Neocaridina and pH fluctuation - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Neocaridina and pH fluctuation

I have a fully planted high tech aquarium with fish. I am planning to get some neocaridina shrimp.

When my CO2 is off at night, the pH raises to 8.2
and when CO2 is on it drops to 6.8.

Is this too much fluctuation for neocaridina shrimp? I know that shrimps are sensitive to pH level. I do not want to kill the shrimp on the very first day. Is there a way to ease them into the fluctuation?

The other option is running CO2 all night and retain the 6.8 pH level throughout the whole day.

What are you suggestions?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 11:51 AM
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I'd consider lowering your CO2 when you first introduce them, and then gradually increasing it - more to help them adapt to CO2 than ph. Also double check your GH/KH is ok for them. Drip acclimatising is good too.

Even my non CO2 swings about 7.6 to 8.4 - it's just a side effect of plants and doesn't seem to cause anything any bother.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tamsin View Post
I'd consider lowering your CO2 when you first introduce them, and then gradually increasing it - more to help them adapt to CO2 than ph. Also double check your GH/KH is ok for them. Drip acclimatising is good too.

Even my non CO2 swings about 7.6 to 8.4 - it's just a side effect of plants and doesn't seem to cause anything any bother.
Thanks. My tap water during colder months has higher KH and GH. I currently have KH 8 and GH 12. During summer months it goes down to KH 4 and GH 8.

I know it is on the high side for any neocaridina shrimp, but a guy I know is giving away his shrimp, so I wanted to give it a try.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 04:09 PM
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As mentioned above, shrimp can be very sensitive to CO2 in addition to the swings it will cause. If you absolutely want to try it out, lower your CO2 injection to like 1 bubble every 3-5 seconds and gradually raise it over the next month or two.

Generally speaking, shrimp are not super compatible with high-tech or community tanks (depending on the inhabitants), so I wouldn't really expect them to breed and you might just see slow "unexplained" die-offs over the next couple weeks/months.

Your winter gH might be high enough to cause molting issues as well.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 04:24 PM
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As mentioned above, shrimp can be very sensitive to CO2 in addition to the swings it will cause. If you absolutely want to try it out, lower your CO2 injection to like 1 bubble every 3-5 seconds and gradually raise it over the next month or two.

Generally speaking, shrimp are not super compatible with high-tech or community tanks (depending on the inhabitants), so I wouldn't really expect them to breed and you might just see slow "unexplained" die-offs over the next couple weeks/months.

Your winter gH might be high enough to cause molting issues as well.

Good luck!
My high tech tank saw the most prolific breeding in any tank I've ever had.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by aotf View Post
As mentioned above, shrimp can be very sensitive to CO2 in addition to the swings it will cause. If you absolutely want to try it out, lower your CO2 injection to like 1 bubble every 3-5 seconds and gradually raise it over the next month or two.

Generally speaking, shrimp are not super compatible with high-tech or community tanks (depending on the inhabitants), so I wouldn't really expect them to breed and you might just see slow "unexplained" die-offs over the next couple weeks/months.

Your winter gH might be high enough to cause molting issues as well.

Good luck!

I currently have 3-4 amano shrimp. They have been living in the tank for 4 months together with tetras, guppies, Siamese AE, pleco. They seem okay as I see them freely swim about going from one plant to another. They used to be very shy, but about a month ago they started mingling with the community.

Currently I am dosing 38 ppm of CO2 which lowers the pH to 6.8. But as you said 38 ppm may be a little too much for the shrimp I am going to get this Saturday. So I am planning to lower the CO2 to around 15 ppm which will raise my pH to around 7-7.1.

And instead of turning CO2 off at night, I will keep it running to maintain constant pH levels. I don't think 15 ppm of CO2 will be too much for the new shrimp. Every week, I will lower .1 pH until it reaches around 35 ppm for CO2.

In the summer months, I have seen my amano shrimp molt. But ever since winter hit, I haven't seen a single molt. I did not know high GH causes molting issues. I will probably need to use RO water as a supplement to lower my GH.

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Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
My high tech tank saw the most prolific breeding in any tank I've ever had.
Yeah, I have heard and seen high tech tanks with 40 ppm of CO2 have very nice thriving and breeding shrimp colony as well. When I saw that, I wanted to add some shrimp to my tank.

My guppies have character, but I see that shrimp have some funny personalities as well.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 05:43 PM
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My high tech tank saw the most prolific breeding in any tank I've ever had.
I've also seen some really great high-tech tanks with successful shrimp colonies, I just prefer to steer new shrimp keepers away from the idea of the super lush, high-tech shrimp garden since it requires mastery of both high-tech tanks and shrimp keeping, or just a whole lot of luck.

I tried doing that with my first shrimp tank and there were too many variables going wrong at the same time. Just because I failed doesn't mean other people will too but I see a lot of "my shrimp are dying hlp" posts where it's clear that the OP has no idea what they were doing and now they have a sinking ship of a tank and dying stock.

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Originally Posted by moseschi1 View Post
I currently have 3-4 amano shrimp. They have been living in the tank for 4 months together with tetras, guppies, Siamese AE, pleco. They seem okay as I see them freely swim about going from one plant to another. They used to be very shy, but about a month ago they started mingling with the community.

Currently I am dosing 38 ppm of CO2 which lowers the pH to 6.8. But as you said 38 ppm may be a little too much for the shrimp I am going to get this Saturday. So I am planning to lower the CO2 to around 15 ppm which will raise my pH to around 7-7.1.

And instead of turning CO2 off at night, I will keep it running to maintain constant pH levels. I don't think 15 ppm of CO2 will be too much for the new shrimp. Every week, I will lower .1 pH until it reaches around 35 ppm for CO2.

In the summer months, I have seen my amano shrimp molt. But ever since winter hit, I haven't seen a single molt. I did not know high GH causes molting issues. I will probably need to use RO water as a supplement to lower my GH.
Amanos are larger and tend to be hardier, hopefully the neos fare as well! Make sure they have a lot of hiding spots (this is doubly important for their babies).

The high gH will cause over-stiffening of the shells, meaning the shrimp will have trouble exiting and will die during the molt. If you have dead shrimp with split shells or the "white ring of death" (an exposed band of non-colored flesh/new molt between the head and body of the shrimp), you may have gH-related molting issues.

Best of luck, hope the colony goes well!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 07:45 PM
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Keep in mind that in nature there's a daily pH fluctuation. The thing with CO2 that usually allows things to work is that it's a slow fluctuation. It's not like your taking shrimp from water that's pH 7.6 and just dumping them in water that's pH 6.6. When the CO2 kicks on or off the pH change happens over a few hours so it's like they are getting acclimated each time. I probably would initially lower the CO2 ppm some and each day bump it up slightly. A week should be plenty of time to get them acclimated to a tank that sees 30ppm CO2.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Keep in mind that in nature there's a daily pH fluctuation. The thing with CO2 that usually allows things to work is that it's a slow fluctuation. It's not like your taking shrimp from water that's pH 7.6 and just dumping them in water that's pH 6.6. When the CO2 kicks on or off the pH change happens over a few hours so it's like they are getting acclimated each time. I probably would initially lower the CO2 ppm some and each day bump it up slightly. A week should be plenty of time to get them acclimated to a tank that sees 30ppm CO2.

Would you suggest then for me to turn the CO2 off at night? The pH swing will be from 6.8 to 8.2 in a span of (9 pm to 11 am) 14 hours. Then from 11 am to 1 pm the pH will change from 8.2 to 6.8.

Why is my natural pH without CO2 this high? I am in the process of installing RO water system to use for the aquarium. Would RO water also lower the pH as well as KH and GH?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 12:40 AM
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Why is my natural pH without CO2 this high? I am in the process of installing RO water system to use for the aquarium. Would RO water also lower the pH as well as KH and GH?
High kH = high pH

With RO, your pH will likely drop to around 6-6.4 (out of the unit) and your kH to 0-1.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 12:53 AM
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Would you suggest then for me to turn the CO2 off at night? The pH swing will be from 6.8 to 8.2 in a span of (9 pm to 11 am) 14 hours. Then from 11 am to 1 pm the pH will change from 8.2 to 6.8.

Why is my natural pH without CO2 this high? I am in the process of installing RO water system to use for the aquarium. Would RO water also lower the pH as well as KH and GH?
Normal swing between day and night with CO2 injection should usually be around 1. Using RO will probably be the answer to get your night time pH to a better spot. As far as lowering parameters...yeah...when you remineralize you can dial in your KH/GH and pH will be partly dictated by that. With an active substrate you'll want KH 0 so you'll just need to use a GH buffer to get to your desired number.


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