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Waterbox 10 Gallon Neocaradina Tank


Steensj2004
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Setting up a new tank for some Neos, as I scored this insanely cheap, NIB tank. It’s been cycling for about two weeks.

Considering orange or red Rilis, but haven’t decided yet as I have cycle time remaining.

Specs:

Tank: WaterBox 10 gallon AIO Cube

SUMP Area Filtration: Filter sock, Bio Spheres, Lava Rock pieces in Mesh bags

Lighting: Asta 20( still waiting on it to arrive)

Substrate: Black Diamond Blast Media Sand, and Small amount of ADA Aquasoil 

My tap water is worrying me, as the PH is 7.8, but the GH/KH match at 2.0, while tds is 190. This doesn’t give me a lot of wiggle room with TDS to adjust, correct? Should o just us RO water remineralized with Salty Shrimp GH/KH+? I already use RO in my Caridina tanks. What TDS should I be shooting for, as everyone seems to have a different idea of perfect parameters.

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The best overall way to get the best water would be using RO water and GH/KH+ as that way you know the water has everything in the ideal balance and is stable. I started doing some tests on my tap water and it changes ludicrously every time I test it, to the point there isn't any point testing it in reality any more so I have given that up. All of your parameters, except GH look perfect but it would be a lot more involved (if even possible?) to adjust just the one parameter, using water with the right TDS figure, but what makes up that figure, you will never know and can change without you realising! 

I think I would aim for Ph7-7.5, TDS around 200, Kh 2-4, Gh 6-8 but don't fixate on hitting a fixed perfect number too much, the best balance you get with the GH/KH+ should be fine - just mix to around TDS 200, then check where that takes the other parameters? Take it from there.

As JayC has mentioned before you can cycle with tap water and then do a complete water change when the cycle has completed ready for the shrimp, especially in your case as most of the parameters will be fairly close between the two! I am assuming that you are already cycling with tap water anyway.

I assume/hope all is doing well in the caridina tak setup now?

Simon

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11 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

The best overall way to get the best water would be using RO water and GH/KH+ as that way you know the water has everything in the ideal balance and is stable. I started doing some tests on my tap water and it changes ludicrously every time I test it, to the point there isn't any point testing it in reality any more so I have given that up. All of your parameters, except GH look perfect but it would be a lot more involved (if even possible?) to adjust just the one parameter, using water with the right TDS figure, but what makes up that figure, you will never know and can change without you realising! 

I think I would aim for Ph7-7.5, TDS around 200, Kh 2-4, Gh 6-8 but don't fixate on hitting a fixed perfect number too much, the best balance you get with the GH/KH+ should be fine - just mix to around TDS 200, then check where that takes the other parameters? Take it from there.

As JayC has mentioned before you can cycle with tap water and then do a complete water change when the cycle has completed ready for the shrimp, especially in your case as most of the parameters will be fairly close between the two! I am assuming that you are already cycling with tap water anyway.

I assume/hope all is doing well in the caridina tak setup now?

Simon

Simon! Good to hear from you! 
 

My plan is to continue with purified water. I will mineralize to the proper TDS and go from there. Right now, I am cycling with Tap, but I will do a water change with RO when the time comes.

 

The crystal setup is doing fantastic. I need to join premium so that I can update pictures. Probably 60-80ish crystals inside now, with a new batch of crystals recently dropping. I had a fight with some black beard algae for a short time, but that was fairly easily remedied. As of now, everything is going GREAT!

Edited by Steensj2004
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10 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

The best overall way to get the best water would be using RO water and GH/KH+ as that way you know the water has everything in the ideal balance and is stable.

Agree with Simon.

10 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I think I would aim for Ph7-7.5, TDS around 200, Kh 2-4, Gh 6-8 but don't fixate on hitting a fixed perfect number too much, the best balance you get with the GH/KH+ should be fine - just mix to around TDS 200,

I would personally aim for just under 200. Say 180-190 TDS, that way you have some room for TDS to rise before needing to change water. When TDS reaches 230-240, than it's time for a water change. 

 

10 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I started doing some tests on my tap water and it changes ludicrously every time I test it

Not sure about the water suppliers in UK, but in Aust, everytime it rains and our dams fill up with water, the water suppliers will add additional chemicals (above normal amounts) to ensure it is safe for drinking.

That is why tap water parameters fluctuate. At least it doesn't rain much here.

 

 

6 hours ago, Steensj2004 said:

Probably 60-80ish crystals inside now

You're still cycling the tank with 60-80 shrimp in it?

That's not ideal. And it will mean checking for ammonia levels daily. The water change routine might need to be changed to match ammonia levels due to having livestock in a cycling tank.

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46 minutes ago, jayc said:

Agree with Simon.

I would personally aim for just under 200. Say 180-190 TDS, that way you have some room for TDS to rise before needing to change water. When TDS reaches 230-240, than it's time for a water change. 

 

Not sure about the water suppliers in UK, but in Aust, everytime it rains and our dams fill up with water, the water suppliers will add additional chemicals (above normal amounts) to ensure it is safe for drinking.

That is why tap water parameters fluctuate. At least it doesn't rain much here.

 

 

You're still cycling the tank with 60-80 shrimp in it?

That's not ideal. And it will mean checking for ammonia levels daily. The water change routine might need to be changed to match ammonia levels due to having livestock in a cycling tank.

No-no, I was refusing to my other system. Simon and you were both very active on that thread. I was responding to his question about that tank. 
 

This tank will cycle for 6-8 weeks before neos are added. Long enough to really get some biofilm built up.

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Update: Got some plant trimmings in, as well as a few leaves and pieces of cholla wood from another tank. I was unhappy with the screen I installed over the sump intake holes, it restricted flow. So instead, I made and installed an overflow box. Screen was removed. This greatly improved surface skimming and water clarity.

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Nice gives it A very clean look, 

But kinda confused on your cycling technique? So your using tap water for now, and then gonna switch it out and remineralize later? 
 

I understand that a lot of the anaerobic bacteria we are looking for will be in the substrate, but you’d be removing a lot of it when switching waters out? 

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What’s the fastest you guys have ever seen a tank cycle. As of right now, adding Dr Tim’s pure ammonia resulting in 0ppm ammonia after 24 hours.....

 

I did seed this tank with squeezed  out filter sponges( about a gallon worth), the media and sponges that came with the tank were in another tank for about 1.5 weeks before setting this tank up.... no way this is cycled.

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Sounds about right for a 10gallon.

If you added a whole gallon, 10% of mature filter gunk, it will introduce millions of beneficial bacteria .

I don't think Dr Tims did much in this case.

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3 hours ago, Danky808 said:

Nice gives it A very clean look, 

But kinda confused on your cycling technique? So your using tap water for now, and then gonna switch it out and remineralize later? 
 

I understand that a lot of the anaerobic bacteria we are looking for will be in the substrate, but you’d be removing a lot of it when switching waters out? 

The overwhelming majority of your bacteria is on surfaces, media, plants, rocks, and in substrate. The water has already been changed out as of today. 

Just now, jayc said:

Sounds about right for a 10gallon.

If you added a whole gallon, 10% of mature filter gunk, it will introduce millions of beneficial bacteria .

I don't think Dr Tims did much in this case.

The DR Tim’s is the pure ammonia. I always take the ammonia to around 4 ppm with ammonia. I wait till it’s zero, and repeat at more like 3-4ppm. As soon as the bacteria can take the ammonia to 0 within 24 hours, I consider it cycled. Either way, I have a while before I’ll add anything. Biofilm needs to build.

I’ve switched the water out with remineralized RO water. 
 

GH:10-11

KH:3

Does that look to be a bit better?

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38 minutes ago, Steensj2004 said:

The DR Tim’s is the pure ammonia

Oh sorry. Of course there are many Dr Tim's products, was thought you were referring to the bacteria products.

 

38 minutes ago, Steensj2004 said:

GH:10-11

KH:3

GH is way too high. Shrimps will have issues moulting. What's the TDS?

Edited by jayc
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3 hours ago, Danky808 said:

But kinda confused on your cycling technique? So your using tap water for now, and then gonna switch it out and remineralize later? 
 

I understand that a lot of the anaerobic bacteria we are looking for will be in the substrate, but you’d be removing a lot of it when switching waters out? 

There are many reasons why this is good practice.

1) A cycling tank causes water parameters to go all over the place. Water parameters will almost never be where it should be for a species specific tank. Changing out the water and adjusting it to the right parameters with RO water + remineraliser is the easiest option.

2) RO water can cost money. So starting out with RO and then throwing it out (because of #1 above), seems like a waste.

3) RO is devoid of any minerals for bacteria to grow in. So starting with RO is no good.

4) Tap water has the right parameters to start beneficial bacteria, except for the chlorine of course. It's got a high pH, it's got some ammonia in it. It's a lot cheaper than RO.

5) A newly cycled tank is usually high in Nitrates. So a large water change is going to be necessary anyway.

 

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22 minutes ago, jayc said:

Oh sorry. Of course there are many Dr Tim's products, was thought you were referring to the bacteria products.

 

GH is way too high. Shrimps will have issues moulting. What's the TDS?

Ok, I just rechecked the parameters. I cleaned out the vials really well before hand. After testing 2 times for each:

 

PH: 7.8 ( maxes out my normal PH liquid test at 7.6, but the PH pen is reading at 7.8. Picking up a high range test tomorrow to double check. I’ve never needed a high range before)

GH:8

KH:2-3

TDS:193

I suppose I either tested wrong the first time or the vial was dirty. I would think the TDS needs to come down a hair. Thoughts? I remineralized a little higher than I planned, I was shooting for more like 170-180. Where should I be trying to get?

Edited by Steensj2004
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Thats all looking like it is coming along nicely and the parameters look great. I would aim for TDS 180-200 range but don't fixate too much on a set number. As JayC said the TDS will rise anyway so I guess aim for the 180 and that gives room for some increase (evaporation etc etc) but the shrimp you are planning being cherry shrimp are very adaptable anyway!

A few Indian almond leaves may help with the biofilm and PH, and give another visual aspect?

Fantastic to hear that the crystals are doing great now and welcome as a platinum member.

Simon

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5 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Thats all looking like it is coming along nicely and the parameters look great. I would aim for TDS 180-200 range but don't fixate too much on a set number. As JayC said the TDS will rise anyway so I guess aim for the 180 and that gives room for some increase (evaporation etc etc) but the shrimp you are planning being cherry shrimp are very adaptable anyway!

A few Indian almond leaves may help with the biofilm and PH, and give another visual aspect?

Fantastic to hear that the crystals are doing great now and welcome as a platinum member.

Simon

What PH should I be shooting for? My parameter goals were way different than you guys are suggesting. I guess all I got isn’t good info online.....🙄I added some Almond leaves last night, PH have come down a hair. 
 

I also modified the sump chamber, as evaporation is awful in this tank. I’ll need a lid too, but for now the sump is covered. Left a see through area for evaluating top off level. 

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It looks much smarter with the back section covered as you have done and that should help with evaporation as well!

I would aim for Ph 7.2-7.5 but it is fine where it is so I wouldn't do anything too involved/complicated to get it down as you may end up doing more harm than good!

A warning with this type of tank. Mine was same design but only 15L but when the sponge started getting a bit blocked and with evaporation, the level of water in the back can drastically drop whilst the main tank stays full (as the drain to the back section is at the top) so you do need to keep a check on the back often (probably daily), it could even run dry in the back whilst still looking full in the tank. This is a bigger problem/risk if you have a heater in the back section (I don't think you do yet) as it will probably break/switch off, but might also damage the pump! At least it is easy to top up into the back so it doesn't disturb the tank. A plastic/glass top is definitely recommended for the main tank section.

Simon

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3 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

It looks much smarter with the back section covered as you have done and that should help with evaporation as well!

I would aim for Ph 7.2-7.5 but it is fine where it is so I wouldn't do anything too involved/complicated to get it down as you may end up doing more harm than good!

A warning with this type of tank. Mine was same design but only 15L but when the sponge started getting a bit blocked and with evaporation, the level of water in the back can drastically drop whilst the main tank stays full (as the drain to the back section is at the top) so you do need to keep a check on the back often (probably daily), it could even run dry in the back whilst still looking full in the tank. This is a bigger problem/risk if you have a heater in the back section (I don't think you do yet) as it will probably break/switch off, but might also damage the pump! At least it is easy to top up into the back so it doesn't disturb the tank. A plastic/glass top is definitely recommended for the main tank section.

Simon

I have had around 10 AIO tanks in the past. I always top off based on the rear chamber, never the display portion!

 

I also have a tunze ATO I’m considering using in this tank.

Edited by Steensj2004
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Ok, took some water out, added pure RO. I’m at 178-180 TDS( TDS one has a small fluctuation, but I calibrated it tonight with fluid, so it’s close). So I’m at the 180 mark we were shooting for. Now, to continue waiting for biofilm buildup. 
 

So, what’s the general consensus, red rili or Orange rili Shrimp in this tank?

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3 hours ago, Steensj2004 said:

So, what’s the general consensus, red rili or Orange rili Shrimp in this tank?

That's personal preference, but I find orange rilli can be too pale at times. Maybe it's the poor quality of the shrimps I saw. I prefer red rillis.

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The orange rili are rarer and would show better with the dark substrate you have as they are paler.

I think I prefer the red rili though personally, and you may be able to add a few Tangerine Tiigers as well for variety as they won't interbreed, need similar conditions and are as easy to keep as cherry shrimp!

Simon

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9 hours ago, jayc said:

That's personal preference, but I find orange rilli can be too pale at times. Maybe it's the poor quality of the shrimps I saw. I prefer red rillis.

I was just looking for suggestions as a tie breaker. From pictures I’ve seen, the orange don’t look as consistent as the reds. So I’m torn. Oh well, I have time to think it over!

5 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

The orange rili are rarer and would show better with the dark substrate you have as they are paler.

I think I prefer the red rili though personally, and you may be able to add a few Tangerine Tiigers as well for variety as they won't interbreed, need similar conditions and are as easy to keep as cherry shrimp!

Simon

i hadn’t considered the tigers, good idea. I’m starting to lean more towards reds than the original favorite, orange. I could do red Rili and orange tigers as you suggested! Thanks!

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My supplier of choice doesn’t have any orange tigers, but they did have the orange rili shrimp I wanted. Two other buddy’s were online to order some shrimp too, so we placed an order last night to share shipping costs. There is a delay in shipping from that supplier, so I won’t have them for another week, at least. During this time I can continue to feed the biofilter in the tank as well as build biofilm. The cholla wood is quickly growing the white film!

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Lid made! Everything is done, now we wait for shrimp!

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Edited by Steensj2004
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You've done a good job there with the lid. The tank looks very smart!

I hope you get the shrimps ok soon. I see you have gone for the orange rili.

Simon

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New Orange Rilis and one mama is already berried!

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