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  1. Hi. I'm new to shrimp keeping. I have a nano tank (25l) with a few orange cherry shrimp, I also have one Betta and 6 pygmy cory and two spotted Ramshorn snails. (The Betta is completely non aggressive to anything other than his own reflection) My problem is with the KH, My Tap water regularly measures 1-2 KH with TDS of 80ppm GH of 2-3 PH 6.8/7 with 0 copper. I was concerned that there would not be enough minerals for my shrimp to moult etc, I added a water equaliser buffer and my KH rose to 5, GH rose to 6 however my PH also went up to 7.8 which is to high for my Betta and my Cory. Since adding some of the buffered water to my tank my PH has been between 7.4 and 7.8 day to night - it didn't used to swing so much - but my KH has again dropped to 4 I am still at 225ppm my GH is 5 Can anyone advise me what is best? When I didn't use any buffer my tank and just used Prime in my tap water my PH remained between 6.6 and 6.8 Tank temperature is 24.5 as that's about as low as I can go for my Betta What would other people do and am I trying to keep the right type of shrimp or is there another that would be better suited to my tap water (once treated) or should I not try to have shrimp at all? The tank is planted although there hasn't been much growth from anything other than my mosses and something (I think snail) is eating new growth on the java fern. There are plenty of hiding places for the shrimp and they are quite shy obviously, but getting bolder. Tank seems fully cycled (it's been running 2 months and was started with bacteria from my pond) as I have 0 nitrite 0 ammonia all the time Nitrates have been on the high side at 20ppm (water changes done at this point) but have now started to stabilise at 5ppm I have a bio filter and sponge filter and airstone (too much oxygen?) All running on lowest settings. Any help or advice please
  2. Understanding toxicity impacts between pH level and Ammonia. How does pH affect the toxicity of ammonia? Table 1 - the Nitrification and Ammonification process. The Ammonia reading you get from test kits is actually the sum of Total Ammonia - which is made up of Ammonia NH3 + Ammonium NH4. At low levels of pH (lower than 6.0), ammonification occurs. Remember, pH is an inverse count of Hydrogen (H). At low pH, you have more Hydrogen. At high pH, you have less. At these low levels of pH (high acidity), the ammonia NH3 'absorbs' (for lack of a better word), an extra Hydrogen ion -> becoming NH4 or ammonium. The reason Ammonium is less toxic to fish and shrimp is because NH4 with that added Hydrogen H ion is now less permeable to the gills of fish & shrimp. NH4 is also excreted across the gills via a carrier mediated process in exchange for sodium Na+. Ammonia toxicity is also influenced by temperature: The lower the temperature the less toxic it becomes. Or to put it another way - NH3 toxicity increases with temperature and pH. Percent NH3 of total ammonia Temp pH 6.5 pH 7.0 pH 7.5 pH 8.0 pH 8.5 20C / 68F 0.13 0.40 1.24 8.82 11.2 25C / 77F 0.18 0.57 1.77 5.38 15.3 28C / 82F 0.22 0.70 2.17 6.56 18.2 30C / 86F 0.26 0.80 2.48 7.46 20.3 Table 2. Un-ionized NH3 as a percent of total ammonia (by temperature and pH). Assuming a temp of 28C and a pH of 7.0 - if 5ppm of ammonia is present this results in only .03 ppm ammonia. However, in a Tanganyikan Cichlids tank with a pH of 9.0, that has a Total Ammonia of 5 ppm, your ammonia level is 2.06 ppm! This now become toxic for the fish. But, at a pH of 6.0, and 10 ppm of Total Ammonia, the ammonia is only .007 ppm. Even though we have MORE ammonia. So be cautious when performing water changes in a low pH tank, as the low pH has an adverse affect on the nitrifying bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrite. Because of the acidity these bacteria populations can drop so low that any change in alkalinity can cause the Total Ammonia reading to rise quickly. While the pH stays low the Total Ammonia reading is nearly all ammonium, but if you do a water change or add an alkalinity buffer to the system, the ammonium can be quickly converted to ammonia, potentially causing ammonia poisoning. It is good to note here that, as per the very top picture (table1) ... nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonia NH3 to Nitrate (NO3) does NOT convert Ammonium NH4 to a less toxic form. The bacteria isn't present in sufficient amounts in such low pH environments to process it. Ammonium NH4 is ever present in a low pH tank that has living creatures in it. NH4 is in there ready to be converted into NH3 at the first sign of added alkalinity during water changes. Hence, why we always tell you to match water parameters and add it into the tank slowly (drip it in if you can), don't dump in buckets of new water all at once. So in summary, the combination of low pH (<6) and cool temperatures that the shrimp live in can mean that high ammonia levels are not toxic to them. But be careful !!! Any change in the pH buffer that increases alkalinity will cause the toxic ammonia to immediately convert from NH4 to NH3. There you go. Hopefully that is a more precise explanation to aid your understanding. The ideal spot to be is just above 6.1 to 6.5, where bacteria still function, and ammonia is less toxic. Along with the cool temperatures some shrimp (or fish) live in, is the best environment to be in to minimise ammonia poisoning. I wonder how many times our shrimp die in hot temps, (say due to hot weather ... maybe even a broken heater) not because of the heat, but because our low pH tanks have not enough functioning bacteria to cope with the sudden change in toxic NH3 ammonia due to the rise in temps??? Food for thought.
  3. Hello, So the problem is, that my pH is always rising and settling in the range of around 6.8, but I fail to understand why and I hope you will clarify the problem for me. Let's get into details: I am running inert substrate tanks, which have the following parameters: pH 6.7-6.8, GH 5-6, KH 0-1, TDS ~125. My routine is that I do weekly water changes of around 20%. The water for changes is RO water + salty shrimp GH+ + Azoo Triple Black Water (which is basically a tannins and humic acids extract)+ Azoo Ph Lower, and I usually adjust the pH to around 6.0-6.2 as I want to keep it acidic, but the pH just won't go down lower than 6.7(to be exact - If I would add peat, or a lot of those acids, then sure it would go down lower, but after some time it always comes to it's usual 6.8 range). I also adjust the pH of the top-up water, which is RO + Triple Black Water. As I am adding a lot of acids into the water I thought the pH should stay acidic, unless there is something that absorbs those acids. So I did a test - I have prepared my usual bucket of water, re-mineralised it and adjusted pH to below 6.0 and let the bucket be. After around 24 hours I have measured the pH of the water in the bucket and, the pH was back at around 6.6. So it raised a lot. Once again I lowered the pH to below 6.0 using Triple Black Water only, and after another 48 hours the pH was again 6.8. So why is the pH rising ? I understand that with kH 0 there is nothing to buffer the water, but since I am adding acids into the water and there is nothing that could absorb them what causes the pH to raise ? Thanks !
  4. Hi everyone, I have spent some time searching (unsuccessfully!) for any threads set up to address how to naturally and chemically treat the more important water parameters. Obviously I'm not talking about temp, but the PH, TDS, KH and GH levels are the ones I'm most interested in. Now I'm country based so the only water I've got access to is R/W and bore (perfectly drinkable from the pump itself, no brackishness) which I have used for 4 of my 6 tanks (tropical and a few lower grade cherries). But I want to better hone in the water condition as best I can so any tricks to raise lower the above parameters naturally or if need be chemically. Or if anyone knows/finds a link, anything will be appreciated. Had put this in the pinned "Shrimps 101" but will try to delete it as it's probably better as a separate post. Being rural makes water choice difficult and some of the values I've tested are way out, hence why I'm seeking advice. Cheers all.
  5. revolutionhope

    remineralising for tigers

    Hey SKF peoples, I'm just mixing up my RO water with a combination of GH+ and GH/KH+ to keep tiger shrimps in. And I thought I'd share my experience, I gradually added the minerals and measured pH along the way and I thought I'd share the results. I note that the pH may change overnight after letting stand but I have been running a pump in the water to mix it well and aerate it so I doubt there will actually be any measurable shift. As you can see by the results, the GH/KH+ pushed up the pH a LOT! Does anyone else have this experience? I have achieved my desired water parameters in terms of ppm and GH/KH however the pH is unreal.. and this is not the first time this has happened to me either. However t is the first time I have taken the effort to document the fact. I'm planning on experimenting with adding a very shallow layer of the cal aqua labs black earth premium and monitoring the pH over the course of days.. expecting it to slowly drop... Any input is 100% welcome! love n peace will PS the initial drop in pH after adding the first lot of GH+ I understand can be explained (as I have read elsewhere) that when attempting to measure the pH of RO water using a pH meter the device can not accurately produce any result due to the lack of ions/conductivity in the water. 27/05/2016 EC meter HM TDS-3 pH meter pH APIkit KH GH At time of water mixing EC0 ppm0 fresh RO 6.6 after adding 50ppm GH+ 6.3 after adding 30ppm GH/KH 7 after adding 25ppm GH/KH 7.5 after adding 45ppm GH/KH EC300 8.3 after adding 17ppm GH/KH EC333 ppm175 8.3 7.8 3 8
  6. Can anyone confirm if seiryu stones increase ph ? Tanks been running for about 2 months. Last fortnight ph has gone up to about 7.4 from 6.6. Added few IAL and still not lowering ph
  7. revolutionhope

    low pH

    Hi SKF! I'm hoping to get some advice and opinions on managing pH for a tank with cherries and bee shrimps. My pH is measuring around 5.4 and I'm concerned it may continue to drop over time to unacceptable levels even for bee shrimps. Currently there is only CRS in the tank but I want to add some neos soon. Firstly some background detail - I have a tank with a modest amount of cal aqua labs black earth premium as per the manufacturer's advice. I use RO/DI water (I changed cartridge recently and TDS of RO is zero) with SS GH+. I keep up with regular WC and the TDS is about 140ppm at last check. The tank is heavily planted, has quite a few pieces of driftwood here and there and also some catappa/IAL. There is oodles and oodles of filtration including canister and air driven sponges, and the stocking rate is low-medium. There is some benibachi fulvic grains in the canister (although these fulvic grains are roughly 6 months old and should be close to expiring now; however I will still remove these fulvic grains when I get around to doing some maintenance on the canister however). The shrimp are quite happy and new ones are regularly getting berried. Anyway, so aside from removing the fulvic grains and possibly removing the indian almond leaf, and maybe some of the larger driftwood which may help to prevent the gradual acidification that is going on. I am wondering if anyone has experience using small amounts of aragonite or similar to help buffer the tanks. If anyone has any other suggestion or opinion it will be greatly appreciated. I don't fancy that cherry shrimps will breed very well in pH 5.4 or less and I really do want to keep some different coloured shrimps in this setup! I will be most grateful for any input :-) love n peace will -edit- I should add that it's true that as a last resort if it really comes to it then I could remove some of the substrate but I don't want to pollute the water in this way if I can avoid it..
  8. s1l3nt

    Issues lowering ph

    Hey all, I've been racking my brain for a while trying to find a solution to my problem and bugging a few other people for their opinions and have come to the conclusion of something strange going on so here I am asking for more advice on here! Firstly some background on the problem.... This is NOT for a shrimp tank, it is for an apisto tank. I am trying to reduce the pH in one of my tanks to be between 5.5 and 6. To do this I am using RO water and drip filtering this (small handful in a cup that water drips through as it fills the drum) through peat moss which brings the water ph down to ~5.8pH , 0TDS with a kh/gh of 0. The starting pH in the tank was 7.2-7.4pH and the starting TDS was ~150, unsure on original gh/kh but tap water was used on the tank prior and that is 3kh and 3gh so shouldnt be far off. Current paramaters are 7.0-7.2pH, 20TDS, 0-1kh and 0-1gh, i will explain below how I got the paramaters to this point. The tank is a bare bottom breeding tank, and has nothing that should effect pH at all in it. Here is a list of things in the tank: - 2 x sponge filters - 5-6 x Marine pure spheres - 2 x coconut cave (originally had 1 coconut and 1 terracotta pot but have since removed the terracotta pot for testing, explained further below). - a bunch of oak leaves, loquat leaves and a few indian almond leaves. - Some java moss, java fern and some anubias. Shot of tank prior ot removing the terracotta pot: I have done 6-7 water changes in total ranging in size from 50-75% and the ph has not moved from what it is while the TDS goes down each time by roughly the same percentage. After the last water change I decided to test the gh/kh also, which came back at 0-1 (1 drop) on the api kit for both gh and kh. last water change was 4-5 days ago now, i have since pulled out the terracotta pot and put it in a tub of RO water and it has had no effect on pH but am going to test gh/kh tonight. pH now remains at 7.0-7.2 (the last water change, of 80%, had a slight effect on pH but could be the pH pen reading slightly out now), and kh/gh is still 0-1. I am considering doing another water change tonight if I get time to fill the drum, again filtering RO through peat but this time using more peat (2-3 handfuls) to get the pH even lower then usual and see if doing a 25-50% water change has any effect on the pH.... I also now need to start re-mineralising the water back to ~50 TDS to bring it back up as the TDS is currently fairly low at only 20... Doing this with Salty Shrimp GH+ at the moment (plans to swap to JayC's DIY mix after this runs out). All testing of pH and TDS is done with an electronic meter (usual cheapies from ebay) but I am confident that the issue is not with them as they measure the lower ph fine. (I've mixed water up as low as 3.8pH previously and it measures fine). Any suggestions for what I am doing wrong or what could be causing the pH to not budge? Thank you in advance for reading the long post and any help/advice offered :)
  9. revolutionhope

    nitrfying bacteria pH shock

    hey skf, I know that nitrifying bacteria begin to die off at lower pH levels but I wonder whether nitrfying bacteria can suffer from pH shock/stress. For example if I have a live filter in a tank with pH 7,5 or 8 or more even and I then place the-filter in a tank with pH 6 (or if I did this the other way around say) would this cause significant die-off of the nitrifying bacteria? love n peace will
  10. rawprawn

    PH Meter

    Hi All, I already have a TDS meter (HM TDS3), and am looking to get a PH meter, as I'm sick of doing API tests on all of my tanks. I'm looking at the following types: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/ph80.html http://www.hannainst.com.au/learn_more/c:HI+98107 http://www.milwaukeetesters.com/pH600.html All are available in Australia, in the $40-80 range. I won't be buying a cheapy off ebay. These things only work with special treatment (pre start conditioning/calibration/storage), and a lot of people seem to come unstuck with them that way. Has anyone tried any of these units?
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