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Cherry Shrimp gH, KH & pH help

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snewls

Hey guys 

Im new to shrimp and very excited about getting my tank up and ready!

But I am having a bit of trouble deciding what to do about my gH, kH and pH

My tanks been going just over a week and currently my parameters sit at the following-
Temp:24
pH:6.2
gH:3
kH:0
Ammonia: .5 (will cycle/water change this down to 0 hopefully) 
and I am using Fluval Stratum 

I am wanting to get the ph to 6.6-6.8 and was wondering what I should do to achieve this? I have heard Airstones can help raise pH a bit, is this true? 

I am wanting to get my gH to 6 (not too much higher for I may eventually add crsytals to the tank and want to practise keeping the parameters in a safe zone for them as well as the cherrys).  

And I don't know what to do about my kH?? Some people say kH of 0 is fine for Cherry shrimp, others say it should be higher. Has anyone had any adverse effects from a kH of 0?

My thought was that if its fine to keep the kH at 0 then I would use Salty Shrimp Bee gH+ to bring up the gH 

 

Really appreciate your help guys! This shrimp thing has a lot in it! 

Cheers, 
Snewls

 





 

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Disciple

Hey guys 

Im new to shrimp and very excited about getting my tank up and ready!

But I am having a bit of trouble deciding what to do about my gH, kH and pH

My tanks been going just over a week and currently my parameters sit at the following-
Temp:24
pH:6.2
gH:3
kH:0
Ammonia: .5 (will cycle/water change this down to 0 hopefully) 
and I am using Fluval Stratum 

I am wanting to get the ph to 6.6-6.8 and was wondering what I should do to achieve this? I have heard Airstones can help raise pH a bit, is this true? 

I am wanting to get my gH to 6 (not too much higher for I may eventually add crsytals to the tank and want to practise keeping the parameters in a safe zone for them as well as the cherrys).  

And I don't know what to do about my kH?? Some people say kH of 0 is fine for Cherry shrimp, others say it should be higher. Has anyone had any adverse effects from a kH of 0?

My thought was that if its fine to keep the kH at 0 then I would use Salty Shrimp Bee gH+ to bring up the gH 

 

Really appreciate your help guys! This shrimp thing has a lot in it! 

Cheers, 
Snewls

 

Welcome to the Forums Snewls,

I hope you enjoy yourself here.

I noticed you mentioned that you would like to keep Crystal shrimp in the future. If this is the case all I would do is increase your GH up to 4 or 5 and I believe you will have great conditions for CRS or CBS shrimp.

I understand you want to keep cherries first but if you acclimatise them slowly they can survive and thrive in WP more suited to Crystal shrimp.

 

 

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jayc

Are you using tap water?

That's great parameters if it's out of your tap.

 

Don't need to rush changing your pH right now, while your tank is still cycling. pH fluctuates while cycling.

You will get a true pH reading after the tank is cycled.

GH is easily raised with Salty Shrimp GH+.

KH is less critical. It's low, but it won't actually be 0. It's just that the test kit is not accurate enough to measure that low range. But if you really, really wanted to raise it 1 or 2 deg, Potassium sulphate carbonate is the way to go. And it only take a very small amount.

 

Edited by jayc
Sorry - correcting to Potassium carbonate

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snewls

Hey guys thanks for your replies!

Slowly getting my head around everything! So many factors :P

We are on tank water here so the good thing about that is it comes out at a neutral pH and it doesnt have the chemical additives that town water has in it

Ive decided to go with the salty shrimp GH+ to bump the GH up a bit (4-5), see how the pH goes as the tank continues to cycle and leave the KH for now :)

If the pH remains low I might have a go at trying to get it around 6.6 (from what ive read some people have had issues with 6.2 and heaps of people have had happy shrimp around the 6.6-6.8 mark)

Once I've got that all sorted it will be shrimp time!

Thanks for the help guys!

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larrymull

I think RCS can adapt to any sort of ph as they are very hearty. Currently I have them breeding in 6.0, 6.4 and 6.8, their colours look great too, no issues.

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Callan

The other thing to take into consideration is you said you were on tank water with additives. What is the tank made of and do you know what additives are being added to the water. If the tank is metal and I would hazard a guess that they may be adding chlorine among other things  then I would also be looking to add a nuetraliser to remove the heavy metals, chlorine and chloramines.  Do you have any air stones, air filters or any oxygenation happening in the tank? The chlorine will dissipate over a few days anyway but if you do a water change it may be something to keep in mind.

I slightly disagree with JayC in that that KH is not critical. The issue with this is that KH assists in keeping the ph at a stable level. Yes there are members who run shrimp tanks with no kh but they are experienced members who fully understand water parameters and the requirements to run these types of setups.  The two main ingredients that control KH and help maintain stable ph levels are calcium and magnesium. The issue as I said especially for new people is that your ph could crash for any reason and drop significantly and quickly. It could be as simple as over feeding. The result of this is that the biological system goes into damage control and will automatically revert back to ammonia to try stable itself. So in other words the cycle starts again. The issue and again being inexperienced is that an ammonia spike could happen anytime and kill your shrimp. There are products available to help in this scenario and most experienced hobbyist with shrimp and fish usually keep a product like Prime, stabiliser or some water conditioners come with an ammonia nuetraliser. Cherries are very hardy as has been mentioned so I personally believe after testing myself that cherries will survive at the lower ph levels but increasing the ph even to around 6.6ph I have found that my cherry shrimp breed much more frequently and shrimplets survival has increased. The crs will still do well at this level and there are members I know of who have kept crystals with a ph well over 7 not that I am saying thats a good thing. The main thing with shrimp is stability. The more stable everything stays the better they do. Thats why you do small water changes and slowly refill. I use tap water treated with a conditioner and use a ph buffering soil. There are others who use RO water and add minerals so at the end of the day it is up to you what way you go. The other advise I will give you from experience is don't rush getting the shrimp into the tank or try to add different chemicals in an attempt to get it to fully cycle quicker. It can sometimes take up to a month for the tank to be fully cycled. There are a few things you can do to assist in getting the tank to cycle a little quicker. The other advice I would give you is that you may loose shrimp at the start for any number of reasons and it is disheartening but remember that we have all been through the same issues so start with a cheaper type of shrimp and build up your stock levels slowly. Good luck, welcome to the forum and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to. We are all here to assist you with tips and advise. The forum itself has a lot of stickys which are under each of the relevant threads, so if you want information then have a look under the relevant thread. There is a lot of useful information there.

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kizshrimp

Ok so I have to disagree with 2 people now, sorry guys. We have to provide accurate information. 

Adding Potassium Sulphate will not affect KH. Neither are Calcium and Magnesium the compounds which control KH and therefore pH. CARBONATES of these affect the CARBONATE HARDNESS (KH), which as has been explained buffers against pH drop. I use Potassium bicarbonate usually, sodium bicarbonate is a common choice too. Calcium carbonate is almost insoluble so a poor choice. 

Calcium and Magnesium are measured to test GH not KH. Potassium sulphate is a useful plant fertilizer. 

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jayc

Oops,

sorry. I meant Potassium (bi)carbonate. Brain fade while typing. 

As Kiz said sodium bicarb can be used too to change KH, but sodium adds nothing to an aquarium, where as Potassium is actually more useful.

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Callan

It was probably a bit poorly worded Kiz but this is the point I was trying to make.

By Carl Strohmeyer-PAMR 35+ years experience
Updated 4/27/15

Many aquarists overlook the need for electrolytes; positive mineral cations such as calcium & magnesium and the effect of KH (Carbonate hardness) in their freshwater aquarium (marine aquarium keepers tend to be more aware of these processes/parameters).

Minerals such calcium are essential for osmotic function in fish and many aquarists make the mistake of believing that some fish such as Discus or Bettas do not require Calcium or minerals when in reality (based on many studies in biochemistry and relating to Redox Balance) these mineral cations are essential and GH test kits to not give the full picture 

KH is basically the alkaline buffering capacity of your aquarium (there also is an opposite acid buffering process which when combined with KH is important for planted aquariums or low pH aquariums;
A KH (Alkalinity) above 50 ppm helps prevent sudden drops in pH
KH (carbonate hardness) is an important source of energy for nitrifying bacteria that eliminate ammonia and nitrite. In addition, carbonates may be used by plants for photosynthesis when carbon dioxide (CO2) is absent.The production of Nitrates (via processes that are similar to the production of nitric & carbonic acids) will slowly reduce your ph, but an adequate KH will keep a more stable phThe unfortunate fact is that pH in aquariums isn't stable without other minerals as I mentioned above, such as calciummagnesium, Sodium, Iodine, Chloride, etc etc... These are what KH and GH measures are partly for.

 

 

Edited by Callan
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kizshrimp

Yes there's some great info on water chemistry out there on the web and it's well worth checking out for anyone interested. I seem to recall that above text by Carl Strohmeyer is from an article about ORP and possibly UV sterilisation which are both very interesting topics in their own right. Yes the wording is a bit iffy Callan, he mentions 3 predominant sources of carbonates in Sodium, Magnesium and Calcium but has worded the statement ambiguously. I'd have to disagree that a set level of KH (50ppm) is necessary to deliver a stable pH. Many shrimp keepers do fine with 10-15ppm, not even 1dKH. What IS important is the balance between background acid production ie stocking density and the KH value. A value of 50ppm would be appropriate for a community fishtank at a typical stocking density. I'm sure Carl understands this, but he's simplified his comments to the extent that they can be misleading. Randy Holmes-Farley is an interesting author to check out and his articles are usually a good read. 

All nitpicking about chemistry aside, most aquarists don't need to understand the theory behind everything to keep shrimp or fish - and hopefully aren't scared off by theoretical discussions! The practical reality of adding Salty Shrimp or a different conditioning salt of your choice, correctly following instructions on the packets and using test kits will adequately lead to the right water parameters. Routine partial water changes and replenishment of the removed salts with fresh will help to keep them there. 

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