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Mapsyd

Hello and newbie shrimp keeper

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jayc
4 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

new pH pen arrived also and after calibrating it my aquarium pH is 7.1!! and tap water is 7-7.1.....when I did the API test it is showing between 6.6-6.8! what the ####?

What Madmerv said. 

But I'd like to add a few words. pH pens need some time in the water to really get an accurate reading. If you can, get a some amount of tank water in a container, and leave it in there for at least 5 minutes for the reading to settle.

 

 

4 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

do I trust the pen or API?

As Madmerv mentioned, all non lab handheld grade testers have a small degree of inaccuracy. Having said that, I would trust the pH pen more than test strips, or API fluid tests. These last two have a much, much greater scope for error than a pH pen. Just make sure you leave the pH pen in the water long enough for it to get an accurate reading.

 

4 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

So, would salty shrimp help later on?

Salty shrimp GH+ will not alter pH. Which is a good thing.

If you are starting with RCS, don't get too hung up on it. pH will naturally fall when the tank continues to mature. Let it change naturally. Or add IAL (Indian Almond Leaves), more wood or peat moss. The substrate will also help going forward. 

Note: Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ (another SS product) will raise pH and KH as well as TDS, but that is not what you are trying to achieve, which is to bring pH down slightly. 

 

4 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

still confused on how i would add that to the water...would I have to empty all water from aquarium and add it to aquarium or just do the re-fill water?

If you are just trying to bring TDS up, then just add straight into the tank since you have no shrimp in there.

Once you have shrimp, add some to your water change to match the 150-180 TDS you are targetting. This is where the TDS meter comes in handy. 

The SS container will have instructions. But the product comes in powder form, which you need to dissolve. I recommend dissolving the powder in your water change container (or whatever container) with some tank water (or treated change water) BEFORE adding it into the tank. You don't want undissolved powder in the tank as much as possible. It's just so you know exactly what TDS value is being added to the tank. Since any undissolved powder will continue to raise TDS, you might overshoot your target if you just added undissolved powder straight into the tank.

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Mapsyd

Thanks for your feedback @Madmerv and @jayc...well, have done as you recommended and left pen in water longer. My tap pH is now 7.3 and aquarium is at 7.2. TDS in aquarium is 65 ppm. Do you guys recommend getting some Salty shrimp gH+ now or wait until this ammonia goes away?

Gee....would have thought by now that the ADA would have brought down the pH lower...not sure if I got a dud batch...mind you, it was for free from a friend so can't really complain. LOL

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jayc
1 hour ago, Mapsyd said:

getting some Salty shrimp gH+ now or wait until this ammonia goes away?

Doesn't hurt to get it now.

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Mapsyd
Just now, jayc said:

Doesn't hurt to get it now.

Ok, so when I get it in do I need to drain aquarium as much as possible and refill with adjusted water or just dissolve powder with a little existing water until the aquarium reads at right TDS? sorry for dumb question....lol

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Zoidburg

Get minerals now.

Once tank is cycled, using RO water, mix GH+ minerals to desired levels, test TDS. From here on forward, as long as your TDS pen is reading accurately, or close enough to accurate, you'll remineralize to the desired TDS to achieve the desired GH. Let this mixture sit in a bucket for about a day to allow it to "age", get room temp, and for the powder to completely dissolve. Be sure to include an air stone. --- as per SS directions, you just mix in water, then dump into the tank, but it doesn't hurt to add an extra step!

Perform 100% water change on tank, so that tank will be at desired GH and TDS. TDS may shoot up a little due to any stirring of the substrate and that's okay.

Add shrimp. (acclimated, of course!)

 

After that, just remineralize the RO water and perform 10% water changes 1-4 times a month! Make sure to top off the tank with RO water, if there's been any evaporation!

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Mapsyd

Ok, well, I know that I will am about to take a "hit" with the next question but here goes....what if I don't want/can't use RO water? can I just add SS to adjust incoming water into the aquarium to right gH and TDS? looks like I will only be keeping RCS as CRS are just too much work from the look of it...

 ADA soil was not on my wish list as had done some research and thought it to much to handle, thus, if it loses it's buffering it is of no great consequence to me (I hate to admit), it was given to me as it was going to be thrown out so now I am just doing the best I can to deal with it. I have time as am on annual leave but as of next week I will be back to limited time constraints to fool around with it or worry on what is going on. I am happy to buy some additives to make shrimp happier and prosper in the long run but have to admit this is not something I want to spend a ton of money or time on, hence getting RCS again... the only difference this time is that now I have that ADA stuff and just need to get this right before potentially hurting the fauna.

I know that to most people who live and breathe this hobby it is perhaps a cop out but allow me to say that I will do my utmost as I have in the past to ensure a healthy and safe environment for the little guys and that is the reason for the re scape so as to allow them a naturalistic and safer aquarium to live without fear of fish.

Sorry for the rant, just being very honest.

I still appreciate all you guys giving your opinions and advice and hopefully understand where I am coming from.

PS ammonia seems to be slightly dropping ...maybe the end is near! lol

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jayc
18 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

can I just add SS to adjust incoming water into the aquarium to right gH and TDS?

Yep. Same steps to remineralise any water that is below the target TDS. You just use less SS of course.

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Mapsyd
2 minutes ago, jayc said:

Yep. Same steps to remineralise any water that is below the target TDS. You just use less SS of course.

Thanks Jayc, I am glad you get me...

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Mapsyd

Hu guys, Weird thing I just noticed. I got my TDS pen and that seems to be doing it's job but the question I have is why does the temp. show less that what my tank actually is? are they just unreliable for temp?

I did a test and this is how weird it turned out.

Have an existing thermometre (that was actually supplied to us by our elec. company and that shows you best temps. for hot water/fridge etc.) and I took a cup of pond water and put that in there along with TDS metre. After 5 minutes I looked at water temp and it was 13 on thermometre and TDS metre showed 13 C...all good I thought, accurate.

Now I did the same for aquarium and my thermo. showed 26 C but TDS metre showed 23-24C !! tried this a few times and it just shows wrong temp when in aquarium... even after sitting there for 5 minutes....

Any ideas on what is happening? I sat the TDS metre in HOB filter whilst waiting, could water from aquarium cool that much at the HOB intake catchment? also, tried it by holding metre in aquarium in same spot as thermo. and still got 23 C... I'm stumped.

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jayc

Thermometers on cheap TDS pens are unreliable. Don't trust it 100%. You bought a TDS meter, not a thermo meter.

Yours seems to be 2deg C low. So from now on just remember to add 2, if you really have to use the thermometer on the TDS meter.

The thermometer on TDS meters are there to make adjustments to the TDS reading in relation the temps. TDS readings can be higher or lower depending on temp, even if it was the same water. So those cheap thermometers are there to adjust the TDS reading as needed. It doesn't need to be accurate. Close enough is good enough for a TDS reading.

 

 

Edited by jayc
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Mapsyd

Oh good @jayc....thought mine was a dud! lol have ordered SS gH+ so will have some fun in a week or so....just wished the 0.25-0.5 ppm ammonia would go away! still negligible Nitrates....don't think anything is happening here....Stability seems to do nothing..

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jayc

Did you turn the heat up like I said a few posts back?

 

1 minute ago, Mapsyd said:

Stability seems to do nothing

I came to that conclusion years ago. But some people say differently. But I don't think they were using it to cycle an ADA amazonia tank.

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Mapsyd
2 minutes ago, jayc said:

Did you turn the heat up like I said a few posts back?

 

I came to that conclusion years ago. But some people say differently. But I don't think they were using it to cycle an ADA amazonia tank.

Yes, turned it up as you said, still slowly trying to get it up there so as to not shock my Fissidens, I read they prefer lower temps... am aiming for 27-28 by weekend...

All Stability seems to do is make water cloudy....may give up that I think.

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jayc
17 minutes ago, Mapsyd said:

All Stability seems to do is make water cloudy....may give up that I think.

Yep. I don't think it works either. Not to cycle real aquasoil.

I hear Dr Tims One & Only is very good for cycling tanks. You could try that if you are impatient.

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Mapsyd

Yep, saw that Dr Tims thing, looks good but this time I am just going to ride this out...no plans on shrimp yet, though I have a supplier of yellow RCS that I am looking forward to getting eventually. Any idea what other shrimp I could keep with RCS that will not interbreed? seems like CRS are wonderful but not for my water...

Thanks Jayc.

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Zoidburg

Look into Tiger shrimp. Tangerine Tigers or Orange Eye Blue Tigers.

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Mapsyd

Will do. They look really nice also. Just hope they are not to aggressive towards Neos....

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Mapsyd

Hi everyone. Well, looks like the aquarium is just about cycled! thank god! ammonia was almost pure yellow this morning before a water change so maybe another week and all should be go...

Salty shrimp gh+ still not arrived yet, but a question...should I do a massive water change when it arrives and replace water with premixed fill up to a TDS of say about 150-200 ppm or just add powder to aquarium? would hate to make the TDS to high or worse, the gh of the tank.??

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revolutionhope

Massive wc then an additional wait and see period before adding stock is always going to be the preferred option :-)


will

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Madmerv
8 hours ago, Mapsyd said:

Hi everyone. Well, looks like the aquarium is just about cycled! thank god! ammonia was almost pure yellow this morning before a water change so maybe another week and all should be go...

 

Just a check up here. Are you also checking for Nitrites and Nitrates? As your ammonia drops you should be getting a Nitrite spike and some Nitrate reading. Nitrite is pretty toxic and needs to be fully gone before stock is added. I have always found this to be the most frustrating time as it seems to take forever to drop (so close to the end).

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Mapsyd
7 hours ago, Madmerv said:

Just a check up here. Are you also checking for Nitrites and Nitrates? As your ammonia drops you should be getting a Nitrite spike and some Nitrate reading. Nitrite is pretty toxic and needs to be fully gone before stock is added. I have always found this to be the most frustrating time as it seems to take forever to drop (so close to the end).

Hi there @Madmerv. Yes, checked those as well. Since the start of all this I have never had a Nitrite spike at all... @jayc mentioned that may be because I had an established filter already from previous set up. Nitrates were however present yesterday at a very low rate of between 0-5 ppm. Do these parametres mean that I may thus be close to cycled?

Also, I seem to get a slight foam in the aquarium water surface, what is this? no soap has gone near it so am puzzled .... Could it be the melting of some of my plants that causes this....some plants have taken a beating but slowly getting better.

11 hours ago, revolutionhope said:

Massive wc then an additional wait and see period before adding stock is always going to be the preferred option :-)

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will
 

Thank you @revolutionhope...but will not waiting allow BB to die off? what would you advise in between the time it is cycled to the time of getting shrimp in the tank? would putting a prawn in a baggie keep the ammonia going until ready to stock?

Edited by Mapsyd

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revolutionhope

Agh the majority of my post got selected and eleted in the same instant I pressed send doh !! In short there will still be plenty of ammonia leaching from your substrate well in excess of the amount that any new shrimp will add (unless you go super crazy overfeeding them perhaps) so don't worry about the nitrifying colony dying off.

 

When you're sure the cycle is adequately established it's best to dump that old water to get rid of the nitrates that have accumulated and then wait a few days or a week to ensure that things are still under control. Just my opinion others will be more gung-ho indeed I have pulled off some risky moves in the past with a certain substrate as@jayc will recall but it can pay to play it as safe as possible with shrimp. Any ammonia or nitrites can harm them a lot.

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Mapsyd

Thanks Will, so basically give it a week or so and ensure Ammonia/Nitrite is at zero and do partial water change whilst waiting to see what happens? or just leave the tank alone without water changes. I am still waiting on salty shrimp to get my gH up so would it thus be wise to wait until that arrives and then do a massive water change with conditioned and correct TDS water and wait some more?

So, the ADA will keep colony going and adding shrimp is only a tiny addition of bioload which the filter BB will manage without issue right? I think I get it now.

As for the slight foaming...is this a consequence of the cycling or trace amount of ammonia or just because some of my plants have disintegrated /melted? something I should worry about?

Did a 50% water change yesterday so will check levels next weekend to see how it is travelling. Will update. Thanks again for your time.

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revolutionhope

Have a read of this I've revisited it a few times since getting into aquariums it's a beautiful piece. It is dated there may be newer products but the science is solid.

 

http://www.oscarfish.com/article-home/water/71-autotrophic-bacteria-manifesto.html

 

will

 

 

 

 

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Mapsyd

Thanks for that link, yes, very interesting read and quite concise. But, even after reading this I can not understand why I never had Nitrites....ammonia was never that high in the tank (perhaps due to BB already in filter media which brought it down somewhat) It only spiked high once and even then it was well under 4 ppm, so one would assume by this article that there should be Nitrites showing but never seen them or maybe just missed the spike....? the Nitrates being low I get, there are plants in the tank and would assume they would be using them to some degree.

Oh well....patience and more patience is key here, will see what next weekend brings. Have to admit am a little intrigued by the salty shrimp addition to my water parameters, just hope it does not "stuff" things up and am back to the beginning again....lol

Edited by Mapsyd

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