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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Tank has been up and running for about 6 weeks.
10 Gallon LFS special
New Amazonia
medium sponge filter
UG filter (covers back 33% of tank) — air driven
Temp controlled to +1/-1 @ 71.5F

Peacock Moss (thanks hedge-fund)
C. Parva
Marimo
Echinodorus Opacus Verde
Salvia Minima

TDS - 105
pH - 6.0
GH - 4
KH - 1
Ammonia, Nitrite = 0 within 12 hours of adding .3 ml. pure ammonia (no livestock, so I dose every other day)
Nitrate = under 10ppm

I think I'm almost ready. But before I put $300 worth of shrimp that I've never cared for (but feel confident that I can) into a glass box of water, I have a few questions.

1. Is the TDS too low?
I hope not, because that's what I get from a very simple method — one full scoop of SS GH+ in a five gallon container of RO. I like simple, and hope this works. (And yes, I monitor the TDS of my RO before adding anything)

2. Is the KH too high?
Again, I hope not. I've had no problems with CRS and CBS with these parameters. But King Kongs are supposedly more fragile. KH 1 and pH 6 are easy to keep steady. KH 0 is not. And I'll be honest — I'd rather not load the tank full of wood/IAL/cones/peat and turn it yellow, which is what it takes to get my KH to zero.

3. The existing biofilm has Amazonia dust all over it.
Use a UGF without exporting to a HOB or cannister, and that will happen. Better than free floating, but will that harm the shrimp? I can't see how, my CRS love to nibble on amazonia, but I figure i had better ask rather than watch helplessly as shrimp die in front of me. FWIW the Amazonia dust seemed to have stopped blowing after the first week. Maybe it all attached itself to the sides of the tank :)

4. Initial bioload.
I want to run for three more weeks (while I'm out of town — no worries, the wife is fully capable) with some animal load to make 100% sure my filters are cycled, and that I have enough Salvia to keep the nitrates in check. I have 2 very tiny Ramshorns in the tank (that are coming out before they get big enough to multiply into thousands of Ramshorns). My neos are in tap water with tons of tannins, and might not like the shock of moving to soft, acidic, low TDS water. I don't want any CRS/CBS in the tank for obvious reasons. What can I put in the tank that can provide a suitable bioload, but is easy to remove or will be fine with my King Kongs and not have any risk of cross breeding? I'm not afraid to buy animals for this, then ROAK them afterwards.

5. Snails.
Specifically Nerites. Yes or no? I know I won't have an army of king kongs, especially in a 10G, so will I need something to aid in janitorial duties? If nerites aren't the answer, and I do need a few snails, please speak up.

6. Iron.
I may have to add some iron to keep my E. O. verde happy in such nutrient-poor water. It's as important to keep it as "happy" as the shrimp to me. I imagine dosing iron is a good way to kill off king kongs. Ideas?

I know I sound like I'm needlessly worrying. But I remember when I first started with CRS, and don't want another "learning experience" with very expensive shrimp. I've also been looking at this "empty" spot on my shrimp rack for months while I built temp controllers, sourced the perfect plants, and waited for the amazonia to cycle out. I want this done right, so I can enjoy my sexy black shiny shrimp.

Any and all help is appreciated.
 

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Water with Amazonia in it is not nutrient poor. The roots will feed on the substrate. But iron won't hurt your shrimp.

Your GH is a little low. 5 is ideal to prevent molting problem.

If you want snails as a cleanup crew you don't need them. Snails don't really clean up anything, other than compete for food with your shrimp. If you want snails as a pet, that's fine.
 

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the only snail that are good, is the nerite snail. they are perfect for cleaning the glass, unless you want to do it weekly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Water with Amazonia in it is not nutrient poor. The roots will feed on the substrate. But iron won't hurt your shrimp.

Your GH is a little low. 5 is ideal to prevent molting problem.

If you want snails as a cleanup crew you don't need them. Snails don't really clean up anything, other than compete for food with your shrimp. If you want snails as a pet, that's fine.
I hate snails. Knowing that I don't need them even with just a few shrimp is the best news I've heard today.

And I assumed that Amazonia was Iron poor for some reason. Nice to know that it's not. And yes, i should have made sure before putting an expensive specimen plant in the tank.

Whenever I have had to raise GH, i used 1 part MgSO4 to 3 parts CaSO4 to get the required result. Any problems with this? I assume (yes, I'm doing that again) both the Mg and Ca are good for the critters in some amount. Or should I just go for a mineral block?

And feel free to tell me I'm worrying too much and should just shut up and do it.

the only snail that are good, is the nerite snail. they are perfect for cleaning the glass, unless you want to do it weekly.
The tanks are sideways in a 48-inch shelf. I only have one end to keep clean :)

sounds like you're making progress. just a few more small things to go.
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm nervous knowing all the horror stories about KKs molting and the 100% mortality rate of the juvies. And I hate getting any animal I can't take care of properly.
 

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1. Is the TDS too low?
I hope not, because that's what I get from a very simple method — one full scoop of SS GH+ in a five gallon container of RO. I like simple, and hope this works. (And yes, I monitor the TDS of my RO before adding anything)


So, if I can add a suggestion...ditch the measuring scoop that comes with the SS and get yourself a set of stainless or plastic measuring spoons. The "easiest" correct method is to use one full teaspoon to 5 gallons of RO/DI for your SS. That will bring you up to ~180 ish ppm and work very well
 

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4. Initial bioload.
I want to run for three more weeks (while I'm out of town — no worries, the wife is fully capable) with some animal load to make 100% sure my filters are cycled, and that I have enough Salvia to keep the nitrates in check. I have 2 very tiny Ramshorns in the tank (that are coming out before they get big enough to multiply into thousands of Ramshorns). My neos are in tap water with tons of tannins, and might not like the shock of moving to soft, acidic, low TDS water. I don't want any CRS/CBS in the tank for obvious reasons. What can I put in the tank that can provide a suitable bioload, but is easy to remove or will be fine with my King Kongs and not have any risk of cross breeding? I'm not afraid to buy animals for this, then ROAK them afterwards.

I've always cycled my shrimp tanks with fish and then just returned them to a pet store. A few guppies would suffice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, tank looks really good!! Let that moss grow wild. :)
Indeed. It's perfect in there.

I've always cycled my shrimp tanks with fish and then just returned them to a pet store. A few guppies would suffice.
You'll laugh at me for what I'm about to say.
I thought of just this (using some chili rasboras from my wife's tank), but was afraid that fish might introduce some sort of pathogen that will affect the King Kongs. Remember, I have no idea how hardy they are and only can go by all the horror stories.



So, if I can add a suggestion...ditch the measuring scoop that comes with the SS and get yourself a set of stainless or plastic measuring spoons. The "easiest" correct method is to use one full teaspoon to 5 gallons of RO/DI for your SS. That will bring you up to ~180 ish ppm and work very well
Hmm. 180 isn't too high? Because I run my CRS at at 180, and was told to try for 120 for the KK. If 180 will work, I'm gold.

Like I said, I can only go on the random — and often wrong —internet wisdom here. This is why I decided to ask the people who successfully keep them after I got a handle on things and am ready for the final tweakage.

You all have been very helpful.
 

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Just letting you know how I and many others do it:

1 tsp SS GH+ per 5 gallon RO/DI water

I use active substrate but I also have one tank that is bare bottom using exact same water recipe.
 

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Just letting you know how I and many others do it:

1 tsp SS GH+ per 5 gallon RO/DI water

I use active substrate but I also have one tank that is bare bottom using exact same water recipe.
I was just experimenting and 1 tsp of SS gh+ to 5 gallons ro/di gets me a gh of 9 and tds of 175. Isn't that too high for taiwans?
 

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I keep my Taiwans between 170-190 TDS and GH 5-6. They do fine. :) As long as you are getting juvies or subadults they should be able to adapt TDS wise. The person I got mine from was keeping them in TDS 125 I believe. They've been in my tanks since first of November with the higher TDS. Things in your tank will raise your TDS like food, decaying leaves, shrimp waste, etc. So you can remineralize your water to 120 all you want and more than likely its going to increase once it's in a tank with substrate, plants, etc. I'm cycling two brand new tanks right now, using RO water remineralized to 115 and both tanks are sitting at 160 with just a few snails, a lot of plants, driftwood and plants in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just letting you know how I and many others do it:

1 tsp SS GH+ per 5 gallon RO/DI water

I use active substrate but I also have one tank that is bare bottom using exact same water recipe.
Using this formula on my water:
TDS: 171
GH: 7
KH: 1

Tell me that's good and I'll <3 you forever :)
 

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I keep all mine in tds 150. Gh 5 kh0 ph 5.8. The will adapt as long as they are young. I don't know if going to 190 is something I would do. I know I got more berried mischlings and tbs at the 150-160 range after I lowered mine from 170-175
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Screw it. Going back to Apistos :p

So it seems that everyone has a different method of success.
 

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Sorry to hijack the thread but my GH is 7.
If I want to lower it my TDS goes down. (Slowly adding pure RO water)
My TDS gets very low, so I add more GH+ and my TDS go up. :(
How do I lower GH while keeping TDS at a set point ?

Thanks.
 
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