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New dedicated shrimp tank owner. Should I raise my GH beyond 6 dGH and 3dKH? Breeder says 10 dGH.


alkemist
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A few days ago I stocked my new but fully cycled 9 gallon planted tank. I purchased Bloody Mary variety from a "local" seller (about an hour away). They use local tap water, which is very hard but I opted to go with RODI since I have copper pipes. I remineralize with salty shrimp GH/KH to the recommended level of 6 dGH and 3 dKH and currently around 212 TDS. After looking at various sources online, this was within spec of keeping neocaridina shrimp.

I slowly drip acclimated them to my tank and they seem to be doing ok, one has molted already. I did have a concern about one of my shrimp so I contacted the breeder. I let them know my water parameters and now they tell me from their experience, they won't breed successfully unless it's at least 10 dGH. I am not sure what to do at this point. Do I slowly try to raise the GH by buying Bee Shrimp mineral (GH) only and mix it with the Salty Shrimp with RODI and drip acclimate it in during the water change? I am assuming this is going to take weeks to months. Or do I just wait and see what happens? I purchased 10 (+2) shrimp from them and wanted to grow my own colony. Preferably sooner than later.

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6 dGH is survivable for Neocaridina but they are not likely to thrive. There is a lot of bad information on the internet, I had to learn the hard way. Read our FAQ if you haven't.

This is what the breeder told me and this is their FAQ and under the Water Parameters drop down, they list 10 dGH minimum for breeding.

https://aquabytes.com/pages/faq

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Wow that is extreme, I would stick to your original plan. Even if you did match their GH the 2 waters would be different as you are using RO water and they are using tap water. I definitely don't recommend messing about with those high parameters or even your existing parameters, keep it stable and consistant, and give it some time!

I have bloody mary shrimp and mine are around GH4/KH1/TDS 158 (when last testeed 2 years ago) and breed like crazy, albeit they are old stock now so mostly wild type unfortunately.

It probably wasn't too good an idea to buy from someone thats parameters are so out of whack but you have them now so fingures crossed they do well. By using RO water with salty shrimp the water should be ideal for 'normal' shrimp. They breed from about 3 months so as you don't know how old they are there shouldn't be a great wait!

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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What might be successful for one breeder, might not be successful for another.

There are more than one way of being successful in breeding shrimp.

Since the big difference is the water type being used, I too would stick to the 6GH, 3KH and 212 TDS for the Neo shrimp you have. These parameters have been proven successful for many, many people. Even the RO remineralisers are built to produce these parameters says something.

If you find the shrimp are not breeding for you after 3 months, just start swapping their water changes with dechlorinated tap water ... easy.

 

To be honest, I'm surprised the shrimp breed for that breeder at all in such hard water. It would be interesting to see the chemical composition of Indiana's ground water. It must not be Calcium that is making the ground water hard. 

Edited by jayc
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I did a water test today and it looks like my parameters are changing on it's own in the tank.. not quite sure what is causing it. The TDS goes up, which is natural but my GH is now 7 and my KH is now 4.. PH might be a little higher, think it was 7.7 yesterday and 7.9 today. 

I just hope it doesn't keep rising on it's own, I struggled to mix salty shrimp over the 6 GH and 3KH. I originally setup the tank with my local tap water but then decided to swap to RODI during cycling. I use Seachem's Flourite black sand and read that it is considered inert but can leach back into the water column. Otherwise I have tiger stones (should be inert), spiderwood, cholla wood and a few alder cones.

6 hours ago, jayc said:

To be honest, I'm surprised the shrimp breed for that breeder at all in such hard water. It would be interesting to see the chemical composition of Indiana's ground water. It must not be Calcium that is making the ground water hard. 

The water reports here aren't great, I was hoping to at least see how much calcium and magnesium was in the water but they don't even have that in the water quality report. 

I still have to do my first water change. I have a plan but I'm just antsy since they are considered delicate and sensitive.

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You should be fine as the shrimp came from higher parameter water anyway, just stick with mixing new water to about TDS 200 and drip it into the tank and it should settle. As you say, there may be some deposits left from the tap water that the substrate is releasing.

At this point, try not to test too much and get into a regular water change and maintenance routine! You only need to mix the RO and minerals using the TDS figure, and test the GH and KH once a month, or if it looks like there is a problem. Neocaridina shrimp are fairly robust but keep changing water parameters will be a problem, just let it run as you planned and if there aren't any/many deaths, that should be enough for now? Maybe 10% water change each week, dripping in the new water should be sufficient?

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13 hours ago, alkemist said:

tiger stones

What is a Tiger Stone? I've never heard of that before. 

 

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12 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

You should be fine as the shrimp came from higher parameter water anyway, just stick with mixing new water to about TDS 200 and drip it into the tank and it should settle.

Ok, thanks. I will do this.

 

11 hours ago, jayc said:

What is a Tiger Stone? I've never heard of that before. 

 

I haven't heard about this before until I've seen it in the store.

This is what I purchased. Supposedly the bag label says they are from China. The store page doesn't show you exactly what the rock looks like though.

https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/imagitarium-turtle-terrain-tiger-stripe-rocks

They look like this.

https://www.myaquariumclub.com/i-bought-some-tiger-rock-from-dollar-tree-and-wanted-to-know-if-they-where-...-725499.html

How they look like in my tank, before I let it grow and age. 

https://imgur.com/hbzmmRo

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I’m in agreement with Simon and Jayc here. Definitely best to go with parameters that are easier to maintain. Success with shrimp is most often found through consistency. 
 

If it’s easy enough, I’d encourage you to take out the smallest piece of tiger stone and test if it raises pH. Get 2 plastic containers, fill both with the same amount of water, and put the tiger stone in one of them. Then measure pH in both (just to be sure), and wait a week or two before measuring again. 
 

On another note, that tank looks great!

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I mixed RODI the other day to 200 TDS. I did my water change today, 10% (about a gallon) and slowly dripped it in. I believe the tank TDS has raised to 219 by last night. The TDS measured has raised to 222 after I slow dripped half gallon of mixed water into the tank. I was concerned so I stopped and now have it at straight RODI water. I hope that is ok and not cause any issues? I noticed some of my shrimp zooming around, some of the older, larger ones. I think I saw a female with green eggs earlier in the day but I haven't seen her since. Then there are some still picking away on the sponge filter.

 

22 hours ago, Crabby said:

If it’s easy enough, I’d encourage you to take out the smallest piece of tiger stone and test if it raises pH. Get 2 plastic containers, fill both with the same amount of water, and put the tiger stone in one of them. Then measure pH in both (just to be sure), and wait a week or two before measuring again. 
 

On another note, that tank looks great!

I think I'll have to test it. Nothing happened during the original vinegar test but can never be too sure, especially if the parameters are changing.

Thanks! This is not my first planted tank but it is my first planned from the ground up aquascape. I wasn't sure how it would all come out but overall, I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. Just need to get that filamentous algae under control. I was able to add in the dwarf water lettuce last night.

Edited by alkemist
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It will be a good idea to test the rock as crabby suggested.

I see from the  photo of the tank that it has no cover and that may mean you are gettng quite a bit of evaporation,  which will raise the TDS as evaporation is purely water. Top ups should be pure RO water to correct this. Adding new/clean water usually encourages activity like molts and breeding etc - in nature I assume that is what happens after rainfall!

I hope you see more carrying eggs and soon get some shrimplets and pleased to not hear of any deaths this far!

I have had algae when setting up new tanks but it has always died off/vanished once the tank is stable and has been running a few months.

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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