Understanding KH for Neos - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Understanding KH for Neos

Apologies for bringing up something that many seem to have mastered, but I'm struggling with the importance of KH for neos.

No secret that KH keeps the PH stable. I get that. What I don't get is why KH seems to matter for some shrimp but not others, specifically why do neocaridina need it and not caridina?

For example, all shrimp seem to need stable parameters. Sure. But the general advice seems to be that KH is important for neocaridina but not caridina. With good aquasoil/buffering substrate, you are almost always going to have a KH of 0 and a lower PH, so it seems impossible to have any KH in a proper caridina setup. Many folks report having neos live well in a 0 KH environment (i.e., a high tech tank with aquasoil, CO2, etc.). But if neos "need" KH, how can that be the case?

Just interested in whether KH matters for neos for any reason other than PH stability.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 03:18 PM
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Caresheets are not the end all-be all is all I can say about matter. I don't see how one can conclude that a certain amount of carbonates are required for Neocaridina shrimp. I have 4 tanks with aquasoils and 0 dKH with Neos and they do as well as in my inert tanks with 2-3 dKH. Acclimating them can be tough if they come from harder water though.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 04:16 PM
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I also had them multiply very well in KH 0 with AS and now in KH of 9-12 with Pool Filter Sand.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 05:48 PM
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I've had them in KH of 15 degrees and acclimated them down to a KH of 1 without any major issues, or from a soil tank with 0 degrees into a tapwater tank @ 15 degrees, no mass die offs and continued breeding exponentially.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 06:11 PM
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As long as the parameters are stable, they truly don't seem to care as long as water quality and diet are on point. I think we could put together a caresheet from the members here that would be more accurate than any of the popular ones online. Everything from temp requirements to pH to KH seem to be given unnecessary restrictions in those I've stumbled across, while aged tanks are rarely mentioned and seem to be one of the biggest keys to success.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much. This is super helpful and I wish more people were privy to this information. So much misinformation out there re dwarf shrimp keeping.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 08:59 PM
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If you have a tank with inert substrate (i.e. sand or gravel), then you *DO* want KH to help keep the pH stable. This may be even more important if you might be using anything that could cause pH swings - i.e. CO2.

HOWEVER, tanks with buffering substrates (i.e. substrates meant to lower pH) use acids instead to keep the pH stable and low. Adding KH into these tanks can cause unstable parameters as the substrate absorbs KH and releases acids (tannic, humic, fulvic...)


When it comes to Neocaridina, stability is recommended over chasing "ideal" parameters... unless of course the shrimp simply aren't thriving for a specific reason... i.e. GH too low, temps too high, etc.



When it comes to Caridina species... now, that'll depend on your Caridina... they could live in extremely soft water (0-3 KH, 0-3 GH) to extremely hard water. (saltwater...) Some might live in both! Depending on life stage of the shrimp. (i.e. amanos, bamboo shrimp, and?) Certain "strains" (not species, but 'type') may live "okay" in high pH water but there will be limited to no breeding and/or offspring survival unless the pH is low.


In short, there's a lot of variables!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
If you have a tank with inert substrate (i.e. sand or gravel), then you *DO* want KH to help keep the pH stable. This may be even more important if you might be using anything that could cause pH swings - i.e. CO2.

HOWEVER, tanks with buffering substrates (i.e. substrates meant to lower pH) use acids instead to keep the pH stable and low. Adding KH into these tanks can cause unstable parameters as the substrate absorbs KH and releases acids (tannic, humic, fulvic...)


When it comes to Neocaridina, stability is recommended over chasing "ideal" parameters... unless of course the shrimp simply aren't thriving for a specific reason... i.e. GH too low, temps too high, etc.



When it comes to Caridina species... now, that'll depend on your Caridina... they could live in extremely soft water (0-3 KH, 0-3 GH) to extremely hard water. (saltwater...) Some might live in both! Depending on life stage of the shrimp. (i.e. amanos, bamboo shrimp, and?) Certain "strains" (not species, but 'type') may live "okay" in high pH water but there will be limited to no breeding and/or offspring survival unless the pH is low.


In short, there's a lot of variables!
Thanks! I see a lot of folks keeping neos in high tech tanks with aquasoil, which inevitably means the PH is <7. Is that acceptable for neos, assuming appropriate acclimation and maintained parameter stability? I've heard neos are more tolerant of fert dosing and that is why they are preferred in higher tech setups.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2020, 03:02 AM
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Tigers could work in high tech tanks as well as some other fancy Caridina.


But yes... Neos are considered "hardier". I've had "better luck" with Caridina (YKK to be specific) than I have had with Neos... which isn't saying much, since I just suck at keeping shrimp!
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