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Mapsyd

Hello and newbie shrimp keeper

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Mapsyd

Hi every one and so glad I found this forum. Let me just say I have had RCS in the past but am going a new directions with my little aquarium and would love your opinions on how to move forward as have been given very confusing information.

Ok, I have redone/scaped my Fluval Edge 46 litre as a "planted" tank with ADA amazonia and some pieces of driftwood...tank has been re-cycling with old media from past set up for about 2 weeks now, ammonia has dropped greatly in this time from 4 ppm to now just between 0.25- 0.5 ppm as it stands today, no Nitrite since day 1 and slight Nitrates of less than 5 ppm. The dkH of tank is at 4 and gH is at 3 pH at 6.8. My tap water is almost identical with the same dkH and gH and only difference being pH at 7- 7.2. 

I asked a famous online resource on shrimp if I could have any shrimp in these parametres and was told basically "no".... I would have to use RO water to get rid of the kH? so that it is 0 degrees? I then looked up a site that tells you what parametres for each species of shrimp and it seems I may be able to have RCS once again, but I wonder if any of you have similar parametres and have success with RCS and CRS in those conditions and willingly breeding? I keep the tank at 22 C . What are my options as a RO unit is way out of the budget at the moment and would love some shrimp again... I hope all this has not been in vain as though having slightly soft tap water would have been a good thing in combination with ADA soil. 

I hope to hear from you and any help you can provide, am a tad heartbroken after the news I received from above mentioned.

Thank you.

PS don't laugh at my first attempt at "scaping" it will grow in a bit eventually....lol

<a href='https://amzn.to/2KZlhFI' class='notreplace' title='fluval' target='_blank'  style=fluval.jpg">

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jayc

Hi @Mapsyd,

firstly welcome to SKFA.

On the subject of your water parameters and RCS, there are many, many shrimp keepers in Melbourne that have successfully bred RCS with similar Melbournian tap water. 

KH of 4 is fine for RCS, they are a lot more tolerant of water parameter ranges than other shrimp.

CRS (crystal red shrimp) might be the species that prefer lower KH. and that might be what your "online resource" would have been referring to. 

Then again, many in Melb have been keeping CRS with those parameters. Someone from Melb might be able to chime in here.

All is not lost however, KH will drop (a little) naturally as cycling completes and the tank matures.

If RO systems are too expensive for you right now, rain water (RW) is a great alternative, if you are able to collect enough for regular water changes. You would still need to treat RW the same way as RO water, ie to remineralise it to the right parameters for your shrimp/livestock.

RO has many positive benefits (I'll let you read some of our material in the Articles section os what those benefits are), and if you ever decide to purchase a unit, we have a site sponsor FSA that offer a 10% discount.

PS - nothing wrong with your scape there. It's quite good actually.

edit - maybe your online resource said "no" to RCS in those parameters is because of your tank still showing ammonia. That is a correct analysis. Do NOT add shrimp into the tank until ammonia reads zero.

 

Edited by jayc
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Mapsyd

Thank you so much jayc. I was absolutely gutted when told that I could not have "any" shrimp at all living in my tank....so glad you boosted my confidence in moving forward as was it was failing an hour or so ago....

I have a TDS metre arriving soon also as apparently is good to check those levels occasionally.

At the risk of sounding very fresh at all this, what would kH need to be for keeping both species in same tank? would a slight compromise allow for a healthy and breeding population of both when tank settles?

Thank you again for your positivity, it's made my day really.

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jayc

edit - added this after ... maybe your online resource said "no" to RCS in those parameters is because of your tank still showing ammonia. That is a correct analysis. Do NOT add shrimp into the tank until ammonia reads zero.

 

2 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

I have a TDS metre arriving

Good move. Absolutely valuable for any aquarium.

 

5 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

what would kH need to be for keeping both species in same tank?

Both RCS and CRS?

1-2 KH as a compromise. CRS are not as tolerant to higher KH and pH.

So aim for CRS water parameters, and acclimatise RCS to that water. 

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Mapsyd

Yes, of course, ammonia and nitrites must be 0 and thank you for the reminder, I was not and have not added any fauna to this tank yet. A mistake I have always avoided after much researching the Nitrogen cycle.  

I have had RCS in this tank prior along with Cherry barbs (sand substrate only with driftwood and Java fern varieties) but it seems that whilst the shrimp seemed happy I never saw babies...maybe Cherry barbs were eating them? what do you think? hence this time around this will be a shrimp only tank.

I use a 22 litre bucket to do water changes would adding pH down powder reduce the kH of the re fill water or using boiled kettle water? or is this like chasing the dragon? 

Thank you again for your time and patience with silly questions....lol

Edited by Mapsyd

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jayc
19 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

maybe Cherry barbs were eating them? what do you think?

Quite possibly. Or the barbs were stressing the shrimp to the point of not breeding.

 

19 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

I use a 22 litre bucket to do water changes

Your tank is only 46L. You do not need to perform 50% water changes each time. In fact, that's too much and will alter water parameters too fast (when you refill the tank with the new water) for shrimp to handle.

5% twice a week or 10% once a week is enough.

 

19 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

adding pH down powder reduce the kH of the re fill water or is this like chasing the dragon?

Chasing the dragon.

Yes, pH down will reduce pH and destroy KH in the process, but the resulting phosphates added from the pH down product will cause other issues - like algae.

The pH will rise again as the KH buffer kicks in, and you are then required to add more pH Down. The resulting up and down movement of pH while you are fighting to change this parameter will cause a lot of stress to the livestock. 

You might as well squeeze some lemon juice into the tank. Does the same thing. It's effects are temporary but at least it's natural. 

The proper way would be to add lots of wood, leaf litter, and use peat moss. Yes it will result in tannins colouring the water, but shrimp love that dark look.

 

edit - BTW what rocks are those? some rocks leach carbonates and will cause your TDS water parameter to rise. And it can also cause KH to rise. 

Edited by jayc

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Mapsyd

Thanks jayc, yes, I have used lots of wood in the tank 4 pieces in fact and have used Indian almond leaves before and they sure did make the water a tad yellow....lol I quite liked it though! and you are right, the amount of phosphates using pH down may bring on algae....we don't want that! as far as water changes, I only ever did about 15-20 % weekly, my 22 litre bucket is just a standard that I use for water changes, was just wondering if using boiled water would help in mixing with tap water in that bucket to get water that is softer for water changes? I would not use the 22 litres of mixed water in the tank though, just for mixing up required amount for water change, any remainder would go in my garden or greenhouse.

Be interesting to see what parametres the tank settles at and as you said, things may yet change....just waiting for it to cycle completely, the waiting game is something I remember dreading last time I cycled this tank....lol

Thank you again.

PS noticed you are from Sydney also, I do miss my home town at times...especially in Melbourne winters! lol

Edited by Mapsyd

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Mapsyd

Also, any ideas why after almost 2 weeks still not showing Nitrites? ammonia is going down but no Nitrites and negligible Nitrates showing? I used all my filter media from pat set up and that was running nearly 2 years....would have thought I'd see some or did I just miss it in between testing water?

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jayc
1 hour ago, Mapsyd said:

my 22 litre bucket is just a standard that I use for water changes

I see. I get it now. Yeah, changing 22L is too much. Keep it to 10% or 5L per week. 

 

1 hour ago, Mapsyd said:

just wondering if using boiled water would help in mixing with tap water in that bucket to get water that is softer for water changes?

Boiling tap water will reduce KH. It's up to you. But that is a lot of energy used to reduce KH. Just wait till your cycling is completed and recheck the KH, GH, pH and TDS. Then adjust from there.

 

48 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

Also, any ideas why after almost 2 weeks still not showing Nitrites?

Since you used mature filter media from a previous tank, there was probably sufficient bacteria to breakdown the Nitrites. The evidence is the Nitrates in the tank. There must be sufficient nitrite bacteria to break nitrite down into Nitrate.

It's quite common when reusing a mature filter on a new tank. That's why using a mature filter is the preferred method of cycling a new tank. 

Edited by jayc

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Mapsyd

Perfect, thanks jayc... I thought since no RO water available that since only a small amount of water needed for water changing every week boiling some up would allow me to mix a water parameter that would help the tank....will report back on this. And do you think adding a pinch of bicar soda whilst cycling may bring on the end of cycling faster? since below 7 pH things slow down....

Thanks again, you have been invaluable with information.

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jayc
3 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

And do you think adding a pinch of bicar soda whilst cycling may bring on the end of cycling faster

It will help. But at 6.8 pH currently, it's still ok. Wait till around 6.0.

Or instead of bicarb soda, do a water change with dechlorinated tap water. 

Tap water's pH is higher, which will raise the pH. But it also contains some ammonia, which is the bacteria's food source. Especially important when the tank is close to completing it's cycling. With less ammonia and no fish/shrimp or ammonia producing source, the bacteria will starve. Don't want that to happen and be back as square one of cycling.

I usually do that when I'm cycling a new tank. I keep the bacteria going with dechlorinated tap water until I am ready to add new fish/shrimp (unless you have ammonia handy, or fish from another tank), since purchasing the right fauna for your tank can take longer than expected, due to stock levels or just not finding exactly what you are after.

When I have the fauna ready to go into the tank I perform a 99% water change to either RO or rainwater with the exact parameters I am after. Then acclimate the fauna to the new tank.

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Mapsyd

Thank you jayc. BTW those rocks are inert from what I was told/sold....They are from Pisces and are called Pagoda? they did not have them as per catalogue so they replaced with these....tried vinegar on them and no fizzing....prior to these in my old scape I used seyuru stone and they were very alkaline....you think these rocks may be the problem?

Also did a test on rocks with solution #1 from Nitrate test as I belive it has acid in it....no reaction on new rock but tried it for giggles on seyru stone and it was like foam! lol

Edited by Mapsyd

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Madmerv
11 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

Thank you jayc.....you think these rocks may be the problem?

Welcome to SKFA @Mapsyd.

After reading through this post i'm picking up from @jayc that there really is not much of a problem with your tank at the moment. Your water parameters are perfectly fine to keep and breed Red Cherries, almost the same as mine but with a lower PH, and it may be fine for CRS once the cycle is complete and things settle.

I Think the other forum gave you a bum steer (or they were talking about the ammonia) and that has you a bit stressed.

I also think you did a great job of scaping it. Looks good to me.

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jayc
7 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

Pagoda

Pagoda is just a product name.

Like Commodore is a product name of Holden.  A Holden Commodore is a = car.

Pisces Pagoda = what type of rock? Probably good to find out. Google-fu might be required.

I'm guessing it's a type of sedimentary rock (formed by compressing mud or sand). 

 

Rocks are THE most likely source of increased GH and KH. So if you needed to focus on something, that would be my first suggestion.

Vinegar not fizzing doesn't mean it is not leaching something. 

If you have a Nitrate test kit, use reagent #1 to test rocks. It's hydrochloric acid and is strong then vinegar. If vinegar was marginal and too small a reaction to notice ... you WILL notice it with Nitrate reagent#1.

 

4 minutes ago, Madmerv said:

I also think you did a great job of scaping it. Looks good to me.

Agreed, it's a very nice scape!

@Mapsyd However, what you might find ... later on ... is that it will be difficult finding/seeing all the shrimp in the tank. I know this from experience. Ever since, all my shrimp tanks are very bare and minimalist by comparison ? 

 

 

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Mapsyd
6 minutes ago, Madmerv said:

Welcome to SKFA @Mapsyd.

After reading through this post i'm picking up from @jayc that there really is not much of a problem with your tank at the moment. Your water parameters are perfectly fine to keep and breed Red Cherries, almost the same as mine but with a lower PH, and it may be fine for CRS once the cycle is complete and things settle.

I Think the other forum gave you a bum steer (or they were talking about the ammonia) and that has you a bit stressed.

I also think you did a great job of scaping it. Looks good to me.

Thank you Madmerv....great to be here and learning from you guys....I did give the other "source" all the parametres and mentioned tank is still cycling and not wanting to put any fauna in there yet....but...a big NO! lol glad someone else is on the same page as me here....lol

Thanks again for the compliment on the scape, just added subwassertang yesterday so it may look better in a while.... cheers

8 minutes ago, jayc said:

Pagoda is just a product name.

Like Commodore is a product name of Holden.  A Holden Commodore is a = car.

Pisces Pagoda = what type of rock? Probably good to find out. Google-fu might be required.

I'm guessing it's a type of sedimentary rock (formed by compressing mud or sand). 

 

Rocks are THE most likely source of increased GH and KH. So if you needed to focus on something, that would be my first suggestion.

Vinegar not fizzing doesn't mean it is not leaching something. 

If you have a Nitrate test kit, use reagent #1 to test rocks. It's hydrochloric acid and is strong then vinegar. If vinegar was marginal and too small a reaction to notice ... you WILL notice it with Nitrate reagent#1.

 

Hi jayc, yes, you are very correct, they mention that they are collected around extinct volcanoes so I would assume sedimentary? also, I have done the #1 Nitrate test on rocks and no reaction....

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jayc
3 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

I have done the #1 Nitrate test on rocks and no reaction....

All good then (but I'm not guaranteeing anything ? ).

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Mapsyd
1 minute ago, jayc said:

All good then (but I'm not guaranteeing anything 1f609.png ).

Yeah, I get it....every aquarium is different so now I just have to battle the boredom of cycling....lol

I also added a small amount of Cuprisorb to the filter to get the tank perfect for new arrivals....would this cause anything untoward regarding kH or gH? pH? and put in some Seachem stability to try and speed things up....bought a small bottle....not expensive. Reason I added the Cuprisorb is because RCS in last tank reacted badly when I added a plant that was treated with copper for snails and just want to make sure that all the copper is gone from that plant. It was the Java fern on rear right hand side of tank...

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Mapsyd
3 hours ago, jayc said:

 

 

Agreed, it's a very nice scape!

@Mapsyd However, what you might find ... later on ... is that it will be difficult finding/seeing all the shrimp in the tank. I know this from experience. Ever since, all my shrimp tanks are very bare and minimalist by comparison 1f61b.png 

 

 

Bugger! didn't think of that! lol.... well, looks like yellow cherries and some CRS so that at least they will be visible....mind you, am a tad smitten with the blue Rili shrimp....wow!

Reason for the style of the scape I went with is that we have a Balinese/asian style garden and we wanted the tank to mirror the outdoors a bit...you know...the outside in kind of thing...lol

Edited by Mapsyd

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jayc
6 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

Cuprisorb to the filter to get the tank perfect for new arrivals....would this cause anything untoward regarding kH or gH? pH? and put in some Seachem stability to try and speed things up

No, not cuprisorb. It's just like purigen, but targetted for copper.

 

 

3 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

mind you, am a tad smitten with the blue Rili shrimp

LOL ! Looks like the beginnings of "Multi Tank Syndrome".

 

3 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

Reason for the style of the scape I went with

It's a lovely tank. No reason to change it. At least not for the more common RCS or CRS.

But when you purchase more expensive Taiwan Bees, for example, I don't want no rock obscuring my view of the shrimp. Just enjoy the tank. If you build up another tank you can always try a minimalist look in that tank to see which you prefer.

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Zebra
17 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

Thank you jayc. BTW those rocks are inert from what I was told/sold....They are from Pisces and are called Pagoda? they did not have them as per catalogue so they replaced with these....tried vinegar on them and no fizzing....prior to these in my old scape I used seyuru stone and they were very alkaline....you think these rocks may be the problem?

Also did a test on rocks with solution #1 from Nitrate test as I belive it has acid in it....no reaction on new rock but tried it for giggles on seyru stone and it was like foam! lol

Hello and welcome to the skf.

Seiryu does raise kh considerably, in my tanks up to about 5-6, most rock does tbh except like quarts,  lava, slate and granite.

Im just across the bay and we have pretty similar tap water I'm sure,

Tds 140

ph 7.1

kh 2-3

gh 4-5

It is great for neocaridina (cherry shrimp) just use a good dechlorinator and age it a day or 2, maybe increase the gh a little, but this happens naturally as tank style mature anyway.

TBH the water isn't that far from crs parameters.

If you want to keep crs and RCS best  to aim for crs parameters, take out any rocks that aren't inert imo, add lots of driftwood, alder cones, ial and fulvic grain.

I recently took out a ton of seiryu from one of my scapes for the same reason as I want to add crystal blacks some day.

Your scape looks good, 

 

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Mapsyd
44 minutes ago, Zebra said:

Hello and welcome to the skf.

Seiryu does raise kh considerably, in my tanks up to about 5-6, most rock does tbh except like quarts,  lava, slate and granite.

Im just across the bay and we have pretty similar tap water I'm sure,

Tds 140

ph 7.1

kh 2-3

gh 4-5

It is great for neocaridina (cherry shrimp) just use a good dechlorinator and age it a day or 2, maybe increase the gh a little, but this happens naturally as tank style mature anyway.

TBH the water isn't that far from crs parameters.

If you want to keep crs and RCS best  to aim for crs parameters, take out any rocks that aren't inert imo, add lots of driftwood, alder cones, ial and fulvic grain.

I recently took out a ton of seiryu from one of my scapes for the same reason as I want to add crystal blacks some day.

Your scape looks good, 

 

Hi there and thank you for the welcome. Funny, when we first moved to Australia we lived in Geelong! love that town. I know what you mean with the Seiryu rock...I had it in my last set up and it kept pH at around 7-7.5...the RCS were fine in it but I think the Barbs were eating babies...(I think). I have tested these rocks and they did not fizz with acid so am hoping that this remains. Tested pH this morning and it is still holding at 6.8....be nice to have slightly towards 6.5 but it is what it is. Tank is still cycling so still unsure of where it will end up afterwards as you know...things change with maturity and eventually level out. If I can keep CRS with RCS would be great but if not doable with what I have set up then I am happy to keep a single species tank.

Come to think of i, I have an idea as to why pH is higher...I added a tiny bag of crushed coral to my filter a week or so ago ( took it out after 2 days) and remember that small/tiny particles leaked out into the tank....that may be why? if so, how long before the ADA breaks/uses that up?

Thank you for your comments, really appreciate them.

BTW are these Alder cones? I googled the leaves and tree along with cones and it looks like we have a giant tree FULL of these cones...they are everywhere! lol

alder cones.jpg

Edited by Mapsyd
Attaching photo
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Zebra

Yeah looks like them, there's 2 main species the europian black alder "Alnus  glutinosa" , and we have a smaller native variety, both are fine to use.

A few larger water changes should bring the kh back to normal again after the coral.

You should be able to keep both species together without too much trouble by just buffering down the ph of the tap water, kh should be around 2 which is fine but ph is just a little high for crs, (though I've kept mine at 7 in those WP for awhile now and they've popped out babies a few days ago with minimal care.) 

however the Neos won't be as happy as they could be in the low ph etc. but they are pretty hardcore and don't really mind.

IMO The most useful aspect of RO is dropping kh, as that's like the hardest common parameter to lower. 

If you do need to further drop ph once everything is settled fulvic grain I should great, newbreed aquatics is having a closing down sale unfortunately, :(, good chance to get in and grab some before it sells out, I bought their last 2 sotching oxydator minis. Was 4avaliable when I looked lasted night haha.

IMG_3857.JPG

IMG_3858.JPG

Although you see lots of crs in typical planted tank setups it's generally hard to compromise the needs of one for the other, planted tanks with decent lighting and high planting density like your scape need fertiliser which raises tds etc. And as much as rocks like seiryu look nice, in a more typical breeding tank for crs you'd have a thick layer of soil a few bits of wood with only 1-2 very low maintenance plants and some moss. Even inert rocks can have pockets of bicarbonate based stone etc.

The main things you need for crs is low tds water (in this case our tap is pretty much fine at 120-140ppm <2kh)

And a relatively pure calcium source void of bicarbonates, (GH+)

Low ph- (your soil and alder comes)

As long as you treat, age and buffer down the ph of water before adding it to the tank, I see no reason crs can't be kept in this tap water(assuming your tap is similar to mine) 

 

I find Neos are more suited to breed a tank with proper emphasis on plants, and don't mind the extra high tds etc.

Where as if I was making a neo breeding tank I'd do pretty much the same but use an inert substrate and keep the ph around 7-7.6. A higher kh helps keep this stable also.

Edited by Zebra

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Mapsyd

Hi again, wow...your tank looks awesome as well as the shrimp. So without RO how would you go about dropping kH? I was in conversation with @jayc and I mentioned boiling tap water and adding dichlor of course before adding to tank...since my water changes will only be around the 10% mark it is only 5 litres or so I need to make up, it's doable....

And, do you think adding Alder cones now would be unwise or just do it after the cycling? I guess I need the pH to stay around where it is to at least get this soil cycled...would not want to do to much and bugger things up!!

Ps I dont plan on doing a lot of ferts...most plants in there with exception of 3 do not really need high doses...

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jayc
4 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

I added a tiny bag of crushed coral to my filter a week or so ago ( took it out after 2 days) and remember that small/tiny particles leaked out into the tank....that may be why? if so, how long before the ADA breaks/uses that up?

Uh now you tell us. Yes that would be the reason.

How long would it take bits of coral to dissolve? Who knows. 

 

2 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

I guess I need the pH to stay around where it is to at least get this soil cycled

That's correct. While the tank is cycling, don't let the pH fall too far. So leave the alder cones out for now.

 

 

 

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Zoidburg

I'm kind of with the other resource....

 

KH too high for Caridinas, GH potentially too low

GH definitely too low for Neocaridina

 

I wouldn't recommend putting either type of shrimp into that tank unless you are able to find shrimp from parameters that are near identical to your own.

I also wouldn't recommend using tap water on a buffering substrate as that causes the substrate to lose it's buffering capacities quicker, thus resulting in it not being able to buffer the pH down to desirable levels.

 

I have heard of people keeping Crystals in tanks with a pH of 5.0-5.8 range...

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