In this article, I will show my method of setting up a shrimp tank!
It’s now more simple and inexpensive than it ever has been before to set up a shrimp tank. Products are becoming more available, and with the help of a little DIY, it can be done with very little cost! In this article we will be setting up a shrimp tank which will provide optimal conditions for Crystal Red Shrimp, Taiwan Bee Shrimp (black king kong or wine red), or any other Caridina Cantonensis. A list of the things we need are as follows:
- Empty 20 gallon long aquarium
- Canister filter (we use eheim 2213 for this size tank)
- 2, 2 foot sections of PVC pipe
- 3 PVC elbows
- 1/2 inch barbed hose fitting for hooking canister intake to UGF (or 1/2 inch quick disconnect)
- Enough bio media to cover the UGF (used 1.5 liters of seachem matrix on this build)
- 15 liter bag of Akadama double red line small grain soil
- Old sea mud or similar (montmorillonite, mironekuton)
First, the empty tank:
Second, we put in our UGF, which is simply a length of PVC pipe, with holes drilled in the sides. Then it has a connection to connect to your canister filter. This will keep your tank clean, and since it is under the substrate, it will keep your baby shrimp from being sucked into the filter. It also will turn a portion of your substrate into a biological filter. It’s the best setup for filtration I have used so far.
Next, I put ceramic bio media in the area where the UGF will be sucking from. Be sure to cover the holes in your UGF so soil will not be sucked in.
Next, I place a mixture of old sea mud, bacteria, microorganisms and some secret ingredients in the areas NOT covered by the UGF. The minerals in the Old Sea Mud will help to keep your parameters stable over time. And also be a great starting point for nitrifying bacteria to get a foothold. I only sprinkle enough to lightly dust the glass. You should still be able to see glass under the Old Sea Mud.
Now, to fill with soil! I used Akadama on this tank, but you can use any aqua soil, I have used ADA brand, Mr. Aqua and Fluval Stratum. I just fill to 3 inches depth, make sure there’s about an inch on top of the biomedia, to prevent baby shrimp from going down there to explore!
All there is left to do is to fill it up with water! My trick for filling a tank up with no cloudiness is to put the bag the soil came in, on the bottom of the tank, and then pour the water into a measuring cup that’s on top of the bag. Just fill slowly and there will be no cloudy mess.
Voila! Now you are done! Turn on your canister filter and start cycling your tank! As an ammonia source for nitrification, I usually toss a handful of ramshorns snails into the uncycled tank, and wait a month. Test the water after a month, and if there are zero ammonia, zero nitrites and the presence of nitrates, you are ready to put some shrimp in!