Opae Ula, Hawaiian Red Shrimp, SuperShrimp, whatever...
For months I've been reading about these very cool shrimp. Finally I gave in to them and after further research decided to take the leap.
I did things in a sort of backward kind of way, as well. I got in contact with a vendor in Hawaii who, through numerous emails, convinced me that with the live rock that I would get with her shrimp a new tank would cycle without a problem, after the introduction of the shrimp and live rocks, that is.
Not sure that I really believed her I ordered some anyway. Fifty shrimp, with live rock, "live" water, food and instruction manual. All for $50.00 plus shipping.
So... right after placing that order I ran out to the LFS. I have a Petco Bookshelf tank set up with red and black crystal shrimp along with some Java moss and some accidentally introduced Celestial Pearl Danio (or whatever they're being called these days) fry. Long story short, they hatched from eggs that had been laid in the moss. (I will remove them before they get big enough to harass the shrimp.)
Anyway, I love the look of the Bookshelf tank (just wish it was made of glass!), so decided some Opae Ula would look really cool in one, too, so bought one for em.
Grabbed some white Live (bacteria infested) Aragonite sand, a little over a pound or two of cultured live rock (man made out of red lava rock instead of collected off a coral reef somewhere), a 2.2 gallon jug of Live Sea water (sea water infested with bacteria!), a hydrometer (measures the salt in water, kind of looks like a thermometer with a long narrow glass stick for an end) and ran home where I already had jugs of RO water...
I set the tank up last Sunday, October 27. I tend to be a bit dense at times so it took me a lot of work to dilute the Live Salt water from 1.025 to 1.016. Ended up using just over 2 gallons of the salt water and 2 gallons of RO.
Dumped in the live sand, tossed in the live rocks, big ones on the ends, live "rubble" in the middle, then live water over all of it... I placed an airstone and dosed the water with Cycle (yes, the bottle says that it's for both fresh and marine aquaria) and crossed my fingers.
All that bacteria, from so many sources may seem redundant, but that may be a good thing!
Here's a pic of the tank a couple days after setup after I decided to get brave and threw in a sprig of Java Moss.