Anyone with very large, or many tanks will probably not be interested in this, aside from curiosity maybe, as I doubt this is cheaper than buying RO water. I am writing this purely in case it may help someone else who wants an easy alternative to RO water.
I am housebound (have MS) and as such needed to find an easy alternative to RO water if I were to keep Taiwan bee shrimp successfully. I have red cherry shrimp in my 30L FISH tank (neon tetras, ember tetras, endler guppies) and they do well with virtually nil care (or attention since I mastered the TBs) other than dechlorinated tap water (which is needed for the fish anyway) so I won't go any further on that subject.
About 3-4 years ago I set up a 15L shrimp tank and tried BRITA filtered tap water, but had no real success with that and so 2 years ago closed the tank down and stored it away assuming then that that would be it, no Taiwan Bee shrimp ever....... but after 2 years of no success, at that point it was a bit of a relief anyway to just be done and out of the way. You will see from the Tap water readings below that in theory the Parameters were pretty good but from my experiences I think you need to go back to NIL (so either RO or the zerowater) and remineralise as I guess that way you know what the tests are picking up is only what the shrimp need - this is only my belief I don't really know, but ie the tap water TDS (Ph, Gh, Kh etc) was ok but what was in the Tap water to make the TDS reading what it was, if that makes sense? I have read on many sites of people trying tap water , as I did, with good parameters but it not working so that is my theory anyway! And of course domestic water supply parameters can change and if there has been any repairs in the system that will change it etc so from my experience only way to go is take it back to NIL and remineralise.......
A year ago (about a year after closing down the old shrimp tank) I came across a water filter jug from zerowater (www.zerowater.co.uk), an american product which I believe is available in Australia on Amazon, but may also be in shops out there for all I know). I thought, why not give that ago.... so I set up the old tank Oct 2017 (15L with the back part partitioned of for filter etc so probably 12L of useable aquarium) put some soil in and a few bits of Java fern and moss from the fish tank and ran it with the zerowater for a couple of months. I didn't ever get any Ammonia, Nitrite, or Nitrate reading but did see a bacteria bloom for a few days. I treated the zerowater as you would RO water, so added shrimp king mineral fluid gh+. There is a lot of info on the website about what it removes etc.
Tap water PH7, Gh 5-6, Kh 3-4, TDS 174
Zerowater Ph6, Gh 0-1, kh 0-1, TDS 000
I added 6 blue bolts about 6-8 weeks later, then some red ruby and red wine a few weeks later and 3 blue steel in March 2018. All went quite well, though there were a few deaths but that may have been me as I am NO expert, I do drip acclimatise though. April 2018 Eggs started appearing (difficult to see on TB) and by the end of that month shrimplets, woohoo!
Time for the new tank, dennerle 35L scapers which I got in May 2018 which I ran for a month with the zerowater, 2 cheap sponge only filters, heater, light, rock, wood, java fern, soil etc, and one sacrificial fish (don't worry he went in the fish tank afterwards as he survived). Then I transferred shrimps a dozen every other day(ish) etc. At this point I was obviously shutting down the small tank and although I had only bought a dozen shrimps originally, when I started removing stuff it turned out I had about 90 baby/juvenile shrimp in the tank, most were probably only days old (probably wasn't wise to transfer them at that stage really but I had too many anyway and wanted to get the old tank out of the way, as it was on the dining table). I THINK WE CAN SAFELY SAY THAT I HAVE CRACKED IT NOW, WITH THE HELP OF THE ZEROWATER FILTER JUG. So closed down the 15L end of June 2018. Daily now I see about 50 shrimps of half to full size in the new setup but haven't yet had any success with babies (though most of the shrimps may not yet be mature enough as I believe they need to be 6 months+), and with the hot spell (unusual for here when tank got to 30 degrees) and with me fine tuning the parameters, done now thankfully PH5.5-6, Gh 4.5, Kh 0-1, TDS 160 (something incidently I probably wouldn't have had to do if I had added the Gh+ from day 1 with the new tank). I will say that I NEVER had any Ammonia, Nitrate or Nitrite readings in the new tank either, but as with the small starter tank there were a couple of days of bacteria bloom. I expect babies will happen now I have stopped messing with the parameters, but there is always option B, set up the old small tank and use as a breeding tank, or C, buy more shrimps???? With the shock of how many babies there were hiding in the small tank, there could well be loads of babies in the new tank that are hiding anyway. I will give that a rethink if there haven't been any babies by xmas, though I have enough anyway at present. The only other things that may now affect babies (ie different than the smaller tank) is, the jets from the filters are a bit strong and circulate the water in the tank more, and I have rock (actually Geodes) in the tank???
I change 2L of water each week, mainly so I can squeeze the 2 sponges from the 2 filters and just clean the glass etc. I also use Fulvic acid, beta glucan and am just starting on bacter ae (hoping that may help babies). As with RO water, top up is pure zerowater and water change is zerowater with GH+ added.
Each zerowater filter does about 100L of my water (about 6-8 months worth) but there is info on the website above that shows how many it will do on different TDS basic water etc. The filters aren't cheap at £20 each (I have bought 4 for £50 so much more reasonable, and they don't have a shelf life anyway. They are of course available readily in USA in places like Walmart as it is an American product. If anyone knows where you can get them in other countries it may be a good idea to add it to this string/topic etc to help others, as mentioned before I THINK you can get them on amazon.com.au for Australia.
If anyone wants to ask any questions I will do my best to answer, but I am NO EXPERT by any measure.
Update 27 Sep 2018
I am daily seeing babies, in small numbers (all colour varieties), but from the top picture you can see there are a vast number of hiding places anyway, so there must be others. I have also seen a couple of shrimps heavy with eggs, grey, so they must be near birth...............
I will keep this updated if there is anything worth reporting, or there seems to be any problems with using the zerowater filter jug as a substitute for RO water but so far (1 year now) all has been very successful.
Update 7 Oct 2018
Probably be the last update - unless all goes wrong etc
I am seeing lots of babies of varying sizes and patterns now (20 today), so much so that I am going to have to start culling to make room for just the ones I really want to keep, and enough room/food etc for babies! I will try taking one big one out each week when I do maintenance and see how that goes!
Any questions just ask!
BIG UPDATE 24 MARCH 2020
MORRISONS SUPERMARKETS HAVE STARTED SELLING ZEROWATER HERE IN THE UK!
I am curios how a cross-breed would look like between the galaxy pinto and the TB.
Does anyone here have a picture of the cross-breed? I would love to see how they look.
I have looked every were but can't find anything about them.
I bought some pintos, and i did put them with my other bees (some panda, some king kong, some blue bolts).
However, i can't seem to find if pintos do breed true (in that case, should i separate them? or will those mix with the others
to make cool new paterns, colors, etc?)
I have a hard time figuring what bee breed true if any.
I've read that bee are a mutation of CRS/CBS, but do they produce similar offsprings or is it more random as an interaction of
Thanks in advance for the help!
This is still a draft now final but can still be updated to accommodate new info. Please help me refine the terminology, and let me know if I have forgotten anything that has to be included.
Tigers, Crystals and Taiwan Bees will all breed together. Here are some common terms or names that are used in the Shrimp hobby to describe various shrimp.
The following picture from rah-bop will paint a better image as we go through the descriptions.
Refer back to this picture as you read the descriptions.
(Click to expand)
What is a Tibee?
A tibee is a hybrid between any Tiger (OEBT - orange eye blue tiger or also blonde tiger) - and usually a Taiwan Bee (TB)
can also be hybrid between any Tiger and Crystals - CBS (Crystal Black Shrimp) and CRS (Crystal Red Shrimp).
The preference is to cross with a Taiwan Bee. Since TBs are rarer and more expensive, you might not have enough TBs to breed. Using a Tiger as a partner to the Taiwan Bee, will ensure some genes are carried over when you cross the Tibee back with the Taiwan Bee parent. It's offspring could yield some Taiwan Bees.
Crystals are more common. So a Tibee from TigerXCrystal is not as sought after. But nature can throw up some amazing colours from this hybrid too. I am working on a TigerXCRS myself to try to get some Red Tiger tibees.
What is a TaiTibee?
A Taitibee is a Tibee crossed back with a Taiwan Bee.
What is a Pinto?
A Pinto is a colour variation and type of Taitibee.
There are 3 variants of patterns:
Spotted Head Zebra Fancy - Such as skunk pattern and cloud patterns. The creative name for skunk pattern is derived from the black-and-white pattern, which very much resembles that of a skunk, especially due to the pattern on the head. And as the name suggests, the Cloud pattern very much resembles clouds shapes on the head of the shrimp. Colouration of pintos generally come in either black or red base.
Black Zebra Pinto
Red Zebra Pinto
What is a Mischling?
Mischling is a German word for "crossbreed" (plural: Mischlinge).
A mischling (in the shrimp hobby) is a hybrid cross between Crystals and Taiwan Bees.
When this crossbred mischling is crossed with another CRS, it's genetics are diluted, and you get a small % of Taiwan Bees.
When mischlings are crossed with another mischling it's genetics are even more diluted. And the % of TB are even smaller to the point of never getting a TB. It's like striking Lotto.
However, when you cross a mischling back with a Taiwan Bee, you get a larger % of TBs, but with the added benefit of strengthening it's gene pool when it's original parents were mixed with a CRS.
BlueBolts has already started an excellent sticky thread on Mischling here:
This article is a supplement to information already on SKF. It is by no means trying to supersede any information found elsewhere.
Here is an excellent explanation from Ineke as well “Taiwan Bees crossed with Crystals give Mischlings which are then crossed back to Taiwan Bees to help people get to their goals quicker in having more Taiwan Bees (TB) however on this forum we like to let people know when Mischling bloodlines appear in our breeding so more initials are added. If you get a King Kong (KK) Bluebolt (BB), Panda or any other TB from a TB/ Mischling cross we like to let people know by saying we have a KK(TBM)-King Kong from TB / Mischling. If you are lucky enough to get a TB. From 2 Mischlings it would be a KK (TBMM) or whatever type of TB you have. This just keeps people honest and let's buyers know that they will get a percentage of Mischlings from their TBM / TBMM. Nothing worse than having Mischlings showing up in your TB. Breeding program when you thought you had purebreds".
What is a Tibee cross Mischling?
To my knowledge, this has not been given a common name yet. It's still a Caridina Cantonensis. It's still a bee shrimp. It is just a different colour variant.
Let's call this variant a "Tischling" for now (03Oct2014), unless someone can confirm a common name that pre-dates this name.
This Tischling is an uncommon hybrid, possibly because the desirable genetic traits are too diluted and takes the shrimp keeper further away from achieving desirable goals. Not when there are easier and faster breeding choices that would achieve the same goal. Like for instances, using the Tibee or Mischling to be crossed back to a pure Tiger, Crystal or Taiwan Bee.
A hybrid Mischling might carry recessive traits, and is unseen (like a specific colour), and crossing it with another hybrid Tibee would be like trying to get a certain colour (say red), from something that doesn't show any colour. A complete guess.
Feeling that i have enough experiance to start with taiwan bee colony. Think about new setup for 20-25 taiwan bees.
What mix with KK`s you guys prefer/offering?
Now i`m thinking KK + R Rubies, maybe some pintos. Looking forward your ideas :)