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sdlTBfan

TAP WATER-Taiwan Bee-UK-(zerowater)

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sdlTBfan

Anyone with very large, or many tanks will probably not be interested in this, aside from curiosity maybe, as I doubt this is cheaper than buying RO water. I am writing this purely in case it may help someone else who wants an easy alternative to RO water.

I am housebound (have MS) and as such needed to find an easy alternative to RO water if I were to keep Taiwan bee shrimp successfully. I have red cherry shrimp in my 30L FISH tank (neon tetras, ember tetras, endler guppies) and they do well with virtually nil care (or attention since I mastered the TBs) other than dechlorinated tap water (which is needed for the fish anyway) so I won't go any further on that subject.

About 3-4 years ago I set up a 15L shrimp tank and tried BRITA filtered tap water, but had no real success with that and so 2 years ago closed the tank down and stored it away assuming then that that would be it, no Taiwan Bee shrimp ever....... but after 2 years of no success, at that point it was a bit of a relief anyway to just be done and out of the way. You will see from the Tap water readings below that in theory the Parameters were pretty good but from my experiences I think you need to go back to NIL (so either RO or the zerowater) and remineralise as I guess that way you know what the tests are picking up is only what the shrimp need - this is only my belief I don't really know, but ie the tap water TDS (Ph, Gh, Kh etc) was ok but what was in the Tap water to make the TDS reading what it was, if that makes sense? I have read on many sites of people trying tap water , as I did, with good parameters but it not working so that is my theory anyway! And of course domestic water supply parameters can change and if there has been any repairs in the system that will change it etc so from my experience only way to go is take it back to NIL and remineralise.......

A year ago (about a year after closing down the old shrimp tank) I came across a water filter jug from zerowater (www.zerowater.co.uk), an american product which I believe is available in Australia on Amazon, but may also be in shops out there for all I know). I thought, why not give that ago.... so I set up the old tank Oct 2017 (15L with the back part partitioned of for filter etc so probably 12L of useable aquarium) put some soil in and a few bits of Java fern and moss from the fish tank and ran it with the zerowater for a couple of months. I didn't ever get any Ammonia, Nitrite, or Nitrate reading but did see a bacteria bloom for a few days. I treated the zerowater as you would RO water, so added shrimp king mineral fluid gh+. There is a lot of info on the website about what it removes etc.

Tap water PH7, Gh 5-6, Kh 3-4, TDS 174

Zerowater Ph6, Gh 0-1, kh 0-1, TDS 000

I added 6 blue bolts about 6-8 weeks later, then some red ruby  and red wine a few weeks later and 3 blue steel in March 2018. All went quite well, though there were a few deaths but that may have been me as I am NO expert, I do drip acclimatise though. April 2018 Eggs started appearing (difficult to see on TB) and by the end of that month shrimplets, woohoo!

Time for the new tank, dennerle 35L scapers which I got in May 2018 which I ran for a month with the zerowater, 2 cheap sponge filters, heater, light, rock, wood, java fern, soil etc, and one sacrificial fish (don't worry he went in the fish tank afterwards as he survived). Then I transferred shrimps a dozen every other day(ish) etc. At this point I was obviously shutting down the small tank and although I had only bought a dozen shrimps originally, when I started removing stuff it turned out I had about 90 baby/juvenile shrimp in the tank, most were probably only days old (probably wasn't wise to transfer them at that stage really but I had too many anyway and wanted to get the old tank out of the way, as it was on the dining table). I THINK WE CAN SAFELY SAY THAT I HAVE CRACKED IT NOW, WITH THE HELP OF THE ZEROWATER FILTER JUG. So closed down the 15L end of June 2018. Daily now I see about 50 shrimps of half to full size in the new setup but haven't yet had any success with babies (though most of the shrimps may not yet be mature enough as I believe they need to be 6 months+), and with the hot spell (unusual for here when tank got to 30 degrees) and with me fine tuning the parameters, done now thankfully PH5.5-6, Gh 4.5, Kh 0-1, TDS 160 (something incidently I probably wouldn't have had to do if I had added the Gh+ from day 1 with the new tank). I will say that I NEVER had any Ammonia, Nitrate or Nitrite readings in the new tank either, but as with the small starter tank there were a couple of days of bacteria bloom. I expect babies will happen now I have stopped messing with the parameters, but there is always option B, set up the old small tank and use as a breeding tank, or C, buy more shrimps???? With the shock of how many babies there were hiding in the small tank, there could well be loads of babies in the new tank that are hiding anyway. I will give that a rethink if there haven't been any babies by xmas, though I have enough anyway at present. The only other things that may now affect babies (ie different than the smaller tank) is, the jets from the filters are a bit strong and circulate the water in the tank more, and I have rock (actually Geodes) in the tank???

I change 2L of water each week, mainly so I can squeeze the 2 sponges from the 2 filters and just clean the glass etc. I also use Fulvic acid, beta glucan and am just starting on bacter ae (hoping that may help babies). As with RO water, top up is pure zerowater and water change is zerowater with GH+ added.

Each zerowater filter does about 100L of my water (about 6-8 months worth) but there is info on the website above that shows how many it will do on different TDS basic water etc. The filters aren't cheap at £20 each (I have bought 4 for £50 so much more reasonable, and they don't have a shelf life anyway. They are of course available readily in USA in places like Walmart as it is an American product. If anyone knows where you can get them in other countries it may be a good idea to add it to this string/topic etc to help others, as mentioned before I THINK you can get them on amazon.com.au for Australia.

If anyone wants to ask any questions I will do my best to answer, but I am NO EXPERT by any measure.

 

184427105_DSC00026-Edited.thumb.jpg.193859b7d95757add4d6a14f5d22aee2.jpg.

I hope this will be of interest and help to someone, but I have never even been on a forum before so don't have a clue what will happen when I press the button to post this, hopefully I have done it right???????

All the best

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Edited by sdlTBfan
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jayc

Interesting.  Not cheap in the long run, but better than nothing.

Glad it works for you, and thanks for letting the community know about it.

 

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sdlTBfan
On 9/17/2018 at 10:28 PM, jayc said:

Interesting.  Not cheap in the long run, but better than nothing.

Glad it works for you, and thanks for letting the community know about it.

 

I do have one question regarding the water. As you see from the article, water starts at PH7 (tap) but after filtering goes down to PH6, so does that mean it will stay at around PH6 even once the soil has 'stopped' its buffering ability, as the water is PH6 when changed or topped up etc?

Not something that should be a problem any time soon (only 6 months old) but I have been wondering for a while what the long term will be. I have a spare bag of substrate if I ever need it but it would probably mean me getting friends in to do, as it is more work than I can do to empty it, transfer shrimps to another temporary tank etc etc.

The tank that the cherry shrimps are in hasn't had the soil ever changed and was set up about 5 years ago but they are so much easier and hardier.

 

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jayc
19 hours ago, sdlTBfan said:

so does that mean it will stay at around PH6 even once the soil has 'stopped' its buffering ability, as the water is PH6 when changed or topped up etc?

The filtered water is pH6 because the carbonates and salts that might have increased it's pH has been stripped out by the filter.

Plant substrates as you know also buffers the pH lower. It means that the substrate wont need to work so hard to keep the pH low. And the substrate will last longer. 

However, the water's pH doesn't necessarily stay at that level. Any addition of carbonates, from other sources like rocks, can alter the pH to increase.

If the substrate's buffering capabilities are exhausted, you will see pH change rapidly.

And since the water is filtered of all it's buffering capabilities, the pH can go either up or down more easily. 

Up if carbonates are added.

pH can go down naturally as well, the natural cycle of converting ammonia to nitrite and nitrates will bind hydrogen, and thus pH drops.

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sdlTBfan

Thanks for the DETAILED reply.

I guess (as I suspected) it is really a case of I will have to wait and see as this is a NEW way of doing it all, but it is early enough that I don't need to worry at this stage or start rallying people to 'reset' the tank with new substrate etc. Hopefully you are right and the soil will last longer as it isn't working very hard to buffer the water. The Cherry shrimp tank hasn't had a change in 5 years (not zerowater though) and all is well and the plants/moss still grow like Weed.........literally. I'm not sure whether the rocks (Geodes) will have any detrimental longer term affect?

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jayc
17 minutes ago, sdlTBfan said:

I'm not sure whether the rocks (Geodes) will have any detrimental longer term affect?

Don't know.

Not many people use Geodes in aquariums. 

You can try testing them for reaction to a mild acid like vinegar.

If any part of it fizzles then remove the stone.

21 minutes ago, sdlTBfan said:

a case of I will have to wait and see as this is a NEW way of doing it all, but it is early enough that I don't need to worry at this stage

Yep. Keep doing your fortnightly pH tests.

The GH+ remineralising mix is helping keep pH stable as well to an extent. So keep using that.

 

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  • Posts

    • sdlTBfan
      Very ingenious and a lot cheaper than buying something made specifically for the purpose. I haven't seen anything like this in the UK, we never get the range/variety that large countries like US and Australia get. It is good to give people all the alternatives and then they can decide what they want and what is available to them. I'm sure there will be lots of people interested in your water container. Is it easy to fill or do you use a funnel? Or have you cut a hole in the side/top (the black patch in the photo)? How big is it in water capacity?
    • Proy21
      It was a normal red cherry. It was as they all were, a standard red color. No dark pigmentation in the bunch. Color definitely changed after death. All other shrimp are healthy, eating and moving around. water parameters were tested twice yesterday and twice today, i’ll probably do a third before the night is over. All parameters are perfect, tested with drops and tubes. Gh &Kh are acceptable. TDS is 240ish and hasn’t  moved in a long while. tell me about the bacteria that you reference. thanks
    • jayc
      There is nothing more satisfying than DIY, and building your own water change dripper. I use an old 4L spring water bottle that has one of those spouts that have a tap on it. Cut a hole on the top to make adding water into the bottle easier. (as per the picture below). And just turn the tap on ever so slightly until a required drip rate is achieved. Cost: $4 for the water bottle, which was used at a picnic.   
    • jayc
      Was this a Red cherry or Black cherry? Pigmentation can change colour on death of the shrimp. It's difficult to tell from a photo if its pigmentation change or bacterial infection.   To be safe, test your water parameters for ammonia. A large change in population can cause issues in a small tank, especially when the beneficial bacteria cannot cope with the sudden increase in waste.
    • Proy21
      Good morning, I received my order of 20 shrimp from a very well known breeder. All looked good. all water parameters were ok yesterday and are the same today. the tank has been up and running for 6 months. i had one cherry in there for almost the whole time. (Had more but I believe the black diamond sand created issues for the first 20 I bought) somehow this single shrimp has been a trooper and never had any issues, I obviously removed the sand) TDS is 245 i had one shrimp die overnight...to be expected I guess. Weird part is that when I found it this morning it had areas of black or dark blue on the sides of both head and tail.  I added in the tiniest amount of Bacter AE after they arrived. I also offered 2 granules of north Fin community and veggie. Which was gone a few hours later. so I’m wondering if anyone has any ideas? All the other shrimp look ok so far.
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