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Opae ula shrimp

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My wife and I love Hawaii. She bought a really cheesy pic of a window looking out on a surf break that made me laugh and I joked I’d get her something better to replace it with. Well it was her birthday and Mother’s Day so this was my response....

I did some research and built this gallon and a half opae ula shrimp tank for her desk. It’s got some old 2019 vintage marimo moss balls, some macro algae and plenty of lava rocks and crushed coral. It was fun to do and the smile and awwws I got with these little guys was awesome and reward enough. 

I’ve honestly had a horrible run lately between my sons tank disaster and my own bedside “sad” bowl but this is a success. A little bit of nature and Hawaii every day. Aloha to you all. 




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Beardedbillygoat1975 - Aloha!  Great looking tank; they’ll be happy with all of the coral bits!  I’ve had my opae tank inhabited for about a month now.  I love watching them scuttle about.  Other than topping off with distilled water, it’s very low maintenance.  If you don’t mind a bit of advice?  Keep an eye on the moss ball.  It’s not meant for salt water, even brackish, and will begin to degrade.

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I haven’t fed my shrimp at all.  I set up the tank and let it sit for about 3 weeks to grow algae on the surfaces.  Once I saw algae on the rocks I knew it was okay to add the shrimp.  Oddly enough, my algae was pearling!  I’ve read that feeding once a month is okay if needed but only really small amounts.  Think tip of a toothpick dipped in powder and shaken off.  They are tiny and they have really slow metabolisms so it doesn’t take much food.

As to water changes, none.  I top off with distilled water and check the salinity but other than that, no water changes.  I don’t have any plant life in my tank except the algae that grew because of light.  Since you do have plants you may need to do water changes as the plants break down.  I also have a small bio load compared to tank volume - 25 shrimp in 5 gallons.  Depending on your population density you may need to change water from time to time.

Brackish is a tricky thing.  Generally speaking neither fresh nor marine plants will work.  In the long term the water’s too salty for fresh water plants and it’s not salty enough for marine algae.  I’ve only found one site that sells true brackish plants, or algae anyway.  I can’t post it here but the guy who runs it, his name sounds like Mufasa.

You can see my set up here: 




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@Emika_Bthanks - I’d seen some keepers talking about some water changes early in the process and then none with just top offs and others advocating for none ever and just top offs so thanks for some real world clarity. This was set up for months - our first attempt did not go well ie. Shrimps came in poor health not active in the bag and all died. This group was completely different. I got these off Aquabid whereas the first one from eBay. I’ll look for “Mufasa” online. 

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