#457: 65L Biotope Aquascape Tully River zebras

Benjamin Mos Sapphire Beach, Australia

Awards and Comments

Top Ten
Superb representation of the biotope for these little beauties! Thanks for providing a documentation of the biotope these shrimp came from.
— Bailin Shaw

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 60 × 32 × 36 cm
Title Tully River zebras
Volume 65L
Background Not Applicable
Lighting Aqua Pro LED Z series, on for a maximum of 6 hours daily.
Filtration Eden 511 external canister filter with modified strainer on inlet to prevent shrimplets getting into the filter.
Plants Not applicable
Animals Zebra shrimp, Caridina zebra: 15 adults, 10 sub-adults and approximately 10 shrimplets
Materials Rocks are granite with quartz veins.
Substrate is decomposed granite and quartz (gravel and sand).
Additional Information This biotope replicates a side creek flowing into the Tully River near Cardstone, in tropical north Queensland, Australia. This side creek has a series of waterfalls and cascades that separate the upper reaches from the main Tully River. This prevents any large predators (fish, eels) from reaching the upper section where the zebra shrimp live. The only aquatic organisms that live alongside the zebra shrimp are tadpoles and some insect larvae (e.g. predatory dragonfly larvae), neither of which are suitable for keeping in the aquaria alongside the zebra shrimp and were therefore left out.

I have visited the habitat in person, documented online here including water parameters and photographs of the shrimp in their natural environment:
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More information on the zebra shrimp, Caridina zebra, can be found in the scientific papers:

Hughes, J. M., Bunn, S. E., Hurwood, D. A., Choy, S., & Pearson, R. G. (1996). Genetic differentiation among populations of Caridinazebra (Decapoda: Atyidae) in tropical rainforest streams, northern Australia. Freshwater Biology, 36(2), 289-296.

Choy, S., & Marshall, J. (1997). Two new species of freshwater atyid shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae) from northern Queensland and the distributional ecology of the Caridina typus species-group in Australia. MEMOIRS-QUEENSLAND MUSEUM, 42, 25-36.

The water in the zebra shrimps natural habitat has very few dissolved minerals because it is essentially rainwater draining down granite and quartz mountain ranges. Water parameters in the tank are maintained at the levels listed below to mimic conditions measured in the shrimps natural habitat. Water changes are conducted weekly using Reverse Osmosis water and Benibachi remineralising salts. Macropore is kept in the filter to assist in keeping TDS low.
TDS 20-40 ppm
pH 7.0
GH < 10 ppm
KH < 10 ppm
Temp: 21 degrees Celsius - the temperature of the room is maintained using a reverse cycle air conditioner.
The zebra shrimp spend their time grazing biofilm and algae from the rocks but are also fed with a variety of shrimp foods including Boss Aquaria Snow, and Benibachi Kale Tablets. As shown in the photos, the shrimp regularly breed.

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