Setting up a Triops aquarium: The right way to do it - Triops Galaxy

Setting up a Triops aquarium: How to set up the Triops tank

Before relocating the Triops from the rearing tank to the aquarium, some preparations should be made. There are two basic requirements in aquaristics: Setting up a Triops aquarium and running in the aquarium. Both should be done before the first aquarium inhabitants move in, so that the complex ecosystem can establish itself in the tank. This creates the optimal environment and living conditions for the primeval crayfish. As far as setting up the aquarium is concerned, Triops are not very demanding and as a breeder it is relatively easy. Nevertheless, this point should not be neglected and as a Triops breeder you should set up the primeval crayfish aquarium with care.

Setting up a primeval crayfish aquarium: How to find the right tank

Triops need a small rearing tank for the first ten to 14 days, ideally up to five litres capacity. A Faunabox is best suited for this purpose. This is so important because the food is evenly distributed in the water and the nauplii would otherwise not find the food in a large tank and could die. A good two weeks after hatching, the Triops reach sexual maturity, but they can be moved from the rearing tank to a larger tank or aquarium after only eight to ten days. Only then should you set up the Triops aquarium.

At this point the question is often asked whether it is possible to use a tank from the beginning for breeding as well as for keeping adult Triops. Yes, this is also possible. If you do not want to use a breeding tank, but prefer to breed and keep them in an aquarium, you can choose an aquarium or tank with a volume of five to 15 litres. Then you can set up the Triops tank.

In the wild, Triops live in furrows and small ponds, so a small aquarium of ten litres is perfectly adequate for five to six Triops. For adult Triops, a transparent glass aquarium with a volume of ten to 40 litres should be used. The aquarium should let in enough light, but direct sunlight should be avoided. The Triops is a bottom dweller and burrows in the ground day and night. For this reason, the surface area is more important than the height of the aquarium.

Setting up a Triops aquarium: The right substrate

While the rearing tank does not need a substrate for the tiny nauplii, adult Triops need sand for egg laying and to satisfy their natural need to dig. If you want to set up the primeval crab aquarium, a layer of sand of two to three centimetres belongs in the tank. Here we have the choice between aquarium sand and aquarium gravel. Although both are similar, the main difference is the lower density. With sand, the advantage is that it is much harder for the dirt particles to penetrate, thus maintaining the natural balance. Fine-grained and ground sand with a grain size of no more than one millimetre should be used.

→ More information can be found in the main article: The right substrate for Triops breeding


If you want to set up the Triops aquarium, plants are essential. Plants are both a visual eye-catcher and enhance the aquarium, as well as being responsible for maintaining the natural balance in the tank. Aquatic plants help to detoxify the water and supply the water with vital oxygen. They serve as a plant food source for the aquatic inhabitants. Aquatic plants are the optimal prevention against too high nitrite levels.

→ More information can be found in the main article: Triops aquatic plants

The right water

When setting up the Triops tank, the water also plays a very important role. In the first few days of life, the Triops nauplii cannot break down food on their own. For this reason, they are dependent on taking in bacteria and microorganisms from the water. Thus, the water used determines the success or failure in breeding. A mixture of distilled water and still mineral water in a ratio of 70 to 30 percent is optimal to supply the nauplii with nutrients in the first days. Sea almond leaves should be used at this point, as they increase the probability of hatching immensely.

River, rain or lake water as well as water from a stream or pond can also be used for breeding. However, care should be taken that it is not contaminated. Tap water can also be used, but care should be taken that it flows through pipes where pollutants such as copper can dissolve. This can mean certain death for the Triops. This is why you should be careful with tap water. This point should be kept in mind when setting up the Triops aquarium.

→ More information is available in the main article: The right water and optimal water values


Light is essential in Triops breeding. Without light there is no hatching and even adult Triops need at least 12 hours of light a day. Light is also important for the plants in the aquarium. For starters, a standard desk lamp or incandescent bulb is quite sufficient. If there are hatching problems with a desk lamp, an LED lamp should be used. If you want to set up the primeval crayfish aquarium, you should use high-quality LED lighting, which, unlike a desk lamp, can be fitted precisely. The lamp should ideally have a value of at least 6000 Kelvin (colour temperature) and 700 lm (lumen = light intensity).

→ More information on aquarium technology can be found in the main article: Aquarium technology in Triops breeding


The filter ensures the biological balance in the aquarium. As in nature, there is a permanent circulation of water in aquariums. The movement of the water creates filtration, while the filter takes over the permanent cleaning and treatment of the water. This process ensures that waste substances such as food residues are filtered and not allowed back into the aquarium’s circulation. The filter has to take over this function, as an aquarium, unlike natural waters with their biological cycle, cannot perform this kind of self-purification. In addition to the filter, a heating rod is also used in the aquarium.


If you want to set up the Triops aquarium and use decorations, this is basically possible. However, you should be careful with decorations, as the Triops dig very intensively and can burrow under the decorative objects. If decorations such as stones are used, they should not rest on the loose sand, but on the aquarium floor.

Set up a Triops tank: Conclusion

As Triops are not very demanding creatures, setting up the Triops aquarium is not too difficult. Nevertheless, there are a few points that need to be taken into account. Starting with the breeding tank up to the selection of the aquarium for adult Triops, there are some important points to consider. The choice of substrate must be made carefully, as too coarse a grain size can prevent the Triops from laying eggs and, in the worst case, injure them. A tank that is too large can be fatal for the young nauplii, as they cannot find the food and will most likely die. Care should also be taken when using decorative objects. If you have implemented all points carefully, nothing stands in the way of successful Triops breeding.

Sladjan Lazic

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