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sdlTBfanUK

TAP WATER-Taiwan Bee-UK-(zerowater)

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sdlTBfanUK

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.

 

184427105_DSC00026-Edited.thumb.jpg.193859b7d95757add4d6a14f5d22aee2.jpg.

DSC00024 - Edited.jpg

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DSC00075 - Edited.jpg

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!

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
Update
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jayc

Interesting.  Not cheap in the long run, but better than nothing.

Glad it works for you, and thanks for letting the community know about it.

 

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sdlTBfanUK
On 9/17/2018 at 10:28 PM, jayc said:

Interesting.  Not cheap in the long run, but better than nothing.

Glad it works for you, and thanks for letting the community know about it.

 

I do have one question regarding the water. As you see from the article, water starts at PH7 (tap) but after filtering goes down to PH6, so does that mean it will stay at around PH6 even once the soil has 'stopped' its buffering ability, as the water is PH6 when changed or topped up etc?

Not something that should be a problem any time soon (only 6 months old) but I have been wondering for a while what the long term will be. I have a spare bag of substrate if I ever need it but it would probably mean me getting friends in to do, as it is more work than I can do to empty it, transfer shrimps to another temporary tank etc etc.

The tank that the cherry shrimps are in hasn't had the soil ever changed and was set up about 5 years ago but they are so much easier and hardier.

 

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jayc
19 hours ago, sdlTBfan said:

so does that mean it will stay at around PH6 even once the soil has 'stopped' its buffering ability, as the water is PH6 when changed or topped up etc?

The filtered water is pH6 because the carbonates and salts that might have increased it's pH has been stripped out by the filter.

Plant substrates as you know also buffers the pH lower. It means that the substrate wont need to work so hard to keep the pH low. And the substrate will last longer. 

However, the water's pH doesn't necessarily stay at that level. Any addition of carbonates, from other sources like rocks, can alter the pH to increase.

If the substrate's buffering capabilities are exhausted, you will see pH change rapidly.

And since the water is filtered of all it's buffering capabilities, the pH can go either up or down more easily. 

Up if carbonates are added.

pH can go down naturally as well, the natural cycle of converting ammonia to nitrite and nitrates will bind hydrogen, and thus pH drops.

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sdlTBfanUK

Thanks for the DETAILED reply.

I guess (as I suspected) it is really a case of I will have to wait and see as this is a NEW way of doing it all, but it is early enough that I don't need to worry at this stage or start rallying people to 'reset' the tank with new substrate etc. Hopefully you are right and the soil will last longer as it isn't working very hard to buffer the water. The Cherry shrimp tank hasn't had a change in 5 years (not zerowater though) and all is well and the plants/moss still grow like Weed.........literally. I'm not sure whether the rocks (Geodes) will have any detrimental longer term affect?

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jayc
17 minutes ago, sdlTBfan said:

I'm not sure whether the rocks (Geodes) will have any detrimental longer term affect?

Don't know.

Not many people use Geodes in aquariums. 

You can try testing them for reaction to a mild acid like vinegar.

If any part of it fizzles then remove the stone.

21 minutes ago, sdlTBfan said:

a case of I will have to wait and see as this is a NEW way of doing it all, but it is early enough that I don't need to worry at this stage

Yep. Keep doing your fortnightly pH tests.

The GH+ remineralising mix is helping keep pH stable as well to an extent. So keep using that.

 

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TotalNewb

This looks great! I don't want to get an RO filter as I'm rubbish at DIY and it costs €400 + to get one installed + €100 per year for services. I might give this a go

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sdlTBfanUK

I am still 100% happy with using this Zerowater Jug and definitely can recommend it without reserve. I am assuming you are europe based (euro sign) so you may find it in a shop or otherwise ebay/amazon have people selling them. You may be able to get them from the UK website mentioned as well. Worth getting a few filters as they have no 'use by' date and you won't know how long each lasts with your water until you use it (will also depend on the size tank etc), and they are cheaper if you buy in a batch!

The TDS will suddenly start to increase when the filter is near needing changing and then will quite quickly rise drastically, so you do need to keep testing with the TDS meter which comes with it (or another one if you already have one). With my water each filter does approx. 100 Litres and I change it at 003 TDS. There are various sizes of Jug in USA but may be limited elsewhere?

I am so pleased to hear this helps someone else, I didn't think I could be the only person facing this dilemma and that was why I wrote about it, so thanks for letting me/others know!

Basically just use the filtered water as you would RO water, that's how I use it, and been using it for about a  year now with no signs of a single problem of any type.

I just use tap water for cherry shrimps though, as they are much more adaptable to our tap water parameters anyway!

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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sdlTBfanUK

I have been using the camera and thought I would post some update pictures as the original item was done about 3 months ago. I have tried to take similar photos to the originals so that a comparison can be made and everything is working well still with the zerowater jug tap water (as alternative to RO water), in fact too well as you can see from the photos (sorry about the flash in the first one).

1090834483_DSC00375-Edited.thumb.jpg.0a32e81ed16d3a1e04b63a78e3750c8a.jpg1931741810_DSC00384-Edited.thumb.jpg.41cfe9e3d249b240cc76d3f63cb1adc2.jpg1870498535_DSC00395-Edited.thumb.jpg.2039f043048c3048ead6d9140f313e0b.jpg1129623490_DSC00373-Edited.thumb.jpg.551caa015fa1220025a41575a9cc7ab1.jpg633374603_DSC00370-Edited.thumb.jpg.ef9089c649f81a6792236c3bb7251c6e.jpg895405468_DSC00374-Edited.thumb.jpg.3347126181f78f9a2b5ce6ffbd39fd00.jpg

All the water parameters have stayed steady (and good) through out and the only thing I have had to start doing is cleaning the filter sponges  twice a week due to explosion in the number of shrimps, and culling a few each week for same reason, but may need to increase that!!!!

Simon

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sdlTBfanUK

I have noticed that the PH on my tank has been rising and was quite happy about that as it was then getting into the perfect parameters. I set up the tank June 2018 and the Ph was 5.5, then end september it had got to Ph6, then by end december it had got to 6.5, the last 2 weeks it is registering 7.

Mathematically if I up the water changes each week from 2L to 4L, that should reduce the Ph from 7 to 6.7 so I will probably do that as I should be able to manage that! The PH tests of coarse only register at half a PH intervals so I can never be 100% sure what it is beyond that. The zerowater, even after 10 days in a bottle is Ph5 as I tested that today.

I haven't seen any evidence of any problems in the tank, other than there are too many shrimps in there (that maybe part of the problem). No weird behaviour or deaths that I have seen so far. 

The only unknown is there are a few geodes in the tank and I will 'consider' taking them out but I do like them in there............

1) Is it safe to drop the Ph by that much in a day, over 8 hours using a dripper?

2) Is there anything else I should do, but bear in mind my health is seriously crap so anything big like changing the substrate etc is completely out of the question, but all thoughts will be gratefully received?

I am not over bothered at this stage as all is fine with the shrimps but I would rather keep on top of it rather than wait until some disaster happens. You never know, there may even be a plus side to it being Ph7, ie it might reduce breeding?

Simon

Update 21/3/19 - Just in case anyone is interested, I removed the geodes and have done a 3L water change (about 12%). I will do 3L water change weekly from now on (instead of 2L) and I replaced the geodes with what I can only describe as a stripey/marbley type rock from my oldest tank, so I don't think that will (hasn't so far, as far as I know anyway) alter the Ph??? Fingers crossed anyway!

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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sdlTBfanUK

I took a few photos yesterday so am adding them here as there are only a few that were good enough quality/clarity so not enough to start another thread. Most of the shrimps are at the front as I had put some spinach in there!726042970_DSC00507a-Edited.thumb.jpg.5d4149c88c101c9e0c24a61e0021390e.jpg1715757534_DSC00508a-Edited.thumb.jpg.1f05bf63dc371367c73157991c8c924b.jpgDSC00519a.thumb.jpg.a12b52bb96753610e4c4363f5858b2ff.jpg

375429026_DSC00503a-Edited.thumb.jpg.ab12426c25960cc4b7ea4561b2e1e71c.jpg

Simon

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kms

Whiles you say you use the zerowater, is it just a variation of RO, it only runs the water through a membrain and filters out XXX, all I use is tapwater and zoomed ReptiSafe® Water Conditioner, it's shared between the shrimps and my turtles. So far it's working alright.

 

I like your tank, many shrimps.

 

Just one question, I see a shrimp I'd like local, but not sure what it is, it looks like a Mosura crown with a pinkish, orange white body, the patch is like a orange colour, do you know what shrimp it is.

Edited by kms
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sdlTBfanUK

It is the same as RO water and I think it says this on their USA site, where it comes from.It doesn't have a membrane, it just looks like a Brita filter jug but is more thorough at removing everything! I just use it as others would use RO water and remineralise with usual/standard products. I wouldn't be able to keep Caradina shrimp without it - and I've tried/failed many times........

With my water each filter does around 100L before changing.

It makes a lot of sense if you don't have too many or big tanks and is certainly a lot more convenient, assuming you can get it in your country of coarse? If it isn't available in shops it can usually be got through amazon or ebay.

You are very lucky if you have managed to keep Cardina shrimps in tapwater, you must have good water?

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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kms

Thank, its not available here in Hong Kong, but we have many similar jugs here, I think they are the same thing.

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sdlTBfanUK

NO NO NO they are not the same at all, I have tried a few including the Brita and they didn't work. It is called ZEROWATER for a reason, the others only remove parts not all.

Brita still had TDS 129, GH 3-4 and KH 1-2, ZEROWATER is ZERO for everything. Don't make the mistake that they are all the same...........far from it!

Simon

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kms
2 minutes ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

NO NO NO they are not the same at all, I have tried a few including the Brita and they didn't work. It is called ZEROWATER for a reason, the others only remove parts not all.

Brita still had TDS 129, GH 3-4 and KH 1-2, ZEROWATER is ZERO for everything. Don't make the mistake that they are all the same...........far from it!

Simon

I will give it a search, may be try it out, i'm preparing for a clean sweep of my tank soon.

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sdlTBfanUK

Have you tested your tap water parameters, you may be one of the few with great water in which case, if it works stick with it!

Simon

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kms

TBH, I never do check this, only in the UK, but since in Hong Kong, I've never did bothered with it.:5565bf0371061_D:

I will check for a local dealer, if not a 20 cup dispenser to Hong Kong sent from the USA cost USD 35 which is pretty cheap.

If I use this, do I also need to add minerals to the water.

Edited by kms
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jayc

Looks like the same thing Simon uses.

Only way to be sure is to test the water it makes. 

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sdlTBfanUK

It is an american product so I know it is a lot cheaper from there. It does say Zerowater and the filter looks the same, as does the TDS meter that came with mine. It may take a while to get to you if it is coming from US though! It also has a link to the official zerowater website so I think it looks to me like it probably is a proper one. You will need to keep testing the water with the TDS meter to find out how long each filter lasts but if your water is really good already it may last for a very long time (mine is about 100-120L and I change it when it gets to about TDS 003, they recommend 006 but after about 3 it goes up with every litre very quickly so I play it safe and you are only talking a few litres anyway).

You've done well there. The price looks right but because you got a coupon its almost the same as getting free postage.

You treat the water as any RO water so will want to get some remineraliser and for the Caridina shrimps you want the GH+ one, the GH+/KH+ is for the neocaridina so not that. I don't know what 'makes' are available where you are but any of the big names should be fine - salty shrimp/dennerle(shrimp king) etc/shrimplab. I use this one purely because it is so simple to use being in a liquid dropper and 1 drop per litre increases by 1Gh (around 20TDS), but I am sure all the others are just as effective, so whatever you can get out there?

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/shrimp-king/803-shrimp-king-mineral-fluid-double-gh-4001615061413.html

As you have new new baby shrimps I would wait maybe up to a month (though it may take that long to get to you anyway depending on where it is coming from) before doing any big changes with the water, or resetting the tank and changing the substrate, though as that isn't available yet anyway you would probably have to wait. The only problem though could be that another one (or the same one) gets berried in that time in which case there is no ideal time....

The Jug comes with a TDS meter so you will just need to get a tester for GH and one for KH. Also some tests for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Once up and running you won't need to keep checking it as much as the shrimp products are all in balance to what the shrimp need so you only need to check regularly with the TDS meter which is so easy anyway. I now do tests once every 2 weeks as they are up and running. 

Once you are up and running you will need to remember to just use pure zerowater for topping up the tank (no minerals), you only mineralise the water for water CHANGES! I just keep some pure zerowater in an old 1 litre bottle next to the tank for that.

Simon

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kms
3 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

It is an american product so I know it is a lot cheaper from there. It does say Zerowater and the filter looks the same, as does the TDS meter that came with mine. It may take a while to get to you if it is coming from US though! It also has a link to the official zerowater website so I think it looks to me like it probably is a proper one. You will need to keep testing the water with the TDS meter to find out how long each filter lasts but if your water is really good already it may last for a very long time (mine is about 100-120L and I change it when it gets to about TDS 003, they recommend 006 but after about 3 it goes up with every litre very quickly so I play it safe and you are only talking a few litres anyway).

You've done well there. The price looks right but because you got a coupon its almost the same as getting free postage.

You treat the water as any RO water so will want to get some remineraliser and for the Caridina shrimps you want the GH+ one, the GH+/KH+ is for the neocaridina so not that. I don't know what 'makes' are available where you are but any of the big names should be fine - salty shrimp/dennerle(shrimp king) etc/shrimplab. I use this one purely because it is so simple to use being in a liquid dropper and 1 drop per litre increases by 1Gh (around 20TDS), but I am sure all the others are just as effective, so whatever you can get out there?

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/shrimp-king/803-shrimp-king-mineral-fluid-double-gh-4001615061413.html

As you have new new baby shrimps I would wait maybe up to a month (though it may take that long to get to you anyway depending on where it is coming from) before doing any big changes with the water, or resetting the tank and changing the substrate, though as that isn't available yet anyway you would probably have to wait. The only problem though could be that another one (or the same one) gets berried in that time in which case there is no ideal time....

The Jug comes with a TDS meter so you will just need to get a tester for GH and one for KH. Also some tests for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Once up and running you won't need to keep checking it as much as the shrimp products are all in balance to what the shrimp need so you only need to check regularly with the TDS meter which is so easy anyway. I now do tests once every 2 weeks as they are up and running. 

Once you are up and running you will need to remember to just use pure zerowater for topping up the tank (no minerals), you only mineralise the water for water CHANGES! I just keep some pure zerowater in an old 1 litre bottle next to the tank for that.

Simon

Thanks for all the advice, there isn't many available in hong Kong, but most are Chinese brand, I've taken note of the site, and even the snowflake which I can't get in Hong Kong is available from your site, many sites don't send to Hong Kong, those that do charge 3-4 times shipping cost of the product itself.

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sdlTBfanUK

I think they do sell world wide from ProShrimp but I expect it may be expensive to send and you would want to get 'EVERYTHING' in one go, so if you can't get stuff locally it is worth considering. I assume it would take a while to get to you but I assume you aren't rushing anyway as you have such young shrimplets and waiting for the substrate and water jug. They sell substrate as well but that's large and heavy so probably stay away from that, but lighter stuff should be ok and if your not sure what the cost of postage is just go through the 'basket' process and if it is too much postage just delete stuff from basket and you won't have paid or entered any card details at that stage so nothing lost in trying. You can probably get stuff of amazon again but you would want to find someone that sells all the bits as you wouldn't want to pay multiple postage.  

I assume there wouldn't be any import difficulties as it won't include plants or shrimp etc

Simon

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kms
2 minutes ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I think they do sell world wide from ProShrimp but I expect it may be expensive to send and you would want to get 'EVERYTHING' in one go, so if you can't get stuff locally it is worth considering. I assume it would take a while to get to you but I assume you aren't rushing anyway as you have such young shrimplets and waiting for the substrate and water jug. They sell substrate as well but that's large and heavy so probably stay away from that, but lighter stuff should be ok and if your not sure what the cost of postage is just go through the 'basket' process and if it is too much postage just delete stuff from basket and you won't have paid or entered any card details at that stage so nothing lost in trying. You can probably get stuff of amazon again but you would want to find someone that sells all the bits as you wouldn't want to pay multiple postage.  

I assume there wouldn't be any import difficulties as it won't include plants or shrimp etc

Simon

Yes, they do send to Hong Kong, the cost to Hong Kong is 7.99 pounds, which is reasonable for UK standard, I will get more snowflakes, all the places from amazon and ebay, don't sent to Hong Kong, those that do charge expensive shipping, may be I can pick some up in Taiwan in October, i'm sure they should stock these product, since these shrimps originated from Taiwan.

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sdlTBfanUK

You certainly don't hang about. That postage sounds really good as it is £3.99 for UK so only double to send all that way is good value?

The shrimp products mainly  originate from Germany I believe, Dennerle is definitely German so may not be any easier to get in Taiwan, although, as you say, the shrimps are from Taiwan. I believe that shrimp keeping is very big business in Germany! I think I have seen Shirakura which sounds oriental so may be more available nearer you?

I just noticed you asked about a shrimp you saw that was orange, sorry missed that question before, was it one you saw in one of my photos, if so the nearest I can assume it is, maybe a red bolt, or is it a shrimp you have seen elsewhere?

Simon

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      By hihat
      I got some nice specimen from my mix-aquarium with TB's, pinto's, taitibees etc, etc, The first 2 photos (I think) must be a mix from a pinto zebra and a kingkong, The red one is probably a red tiger and the same father? I've got 2 of the  blacks and about 10 of the red ones, I have put them apart from the rest and see what the next genereation will be. Sorry for the quality of the photo's, they're just from my iPhone, the macrolens I ordered hasn't arrived yet :-(
      Greetings from the Netherlands
       



    • cipas
      By cipas
      Hey guys,
      Does anyone breed blue bolts from mischlings ? I've searched for a guide but didn't find one, read a lot about crossbreeding and soon I want to start a project to produce my own blue bolts.
      I need your advices on this.
      Thank you! 


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