Water Perimeters - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Water Perimeters

Hi there,

I'm new to the planted aquarium (My tank has been setup for 7 mo.) It's a small Fluval planted aquarium setup (about 7 gallons). I'm having trouble keeping cherry shrimp. My Amano shrimp are doing well, but something leeps going wrong. I fear my bio filter is a piece of junk. Below are my water perimeters. I'm trying to get my PH down, my hardness might be high and now there might be a bit of ammonia. I just put in a charcoal piece to my filter this morning. Prior it had only been the bio foam.

I use a API Master test kit
I inject CO2 (Using a setup I purchased separately) 1 bubble per second
PH 7.6
High range PH 7.4
Ammonia 0=.25 ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
GH 143.2 ppm (8 drops) This is confusing, one chart for both. Is this too hard?
KH 161.1??? (9 drops)
Good surface movement
Lighting is bright
ADA fertilizers
I use declorinized tap water and get PH down a bit with drops (I know that's not great)

Any advice would be great, as my last cherry shrimp I moved to a glass jar. And he molted that night when I removed him from the aquarium.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 07:25 PM
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Add active substrate like Ada, use reverse osmosis or distill water, or buy a lot of alder cones if tea color water is not a problem. The problem is probably your ammonia since your tank is not done cycle yet, not the ph.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 02:35 PM
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Having some ammonia and zero nitrates tells me your tank isn't cycled. That much ammonia is lethal to fish, let alone shrimp. Cycle the tank and only add shrimp when the nitrates have come up to about 10ppm, and you have zero nitrites and ammonia. I wouldn't worry too much about the pH, but I would stop using pH down.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 03:09 AM
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GH and KH are measured for aquariums using 2 common charts (there are other ways to measure these, too)

German degrees of hardness
Parts per million and milligrams per liter.

When you count drops you are measuring by the German degrees of hardness. 1 drop = 1 German degree of hardness = 17.9 ppm.

Parts per million (ppm) is the same as milligrams per liter (mg/l).

8 or 9 German degrees of hardness is somewhat hard water when you are trying to keep soft water animals.
For fish (I do not know if it is the same for shrimp) you want the set the GH as the most important part of the water parameters.
Then make the KH roughly equal to the GH (about 1-2 German degrees of hardness plus or minus).
pH is less important for fish, but maybe it is more important for shrimp. I keep seeing shrimp and pH, but not a lot of shrimp and GH info. Oh well.
If setting the GH and KH in the right area is not enough, then add peat moss, Indian almond leaves, driftwood, oak leaves or other things to the water or the filter. These materials will release organic acids that will help lower the pH. Sometimes they also remove some minerals (peat moss often does, I do not know about the others)

To make the GH and KH lower, blend your tap water with reverse osmosis or distilled water. Try about 50/50 and test. Adjust as needed. Then add some peat moss or other material to the water and stir that. Test in a few hours and again the next day. Run this test out for a week.
If this works then you will need to add some peat moss (or other material) to the filter, and prepare the water ahead of time.
To prepare for water changes make your recipe of RO and tap, and add a pump or air bubbler to keep the water moving. Add some peat moss in a nylon stocking. I use a knee hi of peat moss in a garbage can of water. Let the water circulate overnight. For a 7 gallon tank you might need only half a cup or a cup of peat moss in a 5 gallon bucket.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice

Wow, I think my bio pump is a piece of junk. My tank should be cycled. I set it up in Dec.! I did a close to 50% water change to help ammonia. And I've never had a reading of Nitrates, so thus the cycling issue. lus my tap water is very soft, but for awhile I was over adding an hardner, by the poor advice of a n aquarium shop, now I can't seem to get it down. I know it's not great to do large water changes. I usually only do 30% once a week, with soft tap water. I have no fish. Just 3 Amanos and 2 cherry shrimp and one snail.
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