species. Author and credits: Hervey Doerr-Rolley
  3. The in depth guide to keeping as well as breeding Amarinus lacustris by Hervey Doerr-Rolley Overview The aim of this article is to educate and warn people of the mistakes I made and how I was successful with breeding and keeping this species. I published an article about this species several years ago so thought it was time for an updated guide for anyone wanting to keep and breed this species. All my knowledge about this species has been developed over the 4 years I've kept this species as well as the many scientific articles I've studied, I first kept this species when I was 15 and now 19, my colony is still going strongly. Currently studying a bachelor of Marine science. Firstly I'd like to point out this species does not have a larval cycle, it is a far too common misconception people have. I believe this thought is derived from their much larger cousin the Amarinus laevis and the Thai micro crab, Limnopilos naiyanetri. Amarinus lacustris have fully formed offspring, meaning their offspring are essentially miniature adults once hatched from their egg. Some points of interest about this species, there are 8 instars before their pubertal moult. Females up to two moults before their pubertal moult can copulate and store spermatozoon, once she reaches the pubertal moult she can then impregnate herself without the need of copulation. The stored spermatozoon can then be used up to 15 separate brood cycles (15 clutches of eggs). Adult females can carry up to *35 eggs (anecdotal) and take around 25-30 days at 15 degrees Celsius to hatch as fully formed offspring. Water chemistry A. lacustris have a strong preference for hard water, I keep and breed mine in; pH: 8-8.2 Ammonia:0ppm Nitrate:0ppm Nitrite:0ppm KH:125ppm *25% water changes are done weekly* Breeding and Husbandry Key points for their care; Gravel substrate - fine pea gravel is best. Air pump sponge filters are essential as this provides cleaner water as well as a feeding ground for the offspring as well as adults. Mulm and moss are essential. A good rule of thumb from my experience is 500ml of aquarium space per baby-sub adult, and then 1L per adult crab, this allows for less aggression from male to male behavior. It is up to you but the less stocking density the better due to the aggression of breeding from males, keep in mind this aggression is only towards other males however females that are being copulated with may sustain serious injuries if too many males are kept together. The best ratios are two males to 8 females. When a female sheds she releases hormones into the water column just like shrimp, if any of you are familiar with breeding shrimp you can note this by the erratic and fast speeds the males zoom around the aquarium searching for the female, this is the same case with A. lacustris except the swimming, rather they crawl quickly around the aquarium in search for the female to copulate with. Once the male finds the female he will grasp the female tightly underside to underside in a 'hug' embrace, he will then fertilize the female. This embrace can last minutes or hours depending on the male. Eggs will soon become visible and as described above hatch within 25-30 days*. This species is a cold water crustacean so you must remember that, breeding will cease if the temperature goes above 22 Celsius. Keep them in a mature mulm filled aquarium with leaf litter (I use oak leaves) with plenty of hiding spots and moss, a 8pH and 15 Celsius and before you know it you will have berried females. Feeding Surprisingly my A. lacustris do not eat commercial foods, I feed mine cultured white worms which are perfect as they grow to a max size of 3cm and survive underwater for several days. I also add snails to my aquarium as the crabs feed on their feces. Funnily enough baby crabs will eat the white worms too once they are 2 instars old, so it is not uncommon to see a 2mm baby crab hanging on to a 2cm long white worm! I feed my crabs every 3 days and small amounts of the worms to reduce water quality issues. Common questions I am asked As I was the first person in Australia and the world to raise fully tank raised F2 offspring i have come across many commonly asked questions. "can I get these crabs in country x?" so far you can legally only get these crabs in their native geographical regions, however once these crabs are even more commonly bred their popularity over the Thai micro crab will be clearly abundant simply due to their ease of breeding which you know, therefore I wouldn't be surprised if these hit the international market once they're being large scale bred. "Do you have any for sale?" when I have crabs for sale I have a waiting list, If you want to ask questions or be on the waiting list email me: zebradanio88@hotmail.com. "can these go with fish x?" if the fish is 4cm or less they are fine generally, my opinion is keep the species only or with shrimp which leads to the next question "are the shrimp safe" and yes they are, however they are naturally scavengers so if you have dead or sick shrimp they will eat them, if your shrimp are healthy they will not predate on them. "how long do they live for?" they live for around 2-3 years+. "why are all my crabs dying" this question is addressed below; Major issue that needs to be addressed Since my first sales of A. lacustris I suddenly saw a spike of ads for them in Australia, unfortunately I could tell the individuals for sale were all wild caught and at best had only lived in an aquarium for a couple weeks of their life. This then would result in people encouraging the decimation and local extinction of the species in our waterways due to peoples greed of wanting to make a quick buck off this amazing native species. The crabs that I breed and sell are all aquarium raised individuals ONLY, I have put time, money and effort into the crabs I breed to ensure I do not impact the wild populations and offer aquarium suited specimens for people wanting to keep them. I have had a plethora of emails from people asking me why crabs they had sourced outside of my individuals had suddenly died off, this is simply due to the fact these crabs have not been aquarium raised and selectively bred for years like mine have. I find it horrendous that people think it is okay to collect many wild individuals to then sell knowing full well they will die within around a 3 month period just for their sake to make some 'fast' money. So please before you buy from a seller of these crabs ask as many questions as you can to find out how many generations old your crabs are and how long they've been bred for etc. If they cannot supply a high amount of detail or simply quote my articles about them do not buy from that seller. Do not support poachers for your aquarium! This applies with all species, worldwide. Thank you for reading my article, again if you have any questions feel free to email me as I'm always happy to help out ethical keepers and potential breeders of this species. Author and credits: Hervey Doerr-Rolley View full article
  4. Crabby

    My 110 L Community Tank

    Hey guys, I thought I’d just make a single topic for my community tank, so I stop running around in other chats asking the same questions 😁. I’m going thru a big change in the tank at the moment, so will likely update in the morning with photos once the cloudiness is gone. Be prepared for a possibly very long message about a 10 hour process 😂. Cheerio!
  5. Crabby

    My new 5 Gallon

    Hey folks! So I got myself a little 5 gallon (20L) recently (it was free!) to use for quarantine. I’m going to use it to qt some cory cats and maybe some tetras or gouramis for my community tank. The thing is, I’ve got it set up really nicely in my room and I want to have it actually stocked. I definitely don’t want a betta, but I found some super cute guppies on gumtree (Wild Thai Orchid) that I can never find locally. How many guppies do u think I could get in the tank?? The seller only has 4 pairs, so is selling in pairs but not trios, so that could have an affect on the amount. I also plan on adding shrimp, either of a neo or caridina variety, or native - like dae or chameleons. So my questions are: how many guppies could go in the tank (assuming they breed and I keep the babies in with them for about a month each time), could I fit in anything else (with a pair or 4), like a couple of chilli rasboras or rocket killies, and will the shrimps be enough for a cleanup crew, or should I add an Otto or something? Cheers!
  6. Fully Aquatic Freshwater Crabs Amarinus Laevis. Difficulty: Intermediate Max growth size: 2.5cm across carapace (shell width) Temperament: Peaceful. Safe with other animals that wouldn't attack the crabs (not suitable with large Cichlids or other large aggressive fish). If underfed. Might take advantage of already weak or injured nano fish or shrimp. Only heard of this happen very few times. They are great for eating snails. Don't eat plants, only decaying plant matter. Preferred water parameters; Temperature: 10-28*c can handle colder. Increase air supply in warmer waters. Great for unheated indoor tanks. General harness: medium to moderate. Just like with snails. Soft water isn't healthy for their shells. Harder, calcium rich water is preferred for healthy moults. Crushed coral, shell grit, crushing some cuttlefish bone and/or feeding them snails is recommended. Tank size and notes: If keeping only females. A group of 3 is a minimum. Otherwise they'll be less outgoing. The more in the group the more comfortable and outgoing they are. They have a small bioprint. While we do feed them. They also scavenge and break down food and detritus into easier to be filtered forms. Aiding in a healthy balanced ecosystem. 3-6 female crabs can be kept in a nano tank of 5 gallons (19 litres) given the tank has a filter. A standard 2ft tank (approx 14 gallons or 50 litres) can support up to 20 female crabs. I frequently keep more in less water but only when it's just crabs (plus some shrimp and snails). If you have a male. A larger tank is needed as males can be aggressive. Preferably doubling the above recommendations. For breeding tank details. See breeding guide write up. Planted tanks are preferred. Aiding in filtration, providing climbing areas for the crabs and decaying plant matter is bonus crab food. Reproduction: Difficult. Requires around a dozen adult females, a non aggressive male (rare) and an aged tank. They have a free floating baby stage similar to glass shrimp. The vast majority of this species are female. Males are quiet rare and violent to other males. Often with a harem of numerous dozens of females each. Feeding: Scavengers that love sifting through mulm and poop. Feed sinking omnivores pellets, sometimes algae wafers. Will eat all sorts of foods. Supplementing with live snails is fantastic. Smaller wafers and pellets (I use 1mm sinking pellets) are better than larger ones to reduce the chance of fighting over food. Pellets with added calcium are a bonus to shell health and moulting. Additional comments: A truely unique, uncommon species in the aquarium hobby. Lifespan about 2-3 years. They can survive in low end brackish water. 1.010 SG or less. Making a unique snail eating native that thrives in both fresh and low end brackish. Plant, shrimp and fish safe in general. Doesn't need or use above water area. Recommend using an air stone if not using air powered sponge filtration, to ensure enough dissolved oxygen in the water column for them. Especially in warmer, tropical tanks. Breeding Tank setup information: I have had much success with many types of Substrates and setups. As the crabs are very hardy. My preference due to being cheap and effective is as follows. Breeding these crabs I consider advanced. There are a few important, easy parts to the process that if skipped can lead to failure. Substrate: Back or side 2/3rds of the base plain River rock gravel (any natural gravel you have laying around is fine). Front or other side 1/3rd sand (play sand from bunnings is cheap and effective. Sprinkle of crushed coral over the substrate. Decor: Driftwood. Piles of larger lava rock pieces (Washed. Bunnings or landscape supply store real cheap). Dead coral rock if you have any is beautiful to use. (skip adding crushed coral if using this). Plants are highly recommended. The crabs don't eat plants unless it's decaying matter. Plants help with water quality but also add environmental enrichment for the crabs that love to climb on them and micro-organisms for them to feed off. I now add a tiny bit of marine salt to their breeding tanks as it slightly increases zoae survival rate. The added nutrients and minerals seems beneficial (however not required) for the free floating zoae. Filtration: Sponge filtration is best. It provides oxygenation for the crabs and can't suck up the free floating first form zoas the eggs hatch into. If using other filtration, a cheap sponge covering the inlet is required otherwise all new babies that float in the water column will simply get filtered out. Also if not sponge filtration. Adding an air stone is recommended. Since the crabs are true aquatic. They don't go above water to subliment oxygen if ever there's less than desired in the water. Equipment: A light on a timer is a good idea especially with plants. The algae build up is a food source. The best food source for the young is green water. Which takes some trial and error to get dialed in. A heater is not required. I've had them breed in an outdoor carport over Victorian winters. 5°c nights and under aren't rare. Size: For a breeding pack (1 male and harem of females) a 2ft tank is a minimum. However 3ft is recommended and definitely will be better suited for survivability. A 4ft would be fantastic, in which the male could have a breeding harem of numerous dozens of females. Life cycle: a single male will mate with his harem of females they'll form around 200 eggs when berried. After weeks of fanning and cleaning the eggs. The female will release them into a light water flow as the zoae hatch. These free floating first form young drift about just like glass shrimp zoae. Consuming nutrients, green water and dissolved calcium in the water column until they go through a moult into a fully form micro crab. About 1mm in size. These live amongst the pourus lava rock and in the mulm that should be allowed to build up. Going through numerous moults as they grow in size. Some won't survive moults, some will be eaten by adults (sufficient mulm and suplimentary feeding minimises this). Of one females 100-200ish eggs. Those that survive to adulthood are in the many dozens, not hundreds. The young are a common food source in the wild for micropredators. Of those few that make adulthood. Only 1-3 will be males from my experience. Many of the other males potentially eaten or fought each other at younger ages. When crabs reach about 6-10mm across carapace is when I remove them into grow out tanks. New young males of this size need to be removed to seperate tanks with a dozen same size females, as they will likely fight other males to the death for the right of ownership of a harem. There are rare instances where the lionesses will kill their alpha lion if he isn't sufficient or doesn't continue to prove himself worthy. Similar can rarely happen with the crabs. So having same sized male/females is important. Especially at a younger age when the males are still learning how to be alpha. On the other hand. A large aggressive male with a harem of young females can all of a sudden go crazy and kill them all. A balance between the sexes is important. In the wild. The insufficient male or the weak/young females would simply be kicked off the rock and have to search for another group. To replicate this we would need very large tanks or ponds to avoid constant civil war. I am eager to assist any willing to try and breed these. I would love for them to be far more readily available to the hobby. Demant far outweighs what one can breed themself. 1st pic is a male standing on a ball of females. When moving large groups into grow out tanks, the crabs will form a ball made up of dozens. 2nd pic shows a appropriate mix of Substrates and tank setup. Has all the right components. Illustrating that breeding tanks don't have to be dull and unsightly. 3rd pic. A stunning male. Showing their magnificent claws. Note the messy wood. Mulm is your friend when breeding these. The adults sift through for food, the young live amongst mulm, eating it and biofilm. Breeding glass shrimp of other zoae stage shrimp in the same tank is a perfect match. 4th pic. A close up of the tank in the 2nd pic. Showing a male and some of his harem of females at feeding time. The male eats first and keeps the females in line and waiting for their turn to eat the pellets that fall near him. Waving his claws around at them as they approach. The crabs like to congregate on a single large rock. Especially on the underside of it out of the light when they're not scavenging for food. Porous rock is better so they can grip and for the young crabs to hide in from the adults that might eat them if hungry enough.
  7. If you are setting up a new aquarium, here is a short primer on how to set up your aquarium properly and efficiently. It may seem daunting at first, but assembling your new aquarium is easier than you think. Get all the aquarium materials ready First get all the aquarium materials ready by washing them thoroughly with warm water. Don’t use commercial soaps and detergents as they are toxic to fish. Stick to the most common and the simplest aquarium ornaments. Sift the gravel over a bucket and drain, repeating the process until you are sure that the gravel is debris-free. Fill your tank with water and set up equipment The next step in the process is to fill your tank with water. Initially fill around 30% of the tank using room temperature water. You can add the rest of the water right after the internals such as airline tubing, live or plastic plants and other ornaments are added. The air tube is an essential part of the aquarium as it helps with the oxygenation of the water. Plants are generally added to hide equipment, help with the aqua scape or simply aid in the tanks biological ecosystem. The air pump, power filter, and heater are other types of equipment that should be added. De-chlorinate You need to treat the water in the aquarium to remove chlorine, which is harmful to your biological filter and could be lethal to your fish. It is important not to overdose on de-chlorinators, as they can have an impact on water chemistry. Cycle your aquarium When an aquarium is cycled, it means that you cultivate or grow a bacteria bed in your tank, specifically in the biological filters. The filters will grow bacteria that digest ammonia which converts to nitrite, which is naturally produced and lethal to fish, shrimp, and coral. Controlling these lethal elements is done by introducing healthy nitrifying bacteria into the aquarium. Before you add fish or shrimp, an aquarium must be cycled properly. This is called the fishless cycle. If you place all your fish or shrimp inside the aquarium without the cycling process, chances are they will probably die within a few days. Cycling your aquarium takes time and it’s important not to rush it. In some cases, it has taken 6 – 8 weeks to properly cycle a tank. Adding the inhabitants Before adding your livestock, it is imperative to test the water. Specifically, the levels of ammonia and nitrite. You need to make sure that these two toxic nitrogen compounds are non-existent in the tank. Wait for two months before cleaning your new filter to allow significant growth of good nitrifying bacteria to populate. Acclimatise the livestock Acclimatising your livestock is a very important procedure because it helps your newly-acquired fish or shrimp adjust to their new habitat. Even a minor relocation can affect them because of changes in water parameters. Setting up a new aquarium takes a lot of planning and patience. Just follow the basic guidelines and the recommendations in this primer, and you will find that owning an aquarium is fulfilling and enjoyable.
  8. If you are setting up a new aquarium, here is a short primer on how to set up your aquarium properly and efficiently. It may seem daunting at first, but assembling your new aquarium is easier than you think. Get all the aquarium materials ready First get all the aquarium materials ready by washing them thoroughly with warm water. Don’t use commercial soaps and detergents as they are toxic to fish. Stick to the most common and the simplest aquarium ornaments. Sift the gravel over a bucket and drain, repeating the process until you are sure that the gravel is debris-free. Fill your tank with water and set up equipment The next step in the process is to fill your tank with water. Initially fill around 30% of the tank using room temperature water. You can add the rest of the water right after the internals such as airline tubing, live or plastic plants and other ornaments are added. The air tube is an essential part of the aquarium as it helps with the oxygenation of the water. Plants are generally added to hide equipment, help with the aqua scape or simply aid in the tanks biological ecosystem. The air pump, power filter, and heater are other types of equipment that should be added. De-chlorinate You need to treat the water in the aquarium to remove chlorine, which is harmful to your biological filter and could be lethal to your fish. It is important not to overdose on de-chlorinators, as they can have an impact on water chemistry. Cycle your aquarium When an aquarium is cycled, it means that you cultivate or grow a bacteria bed in your tank, specifically in the biological filters. The filters will grow bacteria that digest ammonia which converts to nitrite, which is naturally produced and lethal to fish, shrimp, and coral. Controlling these lethal elements is done by introducing healthy nitrifying bacteria into the aquarium. Before you add fish or shrimp, an aquarium must be cycled properly. This is called the fishless cycle. If you place all your fish or shrimp inside the aquarium without the cycling process, chances are they will probably die within a few days. Cycling your aquarium takes time and it’s important not to rush it. In some cases, it has taken 6 – 8 weeks to properly cycle a tank. Adding the inhabitants Before adding your livestock, it is imperative to test the water. Specifically, the levels of ammonia and nitrite. You need to make sure that these two toxic nitrogen compounds are non-existent in the tank. Wait for two months before cleaning your new filter to allow significant growth of good nitrifying bacteria to populate. Acclimatise the livestock Acclimatising your livestock is a very important procedure because it helps your newly-acquired fish or shrimp adjust to their new habitat. Even a minor relocation can affect them because of changes in water parameters. Setting up a new aquarium takes a lot of planning and patience. Just follow the basic guidelines and the recommendations in this primer, and you will find that owning an aquarium is fulfilling and enjoyable. View full article
  9. Hey there, and thanks for helping. I have a 1.5 gallon that currently has 1 ghost shrimp, 1 cherry shrimp and a solitary male guppy. The guppy leaves the shrimp alone, and the shrimp get along fine. I was wondering how many shrimp I could keep in this tank? It is filled with plants and rocks (water wisteria and 3 Marimo algae balls). The shrimp seem to enjoy it, as they swim around and clean the plants. I do water changes about every two days, not becuase my levels are high, but because I enjoy it. The tank has a filter and air pump. pH is constantly 7.8 and Tempurature is always about 70.
  10. GotCrabs

    Small Aquarium Plants

    I'm after a list of small aquarium plants, besides the ones I know of such as HC, Glosso, Dwarf Hairgrass, whatelse is there? Are there small Crypts? Other carpeting plants?
  11. GotCrabs

    Plant & Aquarium Safe Glue

    I'm after some plant and aquarium safe glue that I can use to glue some pieces of different Java Fern and Bolbitis to driftwood, could anyone suggest some, also could it be gotten online as I'm not exactly fully mobile at the moment, ha. Cheers. Is any super glue safe to work with when it comes to aquarium use?
  12. As alluded to here: Bob and I found a few varieties of fern that may be suitable for use in aquaria. Here is the one we found in Little Mulgrave. In addition to the one pictured above, I have another two which are similar to java fern. This is the first of the two: The rhizome on this one is really thick, about as thick as my thumb. The centre leaf has grown since the plant has been underwater. So far growth has been really slow. Bob gave me this one to look after as it was sitting in one of his tanks. I don't know where he got it or what habitat it came from, so hopefully Bob will enlighten us. This one is currently in my Sunkist tank with typical cherry water parameters - TDS 200, ect ect. can't resist showing off my sunkists. thanks again @‌Bluebolts
  13. Matuva

    Aquarium chiller

    Hi all might interest all DIY. Enjoy! : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5s8Cu59-NM
  14. NoGi

    Lego Quidditch Aquarium

    Came across this on the internet today:
  15. Dean

    Aquarium/Tank Creatures 101

    These are some of the more common creatures you may find in your aquarium and a little info about them. A healthy ecosystem contains many life forms and not all creatures found in your aquarium are a problem, in fact many are a sign of a well established and healthy tank/ ecosystem. So before you go starting a chemical war with them, take the time to know what it is you are looking at and if they are actually a problem. Will cause problems for juvenile shrimp in aquariums Damsel fly nymph (Odonata Zygoptera ) Size range 15 - 40mm Damselfly Nymphs are easily recognized by their three long tail-like gills at the end of their slender bodies that grow between 16 and 33 mm. They have great vision, due to their large compound eyes. Damselfly Nymphs have extendable jaws that fold up under their head and legs close behind their head. Damselfly Nymphs are predators that feed mostly on other water insects, but they can also be cannibals. Larger species of Damselfly Nymphs can feed on small fish. They catch their food with a toothed lower lip, called a labium. When a small insect comes near, the nymph will shoot out its lower lip to grab its prey. Dragon fly nymph (Odonata Anisoptera ) Size range 20 - 50mm Dragonfly Nymphs are short and wide growing 18-49 mm long. They have six legs located near the head, wing pads, and internal gills. Dragonfly Nymphs are predators that feed mostly on other water insects, but they can also be cannibals. Larger species of Dragonfly Nymphs can feed on small fish. They catch their food with a toothed lower lip, called a labium. When a small insect comes near, the nymph will shoot out its lower lip to grab its prey. Fresh water bristle worm (Annelida Polychaeta ) Size range 1- 100mm Each Bristle worm has characteristic bristles that are found lining the exterior of their white or pink body. They typically grow between 1 and 100 mm, but have been known to grow up to 150 mm in length. Freshwater Bristle worms can be found in silt substrates and among debris or detritus in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. They use their two tentacles to capture food or detritus floating by and transport it along cilia to the mouth. May cause problems for juvenile shrimp if in high numbers Planaria or flat worm (scientific name) Size range 0.5 - 15mm Planarians are usually between 3 to 15 mm with a triangular head that contains two eye spots. The colors vary from white, grey, brown, and black. The mouth is located on the underside of the worm halfway down towards its tail. Planarians suck up seed shrimp, clam shrimp, water fleas, and dead animals using a straw like appendage that extends from their stomaches. Planarians can regenerate many of their body parts, including their heads! Hydra (phylum Cnidaria) Size range 0.2 - 15mm Hydra has a tubular body up to 10mm long when extended, secured by a simple adhesive foot called the basal disc. At the free end of the body is a mouth opening surrounded by one to twelve thin, mobile tentacles. Each tentacle, or cnida (plural: cnidae), is clothed with highly specialized stinging cells called cnidocytes. Cnidocytes contain specialized structures called nematocysts, which look like miniature light bulbs with a coiled thread inside. At the narrow outer edge of the cnidocyte is a short trigger hair called a cnidocil. Upon contact with prey, the contents of the nematocyst are explosively discharged, firing a dart-like thread containing neurotoxins into whatever triggered the release which can paralyze the prey, especially if many hundreds of nematocysts are fired.Hydra mainly feed on small aquatic invertebrates such as Daphnia and Cyclops. Not a problem Nematodes (scientific name?) Size range 0.01 - 10mm Nematode species are very difficult to distinguish; over 28,000 have been described, of which over 16,000 are parasitic. The total number of nematode species has been estimated to be about 1 million. Unlike cnidarians and flatworms, nematodes have tubular digestive systems with openings at both ends. Nematodes are slender worms, typically less than 2.5 mm (0.10 in) long. The smallest nematodes are microscopic, while free-living species can reach as much as 5 cm (2.0 in), and some parasitic species are larger still, reaching over a meter in length. The body is often ornamented with ridges, rings, bristles, or other distinctive structures. Tubifex (tubificid annelids) Size range 10 - 50mm Tubifex worms feed on decaying organic matter, detritus, and vegetable matter, which is commonly available in sewage/stormwater drains. Tubifex worms are hermaphroditic: each individual has both male (testes) and female (ovaries) organs in the same animals. These minute reproductive organs are attached to the ventral side of the body wall in the celomic cavity. In mature specimens, the reproductive organs are clearly found on the ventral side of the body. Seed Shrimp (Ostracoda) Size range 0.2 - 30mm The body of an ostracod is encased by two valves, superficially resembling the shell of a clam. A distinction is made between the valve (hard parts) and the body with its appendages (soft parts). In most ostracods, eggs are either laid directly into the water as plankton, or are attached to vegetation or the substratum. However, in some species, the eggs are brooded inside the shell, giving them a greater degree of protection. The eggs hatch into nauplius larvae, which already have a hard shell. Daphnia (Branchiopoda Cladocera) Size range 0.2 - 5mm Daphnia are small, planktonic crustaceans, between 0.2 and 5 mm in length. Daphnia are members of the order Cladocera, and are one of the several small aquatic crustaceans commonly called water fleas because of their saltatory swimming style. They live in various aquatic environments ranging from acidic swamps to freshwater lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. Cyclops, Copepods (Maxillopoda Cyclopoida) Size range 0.5 - 5mm Cyclops or water flea is one of the most common genera of freshwater copepods, comprising over 400 species. Cyclops individuals may range from 0.5 - 5 mm long and are clearly divided into two sections. The broadly oval front section comprises the head and the first five thoracic segments. The hind part is considerably slimmer and is made up of the sixth thoracic segment and the four legless pleonic segments. Two caudal appendages project from the rear. Although they may be difficult to observe, Cyclops has 5 pairs of legs. The long first antennae, 2 in number, are used by the males for gripping the females during mating. Afterwards, the female carries the eggs in two small sacs on her body. The larvae, or nauplii, are free-swimming and unsegmented. Freshwater Limpet (scientific name) Size range 0.5 - 5mm Limpet is a common name for a number of different groups of sea snails and freshwater (aquatic gastropod molluscs). The common name is applied to those snails that have a simple shell which is broadly conical in shape, and either is not spirally coiled, or appears not to be coiled in the adult snail. In other words the shell of all limpets is shaped more or less like that of most true limpets. Rotifers (scientific name) Size range Small. Rotifers have bilateral symmetry and a variety of different shapes. The body of a rotifer is divided into a head, trunk, and foot, and is typically somewhat cylindrical. Rotifers eat particulate organic detritus, dead bacteria, algae, and protozoans. They eat particles up to 10 micrometres in size. Like crustaceans, rotifers contribute to nutrient recycling. For this reason, they are used in fish tanks to help clean the water, to prevent clouds of waste matter. Rotifers affect the species composition of algae in ecosystems through their choice in grazing. Rotifers may be in competition with cladocera and copepods for phytoplanktonic food sources. Rotifers are dioecious and reproduce sexually or parthenogenetically. They are sexually, with the females always being larger than the males. In some species, this is relatively mild, but in others the female may be up to ten times the size of the male. In parthenogenetic species, males may be present only at certain times of the year, or absent altogether. Most information collected from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page Also a great poster for identifying many of the water creatures
  16. These are some of the more common creatures you may find in your aquarium and a little info about them. A healthy ecosystem contains many life forms and not all creatures found in your aquarium are a problem, in fact many are a sign of a well established and healthy tank/ ecosystem. So before you go starting a chemical war with them, take the time to know what it is you are looking at and if they are actually a problem. Will cause problems for juvenile shrimp in aquariums Damsel fly nymph (Odonata Zygoptera ) Size range 15 - 40mm Damselfly Nymphs are easily recognized by their three long tail-like gills at the end of their slender bodies that grow between 16 and 33 mm. They have great vision, due to their large compound eyes. Damselfly Nymphs have extendable jaws that fold up under their head and legs close behind their head. Damselfly Nymphs are predators that feed mostly on other water insects, but they can also be cannibals. Larger species of Damselfly Nymphs can feed on small fish. They catch their food with a toothed lower lip, called a labium. When a small insect comes near, the nymph will shoot out its lower lip to grab its prey. Dragon fly nymph (Odonata Anisoptera ) Size range 20 - 50mm Dragonfly Nymphs are short and wide growing 18-49 mm long. They have six legs located near the head, wing pads, and internal gills. Dragonfly Nymphs are predators that feed mostly on other water insects, but they can also be cannibals. Larger species of Dragonfly Nymphs can feed on small fish. They catch their food with a toothed lower lip, called a labium. When a small insect comes near, the nymph will shoot out its lower lip to grab its prey. Fresh water bristle worm (Annelida Polychaeta ) Size range 1- 100mm Each Bristle worm has characteristic bristles that are found lining the exterior of their white or pink body. They typically grow between 1 and 100 mm, but have been known to grow up to 150 mm in length. Freshwater Bristle worms can be found in silt substrates and among debris or detritus in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. They use their two tentacles to capture food or detritus floating by and transport it along cilia to the mouth. May cause problems for juvenile shrimp if in high numbers Planaria or flat worm (scientific name) Size range 0.5 - 15mm Planarians are usually between 3 to 15 mm with a triangular head that contains two eye spots. The colors vary from white, grey, brown, and black. The mouth is located on the underside of the worm halfway down towards its tail. Planarians suck up seed shrimp, clam shrimp, water fleas, and dead animals using a straw like appendage that extends from their stomaches. Planarians can regenerate many of their body parts, including their heads! Hydra (phylum Cnidaria) Size range 0.2 - 15mm Hydra has a tubular body up to 10mm long when extended, secured by a simple adhesive foot called the basal disc. At the free end of the body is a mouth opening surrounded by one to twelve thin, mobile tentacles. Each tentacle, or cnida (plural: cnidae), is clothed with highly specialized stinging cells called cnidocytes. Cnidocytes contain specialized structures called nematocysts, which look like miniature light bulbs with a coiled thread inside. At the narrow outer edge of the cnidocyte is a short trigger hair called a cnidocil. Upon contact with prey, the contents of the nematocyst are explosively discharged, firing a dart-like thread containing neurotoxins into whatever triggered the release which can paralyze the prey, especially if many hundreds of nematocysts are fired.Hydra mainly feed on small aquatic invertebrates such as Daphnia and Cyclops. Not a problem Nematodes (scientific name?) Size range 0.01 - 10mm Nematode species are very difficult to distinguish; over 28,000 have been described, of which over 16,000 are parasitic. The total number of nematode species has been estimated to be about 1 million. Unlike cnidarians and flatworms, nematodes have tubular digestive systems with openings at both ends. Nematodes are slender worms, typically less than 2.5 mm (0.10 in) long. The smallest nematodes are microscopic, while free-living species can reach as much as 5 cm (2.0 in), and some parasitic species are larger still, reaching over a meter in length. The body is often ornamented with ridges, rings, bristles, or other distinctive structures. Tubifex (tubificid annelids) Size range 10 - 50mm Tubifex worms feed on decaying organic matter, detritus, and vegetable matter, which is commonly available in sewage/stormwater drains. Tubifex worms are hermaphroditic: each individual has both male (testes) and female (ovaries) organs in the same animals. These minute reproductive organs are attached to the ventral side of the body wall in the celomic cavity. In mature specimens, the reproductive organs are clearly found on the ventral side of the body. Seed Shrimp (Ostracoda) Size range 0.2 - 30mm The body of an ostracod is encased by two valves, superficially resembling the shell of a clam. A distinction is made between the valve (hard parts) and the body with its appendages (soft parts). In most ostracods, eggs are either laid directly into the water as plankton, or are attached to vegetation or the substratum. However, in some species, the eggs are brooded inside the shell, giving them a greater degree of protection. The eggs hatch into nauplius larvae, which already have a hard shell. Daphnia (Branchiopoda Cladocera) Size range 0.2 - 5mm Daphnia are small, planktonic crustaceans, between 0.2 and 5 mm in length. Daphnia are members of the order Cladocera, and are one of the several small aquatic crustaceans commonly called water fleas because of their saltatory swimming style. They live in various aquatic environments ranging from acidic swamps to freshwater lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. Cyclops, Copepods (Maxillopoda Cyclopoida) Size range 0.5 - 5mm Cyclops or water flea is one of the most common genera of freshwater copepods, comprising over 400 species. Cyclops individuals may range from 0.5 - 5 mm long and are clearly divided into two sections. The broadly oval front section comprises the head and the first five thoracic segments. The hind part is considerably slimmer and is made up of the sixth thoracic segment and the four legless pleonic segments. Two caudal appendages project from the rear. Although they may be difficult to observe, Cyclops has 5 pairs of legs. The long first antennae, 2 in number, are used by the males for gripping the females during mating. Afterwards, the female carries the eggs in two small sacs on her body. The larvae, or nauplii, are free-swimming and unsegmented. Freshwater Limpet (scientific name) Size range 0.5 - 5mm Limpet is a common name for a number of different groups of sea snails and freshwater (aquatic gastropod molluscs). The common name is applied to those snails that have a simple shell which is broadly conical in shape, and either is not spirally coiled, or appears not to be coiled in the adult snail. In other words the shell of all limpets is shaped more or less like that of most true limpets. Rotifers (scientific name) Size range Small. Rotifers have bilateral symmetry and a variety of different shapes. The body of a rotifer is divided into a head, trunk, and foot, and is typically somewhat cylindrical. Rotifers eat particulate organic detritus, dead bacteria, algae, and protozoans. They eat particles up to 10 micrometres in size. Like crustaceans, rotifers contribute to nutrient recycling. For this reason, they are used in fish tanks to help clean the water, to prevent clouds of waste matter. Rotifers affect the species composition of algae in ecosystems through their choice in grazing. Rotifers may be in competition with cladocera and copepods for phytoplanktonic food sources. Rotifers are dioecious and reproduce sexually or parthenogenetically. They are sexually, with the females always being larger than the males. In some species, this is relatively mild, but in others the female may be up to ten times the size of the male. In parthenogenetic species, males may be present only at certain times of the year, or absent altogether. Most information collected from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page Also a great poster for identifying many of the water creatures View full article
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