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kapp

Help needed: new shrimp sabout to arrive and pH doing crazy things

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kapp

Hi all,

My shrimp order is about to arrive but I noticed after cycling my tank and getting it ready for them over three weeks, the pH has started dropping. No matter what I do, water changes or addition of some pH up, the pH gradually falls until it hits 4.4.

It's a 2ft tank, I've turned the heater off as its not needed, has a few plants in it, have stopped the CO2 which I was going to use to stablise the pH from going up.

I thought it might be the soil, I think the brand is called Aqua-Up. I use it in my main tank with apistos and shrimp and its fine. But I took about 70% of it out lasst night to test and did a water change. Before bed the pH was 6.33. This morning its back down to 4.42.

The only thing I can think that maybe causing this is the filter media. I used an old Eheim Professional. I put two loads of brand new media in but left one level of old mechanical media in the bottom. Is there any chance that could be causing this? If not, any suggestions / help? I've taken a small tank out of the garage and cleaned it up in case I need to put the shrimp in there with no soil, plants, big filter, etc, for now. Looks like I'll have to use it.

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al4n

How thick have you layered the UP aqua soil?

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BlueBolts

Hi kapp, are you able to post a pic of your tank.

1. What's the thickness of your substrate

2. Are you WC with Tap Water ? What's the PH of it ?

3. What type of shrimps are you getting ?

Definitely stop CO2, as it will further lower your PH. I'd stop using PH up, as that's only a temporary solution, and will cause PH fluctuations which isn't great for shrimps. I doubt its the filter medium. Are you adding anything else (IAL ?...) to the tank.

If it's the Up-Aqua shrimp sand, it should buffer it to approx. 6.4. Do a PH test again, just in case the 1st one wasn't done right.

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torface

Any rocks in the tank?

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kapp

Hi All - yes it's the Up-Aqua shrimp soil - but looks like above it should buffer to 6.4. The substrate was originally about 2 inches think. now it's under 1 inch.

I put on rock in last night to tie my anubias to, so this was happening before that went in.

I've got a control board that constantly measures pH and temperature. I recalibrated it previously and again last night and the same readings are still coming up. Am thinking of grabbing the control board from my main tank and seeing if it gets the same readings. But if it's reading the calibration fluid correctly, it can't be that. But I'll also break out the photometer tonight, I've got some pH reagents to test with that as an ultimate back-up.

I am using tap water for the water change. Tap water's pH is around 7.2. Even after a 40% water change that lifted the pH earlier this week, the pH still dropped back to 4.4.

Am getting CRS in this shipment. Have been able to delay my other order of chameleons.

Nothing else is being added to the water. To separate the tank into thirds, I got some hard plastic vent covers from Mitre10 and put them in with aquarium safe silicon. I doubt very much these would be leaching anything.

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BlueBolts

2 inches of Up Aqua will reduce your PH severely in a 2 foot tank.....perhaps with couple of WC with you tap water, the PH will stabilise to 6.4.

Take a cup of tank water out of the tank, do a 40% WC of the cup, and then test for the PH....if the tap water's PH is 7.2, the cup of water's PH should rise and stabilise.....theoritically the tank should be doing the same, if not then you can start eliminating the cause of the PH drop .....

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kapp
2 inches of Up Aqua will reduce your PH severely in a 2 foot tank.....perhaps with couple of WC with you tap water' date=' the PH will stabilise to 6.4.

Take a cup of tank water out of the tank, do a 40% WC of the cup, and then test for the PH....if the tap water's PH is 7.2, the cup of water's PH should rise and stabilise.....theoritically the tank should be doing the same, if not then you can start eliminating the cause of the PH drop .....[/quote']

Great idea for an isolation test - thanks BB

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kapp

Hi guys,

Well in short, the problem continues. And unfortunately my shrimp arrived tooday too. Have put the shrimp into a lunch box type plastic container and slowly added water from my main tank. The shrimp are all doing really well. Will do daily part water changes until I can sort out the pH issue with their new home.

So tonight, I did a 70% water change. Also put some of the tank water in a cup and added tap water, as a control sample. I tested the pH on my photometer and was getting 6.5 whereas the control unit electrodes were getting readings of 4.02. THen I reread the instruction book for the photometer and found it only measures pH from 6.5-8.5. aarrgghh!!!

I grabbed my control unit from my main tank to see what readings it got. First I changed the electrodes over to see if the units got the same readings. I'm getting differences between the units of between 0.2 and 0.35 pH, even after calibrating both units.

For about 2.5 hours the pH was constant, at about 6.15. After leaving the tank on it's own for about 90 mins I just went and checked it and the pH was back down to 4.6 and 5.3 and falling. I really think it's the Up-Aqua soil. I've now removed just about all the soil and done another water change. Am heading to bed now and the pH is at about 6.45 as I was leaving it. Hopefully it'll be close to that tomorrow morning.

Btw - the cup of water that had about 1/3 tank water and 2/3 tap water, had a stable pH of about 6.6 over the whole time.

WIll let you all know in the morning how it went. Am so hoping it's stable.

In the mean time, any other ideas are very welcome.

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BlueBolts

If I read it right, if the tank's PH is stabilised in the morning, then it's the soil? Isolate some of the soil in a cup of water with high PH water, and see whether the PH drops.

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al4n

Patience, you'll get there mate.

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mr_c265

Test for KH first, if its low under 1 DGH, add a little bicarb, that will stabilise your pH.

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kapp

Culprit found!!!

I went down to the basement this morning on my way out to work to check the pH. You wouldn't beleive it, I found a small leprechaun, lost from St Paddy's Day, brewing his own beer and using my tank to store his hops. I had some stern words with him and it won't happen again.

Well actually, no. It didn't quite go like that but the Up-Aqua soil is definitely the culprit. The two pH meters this morning were reading 6.72 and 6.85. So the pH had actually gone up overnight now that the soil has been removed.

As noted above, the soil should buffer the water to about 6.4 pH, so am not sure what's happened here. I may have put way too much in at first but after taking 60-70% of it out of the tank the day previous, why would it still be dropping the pH down to 4.0??? Just a bad batch?

I've never used the benebachi soil before, but it seems to be one of the most common used for shrimp keeping. So will head down to one of my local LFS's on the weekend to get a bag. Will just have to keep changing the water in the little container that's got the shrimp until then. There's no risk to the shrimp if i keep doing that each day, is there? There's about 25-30 CRS and golden shrimp in a plastic lunch box size container.

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ineke

Thank goodness you solved that problem! If you have an esky that is a great place as a temporary home for the shrimp. I used one for about 70 shrimp plus a bucket for some plants. The esky kept the water at almost perfect temp and the bucket got quite cool. I have done that for tropical fish as well just makes it easier to keep them without having to change the water .

cheers

ineke:encouragement:

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kapp

Great tip, thanks ineke. I'll check the temperature when I get home tonight. Thankfully the absement room where they are has quite a stable temperature. Still a great idea.

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torface

Hey Ineke, did you put a filoter or air pump in the esky with the shrimp?

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ineke

An airstones works well keeps it aerated without a huge current but a sponge filter is good too plus it keeps the bacteria on the sponge alive while playing with the tank. If it is cool you can put a heater in too but as Squiggle pointed out don't let it touch the esky - support it on or in something that won't melt. I also put moss or plants in for them to hide and feel safe

Cheers

Ineke:encouragement:

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kapp

Hi all. Quick update to wrap this up. My LFS owner was doing a late night pickup from Sydney airport last night so stopped by to drop off some Up-Aqua shrimp sand. I put it in straight away and gave it a couple hours to settle, while montoring the water parameters. Everything looked good and stable. I started acclimatising the shrimp to the new tank water and put them in just before bed.

This morning, the pH was stable and all shrimp looked to be doing fine. :)

So some good lessons. Definitely learnt the difference between Up-Aqua soil and shrimp sand.

Thanks to everyone for your help.

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Squiggle

Awesome news kapp, glad to hear it's all worked out :encouragement:

4-29-12-hilarious-fail-funny-photos18hints_zpsd5868319.jpg

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ineke

Hallelujah thank goodness for that:encouragement:

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