Opae Ula and Nerite Biotope - What Do I Need?
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:53 AM   #1
xenxes
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Opae Ula and Nerite Biotope - What Do I Need?


I want to create a biotope with Opae Ula and Nerites in a 5-6g nano. Besides brackish water and algae, what else do I need?

Specific Questions:
- What substrate to use? Dirt with sand/gravel cap I use for my freshwater okay? Or crushed coral?
- How do I grow large lumps of algae as food? What kind of algae?
- Would volcanic rocks help? Or purely aesthetic?
- Flora recommendation for brackish environment? I know java fern.
- Would the shrimp and snail breed under similar salinity/gravity?
- What's a cheaper way to test for salinity other than buying a $89 refractometer?
- Can I move my Nerites between fresh and brackish water environments, should I and how long should I acclimate them beforehand?


Supplies Update Below:

Tank ($50) + shrimp ($50) + refractometer ($90) + hydrometer ($10) + nerites ($10) + lava rocks ($5) + old light/filter ($0).

Might get expensive :/
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:23 AM   #2
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I was thinking about this too. I am eager to see the answers to your questions!
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:24 AM   #3
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Can't help you with much besides this:
Quote:
Can I move my Nerites between fresh and brackish water environments, should I and how long should I acclimate them beforehand?
From what I read online for people trying to breed nerites themselves they pretty much just plop them back and forth between brackish tank and freshwater tank. If you do decide you want to acclimate them you could probably drip them back and forth.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:57 AM   #4
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if you put things like drift wood and rock in the freshwater tank with the snails they will lay eggs on them and then just move that to the brackish/salt tank. that way there is no stress on the snail
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
I want to create a biotope with Opae Ula and Nerites in a 5-6g nano. Besides brackish water and algae, what else do I need?

Specific Questions:
- What substrate to use? Dirt with sand/gravel cap I use for my freshwater okay? Or crushed coral?
- How do I grow large lumps of algae as food? What kind of algae?
- Would volcanic rocks help? Or purely aesthetic?
- Flora recommendation for brackish environment? I know java fern.
- Would the shrimp and snail breed under similar salinity/gravity?
- What's a cheaper way to test for salinity other than buying a $89 refractometer?
- Can I move my Nerites between fresh and brackish water environments, should I and how long should I acclimate them beforehand?


Supplies Update Below:

Tank ($50) + shrimp ($50) + refractometer ($90) + nerites ($10) + lava rocks ($5) + old light/filter ($0).

Might get expensive :/
I use crushed coral to keep the pH up and buffer the water. To grow the algae, just leave the lights on for a long time (14+ hours a day). Also introduce some algae into the tank from other tanks and see if it grows. I've had good luck with clado and hair algae. Volcanic rocks are good for providing hiding places and a surface for algae and biofilm to grow on. I wouldn't do plants because they will either just die quickly or get smothered in algae. They also compete for nitrates with the algae you want to grow. Though, somehow there's a piece of dwarf water lettuce floating in my tank... I haven't had luck breeding the shrimp yet but I've read olive nerites can tolerate to 1.010 specific gravity. My MTS's were breeding in pure saltwater though (1.020). I just use a cheap hydrometer from Petco to check the salinity. The shrimps are pretty happy so I don't think minor variations in the measured salinity would bother them. Not sure about the nerites. I only keep MTS in my tank. Hope that helps. Good luck! Edit: Forgot to add, I had the tank running before I switched to brackish and their was already some hair algae growing in it.
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Last edited by Monster Fish; 02-09-2012 at 03:49 AM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:50 AM   #6
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I found that hydrometer, TY!!

Also, what pH do they require? Googling didn't get much. My tap is around 7-7.2.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:51 AM   #7
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I'd assume a higher pH since they are found in high salinity pools with limestone walls. I've never measured the pH though.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:57 AM   #8
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As far as acclimating, you could try having a tub of water that's halfway between the salinity of your brackish and fresh as an intermediary tank
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:02 AM   #9
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Think I'll use black sand + coral / shells I can collect on the beach might crush some up myself. After washing of course.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:11 AM   #10
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Sounds good. The black sand will make their reds pop out more. I wish there was a beach nearby that wasn't so dirty.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:53 AM   #11
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I kept my opae ula in a 2.5 glass tank with a glass lid and no filtration. I used black sand as the substrate and volcanic rock for hardscape. No other fauna or flora. There aren't other inverts in their natural habitat, which is pretty barren. I did partial water changes only in the first couple of months. After that, I just topped off with RO water, and no more water changes. Kept a 100w equivalent CFL bulb in a desk lamp over the tank 12+ hours per day for months to get algae to grow. It started off with brown diatoms (I think) and eventually became a very nice bright green. I measured the Instant Ocean to 1.012 using RO water, but didn't measure any other parameters.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayanjungledog View Post
I kept my opae ula in a 2.5 glass tank with a glass lid and no filtration. I used black sand as the substrate and volcanic rock for hardscape. No other fauna or flora. There aren't other inverts in their natural habitat, which is pretty barren. I did partial water changes only in the first couple of months. After that, I just topped off with RO water, and no more water changes. Kept a 100w equivalent CFL bulb in a desk lamp over the tank 12+ hours per day for months to get algae to grow. It started off with brown diatoms (I think) and eventually became a very nice bright green. I measured the Instant Ocean to 1.012 using RO water, but didn't measure any other parameters.
They breed in that tank for you?
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:26 AM   #13
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I know that some macroalgaes can be adjusted to fairly low brackish conditions, caulerpa, for instance. It's just a thought for a more unusual 'plant' for the tank.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:00 AM   #14
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They did not breed for me.

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They breed in that tank for you?
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I know that some macroalgaes can be adjusted to fairly low brackish conditions, caulerpa, for instance. It's just a thought for a more unusual 'plant' for the tank.
Any idea on the nutrients they might need? The shrimp I recieved came with a piece of macroalgae. However, it began to bleach and die so I had to throw it out.
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Last edited by Monster Fish; 02-10-2012 at 01:40 AM.. Reason: typo
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