Jump to content
warpp8787

New setup - active substrate question

Recommended Posts

warpp8787

Hi Guys,

new to the forum, I came to see if someone could help me with their expertise on water chemistry as something is confusing me.

 

I recently set up a new tank intended to keep bee shrimp, 60l, aqua el mini pat filter modded with double sponge filter, shirakura red bee sand. I'm using tap water as the water is rather pure in my area, parameters are ph 6.7 at most, kh0, gh 0-1, average tds 35. I  remineralize this to increase my GH to the appropriate level.

 

I noticed that the substrate decreases my PH below 6, and I was wondering why as it should buffer at around 6.5? Claims it does have acidic and alkaline reagents to do so. I'm confused and wondering if I have to switch to another substrate to complement the low KH bees need and avoid ph crashes.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdlTBfanUK

Welcome fellow UK shrimp keeper! Hope you aren't getting too battered by storm Ciara, I have the curtains closed abd they are swaying like crazy down here!

I haven't used that particular substrate but my previous success with Bee shrimp is they thrived at Ph 5- 5.5 so I wouldn't worry too much about that. My latest lot were doing fine at Ph 5-5.5 and I made a terrible mistake by adding rock to increase the Ph (chasing perfect figures), which it did but it wiped out the shrimps (I assume as it triggered a new cycle but not 100 sure%?). 

Have you got any shrimp in situ yet? 

Is the tank cycled and what are the parameters?

Simon

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

Hi,

No, I wouldn't put shrimp in it as its not cycled and the filter is not matured whatsoever.

 

I was wondering - should I boost all parameters for the sake of the cycle in that case, and then revert to the optimal numbers when it's done? The parameters are set ideal for bees, apart from the PH but you said you had success with PH below 6 which is good to hear. TDS is 150, GH 5 and KH 0. There is ammonia because I started cycling it, I just got concerned because of the PH drop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

Just realised how straight to the point I may came across - haha! Apologies.

Hey Simon,

The sun is shining up here at the moment, all good it seems.

Question though - is there a nice PH test that goes below 6? Mine only measure from 6 so I can't tell the exact number (API and NT Labs)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdlTBfanUK

A lot if the drop kits are rubbish for clarity. I use the tetra PH one (probably tried them all) as at least the different colours are clear, the only down side is it goes 5,6,6.5,7,7.5 etc so there is a big gap between 5 and 6.

I bought one of these this week which may be a good idea, it only lasts about 6 months but seems perfect to use at the beginning even if you don't replace it later but revert to droplet kits (which is probably what I will do),

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/seachem/3059-seachem-ph-alert-000116002004.html

I expect postage would be free as it is a small light item? I get all my stuff from the above supplier.

Glad to hear you are getting everything sorted BEFORE you get the shrimps, that's rare.

The PH question is one that everyone seems to have different views on. I don't see the point of raising the PH to a level that it won't regularly be running myself and when I did it caused disaster so I wouldn't do that again, HOWEVER I understand the reasoning behind people recommending that you keep the PH high and would 100% agree with that if the tank is normally going to run at around or over 7. Is there much point breeding bacteria at PH7 if it dies again when the PH drops?But if the tank is always going to run at a PH of 5.5 anyway to me it makes more sense to 'cycle' it at that level. Some even say a tank at that low PH may never 'cycle', but most bee shrimp experts kept at 5.5 permanently. There is also a point of PH at which ammonia becomes less toxic ammonium and maybe that causes a different 'cycle'? I am sure many will disagree so watch this space???

Lucky you if you didn't get the storm, it is soooo bloody tiring with the curtains closed and 80(mph ish) wind ALL day...................... 

Simon

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

I got some additonal things like mineral stones composed of montmorillonite clay to help absorb toxins as I thought the cycle doesn't really work in low PH (also helps with a constant mineral content release as the water here is so soft). They don't seem to increase my TDS I set with remineralizing so I guess they are fine.

Shrimps dont have a massive amount of bioload, so incorrect feeding habits may have a heavier load on it than shrimps .. (I'm not sure though...)

Got some moss too but didn't want to get over the top with the tank to make sure the parameters would stay as stable as possible.

I started to get nitrites even in these "dire" conditions... so may try and actually cycle it, I presume its just going to take a lot longer.

I got a PH test pen off amazon that measures between 0 and 14 (same kind as a TDS pen) so that might do the trick?

 

The storm was kind of scary looking in the morning but didn't last for too long. Hope you'll pull through 🙂

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc
On 2/10/2020 at 12:19 AM, warpp8787 said:

I'm using tap water as the water is rather pure in my area, parameters are ph 6.7 at most, kh0, gh 0-1, average tds 35.

That is some amazing water you have out of the tap!

I have to ask, why bother with plant or shrimp specific substrate if your tap water is SO good? Have you not thought of just using cheaper aquarium gravels?

Planted substrate and shrimp substrates are meant for people with parameters much higher than your tap water. It will then work to reduce pH, KH and GH to a more suitable level for bee shrimps.

But when you start with such low pH, GH, KH water, the substrate will still work to lower it even further. It's not like the substrate is smart enough to go ... " Oh the pH is already at 6.7, so I'll stop releasing tannins now". 

The cycling is going to slow to a crawl or even stall with such low pH

If you keep the shirakura red bee sand, you will face a continued battle of keeping the  water parameters from dropping too low. Better to bite the bullet now and replace the substrate, while you are still able to with no livestock. Water parameter stability is better in this situation. You will have more time enjoying your hobby than constantly measuring and testing water only to find that you need another water change to raise the pH & KH. Everyone will be envious of your tap water, all you need to do is straight water changes without fiddling with it.

Edited by jayc
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

Hi Jayc,

Thanks for the info. Basically i got some low grade CBS recently and they are in a small tank with just plant substrate and inert gravel, they seem to do well as my female got berried on day 2. Almost a month now and i didnt lose any. But at the same time i just became infatuated with the thought of keeping bee shrimps, so i thought ill set up a bigger 60l tank for higher grades, something like nice blue bolts or shadow mosura.

I did a ton of research and was just finding little to no info about active substrate used in soft water. I thought well if people use it with RO then i may just take my tap as "RO". But the main point is that everywhere i looked it seemed to be kind of a travesty not keeping them on active soil. So i almost felt bad and thought id do it "properly" this time.

Like you said i just want stable suitable parameters really, so im not going to stick to the red bee sand I dont think. Expensive lesson learned I guess

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdlTBfanUK

If you want t try again with a substrate that supports plants but DOES NOT BUFFER (I haven't tested it and I think it is a fairly new product), I recently saw this and that may be worth a try, They do a larger pack as well if I remember correct, 

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/plant-substrate/2778-tetra-active-substrate-3l-4004218246898.html?search_query=tetra&results=139

It sounds as though you are getting a cycle and nearly there though if you have a nitrite reading. Bare in mind many professionals (see shrimpcorner website) recommend PH 5.5-6.2 for their bee shrimp so you don't really have a problem that I can see anyway so are you trying to fix something that's not broken??????. If you change the substrate to grit or gravel then plants will probably need fertilisers which aren't good with shrimps either.

What are the parameters your CBS are kept in?

As JayC points out though it is best to decide/sort out what you want to do at this early stage! That is remarkable tap water and as you are doing so well with the CBS you should be safe to use it in place of RO water as you state.

I am reluctant to offer a different view than JayC as he has WAAAAAY more knowledge and experties than I will ever have in my lifetime,  but I would continue as it is now as I think you are virtually there! Most of my knowledge/experience is how to kill them and who wants that though!!!!!!!! I just will say that when I did it using RO water remineralised, and the PH was 5-5.5 (similar to where you are now) the photos in the gallery show the results! When this time I tried to 'get the perfect PH' (ie increase it above 5.5) I lost more than 90% of the shrimps?

We are all always here though whichever route you decide to take! Keep us informed!

We are still suffering winds of 40 mph down here, not the 90 mph as yesterday maybe! We lost power last night but thankfully I went to bed early anyway and it was back on when I got up this morning.

Simon

Simon

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

Hey Simon, 

The CBS are in a tank with the nano deponit mix from dennerle and that topped with just inert gravel. I got a bit of hygrophila in there which is a root feeder hence the plant soil. I thought because its fast growing its great for removing nitrogen compounds more effectively, but turned out its also their favourite hang out spot..

The parameters are gh4 after remineralising my tap with liquid ca+, kh 0 and tds 150. Ph is 6.4-6.5 for the most part, a little lower than my tap (indian almond leaf i guess and a bit of driftwood in there which they also seem to love).

They all molted successfully and my female is berried, they seem to be active just grazing away really.

Temperature if that counts i keep them at 22 celsius.

With the red bee sand i fear i would experience too much ph fluctuation with a water change that would lead to issues 😞 so i think inert gravel is the way to go for me. Its quite annoying for sure as i wasted the money but id rather prioritise the long term well being of future live stock. I guess its trial and error isnt it?

Glad you pulled through the worst of the storm 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

About ferts for plants - i think they should be fine even if they contain trace amounts of copper? Not sure if i will get beheaded for this but I think the ferts contain far less than lethal amounts, and even shrimp need it in trace amounts to be able to breathe & stay alive? Just like for us humans and any other living being. The buildup is problematic but if your plants etc utilise all these trace elements there isnt much to worry about? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdlTBfanUK

When you do a water change with shrimp it is best to add the new water gradually, most people drip the new water in to the tank.

I wouldn't use ANY ferts but there are many posts on here about that subject, negative almost always, if you want to read them! Why not try that NON buffering soil that makes more sense I think? Any trace elements of anything the shrimp need will be in the mineralisers. Obviously the poo of the shrimps adds some plant food etc.

You have to feel confident with what you are doing so if you don't feel that with the red bee sand it is best to change that, and at least you are at an early stage with no inhabitants, so little is lost bar some money?

The parameters look pretty close to each other and if you add the new water slow enough (which is advisable anyway) and don't do too large quantities once you get the shrimps in situ I think you would be ok still as you are at the moment but as I say, you have to feel confidence. If the new water is Ph 6.7 and the tank water is PH 6, changing 10%, that will only increase the PH of the tank by .07 and by dripping the water in, the soil will probably eliminate (buffer) that difference entirely anyway?

Simon

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

For the new tank i think the plan is inert substrate only and moss on some mesh. Very simple. But making hiding places. See how that goes. No root feeder plants or anything.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdlTBfanUK

That should work if you don't want lots of plants. If you are only keeping shrimps then they don't need a lot of hiding places anyway and it will be easier to see the shrimps if they can't hide too much! You can attach moss to other stuff with (safe) super glue, like driftwood etc! Be careful with any rocks as they can sometimes increase PH? You can always try some odd plants (again glued to wood/stone) if you want too and they may be ok, and if they don't you can soon whip them out again anyway?

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

May be off topic though but... how do people go about having a nonexistent nitrogen cycle in very low ph levels in their bee tanks? 5-5.5? Im just curious as i see people do keep bee shrimps in that ph range. Here to learn at the end of the day

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdlTBfanUK

NOW THATS A MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION and I would love someone to tell me IF ANYONE REALLY KNOWS????? After years and years of reading the best I came up with was:

1) It doesn't cycle but obviously doesn't need too because the PH is so low (and stays so low) that ammonia isn't an issue, and it works somehow but don't ask how it works, it just does (thats not my words but a summery of what I read)! I have assumed this is the case, thus far, especially as raising the Ph caused such a disaster to mine and my previous attempt, leaving the Ph alone (5 - 5.5) was such an unbelievable success (see pics in gallery for  proof if interested) and as you say People keep them in this low PH and IT WORKS?

2) It cycles so slowly that it doesn't affect the shrimps and there is no Ammonia at such low Ph but there is Ammonium instead which is harmless to shrimps anyway (less toxic)? This sort of ties in with JayC remark that the cycle slows the lower the Ph and stops eventually.

3) If it is Ammonium rather than Ammonia, different bacteria convert to Nitrates (possibly not even going through the nitrite stage) so you won't see the cycle with the usual test kit Ammonia/nitrite but may get some nitrates?

To be honest I don't think anyone really knows (I can't say I have been convinced by any thing I have read over the years so have picked number 1 as it came up most often), but hopefully I am wrong and you (we) will get a definitive answer to this old question. here at last............ my search would finally be over.

Thanks for bringing up this question, I 100% understand where you  are coming from, but had really given up ever finding a definitive answer as there are so many people with different ideas about this I have found? I fear though that the answer may be as easy  to find as finding ice on the sun???????

Simon

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc

4_4.gif

table 1

The Ammonia reading you get from test kits is actually the sum of Total Ammonia - which is made up of Ammonia NH3 + Ammonium NH4.

At low levels of pH (lower than 6.0), ammonification occurs. Remember, pH is an inverse count of Hydrogen (H). At low pH, you have more Hydrogen. At high pH, you have less. At these low levels of pH (high acidity), the ammonia NH3 'absorbs' (for lack of a better word), an extra Hydrogen ion -> becoming NH4 or ammonium.

The reason Ammonium is less toxic to fish and shrimp is because NH4 with that added Hydrogen H ion is now less permeable to the gills of fish & shrimp. NH4 is also excreted across the gills via a carrier mediated process in exchange for sodium Na+.

Ammonia toxicity is also influenced by temperature:

The lower the temperature the less toxic it becomes. Or to put it another way - NH3 toxicity increases with temperature and pH.

Table 2. Un-ionized NH3 as a percent of total ammonia (by temperature and pH).
  Percent NH3 of total ammonia
Temp  pH 6.5 pH 7.0 pH 7.5 pH 8.0 pH 8.5
20C / 68F .13 .40 1.24 8.82

11.2

25C / 77F .18 .57 1.77 5.38

15.3

28C / 82F .22 .70 2.17 6.56

18.2

30C / 86F .26 .80 2.48 7.46

20.3

 

 

Assuming a temp of 28C and a pH of 7.0 - if 5ppm of ammonia is present this results in only .03 ppm ammonia.

However, in a Tanganyikan Cichlids tank with a pH of 9.0, that has a Total Ammonia of 5 ppm, your ammonia level is 2.06 ppm! This now become toxic for the fish.

 

But, at a pH of 6.0, and 10 ppm of Total Ammonia, the ammonia is only .007 ppm. Eventhough we have MORE ammonia.

So be cautious when performing water changes in a low pH tank, as the low pH has an adverse affect on the nitrifying bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrite.  Because of the acidity these bacteria populations can drop so low that any change in alkalinity can cause the Total Ammonia reading to rise quickly.  While the pH stays low the Total Ammonia reading is nearly all ammonium, but if you do a water change or add an alkalinity buffer to the system, the ammonium can be quickly converted to ammonia, potentially causing ammonia poisoning.

It is good to note here that, as per the very top picture (table1) ... nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonia NH3 to Nitrate (NO3) does NOT convert Ammonium NH4 to a less toxic form. The bacteria isn't present in sufficient amounts in such low pH environments to process it. Ammonium NH4 is ever present in a low pH tank that has living creatures in it. NH4 is in there ready to be converted into NH3 at the first sign of added alkalinity during water changes. Hence, why we always tell you to match water parameters and add it into the tank slowly (drip it in if you can), don't dump in buckets of new water all at once.

So in summary, the combination of low pH (<6) and cool temperatures that the shrimp live in can mean that high ammonia levels are not toxic to them. But be careful !!! Any change in the pH buffer that increases alkalinity will cause the toxic ammonia to immediately convert from NH4 to NH3.

 

There you go. Hopefully that is a more precise explanation to aid your understanding. 

And by the looks of your googling, the majority of the fish keeping world still don't know as 1, 2, and 3 is almost there but not quite.

The ideal spot to be is just above 6.1 to 6.5, where bacteria still function, and ammonia is less toxic. Throw in a cool temperature into the mix and that's where we want to be.

I wonder how many times our shrimp die in hot temps, (say due to hot weather ... maybe even a broken heater) not because of the heat, but because our low pH tanks have no functioning bacteria to cope with the sudden change in toxic NH3 ammonia due to the rise in temps??? Food for thought.

Hmm ... this should be an article itself.

Edited by jayc
polished it up a bit by fixing grammar and making some sentences a bit simpler.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crabby

Maybe make it an article then! I just glanced over it but seems like some very good information, and from what Simon said - 

12 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

NOW THATS A MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION

- then a few people might benefit from it!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

Makes sense now - thanks so much for taking your time! Couldn't have asked for a better answer 🙂

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
warpp8787

With that in mind I may wait until my things arrive, equipment to get an actual PH reading and such. If my PH is..lets say between 5.5 and 6, I may keep this substrate, but only leave the tank to mature and grow biofilm as there is not much point trying to establish a nitrogen cycle. Then doing water changes via dripping if required. That is if my PH didn't sink to oblivion, in that case I will go with the inert gravel.

With all this info now I got a quite clear picture of how to approach both scenarios, given that my PH is still in a somewhat ideal range of 5.5-6. As I intend to keep taiwan bees of some sort (still undecided on what exactly, could even bee taibee or taitibee) it would be quite ideal for them.

Thanks again for all the help! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdlTBfanUK
8 hours ago, jayc said:

4_4.gif

table 1

The Ammonia reading you get from test kits is actually the sum of Total Ammonia - which is made up of Ammonia NH3 + Ammonium NH4.

At low levels of pH (lower than 6.0), ammonification occurs. Remember, pH is an inverse count of Hydrogen (H). At low pH, you have more Hydrogen. At high pH, you have less. At these low levels of pH (high acidity), the ammonia NH3 'absorbs' (for lack of a better word), an extra Hydrogen ion -> becoming NH4 or ammonium.

The reason Ammonium is less toxic to fish and shrimp is because NH4 with that added Hydrogen H ion is now less permeable to the gills of fish & shrimp. NH4 is also excreted across the gills via a carrier mediated process in exchange for sodium Na+.

Ammonia toxicity is also influenced by temperature:

The lower the temperature the less toxic it becomes. Or to put it another way - NH3 toxicity increases with temperature and pH.

Table 2. Un-ionized NH3 as a percent of total ammonia (by temperature and pH).
  Percent NH3 of total ammonia
Temp  pH 6.5 pH 7.0 pH 7.5 pH 8.0 pH 8.5
20C / 68F .13 .40 1.24 8.82

11.2

25C / 77F .18 .57 1.77 5.38

15.3

28C / 82F .22 .70 2.17 6.56

18.2

30C / 86F .26 .80 2.48 7.46

20.3

 

 

Assuming a temp of 28C and a pH of 7.0 - if 5ppm of ammonia is present this results in only .03 ppm ammonia.

However, in a Tanganyikan Cichlids tank with a pH of 9.0, that has a Total Ammonia of 5 ppm, your ammonia level is 2.06 ppm! This now become toxic for the fish.

 

But, at a pH of 6.0, and 10 ppm of Total Ammonia, the ammonia is only .007 ppm. Eventhough we have MORE ammonia.

So be cautious when performing water changes in a low pH tank, as the low pH has an adverse affect on the nitrifying bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrite.  Because of the acidity these bacteria populations can drop so low that any change in alkalinity can cause the Total Ammonia reading to rise quickly.  While the pH stays low the Total Ammonia reading is nearly all ammonium, but if you do a water change or add an alkalinity buffer to the system, the ammonium can be quickly converted to ammonia, potentially causing ammonia poisoning.

It is good to note here that, as per the very top picture (table1) ... nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonia NH3 to Nitrate (NO3) does NOT convert Ammonium NH4 to a less toxic form. The bacteria isn't present in sufficient amounts in such low pH environments to process it. Ammonium NH4 is ever present in a low pH tank that has living creatures in it. NH4 is in there ready to be converted into NH3 at the first sign of added alkalinity during water changes. Hence, why we always tell you to match water parameters and add it into the tank slowly (drip it in if you can), don't dump in buckets of new water all at once.

So in summary, the combination of low pH (<6) and cool temperatures that the shrimp live in can mean that high ammonia levels are not toxic to them. But be careful !!! Any change in the pH buffer that increases alkalinity will cause the toxic ammonia to immediately convert from NH4 to NH3.

 

There you go. Hopefully that is a more precise explanation to aid your understanding. 

And by the looks of your googling, the majority of the fish keeping world still don't know as 1, 2, and 3 is almost there but not quite.

The ideal spot to be is just above 6.1 to 6.5, where bacteria still function, and ammonia is less toxic. Throw in a cool temperature into the mix and that's where we want to be.

I wonder how many times our shrimp die in hot temps, (say due to hot weather ... maybe even a broken heater) not because of the heat, but because our low pH tanks have no functioning bacteria to cope with the sudden change in toxic NH3 ammonia due to the rise in temps??? Food for thought.

Hmm ... this should be an article itself.

Thanks JayC, as you say it does tie in with what I had read, sort of, though I did try to summerise the ridiculous amount I have read over the years so part of that will be my bad or misunderstandings. I think I have it now, as you say I had got bits! It certainly ties in with my experiences as well and when the Ph went over 6 disaster. I am trying to very slowly reduce the Ph back to its 'natural' 5.5 but assume anyway that it cycled and that killed the shrimp and when it gets lower the ammonium won't harm them anyway. This assumes I have understood of course, Ph rises ammonia (toxic) then reducing Ph it will revert to ammonium (not toxic) so the shrimp shouldn't be affected by the change from toxic to non toxic as the Ph very slowly drops?? Just don't test me Professor JayC...............

I definitely agree your posting should be an article even if you just copy/paste it as is!

SORRY to take over your thread Warpp8787? Really pleased to see it has made things clearer for you, and that you can see you can carry on with it as it is set up already if you want to (and it is virtually ready to go as is), but if you decide to still change the setup that is fine also and it is easier before you have the shrimps!

Simon 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
beanbag

Yes, you can have a cycle even below pH 6.  If u google search for "nitrification bacteria low pH" you will find many research articles about this.  The majority are regarding wastewater treatment, but they still involve the nitrosomas bacteria.  The short version is that last I checked they still aren't sure how it is accomplished, but guess that the bacteria have adapted an ammonium transport mechanism.    This is thru natural selection and takes a few generations (of bacteria, so not all that long).  If you take bacteria that grew up in pH 7 and dunk them into pH 5.5, then they will probably all die off and you won't get a cycle.  If you start a tank at pH 5.5 and just wait and wait, maybe you will get a cycle in 3 months, or maybe not.

My idea, which has also been proposed on other forums like plantedtank by others, is to raise the bacteria with media separately in a jar with high temperature and pH, and then slowly bring down the pH while constantly making sure that the cycle doesn't stall.  Once you get it down to the desired pH, you can introduce it into the tank and this saves you from wrecking your buffering substrate.  I haven't done this yet, but maybe next time.

I would not use an insert substrate for bee shrimp because tap water is not trustworthy.  It can suddenly change one day.  My own tap is sometimes 35ppm and sometimes 150ppm.

Further, all pH measurements at low TDS are not trustworthy because the solution is not strongly buffered, and so test kit solutions can push the pH around; even meters are slow to respond and don't always read correctly.

Regarding testing for ammonium, an idea I had was to use a test kit for NH3, which is much more sensitive, and just add a drop of base (NaOH) to the solution to make the pH >8.  (This is also an idea I haven't bothered to try yet)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc
12 hours ago, beanbag said:

Yes, you can have a cycle even below pH 6

Yeah, I was very careful to not write that there wouldn't be any nitrification below pH6. Only that it would slow, due to reduced numbers of bacteria. Any sudden change in ammonia levels or pH rising, and the existing low population of beneficial bacteria won't be able to handle the load.

 

12 hours ago, beanbag said:

My idea, which has also been proposed on other forums like plantedtank by others, is to raise the bacteria with media separately in a jar with high temperature and pH, and then slowly bring down the pH while constantly making sure that the cycle doesn't stall.  Once you get it down to the desired pH, you can introduce it into the tank and this saves you from wrecking your buffering substrate.  I haven't done this yet, but maybe next time.

I have done that. It works. Not that I have seen your post on Planted tank. Just something I have done myself.

I raised BB (beneficial bacteria) and media in a tub, but I seeded it with some old filter gunk. I was too lazy for it to seed naturally, that takes months. I even fed the BB with sugar and ammonia. It's very effective. The sugar is like adding nitrous to boost an engine. Gave it 2 weeks to fester with a strong air pump. You mention high temp and pH above, but don't forget high oxygen! lots of aeration is needed for healthy BB.

And poured it into a new tank. Instant cycle. Yes the tank looked nasty for a few days. But once it settled, it was clear as glass. I don't think I have ever recommended it to anyone ... it's too messy a process.

I started out with my tap water, which is a perfect 8.0.

You don't need to fiddle with the pH either. don't forget that part of the natural nitrification process, BB take NH3, strip it of N (nitorgen) and leave H (hydrogen). More H = lower pH !!! Magic.

That tub which started out at pH 8, got down to pH6.7 ish after a couple of weeks.

 

 

Edited by jayc
speeling correction
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Join Our Community!

    Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

  • Posts

    • beanbag
      Maybe around 10 or so I know that many people claim to have increased baby survival rate by dosing various baby foods or Bacter AE.  What has your survival rate been?
    • Crabby
      No plants ‘require’ CO2 so to speak, but it helps boost growth. Flourish excel is basically bottled CO2, so you could do that. Most red plants will just grow a bit greener without CO2. I have some variety of Ludwigia repens, and it stays pretty red, as the leaves reach higher toward the light. But the best thing to do is just try something. Test it out, see what works and what doesn’t, because nobody‘s tanks are the same.
    • DreamBlueVelvet
      Ok does it require CO2 also what about Ludwigia Repens Rubin super red?
    • Crabby
      I use two 24 watt fluorescent tubes on my regular 29, and am just able to grow red plants. That’s 48 watts of light, from one pink and one blue tube, so your 37 on a tall tank might not be strong enough when it hits the bottom. If you end up dosing excel (I do and it works fine for me) then maybe try Alternanthera Reineckii, or it’s mini version (also known as AR Mini). I’ve had success with that.
    • kms
      Many red plants require white and red light, could be LED or tube, power isn't important, but need enough reach the bottom, but most important co2 is needed, or they don't last.
×
×
  • Create New...