Do You really need RO water and buffering substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Do You really need RO water and buffering substrate?

I was wondering, do You really need RO water and right substrate, like fluval stratum to get parameters for caridinia? Most ppl have pretty hard tap water, but my area always had soft, low mineral content tap water, with low tds, if You'd use neutral innert/substrate, You're getting pretty much same constant params like RO + salty shrimp.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 02:55 PM
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If you want to have the best chance of success, yes. Most people who breed Caridina (Crystals, Taiwan Bees, Tibees, etc) keep them in low pH water with a KH of 0-1 and a GH of 3-6. When kept at parameters closer to what Neos are often kept in, breeding slows down or even stops.

It is possible to have a healthy colony thriving in higher parameters, but it may take years to acclimate a colony to those parameters and still get great breeding results. So what if you end up with such a colony? You might run into an issue where introducing new blood doesn't do well in the colony because they aren't accustomed to the parameters... or you end up with customers who keep the shrimp at the recommended parameters and your shrimp might not acclimate well to different water parameters.

The main thing is is keeping the pH low and consistent. Without something to buffer the pH down, the colony may not thrive as well as it could. I have low KH, GH and TDS out of tap and would not put Crystals in that water! (unless I found a breeder who kept them in higher parameters, and one member here does)

That said, I have YKK's who are, so far, thriving in mixed tap. (3 KH, 3 GH, ~50 TDS mixed with 10 KH, 19 GH and 475-500+ TDS - target level ~150 TDS with 5 GH - although last water change I used RO water mixed with hard tap) They came to me as baby, juvenile and young shrimp. Nearly 2 months later, I've got 2 more baby shrimp (started with 16, now have 18, don't know where +2 came from) and 2 are now berried! YKK are, to my knowledge, some sort of Caridina Tiger hybrids. They may have TT blood in their lineage. They came from Caridina parameters and I'm keeping them in lower end Neocaridina. TDS and GH around the same as the breeder, but KH and pH higher.

Tiger shrimp are an exception to the Caridina rule (as are Amanos...). They can live in either Caridina parameters or lower end of Neo parameters and still do fine. I honestly wasn't sure how the YKK would do in my water parameters, but they are by far more active than the cherry shrimp are! I wasn't sure if I had any females at all at first (no saddles) since when a shrimp molted, the entire colony was in a frenzy! Cherry colony? If a female molted, then the males only would go in a frenzy. The females wouldn't do a think. I have pretty lazy cherry males... Two of the saddled YKK's molted a day apart, so the colony was in a frenzy for 2 days, and now things have settled down.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 04:16 PM
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What are your water parameters? I recommend finding a water quality report for your area. They are mandated by law for public water and usually are updated monthly. You may be surprised by some of the things you find. You could post the results of it here, if you like, to be looked over. TDS looked at as a number alone can be very misleading. You could have a cup of RO water with dust mixed in read the same as a cup of the best water you can find or the same as a cup of toxic waste tainted water. The TDS itself doesn't really mean much unless you know whats in it, it could be void of minerals you would want. I found that Chris Lukhaup mentioned at a speaking engagement I watched on youtube that the minerals added to the water are more for the bacteria to have suitable conditions. He says shrimp (I believe he was talking mainly about crystal shrimp on this) get most of what they need from what they consume rather than absorbing it from the water. This is why they eat their molts. He did not give any scientific evidence to back this up and shrimp most certainly have exoskeletons that need to adjust to mineral content in the water (still doesn't prove they use those minerals). Though this may be why some are having luck with no buffering substrate and tap water. These are few and far between if you search the forums and this makes it seem risky. People want stability, as Zoidburg stated, they can rely on. I don't see a problem personally, if you can keep the water parameters stable and they are good to begin with. Tap water conditions can change throughout the year and may not be reliable. Check water reports from August and February and see if there are any differences in water content if you decide to look into it.
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