- 10-gallon with Aqualifter+Filter – Updated 3/27/17
- Aqualifted 1.5 and 1.0 Gallon Tanks
- Oblong 1.5g Tank with Aqua Lifter Pump
- Aqua Lifter Pumps for Opae’ula Tank – UPDATE 3/12/17
- Switched to Power Heads for UGFs – Update 1/7/17
- Glass Jar with Lid: New Opae’ula Tank
- Build Your Own UGF
- Diatom Stage Is Tied to the Coral — Not the Tank
- Adjusting the UGF to Reduce or Eliminate Salt Crusting
- Opae K-Pop ‘Ula
- After the Bubble Scare
- Opae’ula Bubble Trouble Solved
- Weird Bubble Growth on Opae’ula Shell
- It Pays to Be Careful When Deactivating a Tank
- Thoughts on Filtration in Opae’ula Tanks
- Opae’ula Doing Laps in Opposite Direction
- Opae’ula Doing Laps in 1-Gallon Bottle
- My 1-Gallon Nishijima-Style Opae’ula Bottle – Video
- Experimental Oblong 2-gal Tank Video
- My Take on the Nishijima Bottle
- Opae’ula Gone Surfin’
- Experimental Oblong 1.5-gal Tank
- 18-gallon Tank in Green Stage 8/23/15
- 18-gallon Tank Entering Green Stage 8/18/15
- 10-gallon in Late Afternoon Sunlight 8/4/15
- Opae’ula in 2.5-gallon Sea Water Tank Are Bright Red
- Diatom Stage in 18-gallon Tank
- 2.5-gallon Tank: Ocean Water + Bottled Water
- Desktop 5-gallon Converted to Undergravel Filter
- Fluval Chi 5-gallon Breeding; New 18-gallon
So far so good. This pump+filter on top of tank seems to be the only setup that works. In variations that had the pump+filter on the table next to the tank, leakage was a constant problem. In this on-top configuration, I’ve had no leakage problems. Yet. The opae seem to love it. They’re very active all day and night. Breeding has been taking place in the 1.5 gallon, but I think it’s accelerating under this new setup. The trickle filtering seems just about right. The 10-gallon, which I’ll be covering soon, is also set up with a single pump+filter unit on top of the tank, and it seems to be doing fine. Again, the opae are very active day and night. The 18-gallon has two pump+filter units, and it, too, is doing fine. I’ll be covering this tank soon, too.
Update 3/12/17 – The setup here didn’t work out. The pumps are positioned too low, reducing the flow. I moved the pump-prefilter unit so that it now sits on top of the tank. I’ll be posting photos or a video soon. In the meantime, see the video that demonstrates this placement modification on the 1.5g oblong tank.
UPDATE 1/7/17 – After 6 months, I’ve given up on the powerheads and returned to the good ole air pumps. The current was just too strong for my small 10-gallon tanks, which are really filled to the 8-to-9 gallon level. I noticed that opae activity had been declining progressively to the point where they were no longer swimming about. As soon as I made the switch, they became more active again.
The powerheads seemed to reduce the salt crusting a bit, but the cost in terms of tank health was too great. The powerheads also had a tendency to slip off their rubber mounts on the tube. This was a danger to the opae that wandered too close. They were sucked into the powerhead and churned into chum. I didn’t always notice the problem until many hours had passed. I tried to stabilize the seating by shoving a short length of plastic tubing over the oval intake and placing the whole back into the uptake tube. This worked for three of the powerheads, but not for the fourth, which kept slipping out of the tube.
Opae’ula are fun to raise. Since they don’t need much space for a simulated natural environment, we can be creative in building tanks. I believe a gallon jar is about the smallest optimal size. At a thrift shop, I found a 1-gallon glass jar (see photo above) with a lid and decided to turn it into an opae’ula tank.
Since there’s no opening for an air line, I raised the lid at one end about a quarter of an inch to insert a line. Since the lid is made of glass and a bit heavy, I added two rubber shims on both sides of the line to prevent the lid from crimping it. I made the shims out of two quarter-inch wide rings cut off from the end of a large plastic hose. Cutting through the ring at one point creates a u-shaped shim that will fit over the bottle edge.
The tank is not quite ready for opae. Thus far, I made a UGF out of a plastic cover (see photo below of a similar cover) and a spare plastic tube, covered it with gravel, inserted an air line into the exhaust tube, and added brackish water from one of my established tanks. I’ll be adding a coral substrate over the gravel next before adding a small colony of opae from the 18-gallon. Continue reading