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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I currently have about 50 RCS in a heated 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter. I have no substrate in the tank, just a clump of free floating Java moss and a single oak leaf.

My tap water is very soft ( less than 1 degree Total Hardness and Alkalinity) and the pH is about 6.8. From what I have read I think I may have a great environment for Crystal Red Shrimp, but I have also read that Red Cherry Shrimp generally like increased water hardness and pH.

I would like to move the shrimp to a larger tank( 30 gallon breeder 36x18x12) and I am thinking of adding African Cichlid Mix from CaribSea as the substrate. My understanding is that this should add to the hardness and buffer the pH up around 7.6. Any plants would be low light (Java fern and Java moss) and not planted in the substrate. Any comments or experience on using this substrate? Any other suggestions? I could add buffers to raise hardness (I do with my planted tanks since they have pressurized CO2), but would prefer not mixing anything with the tap water except for Seachem Prime.

The primary purpose of this tank is as a breeder tank. The tank need not look good, it needs to meet the health and breeding requirements of the shrimp. My goal is to take larger adults and add them to my planted community tanks were I don't believe the baby shrimp would have a high survival rate and the chances of loosing an adult every now and then would exist.

Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated!

Brian
 

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Toss a handful of crushed coral (calcium carbonate) into the tank, it will raise/buffer the pH to 7.4-7.6, and also raise the gH and KH. Alternatively, limestone rocks (or gravel) will do the same thing, so will seashells.
All as effective, and much less expensive than CaribSea substrate...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the help! I think I can get a handful of crushed coral from my lfs. They also carry limestone rocks for Cichlid tanks at reasonable cost.

Brian
 

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Also I don't think that the PH matters too much... Mine seems to be pretty acidic (somewhere in the 6. range) and they're doing great!

So if they're already breeding why change things? Also, remember to always have some breeding adults in the breeding tank or you wont have baby shrimp constantly occurring! Maybe pulling out the less colorful males at first will be a good Idea!

-Andrew
 

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Having water that's too soft isn't good for any shrimp in the long run. They need minerals to produce their exoskeletons, same as snails need them for their shells.
 

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Having water that's too soft isn't good for any shrimp in the long run. They need minerals to produce their exoskeletons, same as snails need them for their shells.
Minerals can be absorbed from food. There are shrimp that do great in water that is almost as acidic as rain. I doubt this water has lots of calcium on it.
Feed them a good diet and you should have no problem in acidic ph.

-Pedro
 
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