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    • sdlTBfanUK
      By 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.
       
      .



      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!
      BIG UPDATE 24 MARCH 2020
      MORRISONS SUPERMARKETS HAVE STARTED SELLING ZEROWATER HERE IN THE UK!
      ALSO OCADO SELL ZEROWATER IN THE UK!
    • Crabby
      By Crabby
      Exciting news: I just purchased 15 tangerine tiger shrimp from a local breeder, in exchange for some of my abundance of endler fry. I’m starting the drip acclimation now, along with my other two tts males who I’m moving from my larger tank. I’ll add some photos down below once they’re in the tank. Will acclimate another hour and a half probably, and feed the fish a bit extra before they go in for safety. There’s heaps of good hiding places in this tank, and I can’t wait to see the shrimp utilising them (or hopefully not even see them)!
      Will update soon.
      Cheers,
      Crabby
    • Crabby
      By Crabby
      Hey everyone,
      I was recently (meaning today) given the opportunity to set up a breeding tank for some native inverts (or some harder to breed fish I guess, but I want to go for shrimp) in a fishroom I help out in. I've been trying to decide what native shrimp I want to try breeding, but then I remembered that it's not as simple as exotics. Can I get some input from the 'experts' (@Grubs, @NoGi, @Baccus, @fishmosy, @jayc of course, I know most of you aren't very active anymore, but I would appreciate your help if you see this message) on what native invert you guys think is easiest to breed (for a semi-noob who hasn't kept natives before). I can set it up as brackish I think, we have an archer fish tank there and are setting up a saltwater as well so should have access to those tools and materials.  
      Cheers!
    • Crabby
      By Crabby
      Hey guys, I’m really wanting to get freshwater crabs, and the only ones I’ve found are A. Lacustris and A. Laevis. I can only put them in a 110 L community tank for now, but may have another option in the future. The tank is stocked with a large school of ember tetras, some rocket killies, some endlers, some tangerine tiger shrimp, and a pair of apistogrammas. Rare aqua advised that A. Lacustris would likely be eaten by the apistos, so the obvious choice would be A. Laevis, because they’re larger... right? But I’m worried that they might predate upon my shrimp, so wanted to hear some advice and opinions from more people with experience keeping these crabs.
      Cheers!
    • Crabby
      By Crabby
      Hey guys, I’m really wanting to get freshwater crabs, and the only ones I’ve found are A. Lacustris and A. Laevis. I can only put them in a 110 L community tank for now, but may have another option in the future. The tank is stocked with a large school of ember tetras, some rocket killies, some endlers, some tangerine tiger shrimp, and a pair of apistogrammas. Rare aqua advised that A. Lacustris would likely be eaten by the apistos, so the obvious choice would be A. Laevis, because they’re larger... right? But I’m worried that they might predate upon my shrimp, so wanted to hear some advice and opinions from more people with experience keeping these crabs.
      Cheers!
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    • jayc
      Otos really do like it in a big group. I had 10 in my 4ft tank once, and they would swim together. The problem with Otos is that, they compete with shrimp for the same food, ie. the biofilm on the surfaces of the tank. If you are okay with that and prepared to feed them regularly when the biofilm runs out, then Otos are great companions to shrimp. Of course they will both eat the same foods, so feeding both together is not difficult. Lot's of blanched veges like zucchinis, peas, carrots. 
    • sdlTBfanUK
      That sounds like a good plan, I might even get 5 ot 6 as they are quite small! Simon
    • Hammy
      Thanks I’ve no problem with waiting it’s part of the hobby really. I was actually looking at the Ottos on line and was thinking of getting some so to have you guys mention them makes me happy. However it says online that they are happier being in a group rather than just one or two so do you think that I could have say 3 or 4 in my 64ltr tank 
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I have 3 tanks at the moment, Tank 1 - bloody mary shrim with neon and ember tetras, though 90% of the shrimp are wild type now! Tank 2 - the old taiwan bee shrimp tank, has 11 mosquito rasbora and 1 killie with wild type cherry shrimp, I have just done the maintenance on that tank and there are definitely shrimp still doing well (I don't feed shrimp in there) but they are clear or brown so VERY difficult to spot! I tested this tank last week and parameters were ideal for taiwan bee (PH6, TDS 140, KH 0-1, GH 5-6 (a bit high)) as it has been since set up. Tank 3 - male betta with wild cherry shrimp, again just done that tank and there are shrimp doing well in there but again, I can ony see them with a strong light and magnifying glass due to their lack of colour. I am looking at maybe just stocking up before winter so may get a job lot of bloody mary shrimp for tank 1 (and discard lots of wilds) and have a  final try with the taiwan bee as the tank 2 is at the moment. The parameters are perfect but the plants are still not nice and green with this substrate, as they were before with the other substrate but obviously shrimp are living in there, albeit not ones I wanted, so I can rule out disease and poisoning. As you say, the taiwan bee are much easier to see so may be preyed on by the fish so I won't buy expensive ones (ebay probably) or a large quantity (if I get any at all of course, though it is now or wait until next year). It would be the last lot I try until the fish die off and the tank is reset with the other substrate! Simon
    • Crabby
      So do you have any Taiwan bees going right now Simon? Or just the red cherries/wilds? I forget some of the stuff that you and jayc have.  Depending on the type you get, they could be targeted a lot more than your wilds are currently. Also I’m not too sure how the parameters would work, for neocaridina and taiwan bees. But I’d be very interested to see what comes of it if you try.
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