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Water parameter help


valpre
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(Edit): Forgot to mention what I'm keeping lol. I'm looking at starting a colony of neocaridina shrimp, sakura/fire red to be more specific and am in desperate need of assistance when it comes to water parameters.

I have a 60L (15 gallon) tank set up at the moment, its bare bottomed with 3 pieces of driftwood, all with moss attached to them as well as an Indian almond leaf. The water parameters for the tank are;

  • pH: 6.8
  • kH: 0-1
  • gH: 3
  • TDS: 47

I haven't listed ammonia, nitrite or nitrate as the tank is newly set up and currently cycling. I've been doing a lot of research and everywhere says that both my gH and kH need to be a bit higher. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to what is the best way to increase both the gH and kH without raising the pH too much.

Edited by valpre
Forgot to mention what I was planning to stock with.
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@valpre welcome to SKFA.

If you are setting this tank up for shrimp, I would not change the parameters. But you don't say what the tank is going to be for. They look ideal right now if you are keeping Caridina. But as you said, the tank is still cycling. Parameters could change after it is cycled, so test again and reassess the situation.

KH is linked to pH. So you can't alter KH without also altering pH. But you don't need KH in a shrimp tank, even for Neo Caridina. They do fine with low KH. All my shrimp tanks are between the 0-1 KH range. The Neos also do fine with 3-4KH. I just find it easier maintaining all my tanks the same irrespective of Neo Caridina or Caridina. 

However, if you really need to, GH can be raised with Calcium sulphate and Magnesium sulphate (at 4:1 ratio) without altering pH. This is where the shrimp remineralising mixes are used by many to raise the GH and TDS of rain or RO water. And judging by your TDS of 47, it looks like you could use some remineralising products to increase GH and TDS a little. Note: you can get remineraliser products for Neo Caridina that also raise KH. So unless that is what you are after (for Neo Caridina), than be sure to pick the right product.

If you can find some Montmorillonite clay, that could also be used for a slower increase to GH over time. But this is just an alternative, I'd just get a remineraliser mix to adjust the water parameters.

Edited by jayc
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My apologies @jayc I completely forgot! I've edited the original post now but I was planning on keeping neocaridina's, sakura/fire red specifically. 

Thanks for all the advice, I've been looking at getting the shrimp salts to increase the gH and kH but nobody had mentioned adding it to tap water, only RO or distilled so I wasn't sure if it was even an option. 

Thanks again!

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I'm not sure where you are based and it looks like JayC has you well covered! As JayC says don't mess about with the parameters too much until the tank has finished cycling, then you can get on with altering the parameters. Your water is quite good (hopefully no chlorine etc though) so I would think you can just raise the parameters using your water and adding some standard GH/KH+ shrimp mineraliser. I add gh/kh+ to dechlorinated tap water for my Betta tank!

IF that doesn't work (but I am sure it should work fine) you can just buy a zerowater water filter jug to get RO equivalent water. That filter in the jug should last you very well as it is only removing 40ish TDS from your water. 

NeoCaridina ideal parameters, PH 6.5-7.5, TDS 150-250, GH 6-8, KH 1-4 and I think this should be attainable with your water plus gh/kh+, but these figures are ideal and a guide! The gh/kh+ is pre-set to produce these ideal figures/proportions when used with RO water.

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14 hours ago, valpre said:

Thanks for all the advice, I've been looking at getting the shrimp salts to increase the gH and kH but nobody had mentioned adding it to tap water,

Where are you located? With tap water like what you have, you should be keeping Caridina too! That's amazingly low TDS for tap. It's almost pure water.

 

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@jayc, I live in Cape Town, South Africa. The tap water here is amazing, I just wanted to get neocaridina first as I've heard they are the easier of the two. Also almost everywhere I've looked people say that RO/DI water is necessary for caridina, which has scared me off a bit to be honest!

@sdlTBfanUK Glad to know add the shrimp salts to tap water is an option! Thanks for the info, really appreciate it!

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My tap water is similar to yours. I tried adding coral sand to increase GH and KH but i just couldn't seem to get the neos to thrive. Until i started adding GH and KH remineralizers. That's when the population exploded.

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