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65g vernal pool critters tank

4536 Views 1 Reply 1 Participant Last post by  Betta132
The last inhabitant of my 65gal aquarium, a young sunfish, just moved to an outdoor container pond. I'm going to stock the tank with vernal pool critters and see what happens, basically.

65gal tank, algae all over the sides
About an inch of gunky water
About 3/4 inch mulm-filled sand
Half a cup of empty aquarium snail shells
Aquarium light
Hermit crab calcium sand
Hermit crab calcium sand
Ro Right (adds minerals back to RO/distilled water)

30 gallons distilled water
Shrimp food
Java fern

Eggs, being added to water (separate containers) today:
5-year-old batch of Trioptica triops
New batch Trioptica triops
Trioptica giant triops
Mix of fairy shrimp and clam shrimp eggs
Beavertail fairy shrimp eggs

Eggs coming in the mail:
Triops from alternate source
Egg mix- Triops, fairies, clams, daphnia
Trioptica racing triops (different species?)
Trioptica ghost triops (albino)

The way I hatch vernal pool critters is I put the eggs in distilled water until I see life, then I gradually acclimate them to water with minerals in it. This represents the initial rainfall, then the gradual soaking up of minerals from the pool's substrate. The eggs hatch best in distilled water, but the critters can't survive without minerals.
I'm going to hatch everything in separate containers, then transfer about half of each hatched batch into the big tank once they're big enough to roughly count. That way, I can keep some of each species back in case they don't do so well in the big tank. There's no real goal here, aside from having a tank with a bunch of critters and seeing how they all work out.
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We have life!

Fairy shrimp, and a lot of them. All those little white dots are alive. They're pinprick-sized right now, and are very strongly attracted to light. There are also a couple of larger dots in there, which I think might be beavertail fairy shrimp as opposed to redtail fairy shrimp like the rest. They don't move quite like triops.

The triops have also hatched, except the 5-year-old ones. There's only about 5 in each container, and I can't photograph them because they're in with sand. They look exactly like sand grains unless you can see them moving.

This is how I'm hatching everything. The fairy shrimp are in here, the triops are over by a window. Both need light to hatch. It's about a cup of distilled water, and the stuff in there with them is the detritus they were packaged with. It helps grow microorganisms for them to filter-feed and eat. There's also a pebble of limestone to add some gradual calcium. I have a lid on there usually to keep the cats out.
The triops are in similar setups, except that they came packaged in sand. Water, a couple tablespoons of sand, and a limestone pebble each. In a day or so I'll acclimate them to water with more trace elements in it.

The 5-year-old triops haven't hatched yet. I'll give them a week from submersion to hatch, and if they don't hatch I'll dump the whole container into the big tank.
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