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Cheza    6
Cheza

Hi everyone I was after a bit of help I've sent up a new tank to keep bb and kk pandas.

I've used Benibachi mineral soil, RO remineralised with Bee Shrimp mineral GH+, and HOB filter with stainless steal mesh over filer intake. My water parameters at the moment are:

Temp: 23C

Ph: 5.1

KH: 0

GH: 7

Nh:4

NO2:0.25

NO3:5

PO4:0.5

 

I realise my tank is still cycling so I'm not going to put anything in until the ammonia and nitrites come down to zero but I never had a problem before with the ph being so low but I've never used Benibachi soil before and my first attempt at keeping crs a few years back ended in them have problems cause I didn't know anything about keeping them and didn't want that to happen again so I've done a lot of reading, so if anyone can give me a few pointers or will the ph be more around 6.5 when the cycle is finished?ae9bab348a68eab0cb9aeaa91e5b1502.jpg

 

 

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ineke    887
ineke

I have been using Benibachi for 5 years with the same basic setup as you and unfortunately still haven't found a solution to the low ph. I have now started using much less than the 5-6 cm base of substrate but the tanks always seem to stay below 6 for a very long time. I just very slowly acclimatise my shrimp and they seem to adjust quite well. My shrimplet survival rates are excellent. I keep TB ( KK, Pandas BB  - all do well at 5.5 ) CRS, Tangerine Tigers, Tibees and Taitibees plus I keep a few Neocaridina - blues and yellows - the only shrimp that weren't breeding well  were OEBT when I had them in the low ph .  

The trouble with using any chemicals to change ph is the rise and fall in the parameters and shrimp like stability.  No doubt there will be something you can do to raise the ph but do make sure it's not using things like ph up etc.

You could siphon out some of the substrate to 2-3 cm , driftwood , IAL etc also lower ph .  

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Zoidburg    90
Zoidburg

Once the tank is done cycling, the pH may rise up higher.

I have heard of shrimp being low pH, around 5.0 (if not lower) and still thriving. Perhaps your shrimp will do fine like Ineke's?

 

If possible though, try to source your shrimp from a supplier who has them in lower pH to begin with.

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Cheza    6
Cheza

Thank you very much for replying, and thanks for the advice I will be doing checks again and hopefully the ph will come up a bit when cycling is finished, if it doesn't how slow would you recommend acclimatising ?


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jayc    1,401
jayc
44 minutes ago, Cheza said:

hopefully the ph will come up a bit when cycling is finished

It will but pH being so low is slowing down the tank cycling. How accurate is that pH reading? Was it from a liquid test kit or a pH meter?

pH dropping is normal during cycling. When pH drops that low during the cycling phase, just perform a water change, say 50%, with dechlorinated Tap Water. Assuming your tap water is like most peoples in cities, where the pH is ~7.6 - 8.0.

The tap water will give it a bit of a KH boost as well. 

This usually happens when you use RO water to cycle a tank. KH is already low with RO water. When the cycling process kicks in, you'll find KH being stripped and pH drops. Cycling with treated tap water is a better idea. 

When cycling is complete you can perform a final water change with RO water adjusted to the required parameters before adding shrimp/fish.

 

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ineke    887
ineke

As a general rule I drip mine for 2-3 hours but if the ph is vastly different you might need longer. I always check that the TDSand temperature in the shrimps water is equal to the tank water before transferring. As recommended try to buy from a breeder who has a low ph tank -a lot of TB breeders do have the lower ph tanks. 

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Cheza    6
Cheza

Hi jayc I used just tap water to start my cycle and for each water change for the first 3 weeks then for the next 2 weeks I have used RO remineralised with the Bee Shrimp Mineral GH+, I will do a partial water change using treated tap water and go back to remineralised RO when adjusting after cycle has finished. Thanks everyone for your advice.
Hi ineke, thanks for the info I will be sure to acclimatise them real slow when I get them, and I will buy a tds. meter and check that and temp before transferring them to the tank thank you for your help and advise it is much appreciated


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Cheza    6
Cheza

Update on tank
I did a 50% water change with treated tap water as suggested by jayc, and the tank has now finished cycling with parameters;
Temp: 21
Ph: 5.8
KH: 0
GH: 6
Nh: 0
NO2: 0
NO3: 5
PO4: 0
TDS is on it's way bought one last week, but have EC of 0.4 should be 0.3 so did 25% water change with RO water to drop this ( will be more accurate once I get my TDS meter).
Now the tank has finished cycling would it be recommended to wait another week or two before adding shrimp? I want my TDS meter so I can check everything before adding shrimp anyway so I will wait until I have that before getting the shrimp.f7bf898df047ce9ae78dec89ea02dea5.jpg


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Madmerv    130
Madmerv

Providing you are still adding some form of ammonia to keep the BB alive and active then the longer you wait the better. It gives the tank time to build up some extra biofilm for the shrimp to graze on and helps to bring the tank into it's final balanced state. It does take months for a tank to mature fully and be balanced out but who has that kind of patience. 

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Cheza    6
Cheza

Thanks for your reply Madmerv may I ask what you add in the form of ammonia?


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jayc    1,401
jayc
3 hours ago, Cheza said:

what you add in the form of ammonia?

You can drop a bit of fish food or shrimp food into the tank and let it rot.

If you have fish from another tank, they can go in there temporarily also.

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Cheza    6
Cheza

Thanks jayc I did a little google and some sites say add ammonia found at the local grocery store or add small amount of fish food so I added a small amount of baby shrimp powder thinking it would rot quickly because of its size, I will add a small amount every few days just to make sure the BB is kept alive, I hope this is ok? When getting the shrimp should I get all the shrimp at once (probably 21 in total, 3 different types) or get 7at a time? And add them a week apart? What would be better? Sorry for all the questions but I've killed a few crs a few years ago and didn't want to repeat that mistake, hence why I'm here asking all these dumb questions


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Madmerv    130
Madmerv
7 hours ago, Cheza said:

Thanks for your reply Madmerv may I ask what you add in the form of ammonia?


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As @jayc said but just remember to vac it out before you do a final WC and add the shrimp. I use a small glass bowl for my shrimp food to go in (if i can get it in the bowl) and i vac that out during WC so i get any uneaten food. That would make it easy to keep track of in an unpopulated tank.

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    • pmasa
      Thanks for all the tips @Baccus, the route that i am currently taking is to get a at least on blue adult then separate it with a male/female and go from there. At this stage i am still waiting for them to grow to adult and to make sure that they hold their colour through to adulthood. @revolutionhope i have a feeling that black shrimp start as blue and the colour gets deeper as they get older until the point that it almost looks black. I found when i first opened the parcel with the shrimp that the stressed state caused more of the underlying blue to come out, before darkening again. I currently have 4 tanks at my disposal for shrimp, however i would like to get into the caridinas and devote a tank to them... As an aside i have found that the 3 females (+1 reddish male) in my 60L community tank are significantly larger than those in their own tanks, i am wondering if the slightly warmer temperature and significantly more abundant food is playing a role in the size.
    • EBC
      It was Fluval Shrimp Stratum which I have learned tends to have a relatively short life span compared to other soils. Will probably just replace it all in about 6 months when I move again. Any recommendations for one that will last the longest? And one that I can actually buy in Australia? But yes, I imagine that she was just weak from the pH swings from before. The three remaining males all seem perfectly healthy for now at least. I'll give it some time to make sure there are no more deaths and then maybe find a nice female to add. I have seen varying opinions on this, but how often would you suggest doing water changes (standard, not emergency) on a small tank like mine (28L)? I was doing them pretty infrequently before (~monthly; 20%) as I was using tap water so I wanted to avoid too many. Now that I will have an RO system would ~10% weekly be better? Or something else? Thanks again.
    • KillieOrCory
      Nice. Look forward to seeing the progress. I am too impatient to start from scratch but the challenge seems worthwhile to attempt.
    • revolutionhope
      When you added soil can I ask what soil it was ? Did you pre-cycle it? Also it's worth noting that if that shrimp had been through some stress while exposed to high pH they will have weakened immune systems and so other little issues can tip them over the edge.   More than once I've discovered problems and corrected them as carefully as I could only to still watch the occasional shrimp die over the following days and weeks still despite conditions being ideal I believe.   will     PS Just as an aside - ¥others will have different opinions and prefer to do multiple smaller waterchanges but my modus operandi when I feel that a tank is "stuffed" is to do one or two huuuuuuge waterchanges - carefully allowing the new water to drip in slowly over 24-48 hours and then leave it be. The three times now that I've done this to get myself out of a bad spot I have found that although some already weak shrimp may continue to pass away over the following days even up to 2 or 3 weeks later but the healthier ones bounce back quickly and are breeding already within a few weeks.
    • EBC
      No real updates unfortunately. All water parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, KH, GH, pH) were perfect on the day she died. All I can think is that the lack of buffering capacity left in the soil resulted in pH swings that killed her.  I added more soil and the water is back to being buffered at pH 6.4. I have switched to only using RO water now (bought 20L for now but have an RO unit on the way). Hopefully the substrate will buffer a bit longer now and this won't happen again. Just a shame as there are only 3 adult male CRS left in the tank plus the shrimplets from the female that just died. Could be a while before the numbers get back up on their own so I may need to replenish them (also a bit of genetic diversity would be good). How do people usually handle switching out substrate? Especially with baby shrimps around, that sounds like a real hassle and you are bound to lose some. Is there some special technique? Thanks!
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