#502: 65L Biotope Aquascape Barney Springs

Benjamin Mos Sapphire Beach, Australia


Great looking shrimp from Barney Springs and good representation of the biotope they inhabit. I would have liked to have seen the moss matured on the rocks more and some subwassertang that was found in the locale. Nice job!
— Bailin Shaw

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 60 × 32 × 36 cm
Title Barney Springs
Volume 65L
Background Not applicable
Lighting Aqua Pro LED Z series 60cm , on for 8 hours per day.
Filtration Eden 511 external canister filter with a sponge on the intake to prevent shrimplets from entering the filter. Macropore is also used to keep nitrogen levels low.
Plants The moss is Taxiphyllum taxirameum (no common name)
Animals 20 adult Barney Springs shrimp (scientifically undescribed Caridina sp.), 8 adult snails (Stenomelania denisoniensis, no common name), 10 mini golden snails (likely an undescribed Notopala sp.), 8 water slaters (freshwater isopods, unknown species).
Materials The main rocks are basalt (lava rock) and were collected from Barney Springs. They appear red because a red encrusting algae or diatom is growing on them. The substrate is crushed basalt (lava rock) with some small chips of quartz, and some crushed Benibachi Black Soil to help manage pH levels. The leaves are from a fig tree (Ficus sp.) that grows around Barney Springs and were collected from the habitat.
Additional Information This biotope aquascape mimics the first pool at Barney Springs, located on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. I visited the site in person. More information about Barney Springs can be found here: http://shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/topic/2985-barney-springs-atherton-table-lands/
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You can also find a short video of the habitat here:


The large rocks, moss, leaves, snails and shrimp were collected from the site. The isopods arrrived with the rocks and moss, and appear to be natural grazers of the red algae/diatoms that grow on the rocks. There are also Endlers guppies present in the pool at Barney Springs but these were introduced in the 1940's and are therefore not included in the biotope aquascape.
The water at Barney Springs runs from a natural spring three metres from the pool that this biotope aquascape mimics. The water in the natural habitat has a low pH (likely due to high CO2 levels) and a moderate level of dissolved minerals. Water parameters in the tank are maintained at the levels listed below to mimic conditions measured in the the first pool at Barney Springs. Water changes are conducted weekly using Reverse Osmosis water and Benibachi remineralising salts. TDS 110-120 ppm pH 6.7-6.8 GH 80 ppm KH 80 ppm Temp: 21 degrees Celsius - the temperature of the room is maintained using a reverse cycle air conditioner. The shrimp and snails spend their time grazing biofilm and algae from the rocks, moss and fig leaves, but are also fed with a variety of shrimp foods including Boss Aquaria Snow, and Benibachi Kale Tablets.
Special thanks to Associate Professor Andi Cairns from James Cook university, Australia for identifying the moss.

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