This is my 2nd try on CRS. My first try was 2 years ago, and all 10 CRS die within 3 weeks. Since then, I raise fire red shrimps which is easier to take care of. I gain some experience, and now want to try CRS again.
Water parameter is
Tank: 5G (20L)
Nitrate: 0-5 ppm
PH: 6 or lower (no so sure using API PH tester)
Temp: 72 F
Substrate: ADA congo sand, Malaysia driftwood, ADA Manten rock
Plants: java moss, pellia moss, anubias, moss ball
Fert: 0.5ml Seachem Flourish and Potassium weekly to keep the plant healthy
I use tap water which is pretty soft here. It is 30 TDS with 0 GH & KH, and PH is 7.0. I add Salty Shrimp Mineral GH+ to raise the GH to 5, and the TDS reads 200 after that.
The big driftwood brings the PH down to 6 or lower. I can't get a accurate reading from API PH test kit. Not sure if CRS is okay in such low PH
Bump: I use my old filter and the tank is cycled in 2 weeks. I use 2 fire red shrimps to test the water, and they do fine.
After 3 weeks, I put 10 CRS in, mostly SS grade. A few days later, they looks fine, and non of them die. Hopefully they like the environment and start breeding.