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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    1,403
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    1,403
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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    • revolutionhope
      Good solid advice@jayc :-)


      will

    • jayc
      The shrimp seem to not mind it at all, in fact they seem to be thinking ... "Ooo, look! New foraging areas" whenever I disturb the substrate. But of course, I match the new water parameters to the old as much as I can except for TDS (generally the new water is lower in TDS). Every other parameter, like pH, GH, and temperature will be a very close match. So the shrimp don't notice it much. I catch as many as visibly possible into a bucket temporarily while I clean the tank. And they are returned to the tank after acclimating them slowly. I filter the water I drain into a net first to catch any baby shrimplets.  If you want to add substrate without removing the old substrate, it can be done easily ... one scoop at a time. Use those plastic takeaway containers. The shrimp will scatter.  Don't be too worried, they are faster than you think when the need arises. I aim to never loose any 😉 🤘  
    • jayc
      Where is @Foxpuppet and @lodo when you need them?
    • Baccus
      I think to a degree volume of water and stocking levels relevant to that volume assists in shrimp size. A couple of years ago I chucked a heap of cull cherry shrimp into my 1000L pond and months later when doing some maintenance on the tank found freakishly large cherry shrimp. This pond didn't get lots of special foods like the tanks did, instead might have only had commercial fish food put in once a week. However did/ does have a large lily plant, other weeds, leaves and fruit (mostly icecream bean fruit and leaves) falling into the pond and plenty of bloodworms naturally colonised, along with dragonfly nymphs which predate on the shrimp. I have never seen such large cherry shrimp again and certainly have never produced any of that size in any of my tanks even the 4ft tanks. So even though shrimp maybe able to do quite well in nano and small tanks I often wonder if we do them a disservice by having them in small tanks, in effect stunting them to some degree. revolutionhope I had also heard about dark substrate bringing out the best colour, however I once had some of the darkest glossy red cherry shrimp on pure white sand, with live plants natural timber and fish. Other shrimp have been just as well coloured on natural coloured creek gravel. Less well coloured or have taken longer to show good colour potential have been on a gravel blend of natural and fluro coloured gravels like what most kids will buy for their first tank because they like the pretty colours. In my black cherry tank I am actually getting to the point of trying to decide in which direction do I want to go with the black breeding program. Since I am now getting blue black shrimp. Some of the shrimp are still a nice solid glossy black but have a distinct dark blue undertone. I wish I could get a photo to show the variation between these blue blacks and true blacks. In this same tank I am still having to remove the odd chocolate, very occasional faint yellow and green, recently pale blue and thankfully even less often now wild type. Oh and if possible with your divided breeding programs try to keep the separate tanks a good distance apart since shrimp are good climbers and sneaky escape artists. Where I have my tanks ( all open topped) one of the tanks has higher sides than its neighbouring tank which is lower. So even though the there is a gap between the tanks I am almost certain that shrimp from the higher tank have managed to flip over the side and by more good luck than planning end up in the lower tank. Some have not been so lucky and then I find crispy dried shrimp on the bench. So if tanks where the same height and butted up side  by side or even one tank divided there is the potential for shrimp to make escape bids and climb into neighbouring tanks. I have even seen photos of shrimp climbing against the flow of a HOB filter return to get into the yummy gunk inside the filter.
    • EBC
      How do your shrimp fare when you do a big tear down like that? Do you generally expect to lose a couple? Or do you put them in another tank while you do it? I am currently renting one bedroom apartments so I only have the one small tank. With such a small tank I would be worried I would crush some shrimp in the process. 
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