Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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.
Sump Pimp #2
My Tanks and my shrimps