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Micro aquariums ~ Do it yourself, inspiration & Supplies. Opae-Ula for sale at the bottom of this page!

What's an Opae' Ula?Opae' Ula is Hawaiian for ("Red Shrimp") A.K.A. Volcanoe Shhrimp, referring to the mysterious little shrimp many people appropriately call the ("Hawaiian Red Shrimp") Scientifically known as (

Halocardinia Rubra) ~ A truly amazing animal. These are not little amebas or larva’s of some sort like the Sea Monkey’s you may have owned as a pet when you were a child. They are a true shrimp. Although they are tiny, upon close examination one can see they are perfect little shrimp in every detail from their tiny pincers to their long whiskers and beady little eyes. They are very similar to the better known Cherry Red Shrimp with the exception of being smaller and Opae-Ula are much hardier and easier to care for. These are not just some gimmick that will sit on your counter for a week or so until they die like the little plastic cubes of fish you may have seen for sale. An Opae' Ula Micro-Aquarium in your home or office will bring you ENDLESS hours of enjoyment, relaxation and conversation. Just have a look into their mystical little world, as you observe them everything else seems to just fade away. They swim, graze, groom and even perform flips and freefalls all the while in perfect social harmony. There's never a fight, collision or steeling of another’s meal. Their color while most of the time is a bright red, changes with their mood to white, orange or pink. It's truly a magical little world of which you will want to visit often for years to come.

Here, You will find the basics you need to create your own micro-aquarium for healthy, happy, long lived pets.

Here is the ultimate unique gift idea. These tiny ocean animals give an under the sea ocean view of an ocean reef teeming with sea life through the looking glass aquarium. The perfect gift idea for the corporate office décor, home décor, table décor, beach décor, beach house décor, nautical décor, . These exotic pets are truly amazing tropical fish crustaceans. No other animal will thrive in such a small little micro-aquarium without heat or filtration or with such minimal care.

Here are some examples of what can be done with these cool little creatures and some imagination.

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Opae-Ula aquarium living desk lamp art sculptures.

Animal friendly open top systems for easy cleaning, toxic gas release and beneficial feeding.

 A functional piece of original living art. Theese mysterious sculptures are indeed intriguing. The glowing sphere and tranquil movement of the shrimp pulls you in and captivates you while the outside world and all of it’s stress fade away.

Simple to care for and can be left alone for long periods of time for those extended vacations. The perfect pet uniquely displayed in an original one of a kind sculpture.

Concept: Inspired by "Riven" (the Myst game series) It's all about visually stunning - relaxing & soothing with a mysterious, futuristic yet ancient look. The details (shrimp, light, coral & texture) stimulate concentration while the subtle movements, colors and soft glow steel it away ~ Mesmerization.

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Stand & Hood:

Hand carved one of a kind steel reinforced, concrete sculptures. No moulds were used in the creation of theese units. Truly unique one of a kind sculptures. The process is labor intensive and tedious. The heavy concrete construction gives it the needed stability to safely house the aquarium.

The Sphere:

6" wide with open top.The hand blown glass aquarium has a removable lid for feeding and easy cleaning. The rounded walls of the orb give the micro shrimp the perfect endless environment while magnifying the tiny creatures within for better viewing.

HOW IT WAS MADE?
If your interested in creating your own Micro aquarium, this detailed step by step "Concrete Sculpting Guide" pretty well shows the whole process only I used a waterproof 12v light (1-Watt 12 Volt LED Waterfall Light ) to avoid shocking somebody and mounted it inside the lid. The lid rests on a clear piece of plastic (drilled for ventilation) that sits atop of the snow globe and the light is inside an additional, smaller void above the clear plastic window.

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Feed:

 ( Nutrex Hawaiian Spirulina) Ocean chill dried organic Spirulina Is the perfect food. (Available at the bottom of the page.) It's a whole food source loaded with ocean trace elements, antioxidants, vitamins, phytonutrients and 92 different minerals.  Micro-Shrimp can go for extended periods without being fed as they live on algae within the environment. However they will greatly benefit and thrive with regular feeding and it’s fun to watch them eat. The highly nutrient rich feed keeps shrimp more active, brighter, happier and healthier.

WARNING: Proper feeding can not be stressed enough! Over feeding is the number one cause of dead shrimp! Over feeding will pollute the water and kill your shrimp! Let the shrimp settle into their new home for a couple of days before feeding. Use a toothpick and scoop a tiny amount of food. Tap the toothpick on the glass so the food falls onto the waters surface, never pour directly out of the jar into the Micro-Aquarium. You want just a thin layer of dust (not a pile) on the waters surface covering about a 1inch area per shrimp. If the food piles up, you must wait until it spreads to a thin dust to know how much is actually there. For example, if your Micro-Aquarium contains five shrimp and the water surface is 5x5 inch you will dust the whole surface, or 10x10 inch, half the surface, etc. Only feed about every three days and only if the surface of the water has been eaten clean 24 hours prior to feeding again. Keep in mind that after the aquarium has time to establish the shrimp will find algae in the tank to eat as well as what you add to it.

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Light:

The led lighting consumes almost no energy, they are incredibly long lasting, bright and put off almost no heat. A bright white led bulb (see "how it was made" up a few paragraphs) beautifully illuminate the environment with a natural daylight color. The cord Detaches at the transformer as well as midway from the tank incase your outlet is difficult to reach. The cord is not seen through the glass as it is hidden in the support pipe.

Live Pet Shrimp:

(Halocaridina rubra ~ "Opae Ula" Hawaiian Volcano Shrimp) (Available for purchase at bottom of page) These fascinating, tiny little micro shrimp are incredibly hardy eliminating the need for a pump, filter or heater system keeping the maintenance minimal. They live in a diluted saltwater solution called brackish water caused by saltwater pools created by tropical volcanoes and then mixed with mountain rain water. Position them in a place where the temperature remains between 60F and 80F, add distilled water for evaporation and with proper feeding these amazing creatures have been known to live up to 20 years!

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Coral:

Real Sea Coral hand carved to fit inside the aquarium can easily be cleaned to keep it looking alive and new always. The corals natural red compliments the micro shrimp, and the white glows in the light enhanced by the gravel. It gives the Micro Shrimp a place to sit, hide and molt (shed their old shell).

Another excellent choice of coral is what I call "Black Twig Coral" which is a sea fan. It is hard, inflexible and brittle both in reality and in visual appearance. However, if you soak it in water overnight, it turns into something like rubber. I managed to stuff the piece in the round ball (pictured below) through a 1/4” inch hole! It greatly ads to the mystery that these cool little pets already create.

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FAQ 

Is it cruel?

All of our Opae Ula systems are vented for gas release, feeding and water additions to easily maintain optimal living conditions and health of your pet shrimp.

We believe creatures under stress will not lay eggs, carry eggs full term and hatch eggs which become delicate larva then tiny babies and slowly grow into adults. In fact from our experience, conditions have to be ideal for them to reproduce. We have a Micro-Aquarium that contains less than 60 OZ. of water in a 5-½“ glass sphere. The water has not been changed in years and in fact very little has ever been added because while it does have vents to release gas the lid prevents most evaporation. It has not been cleaned in almost 2 years and is beautifully clean while there are tiny visible specs of green algae on the coral for them to graze between feedings. There are 30 shrimp in this tiny unit! We feed them regularly and carefully for which they REGULARLY reward us with eggs which they successfully raise to almost full size adults at which point we move the babies out. They seem to keep reproducing as long as they are not overcrowded.

They are not on the endangered species list and if they are headed that way raising them in captivity is an excellent way to help prevent it. All of our shrimp at opae-ula.com are farm raised and not wild caught.

This is our view. We respectfully allow you to choose your own.

Do I have to feed my Opae' Ula?

Opae ula can live for several years living off the algae inside a micro-aquarium however to successfully achieve this you will need to keep them in enough natural light for ample algae to grow which will cover the glass and your view until you move them to a darker location to decrease the algae growth. Indoor algae has a poor nutritional value and the balancing act of enough light for optimal viewing and feeding can be quite a challenge. It’s a lot of fun to watch them eat and inexpensive to buy premium Opae-Ula feed. Just lightly dust the surface of the water with Opae-Ula feed every few days and enjoy watching them enjoy. Going on vacation for a few weeks is not a problem as long as the Micro-Aquarium has had a few weeks to establish from being new they will do just fine.

How long do they live?

In a small sealed container Opae Ula may only live a few years, however in a container with access for feeding and gas release, these tiny little pet shrimp have been known to live 20 years!

Can I use My own container?

Any container will do, Just make sure you use Brakish Water. It can be purchased at the bottom of the page. If you don't have a lid you will simply need to add distilled water more often to replace the evaporation. Do not add more water conditioner! it does not evaporate out with the water. If you do have a lid be sure there is some way for gases to get out.

Here are some micro aquariums I've put together.
You can purchase similar glass containers as well as a complete open top set up from BlueIQ just below.

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In what location should I place my Micro-Aquarium?

Choose a location free of direct natural light to reduce algae growth. Artificial light is great for lighting up your display so you may want an outlet nearby for a desk lamp. A place where they can be easily viewed close up, (preferably at eye level) and won't be bumped by kids or kitties or receive direct drafts from windows or doors. A lighted curio cabinet is ideal!

How often do I have to clean my Micro-Aquarium?

Our 5-1/2"" container has been cleaned before, however at this time It has not been cleaned in almost two years. It looks great and the shrimp are healthy. The trick is finding the right location without to much direct natural light. although they do need a source of artificial light. If it does get excess algae growth while you are trying to find the right place, just pour the water and shrimp into a separate container, clean your Micro-Aquarium and replace the contents.

 

Click "Like" below to share your Micro-Aquarium pictures on SCS facebook page!

This animal friendly open top system comes complete with live aquatic plants, decorations, live opae ula and even algae eating snails!

 It comes in two quickly shipped packages, the first package leads you through a fun and exciting yet cleverly simple process of hand selecting your plants and gravels for customizing your own aquarium components which they ship in the second package!

People LOVE it, check out the customer reviews by clicking the link to the right.

Spirulina ~ A lifetime supply of the ultimate shrimp food!

FEEDING: Proper feeding can not be stressed enough! Over feeding is the number one cause of dead shrimp! Over feeding will pollute the water and kill your shrimp! Let the shrimp settle into their new home for a couple of days before feeding. Use a toothpick and scoop a tiny amount of food. Tap the toothpick on the glass so the food falls onto the waters surface, never pour directly out of the jar into the Micro-Aquarium. You want just a thin layer of dust (not a pile) on the waters surface covering about a 1inch area per shrimp. If the food piles up, you must wait until it spreads to a thin dust to know how much is actually there. For example, if your Micro-Aquarium contains five shrimp and the water surface is 5x5 inch you will dust the whole surface, or 10x10 inch, half the surface, etc. Only feed about every three days and only if the surface of the water has been eaten clean 24 hours prior to feeding again. Keep in mind that after the aquarium has time to establish the shrimp will find algae in the tank to eat as well as what you add to it.

Light up you Micro Aquarium with the perfect stand alone adjustable 12v halogen spotlight complete with transformer 10' cord and on/off switch! Available in Black or White

Polished aquarium glass makes a unique substrate. Click the link to the right to see it in other colors as well.

Opae Ula require brackish water which is a diluted salt water with a Specific gravity of around 1.015 or Salinity of around 20-21. However, if adjusted slowly they can thrive in an incredible range from fresh to salt water.

Slowly add ocean salt to distilled water while testing with a hydrometer to see the salinity and or specific gravity.

Salt does not evaporate so just top off your micro aquariums water loss from evaporation with distilled water.

A truly amazing micro-aquarium ornament! Trim them to the desired size and soak them overnight, they will stuff through very small openings yet look just as brittle and inflexible as ever adding greatly to the mystery of these mystical little pets.

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Opae Ula can be purchased here when they are available. Check back often as they are in and out of stock.

These Are the enclosed and sealed
 systems that originally made these
 tiny creatures popular.

TROPICAL FISH SECRETS GUIDE