I'm new to shrimp keeping.
I have a nano tank (25l) with a few orange cherry shrimp, I also have one Betta and 6 pygmy cory and two spotted Ramshorn snails. (The Betta is completely non aggressive to anything other than his own reflection)
My problem is with the KH,
My Tap water regularly measures 1-2 KH with TDS of 80ppm GH of 2-3 PH 6.8/7 with 0 copper.
I was concerned that there would not be enough minerals for my shrimp to moult etc, I added a water equaliser buffer and my KH rose to 5, GH rose to 6 however my PH also went up to 7.8 which is to high for my Betta and my Cory.
Since adding some of the buffered water to my tank my PH has been between 7.4 and 7.8 day to night - it didn't used to swing so much - but my KH has again dropped to 4 I am still at 225ppm my GH is 5
Can anyone advise me what is best? When I didn't use any buffer my tank and just used Prime in my tap water my PH remained between 6.6 and 6.8
Tank temperature is 24.5 as that's about as low as I can go for my Betta
What would other people do and am I trying to keep the right type of shrimp or is there another that would be better suited to my tap water (once treated) or should I not try to have shrimp at all?
The tank is planted although there hasn't been much growth from anything other than my mosses and something (I think snail) is eating new growth on the java fern. There are plenty of hiding places for the shrimp and they are quite shy obviously, but getting bolder.
Tank seems fully cycled (it's been running 2 months and was started with bacteria from my pond) as I have 0 nitrite 0 ammonia all the time
Nitrates have been on the high side at 20ppm (water changes done at this point) but have now started to stabilise at 5ppm
I have a bio filter and sponge filter and airstone (too much oxygen?) All running on lowest settings.
Any help or advice please
Understanding toxicity impacts between pH level and Ammonia.
How does pH affect the toxicity of ammonia?
Table 1 - the Nitrification and Ammonification process.
The Ammonia reading you get from test kits is actually the sum of Total Ammonia - which is made up of Ammonia NH3 + Ammonium NH4.
At low levels of pH (lower than 6.0), ammonification occurs. Remember, pH is an inverse count of Hydrogen (H). At low pH, you have more Hydrogen. At high pH, you have less. At these low levels of pH (high acidity), the ammonia NH3 'absorbs' (for lack of a better word), an extra Hydrogen ion -> becoming NH4 or ammonium.
The reason Ammonium is less toxic to fish and shrimp is because NH4 with that added Hydrogen H ion is now less permeable to the gills of fish & shrimp. NH4 is also excreted across the gills via a carrier mediated process in exchange for sodium Na+.
Ammonia toxicity is also influenced by temperature:
The lower the temperature the less toxic it becomes. Or to put it another way - NH3 toxicity increases with temperature and pH.
Percent NH3 of total ammonia Temp pH 6.5 pH 7.0 pH 7.5 pH 8.0 pH 8.5 20C / 68F 0.13 0.40 1.24 8.82 11.2
25C / 77F 0.18 0.57 1.77 5.38 15.3
28C / 82F 0.22 0.70 2.17 6.56 18.2
30C / 86F 0.26 0.80 2.48 7.46 20.3
Table 2. Un-ionized NH3 as a percent of total ammonia (by temperature and pH).
Assuming a temp of 28C and a pH of 7.0 - if 5ppm of ammonia is present this results in only .03 ppm ammonia.
However, in a Tanganyikan Cichlids tank with a pH of 9.0, that has a Total Ammonia of 5 ppm, your ammonia level is 2.06 ppm! This now become toxic for the fish.
But, at a pH of 6.0, and 10 ppm of Total Ammonia, the ammonia is only .007 ppm. Even though we have MORE ammonia.
So be cautious when performing water changes in a low pH tank, as the low pH has an adverse affect on the nitrifying bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrite. Because of the acidity these bacteria populations can drop so low that any change in alkalinity can cause the Total Ammonia reading to rise quickly. While the pH stays low the Total Ammonia reading is nearly all ammonium, but if you do a water change or add an alkalinity buffer to the system, the ammonium can be quickly converted to ammonia, potentially causing ammonia poisoning.
It is good to note here that, as per the very top picture (table1) ... nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonia NH3 to Nitrate (NO3) does NOT convert Ammonium NH4 to a less toxic form. The bacteria isn't present in sufficient amounts in such low pH environments to process it. Ammonium NH4 is ever present in a low pH tank that has living creatures in it. NH4 is in there ready to be converted into NH3 at the first sign of added alkalinity during water changes. Hence, why we always tell you to match water parameters and add it into the tank slowly (drip it in if you can), don't dump in buckets of new water all at once.
So in summary, the combination of low pH (<6) and cool temperatures that the shrimp live in can mean that high ammonia levels are not toxic to them. But be careful !!! Any change in the pH buffer that increases alkalinity will cause the toxic ammonia to immediately convert from NH4 to NH3.
There you go. Hopefully that is a more precise explanation to aid your understanding.
The ideal spot to be is just above 6.1 to 6.5, where bacteria still function, and ammonia is less toxic. Along with the cool temperatures some shrimp (or fish) live in, is the best environment to be in to minimise ammonia poisoning.
I wonder how many times our shrimp die in hot temps, (say due to hot weather ... maybe even a broken heater) not because of the heat, but because our low pH tanks have not enough functioning bacteria to cope with the sudden change in toxic NH3 ammonia due to the rise in temps??? Food for thought.
Recently decided to invest in an RODI unit to improve the quality of the water in my shrimp tanks and reduce the margin for any catastrophic deaths. However, sadly my LFS doesn't seem to carry anymore SS Bee Shrimp GH+ minerals. The owner does however have the fish version for soft-water environments and he claims that there isnt a difference. The dosage amount seems similar between the two as well. Does anyone have any experience with using it with shrimp?
The packaging looks like this in case anyone was wondering!
Thanks in advance!!
I have had a 20 gallon RCS tank for 3 years now. I have moss balls and some JAVA moss, drift wood, and mineral rocks.
Only RCS in the tank and some soft shell snails I have in there I breed for my fresh water puffer fish in another tank,.
My issue is that the shrimp live 1-2 years and they breed just fine but I never see babies. I see plenty of eggs but never babies. (Well 1 or 2 a month maybe but they disappear)
The adults keep going just fine until they die off of old age or something else.
I keep about 100 shrimp in the tank and have to replenish 50 every 6 months about.
Water Temp I keep about neutral.
PH- 7- 7.2
I use distilled water or sometimes Reverse Osmosis water because our tap water goes through a water softener which puts a LOT of salt in it which makes TDS very high so I try not to use tap water at all.
I feed every 2 days with Azoo or other good food and not much. Its all gone by the time I feed again.
I do add some powder food for the babies and a shrimp bacteria powder (just started that about 6 months ago but has not helped or hurt)
Someone told me due to the distilled water my issue is LOW TDS. So I bought TWO different meters. I tested the distilled water and its about zero which is correct. I then tested my water and its about 700. I do top offs and just did a 20% water change last weekend with distilled water.
So is that the issue? Should I pull out the mineral rocks?
I am thinking tonight to take about 8 gallons of water and drain the tank down about 40% and then fill with the distilled water. I can repeat the process in a week and once I get the TDS under 150 I can add a little shrimp mineral to get it to the 200 range. The reason I am saying that is the TDS could be bad TDS and not the minerals they needs. I ordered some Salty Shrimp Mineral which I heard was good.
Should I just give up?