Low PH in Taiwan Bee Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Low PH in Taiwan Bee Tank

Hi,



So I have a 10 gallon tank that I keep Taiwan bees in....about 20 shrimp plus some babies.
The tank is lightly planted: mainly moss and mayaca plants. The tank gets RO water remineralized with GH up. The substrate that I'm using is brand: Brightwell which when I purchased it I was under the impression it would buffer the substrate to PH 5.5-5.7 which is a little lower than the more common fluval shrimp stratum which I use in my neo tanks.


Anyway the PH in the Taiwan bee tank has been steadily dropping ever so slowly...when I first set the tank up last November the PH was around 5.6, but over the course of the year it has slowly dropped. My PH reading today was ~4.7



Now the shrimp seem to be doing fine, thriving really it seems. Less deaths in that tank than my neo tanks.
The Taibees are also breeding.



Should I be concerned with a PH that low...I know taiwan bees prefer a lower slightly acidic PH but I don't want it to be too low.


Also What could be causing the low PH and how can I best remedy it (I don't really want to add a product like PH up). As far as I'm aware when a buffering substrate loses its buffering capacity the PH would climb rather than drop.


Tank Parameters:
PH> 4.7
KH> 0 deg.
Gh> 6 deg.
Ammonia> 0 ppm
Nitrite> 0 ppm
Nitrate> 20-30 ppm
TDS> 185
Temp> 70F/21C
Water changes>10-20% once a month

I know my parameters are on the high side but I am trying to establish a colony that can survive in less picky water parameters, and like I said earlier I am not experiencing many deaths (maybe 2-3 adults died in the last year)
Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you ~ Jah Shoua

Last edited by macrosaga; 10-15-2019 at 10:05 AM. Reason: added tank parameters
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 11:08 AM
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It may have something to do with your kh being 0? From what I understand kh helps keep your ph stable. So perhaps something to do with that, having a kh of 1 might help with this gradual decrease and still be ok for the shrimp i believe? As for whats actually causing the ph to drop slowly, someone else might be able to chip in. Do you use Co2?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 02:39 PM
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Your pH is low because you're using a buffering substrate. It's fine for Taiwan Bees. Don't try to change it. Stability is key.

If you have driftwood or anything else in the tank that releases tannic acid (like leaf litter), that could additionally be lowering things. Again, not an issue with Bees. I routinely keep Bees in pH at or below 5 and have for a decade.

Lower your nitrates, though. Do that by increasing your water change frequency. Do them every other week or however frequently is necessary to get them below 20. Right now you're on the edge of risk. I'd also bet your nitrate is higher than your test kit is showing based on your TDS being rather high for a gH of 6. Your shrimp would definitely benefit from more frequent and consistent water changes.

Hate to be that person but... you're not going to be able to develop a colony of Taiwan Bees that don't need particular water parameters. What you have them in now is really great in terms of pH, kH, gH.

Being picky isn't really a thing for shrimp - it's just what some people in the hobby say or use as slang. Parameters aren't something we focus on because shrimp like them, it's because they're necessary for health, shell development, survival, keeping pathogens at bay, etc. The commonly accepted parameters hobbyists stick to have been developed by hobbyists over several decades - people studying them to determine optimal health and development... as well as studying natural habitats on a regular basis.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 02:54 PM
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What @somewhatshocked said. Increasing water change frequency may also help to increase pH since you would be removing more of the humic and tannic acids in the water. You certainly don't need to change the pH, it'll just happen through water changes naturally. If it stays low, that's fine too.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for the encouraging replies, I have been trying my best to let the tank do its thing. I realize my nitrates are on the high side. I will try and lower them gradually with more frequent water changes.

My question to you all is: How are you guys and gals able to keep a TDS steady at 90-120 ppm with a GH of 5-6?
I use Salty SHrimp GH+ to remineralize RODI water and if I mix it to ~100 ppm I only acheive a GH of 2-3 deg.

Also it seems like the TDS in this tank always climbs to 150-180 on its own...

I don't use any ferts or CO2 and only feed the little guys dried mulberry pellets 1-2 a week.
I add about half a scooper spoon of BacterAE every other day or so to ensure the babies get adequate nutrition.

Again, thanks for any comments suggestions ~ Jah Shoua
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 08:37 PM
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Has your TDS meter been calibrated? My guess is that it hasn't been.

If it can be calibrated, go through the steps your manufacturer recommends. If it can't be, try to get your hands on a meter that's easily calibrated.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macrosaga View Post
I use Salty SHrimp GH+ to remineralize RODI water and if I mix it to ~100 ppm I only acheive a GH of 2-3 deg.

Each GH point is worth approx 20 ppm, so you're measuring wrong.
420mg of SS per gallon will give you right around 100 ppm and GH 5.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 09:29 PM
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Calibration?
Dissolving 0.3 grams of kitchen salt in 1 L should increase TDS reading by 300 ppm NaCl and 614 ÁS. If not then electrodes can be cleaned ( also stored ) in Vodka and then calibrated on most models.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:26 AM
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When I was using SS GH/KH, I could get a GH of 7-8 with about 150 TDS... not keeping shrimp that require lower GH/TDS though.

Are you topping up with RO water between water changes?

If yes, then the TDS is probably rising due to Bacter AE. Kind of sounds like you are overfeeding on that anyway... but if you aren't having any deaths, way to go!
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