Trying to get softer water for dwarf shrimp... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Trying to get softer water for dwarf shrimp...

Hello,

In my efforts to setup a 2.6 gallon vase for FW shrimp I ran across a problem of keeping water softer and at a lower pH. My tap water is solid rock so thats immediately out of the question.
I do make RO/DI water for my reef tank, so I was wondering if I could use RO/DI water in my shrimp tank?

So here's the plan:
1. put driftwood into the tank, almond leaves and a thin layer of peat moss under some eco-complete substrate.
2. add RO/DI water every time I do a water change.
3. Possibly treat the RO/DI water with black water extract? or will that not add any useful trace elements into the water?

The livestock i'm doing all this for is crystal shrimp that i will have in the future. I'm experimenting first with my RCS that have been multiplying in my tap water with a high pH.

thanks to anyone who can give tips!

Last edited by Newman; 07-06-2010 at 04:58 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 03:51 PM
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Sounds good although with all those tannins in the water youll have a tough time seeing your shrimp w/o doing numerous water changes. Id also consider adding some sort of moss, shrimps love it.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 07:36 PM
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Yes, RO/DI water will be ideal as long as you reconstitute it. Both the plants and the shrimp will need some trace.





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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 07:44 PM
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You could do a mixture of RO/DI and dechlorinated tap water. That is what I do for my CRS tank.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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my tap water's solid rock though, so it will raise the hardness of the water (pH, GH,KH, everything)
I'll try to use black water extract to help with the trace elements and ill see how i do.

Should i use peat as a sub-substrate layer or not?
I was planning on moss somewhere in there yes
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newman View Post
my tap water's solid rock though, so it will raise the hardness of the water (pH, GH,KH, everything)
I'll try to use black water extract to help with the trace elements and ill see how i do.

Should i use peat as a sub-substrate layer or not?
I was planning on moss somewhere in there yes
Put it in the filter, that way you can take it out.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 02:02 AM
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Either or. I dont recommend buying blackwater extract when you can get hardwood leaves and soak them overnight for the same thing. Or peat for that matter.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 02:17 AM
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Actually, if you are using RO/DI water, I wouldn't add any Blackwater extract or soaked leaves until you up the GH a little bit. If you are using RO/DI water, get a decent Calcium/Magnesium supplement and raise the GH to 3-5 DKH or whatever you want.

You can use soaked leaves, which is basically tannic acid to overcome your alkalinity a bit and make tap water a bit more acidic and reduce the pH, but you don't need to soften RO/DI water.

You probably already know this, but just in case... by adding tannic acid to your tap water you do not 'soften' the water, you just overcome the potential alkalinity and your pH drops. The components in your tap are still there, just overcome. All you really do is change your pH and that can sometimes be unpredictable by introducing acid... in other words, your pH can go back to normal sometimes within an hour.

Your best bet overall is to use RO/DI water and a good GH booster and put it where you want it to be.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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ok...whats a good GH booster? and what substrate should I use? 100% think eco layer? or azoo plant grower layer? or an amazonia plant substrate layer?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 03:00 AM
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Seachem equillibrium and id go with eco complete substrate.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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ok my stores dont have seachem eqiulibrium, but theiy do have Seachem Fresh Trace which as i understand, adds what i need to the RO/DI water?
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 04:06 AM
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Right, but you can probably match this with a 50/50 mix with tap water. Equillibrium will adjust your gh for you. Honestly I wouldnt put this much thought into keeping RCS as theyll live through darn near poop water. But something to consider if you upgrade to CRS or other sulawesi shrimps. I use straight tap, Indian almond leaves, other hardwood leaves and mine breed like crazy. Keep it simple until you get the hang of it.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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nononono lol, I know about red cherry shrimp, I keep them in my planted 40 gal with predators, and they still breed like mad. I'm really working toward crystal shrimp for this 2.6 gal tank.
So what should i do for crystal shrimp? should i go through the trouble of ordering equilibrium online?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 08:06 PM
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You're going to have a doozy of a time keeping stable water parameters in that small a water volume. Personally I wouldn't keep CRS in less than a 20gal for that reason.





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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 09:53 PM
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Ooopps, sorry bout that. Yes lauralee has pointed you in the right direction. They dont care for or adapt well to changes in parameters.

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