Bee ShrimpBee Shrimp

Information on this black colored variation of the common Crystal Red Shrimp.
Wine Red ShrimpWine Red Shrimp

Information on this Red colored variation of Taiwan Bee Shrimp
Panda ShrimpShadow Panda Shrimp

Information on the Shadow Panda variation of Taiwan Bee Shrimp
Panda ShrimpPanda Shrimp

Information on the Panda variation of Taiwan Bee Shrimp
Bee ShrimpBlack King Kong Shrimp

Information on this black colored variation of Taiwan Bee Shrimp
Bee ShrimpBlue Jelly Shrimp

This is a bright blue Neocaridina shrimp bred from blue rili shrimp.
African Filter ShrimpAfrican Filter Shrimp

Information on this large filter feeding shrimp from Africa.
Amano ShrimpAmano Shrimp

Information on this very popular shrimp. Its name comes from Takashi Amano, the creator of ADA, who used these shrimp for algae eating purposes. It cannot breed in pure freshwater.
Bamboo ShrimpBamboo Shrimp

Information on this wild caught species which is a filter feeder. It is very common to find in most pet stores and online. It is not possible to breed this species in pure freshwater.
Black Tiger ShrimpBlack Tiger Shrimp

Information on this elusive all black color variation of the common Tiger Shrimp. Its all black coloration is from selective breeding to widen the black stripes of the common Tiger Shrimp.
Blue Bee ShrimpBlue Bee Shrimp

Information on this newly introduced species to the hobby. Not much is known and they are caught in the wild. Captive breeding is possible.
Blue Pearl ShrimpBlue Pearl Shrimp

Information on this beautiful blue colored species of the wild N. zhangjiajiensis shrimp.
Blue Tiger ShrimpBlue Tiger Shrimp

Information on this blue coloration variation on the common Tiger Shrimp. It is expensive and sometimes hard to find.
Tangerine TigerTangerine Tiger

Information on the Tangerine Tiger Shrimp.
Super Tiger ShrimpSuper Tiger Shrimp

Information on this variation on the common Tiger Shrimp. Easy to keep and a beautiful shrimp
Cardinal ShrimpCardinal Shrimp

Information on the very popular shrimp from Sulawesi Indonesia. Its colors are awesome.
Crystal Red ShrimpCrystal Red Shrimp

Information on this extremely popular, difficult, expensive, and complex shrimp species. Selectively bred for coloration and other features.
Dark Green ShrimpDark Green Shrimp

Information on this beautiful dark green colored shrimp. Its eggs are a nice lime green which really make this shrimp stand out. Its true scientic name and genus are in question.
Ghost Shrimp ShrimpGhost-Glass-Grass Shrimp

Information on this wild caught and extremely cheap freshwater shrimp. It carries many different names and can be found in most pet stores. It is considered a feeder shrimp for freshwater aquarium fish.
Golden Bee ShrimpGolden Bee Shrimp

Information on this all white relative of the Crystal Red Shrimp, Bee Shrimp, Orange Bee Shrimp and others. It is nicely colored but little is known as to its origin.
Harlequin ShrimpHarlequin Shrimp

Information on this specific species of shrimp found in Sulawesi Indonesia.
Malaya ShrimpMalaya Shrimp

Information on this newly introduced and soon to be common species of shrimp.
Neocaridina Heteropoda ShrimpNeocaridina Heteropoda Shrimp

Information on this wild caught grandfather of the selectively bred species Red Cherry Shrimp and Yellow Shrimp. There may be other selectively bred color variations unknown to the hobby at the moment.
Orange Bee ShrimpOrange Bee Shrimp

Information on this wild species and the grandfather of the Crystal Red Shrimp, Bee Shrimp and others. Can be rare and hard to find.
Orange Sakura ShrimpOrange Sakura Shrimp

This is a color morph of the common Neocaridina species Red Cherry Shrimp
rili ShrimpRili Shrimp

This is a color morph of the common Neocaridina species Red Cherry Shrimp
Purple Zebra ShrimpPurple Zebra Shrimp

Information on this wild caught species. Unfortunately it cannot breed in pure freshwater and has slowly disappeared from the hobby as a result.
Red Cherry ShrimpRed Cherry Shrimp

Information on the most common and most popular shrimp in the hobby. This is the ultimate beginners shrimp and most hobbyists begin with this species before venturing into more difficult/expensive shrimp.
Fire Red ShrimpFire Red Shrimp

This is a variant of the Red Cherry Shrimp, it is bred for a deep red color and has several grades.
Red Tiger ShrimpRed Tiger Shrimp

Information on this red color variation of the common Tiger Shrimp. This color variation is apparently found in the wild and not selectively bred.
Red Tupfel ShrimpRed Tupfel Shrimp

Information on this very rare and almost impossible to find shrimp in the hobby. Hopefully it will someday become more available.
Snowball ShrimpSnowball Shrimp

Information on this beautiful all white selectively bred shrimp. Its name comes from its eggs which are all white resembling snowballs.
Sulawesi ShrimpSulawesi Shrimp

A gallery of photos of many different kinds of Sulawesi Shrimp from Indonesia. Newly introduced to the hobby in late 2007.
Tiger ShrimpTiger Shrimp

Information on this somewhat common shrimp. It is the less rare variation than its cousins: Blue Tiger, Red Tiger, Golden Eye and others.
White Bee Shrimp White Bee Shrimp

Information on this elusive and very rare species of Bee Shrimp. It is definitely a cool looking shrimp.
Yellow ShrimpYellow Shrimp

Information on this selectively bred shrimp from the wild N. Heteropoda species. It breeds very well.
Cambarellus montezumae Crayfish"Cambarellus montezumae" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Cambarellus patzcuarensis Crayfish"Cambarellus patzcuarensis" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus acanthophorus Crayfish"Procambarus acanthophorus" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus allenii Crayfish"Procambarus allenii" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this commonly blue colored crayfish species.
Procambarus clarkii Crayfish"Procambarus clarkii" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this popular crayfish species which comes in several different colors.
Procambarus cubensis Crayfish"Procambarus cubensis" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus enoplosternum Crayfish"Procambarus enoplosternum" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus sp. marble Crayfish"Procambarus sp. marble" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus pubescens Crayfish"Procambarus pubescens" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus spiculifer Crayfish"Procambarus spiculifer" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus toltecae Crayfish"Procambarus toltecae" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus vasquezae Crayfish"Procambarus vasquezae" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this crayfish species.
Procambarus versutus Crayfish"Procambarus versutus" Crayfish

Information on care and breeding of this very cool colored species of crayfish.
Apple SnailApple Snail

Information of the most common snail found in pet stores, the Apple Snail. Are they good or bad for a shrimp tank?
Malaysian Trumpet Snail SnailMalaysian Trumpet Snail

Information on the common Malaysian Trumpet Snail. They are great for all aquariums given several reasons.
Zebra Nerite SnailZebra Nerite Snail

Information on the beautiful Zebra Nerite Snail.
Pond SnailPond Snail

Information on the common pond snail. They are not bad snails and are in fact good for any kind of tank especially shrimp-only tanks.
Ramshorn SnailRamshorn Snail

Information on the Ramshorn Snail including the different color variations and population control.
Sulawesi SnailSulawesi Snails

Photos of the various species of Sulawesi Snails. There are more species than are pictured as well.
AeglaAegla sp. argentina

Species Info on care and breeding of this non-crab, non-shrimp creature.
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Do It Yourself Sponge Filters

 

 

 


Article by James Moore

Forum thread here.

 

Overview

Sponge Filters are considered the best for Shrimp tanks. There are several reasons why but the most obviously reason is shrimp safety. Shrimp can easily get sucked into a regular canister filter or even a hang-on-back (HOB) filter. There are various methods to safeguard the shrimp when using non-sponge filters including using mesh around the filter intakes, creating tiny holes in an intake cover and even specially made sponge prefilters you can buy. However, the shrimp will always somehow find a way into the Canister or HOB Filters. Reports of shrimp living in a canister or HOB filter are very common, they are resilient creatures. Even though some of them live in the filters many of them die.

There is a great solution for this filtration dilemma: Sponge Filters. The reason why Sponge Filters are best for shrimp aquariums is because not only are they excellent biofilters but they are virtually harmless to shrimp. Sponge filters are also inexpensive when compared to canister filters or even HOB filters. They can save you a lot of money especially when you have multiple tanks or are even setting up a shrimp rack. You can save hundreds of dollars when setting up multiple tanks at the same time with sponge filters versus HOB or canister filters.

There are some who may say that sponge filters do not provide enough filtration nor do they truly clean the water as much as a canister filter can. This may be true as to water clarity, however sponge filters can prevent more deaths and are more than sufficient for filtering a shrimp tank. Shrimp do not produce nearly as much waste as fish or other types of inhabitants therefore their filtration requirements are low. The biological filtration provided by sponge filters is great for curbing any ammonia or nitrate produced by the shrimp themselves. The beneficial bateria that live in a sponge filter are what really help to remove the ammonia and nitrate. The sponge itself is what makes the water look clean. Please check out the Shrimp Rack Journals for more information on setting up a shrimp rack and also the use of sponge filters.

 

Buying Multiple Sponge Filters

I recently priced sponge filters and the need to purchase about 12 of them for various tanks including the shrimp tanks I'm setting up. It was going to cost me an arm and a leg to get anything decent. I've tried a few sponges that just didn't seem to cut it, and clogged way too fast. So I decided to get handy. I'm sure a lot of you already know about this but since I didn't see any prior articles on it, I figured I'd post my own DIY on it here.

If you only need a few sponges this can still more cost effective than purchasing the pre-mades, since you'll have replacements, and replacement sponges. As well as a completely clean one sitting there just in case you see a ravaging desease in a tank and don't want to transfer that, you'll need to ditch that sponge. Please remember that you do not want to overclean a sponge filter due to the benefical bateria that thrive inside of the sponge. Also, never clean the sponge with chlorinated water as this will surely kill the bacteria. It is also best to not instantly replace a cycled sponge with a brand new unused sponge as the instant lack of beneficial bateria can cause a major ammonia spike and possibly kill your shrimp.

 

Materials

The following are the materials you will need. Of course the measurements can be different based on your specific requirements or of course amount of sponge filters you require.

1: PVC Pipe. A 10' length of 1/2" pvc pipe. This will run you $1.00 to $1.50 at any hardware store. Cheaper of you know someone who has scraps. This will need to be cut into 8" sections, one for each sponge.

2: Airline Tubing. A length of airline tubing equal to 10" x however many filters you're making, and a little baggie of those "airline extenders" or "joiners" to attach to the end. You will definitely need the airline extenders and joints, they are even cheaper than airline tubing. Airline tubing is very inexpensive and it is recommended to purchase much more than you think you will need.

3: Sponges. I looked everywhere for material to make the sponges. If you are lucky enough to have a furniture repair shop nearby, you can sometimes get scraps from them for extremely cheap/ free of open core foam. I actually found my sponges at the same place I found the PVC. Lowes, a retail chain hardware store. They sell huge cleaning sponges for $1 each and one of these sponges can be cut in half to make 2 filters. Just make sure it's the inert kind w/out any kinds of anti-bacterial agents or made with harmful chemicals for VERY obvious reasons. There are stories where people did not research the foam they were buying, which ended up being made with harmful chemicals, and it wiped out all livestock.

4: Silicone. Aquarium safe silicone. I also bought this at Lowes before reading the label and had to return it to go to my local pet store to get something safe. As I understand it, there are safe silicones sold at hardware stores, but they won't be any cheaper than your local pet store, and you might as well support them SOMEHOW right?

5: Air Pump. Of course sponge filters work by running on air. The vacuum that is created when pumping air into and then out of the sponge causes the water to be sucked into the sponge and out as well. It is a very simple process that uses the basic principles of underwater pressure. A gigantic air pump is not needed whatsoever. Very little air is required in order to make the sponges work. Please read the Shrimp Rack Journals for some air pumps that they used.

Complete. If you picked up 6 of the sponges I mentioned, a ten foot length of pvc, some airline tubing and the silicone then you have purchased the supplies to make 12 sponge filters which will EASILY filter a small shrimp setup. I've used it in up to a 25 gallon tank and it worked wonders. Best of all, you've got the stuff to make 12 filters for less than $15. Less if you already had some stuff lying around, and even LESS the second time you need to make them as the silicone goes a long way.



Construction

1: Preparation. Start by preparing all your materials. Cut all your airline tubing to 10" lengths. Cut the PVC into 8" lengths. Cut your sponges to the desired size/shape. If you went to the hardware store and got the cleaning sponges I spoke about, you'll just need to cut them in half which saves a lot of work, since this stuff can get tricky to cut without making a mess.

2: PVC Pipe. Create holes in the PVC to allow water to flow. You should make a lot of holes. I used a standard hand-held drill or even a Dremmel. You can also use a hammer and a nail, but you'll have to make a ton of holes to get the water flowing properly, and you can accidentally break the PVC as well. Also, if you have a hack-saw (maybe what you cut the PVC with in the first place) you can cut cross-wise ridges in the PVC as holes. Just make sure to alternate all the way up enough to get water flow without compromising the structural integrity too much.

3: Cap the end. You will need to cap the end of the PVC pipe at the bottom. However you want to do this is fine. One of the best ways I found is to use marbles/larger gravel/stone pieces and make a stone+silicone "plug" in the end. This will serve two purposes. It also weighs the filter down, as these sponges will naturally want to float.

4: PVC + Airline. Use silicone to attach your airline tubing to the inside of the PVC pipe. You'll need an airline joiner to attach to the top end of this so you can later attach it to whatever airline you have running) (optional) as noted in the diagram you have the option of attaching an airstone to the tubing. this will increase water flow, and allow for a much quieter filter. You don't HAVE to do this, but if you buy bags of airstones from the right places, you can get them very cheap, so it's no big deal to replace. Remember: if you want to use an airstone, what you should do is make the cap to the bottom of your PVC removable. That way, you can pull the cap, replace the stone, and replug the pipe instead of pulling the tubing and having to re-silicone it and wait for it to set. The silicone cap can be removable although it's kind of a pain, or you can pick up removable rubber caps from Lowes for a few pennies each.

5: Sponge Hole. Cut a hole in the sponge for your pvc to go into. You'll want the hole to be small so there is a tight fit inside the sponge when the PVC is inserted. You can figure out how to do this on your own, or take this helpful hint. Take all your pre-cut sponges, soak them in a shallow tub of water and freeze them overnight. Then, get out your trusty drill and go to town. Makes short work of them. Otherwise the sponges like to just twist up around the drill bit. If you don't have a drill, once they're frozen I hear a bit of thin copper tubing will push right into them as well and allow you to make the hole. Then, just let them thaw a bit and push your PVC into the sponge.

6: (Optional) You might want to make "feet" for your sponge. This increases surface area and we all know that's a good thing for several reasons. It allows a larger colony of those delicious bacteria to form on the sponge. It also makes sure the filter is off of the substrate so your little baby shrimps won't get caught underneath and kill themselves. To do this, simply apply a little dot of your silicone to a marble/stone/whatever you want and attach a few to the corners of the sponge. This will lift it off the substrate enough to get more water flowing.

Finished

Sit back and let your homemade filter do its job! You've just made a filter for a pittance in comparison to the price of some of the decent models sold in stores, and I'd say it works a ton better than most. Plus, if your buddy pays half. All you spent was about $7.50 and you each have SIX brand new filters to use. Have more friends than that who need them? Excellent! At $1.25 per filter, how can you beat it?

 

Related Pages

For the Newcomer: Starting

Setting up a Shrimp Tank

Shrimp Rack Journals

Do It Yourself Shrimp Trap

Aquatic Inverts: An Overview

 

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