Active substrate end of life, time for a new tank and idea - Page 6 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #76 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 06:19 PM
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Active substrate end of life, time for a new tank and idea

What lights are you using?
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post #77 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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I have 2x23W 6700K CFL's in a double reptile dome hung about 5" over the tank, which is a 20gal high. I already had the reptile dome, so that made the decision easier. lol.

I don't usually run both lights all the time though, so I usually turn one on in the morning, both on midday, the first one off, and the 2nd one off later, so I get a bit of sunrise, full sun, sunset effect. I had them on timers but had to lend them to my roomies for his reptile tanks since he got put on swing shift, so I just do it manually for now.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #78 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Just saw about 9 babies, and if I can see that many, there has to be more hiding in moss, cholla wood and everywhere else. They range from golden-S grade CBS-s grade CRS-SS-SSS, or as much as I can tell. lol.

Can see at least 4-5 berried females still, so hopefully within a month I can see dozens of babies.

Setup a 5.5gal birthing tank to use to transfer momma's over to, then I can keep better track of the babies.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #79 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Still good for anyone following, no deaths more and more babies are spotted all the time.

6 page recap for those that don't want to read. lol.

-My active substrate that was buffering down to 5pH started going wonky, releasing nitrates and phosphates and just at the end of its life. Had no babies for months.

-Couldn't get more active substrate/wanted to try a different approach.

-Setup my tank with a Hamburg matten filter and another sponge filter and that's it.

-It's half bare bottom, half inert gravel with moss planted in the substrate and growing into the HMF sponge to create a giant moss wall/sponge filter combo.

-Using RO water with Salty Bee gH+ to 5gH, 140TDS and mix a bit of Ebiken Sosei (fulvic acid) to lower the pH a slight, which puts it at about 6.8-7.0 pH during the course of a day.

-Moved all my shrimp to the tank from a 5pH to 7pH.

-After a month or so of settling in, the berried started and I am seeing more and more babies all over the tank.


The purpose was to see if I could crystals breeding and babies living in a non-active substrate tank and a neutral water and basic sponge wall filter. No canister, no plants, no low pH, and so far seems to be a success.

It was test out of necessity, active substrate was on its way out, car was having troubles, couldn't make the 2 drive to the nearest place to get Netlea soil, no money for soil, so said, lets try. I had just received over 30 SSS/SSS+ very nice shrimp colored from Ebiken , plus my existing golden/crs/cbs and I had to do something as the soil started going wonky about a month after I got my SSS shrimp.

Would I do it again when I setup a new tank or go the active substrate standard method? I'm not sure yet.

Do I recommend or want this to be read as, you can keep crystals without active substrate? No. Everyone's mileage varies, as does there experience. I don't think of myself as a "shrimp master" by any means, but I know MY shrimp and have learned to tell when they seem to be lacking something, when there isn't enough O2 in the water, when it's too hot, when babies are doing good, etc, so I took this on.

This is simply my experience and a journal to see how things would work out, so don't dump $500 in crystals in a tank with RO water and some gH stuff in it and blame me if they die. lol. With every 0.1 degree of an increase of pH towards 7, ammonia becomes more toxic and over-feeding, water changes, monitoring deaths, births, etc, becomes more important.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #80 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 03:13 AM
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Thanks for the summary. I've read this thread, but don't remember all of the specifics. What temperature are you running this tank at?

Always curious.
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post #81 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
Thanks for the summary. I've read this thread, but don't remember all of the specifics. What temperature are you running this tank at?
68-72 right now.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #82 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Just counted about 45 babies that are a few weeks old and colored up nicely, so they seemed to make it past the critical point of a 1-2 weeks. Could be more babies, it's hard to count them. lol.

Still have some berried females around, so hopefully I'll have more soon.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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My Tanks and my shrimps
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post #83 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 02:41 AM
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Thanks for the update, still following along and learning.
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