Can my tank hold both RCS and CRS with these parameters and CO2? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Can my tank hold both RCS and CRS with these parameters and CO2?

My tank currently has several RCS and unfortunately haven't been able to thrive due to various reasons. As far as I know there are only males left in the tank, so if I were to continue with RCS I'd have to buy more. Due to my active soil my pH balances at 6.6 and KH of basically 0. I'm currently dosing Equilibrium (switching to salty shrimp GH+ soon) to 5 GH. The problem that I'm facing is that my pH of 6.6 is:
1. Slightly too low for RCS
2. Slightly too high for CRS
3. CO2 injection would make problem 1 worse

I'm considering switching over from RCS to CRS since I'm unable to raise the pH but could slightly lower it through CO2 injection. I'm wanting to add in pressurized CO2 at about 15ppm, so hopefully no more than a 0.5pH fluctuation daily. Would CRS be comfortable/thrive in these conditions? (Daily fluctuation of say 6.0-6.6). I know my RCS will survive but won't thrive in this environment. Also, is there any other way to keep the pH slightly lower and more suitable for CRS without having to worry about huge/sudden fluctuations?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 01:31 PM
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To answer the question in the subject of your post, based on your specific situation: Not ideally.

What are those "various reasons" you think Neos haven't thrived? Not asking to be a jerk but to see where others may be able to give you good advice on a level that is actually helpful to you.

Which specific substrate are you using? What's are your tank's dimensions? What specific kind of lighting do you have? What's your photoperiod?

What are all of your water parameters? gH? kH? Ammonia? Nitrite? Nitrate? TDS? Temperature? Are you using tap water or just remineralized RO/DI?

Have you done much reading about shrimpkeeping? Perused any threads here on the forum? Maybe some tank journals? Focusing on pH suggests to me that it may be a good idea to spend some time doing that.

Carbonic acid from CO2 injection doesn't impact water hardness/osmotic pressure, so shrimp aren't impacted on that front. They just have to deal with decreased oxygen levels/increased CO2 levels and all that goes along with that - like constant fertilization. pH is not as important as water hardness with shrimp and it'd help you immensely to understand how they impact each other, what increases pH, how that impacts hardness, etc.

I've kept Crystals in "high-tech" (high ferts - EI dosing, CO2, etc) and have had success. So have many others. But it's not ideal. Shrimp just tend to do best in lower tech tanks.

If it were me? I'd learn as much as I can about Neos and Crystals and try to start a tank specifically for them (pick one species) that doesn't involve lots of ferts or CO2. If you don't want to do that, I'd try to keep 'ideal' parameters for one or the other. If it's RCS you want to go with, you'd ideally switch substrates to something inert. If it's Crystals, then I'd slowly - over the course of 4-6 weeks - acclimate them to ferts and CO2.

Something else - do you have photos of your setup? That may be helpful for others who will likely chime in to guide you along the way.

Beyond all the questions I'm asking here - what other questions and concerns do you have about shrimping?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 04:14 PM
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Welcome to TPT. I keep a few tanks with both bees and cherries, but wouldn't recommend starting that way if new to shrimping. Don't concern yourself too much with pH, KH is about all I test for with any regularity and with active substrate and 0KH water you'd expect it to stay at/near 0 dKH. I really only test pH to let me know my CO2 concentrations in high tech tanks. As SS said, the pH swings from CO2 don't have much impact on your livestock, but I still dial it down the first week or two I have new shrimp in a high tech tank. They have enough to acclimate to as it is, IMO.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
To answer the question in the subject of your post, based on your specific situation: Not ideally.

What are those "various reasons" you think Neos haven't thrived? Not asking to be a jerk but to see where others may be able to give you good advice on a level that is actually helpful to you.

Which specific substrate are you using? What's are your tank's dimensions? What specific kind of lighting do you have? What's your photoperiod?

What are all of your water parameters? gH? kH? Ammonia? Nitrite? Nitrate? TDS? Temperature? Are you using tap water or just remineralized RO/DI?

Have you done much reading about shrimpkeeping? Perused any threads here on the forum? Maybe some tank journals? Focusing on pH suggests to me that it may be a good idea to spend some time doing that.

Carbonic acid from CO2 injection doesn't impact water hardness/osmotic pressure, so shrimp aren't impacted on that front. They just have to deal with decreased oxygen levels/increased CO2 levels and all that goes along with that - like constant fertilization. pH is not as important as water hardness with shrimp and it'd help you immensely to understand how they impact each other, what increases pH, how that impacts hardness, etc.

I've kept Crystals in "high-tech" (high ferts - EI dosing, CO2, etc) and have had success. So have many others. But it's not ideal. Shrimp just tend to do best in lower tech tanks.

If it were me? I'd learn as much as I can about Neos and Crystals and try to start a tank specifically for them (pick one species) that doesn't involve lots of ferts or CO2. If you don't want to do that, I'd try to keep 'ideal' parameters for one or the other. If it's RCS you want to go with, you'd ideally switch substrates to something inert. If it's Crystals, then I'd slowly - over the course of 4-6 weeks - acclimate them to ferts and CO2.

Something else - do you have photos of your setup? That may be helpful for others who will likely chime in to guide you along the way.

Beyond all the questions I'm asking here - what other questions and concerns do you have about shrimping?
Thanks for the reply! I'll answer your questions in order. Various reasons include:
1. I didn't do consistent water changes as I thought there was no need since nitrates were 0.
2. I thought biofilm would be sufficient for the number of shrimp in the tank so they weren't fed anything external.
3. Parameters weren't ideal, I used CO2 before with them so pH would fluctuate between 6.0-6.6, and GH has been at ~5, where I was advised to raise it to 8.
4. I had a mishap adding KH too quickly (and before I understood how the active soil worked) resulting in a couple deaths.

Substrate is Tropica Aquasoil (both regular and powder).
Dimensions are 122 x 33 x 51 cm (48 x 13 x 20 in). 55 gallons.
Light is LED light - 1890 Lumens and 8,000K.
Photoperiod is 8 hours.

GH: 5
KH: 0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
TDS: Unknown, in the process of getting a TDS meter
Temperature: 24C
Only tap water, I was recommended to use RO/DI water but can't think of a practical way of doing so with a tank this size... My tap water is extremely soft (GH and KH of 0-1, pH 7.2), and I dose with Prime to remove any trace of chlorine.

I've done quite a bit of reading on both guides and forum posts and I think at this point I have a fairly decent understanding of the relationship between KH/PH/CO2. The relationship charts are unsuitable for me to use due to my active soil exogenously removing the KH and decreasing the pH. I do however have a drop checker for CO2.

Changing the soil isn't a practical option for me at this point, I'm more so wondering if the pH is low enough for CRS to be happy. I understand my remaining RCS won't thrive, but I also don't want them to be uncomfortable.

I think the part that I'm unsure about would be how my soil releases the acids to lower the pH. If I were to further lower the pH with external methods would the soil counteract it in any way to raise it back to 6.6, or does the soil ONLY lower pH? I'm also scared to try to externally change the pH since the KH is 0, if I were to add any pH lowering substances there'd be nothing to buffer against.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
Welcome to TPT. I keep a few tanks with both bees and cherries, but wouldn't recommend starting that way if new to shrimping. Don't concern yourself too much with pH, KH is about all I test for with any regularity and with active substrate and 0KH water you'd expect it to stay at/near 0 dKH. I really only test pH to let me know my CO2 concentrations in high tech tanks. As SS said, the pH swings from CO2 don't have much impact on your livestock, but I still dial it down the first week or two I have new shrimp in a high tech tank. They have enough to acclimate to as it is, IMO.
So if I control my GH and keep it to say 4 (the ideal number for CRS), and the soil keeps KH to 0 and pH to 6.6, would this be sufficient for CRS to be happy?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 09:15 PM
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4 is lower that I've ever intentionally gone, I keep mine between 5 & 6 GH, 0 dKH and they breed, as do Neos in the same tanks. Your soil is great for crystals, will create water on the soft side for Neos but I've never had a problem with it. I find that a 10% weekly water change is ideal in a shrimp only tank. If fed properly, there won't be much to clean up but it keeps things consistent. I don't recommend adding KH to a tank with aqua soil.

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Last edited by Blue Ridge Reef; 06-30-2020 at 09:30 PM. Reason: typo
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 11:23 PM
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Since you have such a large water volume, it's going to be a heck of a lot easier to maintain stable parameters than in a smaller tank. So that's a great thing.

Definitely stop worrying about pH. Don't mess with it. Ignore it unless you're using it to track CO2. Focus on kH and gH. And since you have a gH of 5? That's ideal for Crystals.

In my opinion, I'd keep the Neos you have without adding more. And I'd start adding Crystals if you're confident in parameter stability.

My only concern is temperature. If it's possible, you'd want to get it down to 20-22c. A simple fan blowing across the surface of the water would likely be all you need. It's possible they'd do quite well at 24c but I'm personally not a fan of being at even 22.

About your tap water: That's crazy luck on your part. Likely ideal for shrimping. Probably no reason to switch to RO/DI as long as you've got a decent remineralizer.
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