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DEL 707

New tank and shrimp

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DEL 707

I started a small nano planted tank just over 3 weeks ago, filters only been going for 2 weeks.
For some reason the tank cycled, even though I added no ammonia products. I did a test last night, ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0 and nitrate was 10ppm.

2lNJqf3l.jpg

Woods still a bit boyant, hence the stones and heater, pinning it down.

I'm using RO water because my tap water is quite poor. Which I'm reminerlising with Seachem Equilibrium.
At the moment, I'm using they're dosing guide for 1GH by 1 meq/L (3 dH)
PH is sitting at around 5.80, I am using CO2.
I did a TDS check tonight, I got 114

There is no livestock in my tank at the moment, but next week, I was hoping to add some cherry shrimp and nerite snails. But I'm worried about my tanks stats.
Should I be aiming for a higher GH? Is my PH going to be a problem?

If I was to buy shrimp and snails next week, what would be a good starting number for my tank? It's 55l.

I'm going to try to source the livestock locally, but failing that, are there any good online shops for shrimp and snails?

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jayc
1 hour ago, DEL 707 said:

Should I be aiming for a higher GH? Is my PH going to be a problem?

Yes, you should be aiming for TDS of 130-140 and pH is a bit too low. Try to get it up to 6.5pH and 4 - 5GH. 

Seachem Equilibrium is not the best for remineralising shrimp tanks. It's okay for fish or marine tanks, but it's lacking in calcium to boost GH higher.

Getting pH higher is easier than lowering it. Add some crushed egg shells, or shell grit, or sandstone rocks. Add them into an aquarium sock somewhere (like the filter) so you can remove it when needed.

 

1 hour ago, DEL 707 said:

For some reason the tank cycled, even though I added no ammonia products. I did a test last night, ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0 and nitrate was 10ppm.

I'd be wary of that result. The true test is to add a bit of ammonia to see if it is broken down within 24hours.

If you didn't add ammonia, you wouldn't expect ammonia reading. And with no ammonia source, the bacteria wouldn't survive let alone multiply. It might very well have cycled, but just be cautious of your current results. 

 

1 hour ago, DEL 707 said:

I'm going to try to source the livestock locally, but failing that, are there any good online shops for shrimp and snails?

Where is your location? SKFA is an international forum now, and it's difficult to guess peoples location when it's not added in their profile.

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Crabclaw

I'm not great with the tank chemistry stuff so I won't give advice there other than that you need to raise your pH to around 6.5 as jayc said. If you're in Aus, I'd recommend abquatics as an option, they don't have a giant selection but they have very nice shrimp and fish/snails to go with shrimp if you're into that. If you are in the US you'll have no problem with online stores, so many great looking stores. 

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DEL 707

Thanks for the replies.

Sorry I forgot to add my location. I'm in the UK, Kent.

Are there better products I can use to reminerlise my RO water, other then equilibrium?

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sdlTBfanUK

If you are planning on cherry shrimps it may work better with tap water, do you know what your tap water stats are? I use dechlorinated tap water with my cherry shrimp and RO water with bee shrimp! The soil will be lowering the PH but if your tap water is higher (mine is 7.5 here) it should exhaust the buffering of the soil quite quickly! As RO water is usually a lower PH it takes longer for the soil to lose its buffering ability. 

As you have just said you are UK then ProShrimp sell everything you need. I tend to think though that shrimps are better bought direct from a breeder as they will be less stressed and here in UK I always buy them 'next day by 1pm' through the post and there are loads on ebay, which is where I used to get mine. 

The remineraliser I use is a liquid one (shrimp king) so very easy to use but before you go buying a lot of stuff I would investigate TAP WATER as you may not need anything with that, or you may need a different product than you would with RO water? If you check your tapwater and can go that route I can then let you know what additional (if any) products to think of getting?

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/

Bee shrimp are a totally different ball game though so best to decide from the start IF that is where you want to go a little down the line, they are a lot more delicate than the bulletproof cherry shrimps.

If you can do without the CO2 that will help as well, as it is difficult to keep shrimps with it - not impossible though?

I have the same sort of tank (though not being used at the moment) with the sponge in the back, is it 55L as that sounds a bit big for this type of tank?

As JayC says, you need to see some ammonia reading to know whether the 'cycle' has happened, having said that it isn't something I have ever seen. It is possible that the cycle  hasn't even started! 

Can you fill in the location on your profile as that will help everyone know where you are based without keep looking through all your posts etc.

Simon

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DEL 707

Thanks for the reply.

Shrimp wise, I was really only aiming for cherry shimp and Amano.
I want this tank to primary be a planted tank, so kinda wanted shrimp to help out with the plants and algae.

Regarding my tap water, I havn't used it because of the absolute nightmare I had with my last attempt at a planted tank 10 years ago. It was a 29gal that was heavily planted, I followed all the guides, mixed and dosed my own fertiliser, but it turned into 1 big algae mess. After over a year of fighting and trying different solutions, I gave up.
I know my water is very hard, other then fertiliser, I didn't use any other products, include a dechlorinator, which looking back was bloody stupid, but I didn't know any better.

This time I wanted to use RO, to see if I could avoid the algae plague I suffered last time.

Regarding my tap water, what stats would you like to know, I don't have much beyond basic tests but I can do them tomorrow.
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
PH
TDS

Edit - Sorry missed a question.

Regarding the tank cycle, I did see ammonia rise and fall, and nitrites did the same afterwards.
What's puzzling is that I never added any ammonia products to the tank.

Edited by DEL 707
cycling
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jayc
3 hours ago, DEL 707 said:

Are there better products I can use to reminerlise my RO water, other then equilibrium?

Simon has you covered with some solid advise.

If you are looking for a better remineraliser, Salty Shrimp is a good brand to look out for as well. They sell "Salty Shrimp GH+" for Caridina shrimp and "Salty Shrimp GH/KH+" for Neo Caridina. 

Some other brands include ....

  • Mosura Mineral Plus Ultra
  • GLASGARTEN Liquid Mineral GH+
  • BorneoWild GH/KH+
  • BorneoWild GH+

Or if you are a DIY kinda person, you can follow my recipe to make your own in the "Water Parameters" subforum.

 

Regarding the cycling of the tank ... what substrate are you using? Maybe it has ammonia in it, if you used a plant substrate.

Edited by jayc
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DEL 707

Went onto my water supplier and found this

http://cdn.southeastwater.co.uk/Files/West Ashford.pdf

Quote

271 mg/l CaCO₃

19.00 English degrees or degrees clark
27.14 French degrees
15.20 German degrees
2.71 mmol/l
15.20 Grains per US gallon
19.00 Grains per British Gallon

This means your water is classified as hard

 

 

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DEL 707
27 minutes ago, jayc said:

 

arding the cycling of the tank ... what substrate are you using? Maybe it has ammonia in it, if you used a plant substrate.

I used Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder.

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sdlTBfanUK

You should be ok if you have seen the ammonia and nitrite readings of a cycle!

It wold be a good idea to do the usual tests on your tap water. PH, TDS, GH, KH etc. Depending on those figures will affect whether you want GH+ or GH/KH+.

I haven't had a problem using tap water (neither have friends in Maidstone) causing an algae problem but I would expect shrimps and snails to help with that anyway. Maybe the tank was in the sun, though my oldest tank is in the sun all winter (not that we get much) and that still doesn't have an algae problem. If you were using fertilizer that may have made the problem worse, I don't use CO2 or fertilizers (nor do friends with tanks) and my plants grow ridiculously well without it?

I could be wrong here, so wait and see what others say, but if you didn't dechlorinate before then I assume it didn't cycle??? Whether that affected algae???

I did have some annoying stringy algae in my recently reset bee shrimp tank but that has cleared now the tank is more stable and cycled, I didn't need to do anything?

This country is famous for hard water, I believe that is why SOME call us limeys as we live on chalk/lime?

Wait until you get some shrimps in the tank and you will get hooked? I have ember and neon tetras in with my red cherrys, and a betta in with red cherrys in another tank. 

Simon

 

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jayc
2 hours ago, DEL 707 said:

Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder.

Yep, that is a plant substrate that has ammonia in it. So your tank might have cycled on the ammonia release by the substrate.

 

 

2 hours ago, DEL 707 said:

Went onto my water supplier and found this

RO water is the way to go then. What TDS do you get from the tap water?

 

 

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DEL 707

I'm going to my LFS tomorrow and pick up a GH/KH test kit.

Hopefully I'll be able to give you my tap water stats tomorrow at some point.

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sdlTBfanUK

It looks like you will have the full set of tests when you have the GH and KH as you have the PH and TDS already! You will want the full set if you get into shrimps but once up and running you won't need to check all of them very often!

If you only order something small or one item from ProShrimp often the postage is free and stuff always arrives quickly, all my orders have arrived next day.

Last time I checked, my tap water was PH 7.5, TDS 167, GH 4-5, KH 2-3 so almost ideal for cherry shrimp (maybe a touch higher GH, which would also increase TDS, with a bit of GH+). Be interesting to see what yours is as you are relatively close, I grew up around Maidstone.

Simon

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DEL 707

Did some tests on my tap water.

PH: 7.13
TDS: 274
KH: 15
GH: 17

Nothing out of the ordinary with the other test, nitrates were about 5ppm.

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sdlTBfanUK

WOW, that's hard water all right! Amazing how different it is to mine as probably only about 25 miles between us????

You were right to use RO water so at least you have a good starting point from here in! The PH may be the biggest issue as remineralising with a shrimp specific GH/KH+ will sort everything else with RO water. Cherry shrimps are pretty tough and adaptable so will tolerate PH below 7 but the nearer you can get to 7 the better, and a long time acclimating the shrimps using a dripper (there is a tube with regulator sold by ProShrimp for about £10 I think if you don't already have something) will be needed! The soil will take longer to loose its PH buffering ability with the RO though!

There are a number of ways you can go from here:

1) RO water plus a GH/KH+ and try to get the PH up somehow although you will be fighting the Soil until that exhausts its buffering ability.

2) You could mix RO and (dechlorinated) tap water at 3:1 and then use a GH+. I do a 50/50 'similar' (half tap water, half brita filtered water) on my oldest tank. can't even remember why but I believe in 'don't try and fix it if it isn't broken' so have just carried on ever since. The mixed water would start at PH 6.2, TDS 70(ish), GH just over 4, KH just under 4 and then you can mineralise it (GH+ only) for the rest. This will exhaust the soil buffering quicker than 1 above and you will save a bit on RO water, use less (about half as much) mineraliser etc. You may think this is a bit too fussy a route though, and the soil will still buffer anyway, just not for as long as all RO water, and when it stops buffering you will have a PH closer to the ideal for the shrimps.

Probably where you are now I would just get the snails for now until you have stopped adjusting the water or at least decided where next, probably not much longer before you get shrimps. I would also try turning off the CO2 and just see if it is really needed, if it looks like it is you can easily turn it back on then, but shrimps will do better without it and it MAY not be needed, same for fertilisers???

At least you are doing all this before getting the shrimps, very smart as most of us have learnt the hard/wrong way................

Simon

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DEL 707

I'm thinking of ordering that "Salty Shrimp - Shrimp Mineral GH/KH+".

My only concern is, does it also have all the needed minerals for my plants?

Edit - If I was to use my tap water, what kind of GH should I be aiming for?

Edited by DEL 707
forgot
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jayc
6 hours ago, DEL 707 said:

My only concern is, does it also have all the needed minerals for my plants?

No it won't have all the minerals needed for plants. SS GH/KH+ is made up of Calcium carbonate, Magnesium.

 

Anubias is a slow growing plant, so it does not need much fertilisers. Mosses will grow with out any added ferts.

Hairgrass and whatever you have in the back corner will survive without added ferts. Give it CO2 while your tanks is empty of shrimps. 

 

6 hours ago, DEL 707 said:

Edit - If I was to use my tap water, what kind of GH should I be aiming for?

Aim for 4-6 GH.

 

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sdlTBfanUK

The usual GH range for Cherry shrimp is 6-8 and with the 1 part tap, 3 parts RO water mix you will be 50% there for G|H and just under 4 for KH! There are 2 products, one is GH+ and one is GH/KH+ so you need to get the right one for whichever route you plan to go, all RO water would be GH/KH+, mixed water would be GH+! IF you are planning the mixed route then that would be an easy adjustment you can do now by taking 25% water out and replacing with dechlorinated tap water, then adjust with the GH+ when you get it? This is the one I use, it is so simple as it is a liquid and even calculating is easy as each drop = +1gh (about 20ish TDS) / litre:

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

If you want to get this I have just done a dummy test on the website and you get delivery on it as long as it is one item, which is normal, but I thought you may need to pay as it is a bulky item to send?

The soil should have lots of what the plants need I would have thought and the poop from the snails/shrimp must be some fertiliser?

As JayC says you could leave the CO2 running for now as there are no shrimps, but I would probably turn it off and stop using fertiliser and just keep a close eye on the plants at this stage, after all you can start using them again IF the plants start looking unhealthy, but neither may be needed and it is better to know from the start and will make life easier long term. As I say I have never used either and my plants grow fantastic, in fact I wish they would grow slower, doh!

Simon

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jayc

Oh, if you are planning on keeping Cherry shrimp aim for 6-8GH as Simon said above.

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sdlTBfanUK

In case it helps I have looked up the figures of the 2 tanks with cherry shrimp in them and they are as follows,

Main tank     PH7,, GH5, KH2, TDS 225 (mixed water)

Betta tank  PH7.5, GH6, KH3, TDS 222 (tap water + mineraliser)

They are fairly similar to each other but neither is really in the 'IDEAL' recommendation range of CHERRY shrimp ,so it confirms that cherry shrimp are more adaptable and can thrive even outside those 'IDEAL' parameters? I suppose neither are that far out but it just shows there is a bit less necessity to get everything 100%, though if you aim for perfect you will probably get better results all round?

Simon

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DEL 707

Not going to lie, this is giving me a headache.
Just want a nice planted tank with fish and shrimp. 🤨
At the moment it looks like it have to either pick 1 or the other.

Would this be a solution.
Use Seachems Equilibrium and KH products to bring my GH and KH up to 4, then use that Shrimp King Mineral Fluid Double, to bring the GH up to 6.

That would make sure that there are at least some minerals for the shrimp.

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DEL 707

O.k rethink.

If I use that Salty Shrimp GH/KH stuff.
Can you recommend any good fertilisers I could use for the plants? I'm not dosing anything at the moment.

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jayc
2 hours ago, DEL 707 said:

Can you recommend any good fertilisers I could use for the plants?

You only need Flourish Potassium, as needed, in an aquarium. Potassium will be the limiting factor to growth in most aquariums. But with shrimp in the tank, I would dose it at 1/4 strength once every 2 weeks or more.

Seachem Flourish for micro nutrients at half recommended dose every other 2 weeks in between the Potassium.

 

But !! 

I don't believe you will need too much ferts in your tank. The type of plants and the amount of plants do not warrant much ferts at all.

The waste from the fish and shrimps will be enough ferts, and if they are getting enough light a day, the plants will be fine without any additional ferts, except maybe a little potassium once every few weeks.

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sdlTBfanUK

It is definitely more of a balancing act when trying to keep everything happy in a tank with Shrimps and plants, but don't be put off I think you will be fine. When putting the shrimps in the tank you should take hours of dripping to acclimate them and you may lose a few with the low Ph but I am sure it will work out in the end as cherry shrimps are fairly tough. If you use all RO water and GH/KH+ then the PH will always be lower even after the buffering of the soil stops, but this is the easiest route to go! If you go the mixed water 1:3 with GH+ the same applies but the PH will be slightly higher and will be cheaper (less GH+ and RO water needed), so overall this is the way I would go, and it isn't all that complicated once you get it up and running!

As with JayC I doubt you really will need any ferts but if you must then use a lot less than the packaging recommends! 

The best thing to do is just decide which route you prefer to go from the start as it gets so much more difficult to change it later? I don't have any issue with keeping shrimps/fish/plants happy and I don't use CO2 or any fertilizers so it is definitely possible and not that difficult if I can do it? I think that a lot of the plant fertilizers etc are really intended for plant aquascapes without any inhabitants but with fish and/or shrimps there will be natural fertilizer and the soil should have enough to start everything off?

If you still aren't too sure I would just try running the tank without the CO2 or ferts (with the exception of as JayC recommends above) for a few weeks and just see how the plants get on, as you can start using either/both again at any point if they don't look like they are ok, but I expect it will work out fine. This will also give you time to mull it over at leisure?

Simon

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DEL 707

Again, thanks for all the help.

I ordered the Shrimp GH+KH minerals and they arrived today and did a 20l water change.
I plan to do 20l on Saturday and 20l on Tuesday when I'm off, so that'll be over 100% water change.

If my tank stats come back o.k, I might finally look into getting some shrimp next week.

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