Tropica Soil with Neocaridina - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Tropica Soil with Neocaridina

Hey all,


So I have a new planted 17gal tank going for about 1 month and I am starting to think about stocking it (the tank is fully cycled through use of some old media and the plants have become pretty established). However, this is the first tank that I have used Tropica Soil with, and my first time using a soil that buffers pH and KH. My initial plan was to stock it with Neos (blue dreams) and some micro rasbora (boraras maculatas). However, I noticed that the pH is much lower than I expected -- about 6 pH. This measurement is with CO2 injection at about 30ppm -- or whatever green check solution would indicate. I am currently doing water changes at about 50% once a week with tap water (tap water with a pH of approx 7.4). Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all at 0.



So my question: Has anyone kept neos while using tropica soil or with a pH of this low? Or with comparable buffering soils? Any ideas on how I should proceed? I know neos tend to be resilient, but I would rather not have a bunch of dead shrimp on my hands... Happy to supply any more information needed.


Thanks!


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 07:37 PM
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Right now I have neos in a tank that's using fluval plant. The pH is 6.2 gH 5 185-200 TDS. Bought around 15 blue dreams a month ago sub juvies...they're near adulthood now and they're berried. First time mommas are about 2 weeks from hatching first generations in this tank. No losses so far. Neos are pretty resilient and they are thriving from what I can tell in my params.

Best advice I can give is a slow drip acclimation when you first get it. Mine came from pH 7.6 water and gH 8 TDS 380 water so they got a 15 hour slow drip to get them used to my soft water conditions.

Oh and also look at your water hardness. Tap provides many variables that can be challenging for inverts. Copper can be deadly. If the water is too soft like gH<5 they could have molting issues (5 is arbitrary as they are pretty resilient), though being from the East Coast that's not normally a problem. Some taps put out ammonia occasionally for some reason etc.

Personally I use RO water and remineralize but I keep caridinas with neos. With neos you can get away with a lot. YMMV

Simple suggestions if I were in your situation and what I would do.
I would get a TDS pen cause those are fun, probably unnecessary for neos.
Get a GH/KH kit
.....TDS > 150? gH > 4 or 5? ....lets buy some neos. Probably don't start out with like 50. Maybe 5-20 to see how they do then add as the shrimp seem ok.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 08:03 PM
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1.) Don't use tap water on a buffering substrate. This can cause unstable water parameters, which shrimp don't like, and wears out the buffering capacity sooner. *IF* you want to wear out the substrate and not worry about parameter swings, then by all means, keep using tap and add more KH! Otherwise, switch to RO water and GH only minerals.

2.) If you don't have them already, use liquid GH/KH test kits and get a TDS meter so you have a better idea of what your water parameters are.

3.) I have a tank currently set up with SL-Aqua soil, RO water and GH minerals. pH is about 5.6, GH should be around 8 with a 150+ TDS. KH is at 0. I have Neos in the tank. I honestly didn't know if they'd survive or not, since the tank was previously set up with sand, RO water and GH/KH minerals at 8/4, respectively, TDS 150-ish. I just did a 100% water change with new water and switched substrates, then plopped all old inhabitants back into the tank. Not sure how many Neos are in there, but probably a handful or so.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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So a quick follow-up. I have introduced some micro rasbora (boraras) into the tank... they are not doing so good. I have had multiple deaths. They seemed to be getting sucked up into the filter. So, I put a sponge pre-filter on my Aquaclear30, but came home to still find them weak and stressed (and one near death stuck on the sponge). I took a pH reading and it was pale yellow -- reading at or below 6pH (the API test doesn't go below 6). I am definitely going to hold off on adding shrimp. But does anyone have advice? Any insight into how long tropica will buffer this low? This makes me definitely want to continue using tap water in hopes to use up some of it's buffering power... I've stopped my CO2 for the moment in hopes to reduce pH swings.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 07:21 PM
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I can also confirm that neos will live on ADA type soils. I set up a Dennerle tank a few months back and tested it with a few neos first before adding Caridina. Naturally, I never managed to catch them all and two remain in there but both stowaways are hanging on. It does appear they grow at a better rate in my tanks with non buffering substrates, though other factors may be at play.

As for your rasbora deaths, I'm sorry that's going on. I would expect them to positively thrive in those conditions. IIRC, their native habitats are as acidic as 4 pH. But these are likely tank or pond bred in harder water and have acclimated to this. Drip-acclimation might help going forward. It's always possible you got a buggy or weak batch too, of course. Perhaps if you could QT them in a tank that's soft and acid but not quite as "off the charts soft and acid" as you currently have, it could be two smaller transitions rather than one larger one.

I wouldn't use tap in a tank with buffering substrate if I could avoid it. It's going to buffer to *some* degree for a long time, and I think I'd be more inclined to just replace it altogether if I wasn't happy with it. It's doing its job and you have chosen a fish species that is tailor made for that. Also, Caridina shrimp would seem an ideal tank mate, much moreso than neos in those conditions. They're a lot more sensitive but your tank is set up for them already. Good luck!

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 08:01 PM
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No advice for the fish...

Just that I wouldn't recommend tap on a buffering substrate regardless of species being kept... or KH being added to a tank with buffering substrate. More hassle than it's worth.
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