This is my first post at SKF Aquatics forum. I came across this forum by reading the amazing post about breeding Taiwan Bees shrimp written by Jayc. Regarding my first post, I just want to share with everyone the result that I've got from my little experiment with my current colony of PRL CRS. A little bit about myself, I've been keeping all kind of shrimps over the last 3 years, starting with ghost shrimps, then move on the Amano shrimps, then cherry shrimps, and now I have 4 tanks of 2000+ PRL CRS and CBS. About 6 months ago, after having some difficult time of finding ADA at a good price, I decided to start an experiment on keeping PRL CRS in a tank without active substrate to see if it's possible as well as if there are any problems of not having an active substrate. I setup a 20 gallon tank with regular cheap gravel, 1 driftwood, 1 cholla wood, some annubias, and some subwassertang. I use RODI water and remineralize it to the TDS of 130. pH of my RODI water is 7.2 to 7.5. I did not cycle the new tank because I was using two sponge filters from the other existing tanks. I then moved 25 PRL CRS from well-established tank that has pH of 6.6 and TDS of 135 to the new tank. After about 6 months, the result that I got is pretty amazing. I've got tons of baby shrimps and lots of berried female. Attached is the picture of the experiment tank 🙂
Again, thanks for all the help.
I ordered the Shrimp GH+KH minerals and they arrived today and did a 20l water change.
I plan to do 20l on Saturday and 20l on Tuesday when I'm off, so that'll be over 100% water change.
If my tank stats come back o.k, I might finally look into getting some shrimp next week.
It is definitely more of a balancing act when trying to keep everything happy in a tank with Shrimps and plants, but don't be put off I think you will be fine. When putting the shrimps in the tank you should take hours of dripping to acclimate them and you may lose a few with the low Ph but I am sure it will work out in the end as cherry shrimps are fairly tough. If you use all RO water and GH/KH+ then the PH will always be lower even after the buffering of the soil stops, but this is the easiest route to go! If you go the mixed water 1:3 with GH+ the same applies but the PH will be slightly higher and will be cheaper (less GH+ and RO water needed), so overall this is the way I would go, and it isn't all that complicated once you get it up and running!
As with JayC I doubt you really will need any ferts but if you must then use a lot less than the packaging recommends!
The best thing to do is just decide which route you prefer to go from the start as it gets so much more difficult to change it later? I don't have any issue with keeping shrimps/fish/plants happy and I don't use CO2 or any fertilizers so it is definitely possible and not that difficult if I can do it? I think that a lot of the plant fertilizers etc are really intended for plant aquascapes without any inhabitants but with fish and/or shrimps there will be natural fertilizer and the soil should have enough to start everything off?
If you still aren't too sure I would just try running the tank without the CO2 or ferts (with the exception of as JayC recommends above) for a few weeks and just see how the plants get on, as you can start using either/both again at any point if they don't look like they are ok, but I expect it will work out fine. This will also give you time to mull it over at leisure?