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Sonnycbr

New nano set up.

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sdlTBfanUK

I have always got my shrimp through the post, but I am home all day so that suits me better - if your not it could be really awkward as yu need to take a day off. With that said I would only buy them with next day delivery by 1pm as any other delivery could go astray! Shop gives you the convenience of getting them at your leisure on the day you want them (as long as they are in stock)!

My personal thoughts is that from a shop there is an extra step as they go from breeder tank, to shop tank, to buyers tank, whereas buying from a BREEDER they just go from breeder tank to buyers tank with a day in the darkness - this is only if you get them through the post from a breeder otherwise the steps are the same from a shop through the post! Either way just pick what suits you best?

Either way you should acclimate them to the tank water over several hours!

I don't use any fertilisers or carbon or Co2 and everything does really well. Probably all of those have a risk with shrimp so why not start as you should go on and not use any of them. 

Simon

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Sonnycbr

I think I’ll look at the shrimps in Durham and make my mind up then if it’s worth ordering through the post. Ideally, I’d like to keep a nice red strain so I want to start with a dozen or so good ones. 
You say you don’t use C02 or fertiliser, is that in a planted aquarium? I used to have planted community tanks and although some plants would thrive and take over, a lot of them would die within weeks. I’m only using 6 watts LED lighting for 6 hours a day. 

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sdlTBfanUK

You can see a couple of the tanks if you click on the gallery above and scroll down to my photos! I have quite a selection of plants but I don't have anything that unusual I think?

That makes sense to go and see the ones in the shop, then if you don't like them consider getting them through the mail!

I use an 8W LED on the 35L tank and that was probably a bit over the top as I have covered a few of the LEDs with black electrical tape so I think you probably have the right light. My tank is in a dark corner but I think the timer is about 50/50 so 12 hours on? 

There are quite a variety of colours, just look on ProShrimp but it is safer to stick with 1 colour as they interbreed which can produce wild brown/clear colours, so pick your colour and go from there. Green won't be good though in your tank as there are so many plants that colour so the shrimp will be difficult to see. My cherrys are/were reds from about 5 years ago and 80% are now brown/clear but I am not so interested in that tank these days as I am concentrating on restarting my taiwan bee tank?

There will always be compromises you have to make.

Simon

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Sonnycbr

Cheers Simon, your tanks look amazing. Will all of the different shrimps crossbreed? What do you got when you’ve got as many different types together as you have? I’d imagine they’d revert to the wild colour eventually. 
For this first nano set up I’ll stick to red cherry shrimp for now. I’m eyeing up a 190L for a community plus shrimp tank. Only got to convince the wife that it’s what we need! 

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sdlTBfanUK

The photos are of the harder to keep Taiwan bees, they can be mixed without any loss of quality. so you never know what colour pattern you will get, but I would stick with cherry to start off as they are very much more difficult to keep The brown shrimps in one picture were the ones bred from red cherry so you can see what can happen when mixing cherry colours over time. If you want more than 1 colour then you can mix orange (tangerine tiger) with one colour of cherry and those 2 won't cross breed and both are very adaptable tough shrimps at a reasonable price. If you look on ProShrimp but click on the 'tiger' tab you will see the tangerine tiger, though it is out of stock at the moment, not that you are ready yet anyway?

IF you think you may be tempted to get a large tank in the future and you want to then try the taiwan bee shrimp you can always transfer the cherrys to the new 190L big tank and change the water to suit Bee shrimp in this 30L. Not something for now maybe, but just a thought for the future planning!

Simon

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Sonnycbr

IF you think you may be tempted to get a large tank in the future and you want to then try the taiwan bee shrimp you can always transfer the cherrys to the new 190L big tank and change the water to suit Bee shrimp in this 30L. Not something for now maybe, but just a thought for the future planning!

 

That's what I was thinking. I'm trying to walk before I can run but sometimes enthusiasm is hard to control! I;m very happy with the nano now so I'm sure I'll not get carried away.

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Sonnycbr

Quick update on the tank. Tested water this morning and it’s reading 0 nitrite 0.5 ammonia and 5.0 nitrate. I’m doing 50% daily water changes with filtered tap water until the cycle completes then I’m going to use RO from then on. My local shop sells RO water for £4 for 25L but I’m going to buy a unit for about 60 quid. 

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sdlTBfanUK

I thought you bought a zerowater jug filter, that produces the same as RO water, or maybe I have misunderstood? I wouldn't use the filter if it is zerowater jug at this stage as if you are changing 50% of the water daily that is a big waste!  Until the tank is cycled/ready you may as well just use dechlorinated tap water but I'm not sure why you are doing daily water changes either?

Simon

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Sonnycbr

I did order a zero water jug but it hadn’t arrived yet. The only reason I’m doing the water changes is following a YouTube video of a bloke doing the same set up and when he first started he was doing daily water changes. Do you think I should do less? I’m slightly concerned about the ammonia levels spiking. 

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Sonnycbr

Sorry Simon, I’ve just watched part of the vid again and it fact it’s a 50% water change twice a week. That’s what I’ll do. 

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sdlTBfanUK

Ah!! That makes more sense and gives everything a chance to settle down a bit before doing the next water change, so go with that!

The zerowater jug produces the same as RO so you don't need to buy an RO filter as well, so I would start with the zerowater and see how you get on with that. You may later decide to go the full RO filter if you are using a lot of RO water, ie if you decide to also do the large 190L tank but that is too far off to worry about yet!

Just stick with dechlorinated tap water twice a week until the tank is cycled/ready for now and put the zerowater jug and GH//KH+ (when they arrive) to one side ready!

Simon

 

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jayc

@Sonnycbr, Instead of blindly doing water changes, you should test your pH in the cycling tank.

If it drops below 6.8, than do a water change to bring it back up above 7.0.

How much you change can depend on how it new water it takes to bring it back above 7.0 pH.

Some times, people don't know why they change water during the cycling process. They might say "Oh it is to reduce the ammonia levels". But ammonia is what feeds the bacteria. Aren't we trying to build up the beneficial bacteria? Than why are people (even on youtube) throwing out the very thing that is needed for the bacteria to colonise? The ammonia. 

The real reason we change water during a cycle is because the bacteria growth/activity slows when pH drops below 6-ish. It is at it's optimum above 7.0. The new water which should ideally be above pH 7.0 (tap water usually is), will bring the ph of the whole tank back up. In addition, the new water should hopefully also contain more ammonia, food source, for the bacteria. (De-chlorinate the tap water if you use it!!)

In a tank that has been cycling for a while, the bacteria that starts breaking down ammonia will eventually remove all the ammonia, it's food source will be gone. If you don't have another source of ammonia (eg, livestock waste, degrading food, externally added ammonia) ... the newly established bacteria will start to starve. More ammonia needs to be added somehow.

The pH in a tank will naturally drop during the cycling period. The breakdown of ammonia NH3 by the bacteria leaves behind more hydrogen H. The N (Nitrogen) is removed from NH3, leaving H3. That is, more Hydrogen is left behind. The pH scale is logarithmic and inversely indicates the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water (a lower pH indicates a higher concentration of hydrogen ions).

So the water change does two things, raises the pH and adds more ammonia, not take away ammonia. 

If you use RO water to cycle a tank ... RO water is devoid of a food source (ammonia) and is naturally low in pH. Is this a good type of water for tank cycling?

So now that you are armed with this information, you are now officially more knowledgeable than that youtuber you watched. Go forth and change water in a cycling tank only when needed. 50% twice a week could be the right amount for that other person, but it might not be right for you.

Edited by jayc
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beanbag
12 hours ago, jayc said:

If you don't have another source of ammonia (eg, livestock waste, degrading food, externally added ammonia) ... the newly established bacteria will start to starve. More ammonia needs to be added somehow.

If I may interject a question:

Let's say you finished cycling a tank and you were using ammonia to feed the bacteria, 1ppm per day.

Now you do a big water change and then add shrimp.

But the shrimp (and poop) are too small to make much ammonia.

Does the bacteria starve, or something?

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Sonnycbr

Hi Jayc, thank you for your reply. 
The daily water changes were purely my fault. When I watched the vid again, he clearly stated the water changes were twice a week. 
I have 3 guppies in the tank as an ammonia source and yesterday I added 6 Malaysian trumpet snails just because I like them.  
The ph has never dropped below 7 so I should be ok there, although I will keep a sharper eye on it. 

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sdlTBfanUK

I have snails in all my tanks, though they are assassins!

Simon

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jayc
12 hours ago, beanbag said:

But the shrimp (and poop) are too small to make much ammonia.

Does the bacteria starve, or something?

Yes. The bacteria will be reduced to suit the load of the tank. Likewise it will increase if there is more inhabitants.

But this process is not instantaneous of course. That's why you don't add a huge amount of new tank inhabitants in one go.

 

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jayc
11 hours ago, Sonnycbr said:

Hi Jayc, thank you for your reply. 
The daily water changes were purely my fault.

Hey Sonny, please don't take my post the wrong way. There was no need to apologise. We all start somewhere and we learn along the way. Sometimes it's a trial and error. I was just trying to share some knowledge with tank cycling so that you didn't need to go through trial and error learning. 

Rather than following youtube blindly with 2 water changes a week, you now know exactly when you need to do water changes. Your specific tank might only need one water change a week while cycling. Or if pH drops too low, it might need more than that. But you are now armed with that info.

 

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Sonnycbr

My Zerowater jug arrived today with a free TDS meter. I had already bought a meter a couple of weeks ago so I decided to compare them. These are the results:

Free meter                                                Bought meter

Tap water 317                                                  227

Filtered water 0                                                  1

190L tank   510 but dropped to 484             334

Nano tank   384 but rose to 410                    306

Knowing nothing about these meters I don't know how reliable or accurate they are but these readings are wildly different. 

I suppose the important thing is that I'm getting pure water from the filter so once the cycle is over and I do a big water change I'll have the water I want. 

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sdlTBfanUK

Thats quite a difference! Did you swoosh them both through the water?

Take a look at the 2 prongs on each and they should both be parallel to each other, ie straight? If the prongs aren't straight it will be wrong!

Otherwise take a sample of some water from one of the sources, to a nearby local aquarium place and get them to check what reading they get and 'hopefully' it will agree (near enough) with one of the meters?

The zerowater one is nearer the figure correlation that beanbag mentioned so maybe?

If you want to change the water in the tank before you can get confirmation which is right then I would use the Zerowater meter as those figures are higher, so if it turns out the lower old meter is right you can just add more GH/KH+ which is easier (and a lot less wasteful) than trying to reduce it! As the zerowater figures correlate better to GH figures etc that is probably the most accurate!

Simon

edit - sorry, just realised beanbag TDS/GH correlation is on another UK thread! 1 GH is very roughly USUALLY approx 20 TDS.

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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Sonnycbr

Cheers Simon, good idea for visiting local aquarium shop. Yes, I gave them both a good swooshing and the figures remained the same.

I'm going to test the Zero water today to see how much the readings drop when left in the tank water for a while. It was continuously dropping when I used it last time.

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sdlTBfanUK

I had another thought, perhaps take the 2 TDS meters to an aquarium shop and then you can test them in some of their water or one of their tanks and then compare the figures to their TDS figure.

Do you have GH and KH test kits, it is probably worth getting one of each for this new tank setup, and to check the zerowater is still reducing everything long term as your water is so hard? I would test the zerowater GH and KH after about 50L, 75L and so on until the TDS reaches the stated 006, needing replacement? You would only need to do this for the first filter as the others will be the same! I know it is fine with my water but we are in a very small area of the UK which doesn't have such HARD water.

Simon

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Sonnycbr

I've got an aquarium shop very near to where I live but I very much doubt he bothers with TDS, but of course I could be wrong. I'll try him tomorrow and if he can't help there's a large shop in Durham that I can use.

I do have a GH/KH test kit that states you add one drop of liquid at a time to your water sample until it goes green...….but what shade of green? When I tried it, the water seemed a very light shade of green after one drop! It's an old kit that I never needed to use so perhaps I'll buy new ones.

I must admit, my Malawis are so much easier than keeping shrimp but I'm enjoying learning and it's great to see the plants doing so well without any CO2 injection.

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sdlTBfanUK

It can be a bit fiddly to start with but after a while it is just as easy to keep shrimps really? The taiwan bee are more difficult but again it is straight forward enough after a bit of time/experience?

The JBL tests are the best I have found as the colour goes from red to green for GH and blue to yellow for KH so you can't go wrong as it changes a completely different colour . Here is a link, scroll down and you will see them. I don't use ones that you have different shades as that is so hit and miss, depends on light etc......

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/109-jbl-water-tests

If you have the test tube and it is marked 5ml then you can just buy the refills and save a little as all you need is the test tube (marked 5ml) and the drops.

Simon   

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Zoidburg

TDS meters need to be calibrated, just like electric pH meters do and refractometers for saltwater aquariums. That said, even with calibrated TDS meters (they are supposed to come pre-calibrated and need to be re-calibrated every now and then), you can still get different results from two different brands.

As you mentioned, your tap water may be 1-2 GH... which means that the TDS should be below 40, theoretically speaking. Of course, if you have high KH or other dissolved solids, this could mean a higher TDS from tap.

 

My question is... if you plan on switching to RO water once the tank is cycled, what do you plan on using to remineralize the water? Me personally, I would recommend exhausting the buffering substrate prior to adding inhabitants... especially shrimp. That said, the dragon rock may always skew your water parameters.

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Sonnycbr

Thanks for the reply Zoid, the plan is to use Shrimp Mineral GH/KH+ when I change to RO. That said, I'll have to check what happens with the dragon rock, as you said, it could affect the water with increased TDS.I certainly wont be introducing any shrimp until I'm as sure as I can be that they'll do ok.

I've just used both meters to measure the TDS, I'm getting readings of 316 on the one I bought and 484 on the one I got with the Zerowater jug. I'm going to a big aquarium shop over the weekend and I'll see if I can get calibration done.

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