Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Bee Show Tank

Here is my new 10 gallon rimless display tank.  This tank was set up a while back, but because of the soil leeching ammonia, the tank has taken nearly 2 months to fully cycle.  I sunk the driftwood in about 2 weeks prior to adding  it to the tank.  The wood is manzanita.  Manzanita is a preferred wood of choice for hobbyist because it does not leech tannis and brown the water like Africana and Malaysian driftwood.  Manzanita also has very branchy characteristic, making it very appealing in nature scaped aquariums.

The tank is filtered with an Eheim 2213 canister filter and to help with water circulation, I added a Rio water pump attached on top of my undergravel filter.  This should help the water reach every inch of the tank.  Good water circulation is important because it will keep algae from growing on plant and gravel.  The intake for the Eheim 2213 is covered with a stainless steel strainer because it will help prevent sucking in baby shrimplets.  The tank is using ADA ASI as a substrate because it will help buffer the water parameters to ideal water conditions for shrimp keeping.  ADA ASI substrate is nutrient rich which is a benefit for people who wants to keep high tech plants.  I'm currently injecting Co2 into this tank to speed up plant growth and control algae.  The manzanita driftwood has weeping moss attached on the wood with thread, mini bolbitis, and regular bobitis growing in the back.  I'm hoping to carpet the tank and add some more midground platns in the near future.  Currently, the inhabitants includes 3 SS crystal red shrimps.

My goal is to someday keep Taiwan bees and be able to breed them.  The tank is currently using full RO water remineralized with Mosura Mineral Plus to achieve the desire parameters.  San Jose tap water contains lots of impurities that can kill shrimps so it's safest to use pure RO water and remineralize it yourself.  I try to keep a thicker substrate base because it's important to have a good bioloical filtration for shrimp tanks as they are sensitive to nitrate and ammonia poisoning.  Both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria are important, hence the canister and undergravel filter.

When deciding to keep shrimps, especially bee shrimps, it's normally safer to use driftwood as a scaping material rather than rocks.  Most rocks will dissolve over time which can increase and change the water parameters in a tank.  This can lead to a lot of problems because parameter swings kills shrimps.

Well that's it for today.  I'll update again as the tank develops and matures.

- 10 Gallon Rimless Tank
- Eheim 2213 Canister Filter
- Rio 90 water pump
- Eheim 'jager' heater
- PetCo undergravel filter
- Stainless Steel Filter guard
- Mini Co2 diffuser

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Photo Update! New Shrimps!!!!

Before I start showing my new shrimps, lets revisit some of my older shrimps.

Taiwan Fire Reds Male/Female(berried)
 Single shot of my Taiwan Fire Red Female

Comparison between OEBT Blue and OEBT Blonde genes

Can you spot the ninja with the freaky eyes?

A OEBT blue with visible black-stripe pattern

My Snowball couple

 ====And... Finally... My new shrimps ====

Blue Velvets (Neocaridina sp. "Blue Velvet")

More Blue Velvets feasting with OEBT

Blue Velvets, OEBT, and a Black Eyes Black Tiger??

Tangerine Tiger (Caridina serrata var. "Tangerine")

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Exciting development!

I just got some Blue Velvet Shrimps today!  These looks like Blue Pearls, but they demonstrate a lighter blue.  Blue Velvets are a color morph of the Blue Rili that has been stabilized.  I'm putting these badboys inside my 15G OEBT tank.  I think a mixture of Blue Velvets and OEBT would make the 15G are really awesome!  Acclimating them as I update this blog; I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow.

I just placed my order for 10 Tangerine Tigers.  These guys should be really awesome.  Tangerine color with black tiger stripes.  I can't wait to add some more tiger species to my collection.

Here's a crappy iPhone photo of my CRS at feeding.  I can't spot any babies that had been released inside the tank.  I don't know if the freak heatwave wiped them out or they're just hiding.  I hope everyone is fine and doing well.  Good thing these guys are constantly getting pregnant.  The picture shows 3 berried females making a mad dash for some Mosura Shrimp Special.  Right now I have about 7 females that's berried with about half of them due to release their clutch anytime this coming week.  I've added a clip on fan on the rim of the tank.  If the week gets warm, I'll turn it on.  Fans make excellent alternatives to chillers.  They cost less, and consume way less electricity.  The only downside is the rate of water evaporation.  Topoffs must be done daily when using a fan.  I might add in some more moss so I can increase the bio-film in my tanks.  Moss is almost always a must for any shrimp tanks.  It really helps increase baby shrimp survival rate.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Future Tiger Rack

This is the possible future direction of my current shrimp rack.  I'm slowly changing things around on my current rack.  Initially, the rack was supposed to house Crystals, Tigers, and Neos, but there's just so many different shrimp species out there!!!

I've decided to dedicate this rack to keeping all  different species of Tiger Shrimps.  The reason for this is because I don't see enough people keeping Tiger shrimps.  Tigers are really interesting, a lot hardier, and have a wider range of morphs.  They come in cool colors, patterns, and are such wild characters!

Caridina cantonensis sp. "Tiger" or more commonly referred to as Tiger Shrimps, as the name suggests, are easily recognized by their tiger-like black stripes running through its transparent body.  Tiger Shrimps are more energetic than other shrimps in the hobby.  They like to zip-zag around the tank scavenging for food or simply swimming around for fun.  My OEBTs are very robust.  They don't sit around or slowly crawl around the tank like my Crystals.  They are always energetic, swimming all over the tank.  I've noticed that they are hardier and more tolerant to extreme water parameter swings.  This is a key benefit because they can be more forgiving to novice shrimp keepers.

There are many different types of Tiger Shrimps out there.  I'm trying to get my hands on  some of the ones I think are nice so I can  hopefully breed and share to all the locals.  Currently, I have Orange Eyes Blue Tigers (OEBT), and Black Eyes Black Tigers (BEBT), but soon I'll be getting in Tangerine Tigers (TT), and hopefully some Super Tigers (ST).  I am very excited to get my BEBT to start breeding, so stay tuned!  You can bet I will include more updates with BEBT information!

I will be getting Tangerine Tigers in next week so this weekend is going to be hectic.  I'll need to prep the tank to house them.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping everything goes well this week.  I'll try to have my GF snap a few pictures of my shrimps today so everyone can see.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

20L Crystal Red Tank

I recently picked up some Crystal Red Shrimp from a local breeder.  I've had these for about 2 months now and things are going really well.  This is my second attempt at keeping Crystal Reds and I've learned a lot from my first attempt.  I would say the quality from the second patch is A LOT better than the first.  The grades ranges from anywhere between S and SS but the important thing is the coloration of the shrimps.  These guys have a very nice white colors.

This is a full tank shot of my 20L Akadama Double Red Line tank.  This time around I tried taking a different path and changing things up a bit.  I decided to try out Akadama Double Red Line because there's been a lot of "Pro" shrimp breeders using this substrate with a lot of success.  I'm also running this tank without any CO2.  

Normally my tanks have a lot of plants, but this time around I'm keeping things simple.  The tank is almost absent of plants with just only driftwood and a few sheets of moss tied on stainless steel mesh.  The moss growing on the sheets of SS Mesh is Mini Xmas.  I really like this moss because it grows very dense and compact.  The fronds are small and fans out very evenly.  Mini xmas moss has a deep green forest coloration.    

This tank is filtered with an Eheim 2215 canister filter, with Eheim intake pipes covered with a SS Mesh filter to protect shrimplets (newborns) from getting sucked into the filter.  The outfit is an ADA glass lily pipe that I've had laying around.  I really like the ADA lily pipe because it allows me to aerate the surface water to increase surface air exchange and remove the surface oil.  

The moss has grown a lot since I've started this tank, and there's been berried (pregnant) females.  They should be releasing their babies any day.  I try to keep my Crystal Red shrimp around 72-75 degrees, but because we're experiencing a hot summer the tank has been getting as high at 78-80 degrees.  I haven't noticed any shrimps being lethargic though.  

Crystal Red Shrimps are harder to keep than Taiwan Fire Reds or other Neocaridina shrimps.  They are more sensitive and have more specific water requirements.  Sudden parameter fluctuation can cause deaths.  They are happiest in more acidic water (pH) ranging from 6.2 - 6.6 with a general hardness (gH) ranging from 4 - 6.  The pictured crystal red shrimp is a female SS No-Entry Grade.  I really like the white shell on her.  Her shell is very thick and the white is a milky white.  I hope she produces some great offsprings!  

20L Akadama Double Red Line Parameters:
pH: 6.5
gH: 5
kH: 0
TDS: 140-150
Temp: 74-78