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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting a 10 gallon plug and play planted package including a nano CO2 unit built into the corner filter, planted substrate, ferts, 6500K led plant light and 6 tissue cultures (which I doubt will make it) gifted to me and I kinda want to add shrimp. My problem is my tap water. I have very soft water. Gh 1-2 ph 6.5-6.8. If I'm dropping my ph by 1 through CO2 there's no way in heck I'll be able to keep shrimp is there?

My low tech 40b maintains 100% stable (barring filter failures) 0 ammo, 0 nitrite, between 10 and 25 nitrate (depending on whether I just added ferts) gh 2 ph 6.8. I only use liquid carbon in this tank.

I've never tried keeping shrimp in my own tanks and am kinda interested but I don't want to do any true research into it if I'm not going to be able to do it without using remineralized ro, I don't have the gumption to play prep the water 24 hours in advanced or buy distilled water by the gallon game- I retired from that already. If it is possible does anyone have good links to reference pages or suggestions on how I should do this?
 

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If you are using planted substrate, you should be using RO water or distilled with GH minerals - ideally

GH is too low for the majority of species of shrimp. You may have better luck in your 40b if you raised the GH of the tank... and if there's no active substrate, you can get a GH/KH remineralizer which is likely to raise your pH as well.


Don't see why you would need to prep water 24 hours in advanced.... I use RO water in my tank with GH minerals because I use active substrate.... but even before then, I ended up switching to RO water BECAUSE I needed to use minerals anyway since, like you, my water is too soft for shrimp. When I do water changes, if I have RO water, I add minerals and dump right in. I don't let it sit.
 

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I'm getting a 10 gallon plug and play planted package including a nano CO2 unit built into the corner filter, planted substrate, ferts, 6500K led plant light and 6 tissue cultures (which I doubt will make it) gifted to me and I kinda want to add shrimp. My problem is my tap water. I have very soft water. Gh 1-2 ph 6.5-6.8. If I'm dropping my ph by 1 through CO2 there's no way in heck I'll be able to keep shrimp is there?

My low tech 40b maintains 100% stable (barring filter failures) 0 ammo, 0 nitrite, between 10 and 25 nitrate (depending on whether I just added ferts) gh 2 ph 6.8. I only use liquid carbon in this tank.

I've never tried keeping shrimp in my own tanks and am kinda interested but I don't want to do any true research into it if I'm not going to be able to do it without using remineralized ro, I don't have the gumption to play prep the water 24 hours in advanced or buy distilled water by the gallon game- I retired from that already. If it is possible does anyone have good links to reference pages or suggestions on how I should do this?
It's a lot easier to raise your gh then lower it. Buy a TDS pen and add a remineralizer of your choice (I use seachem equilibrium) till you reach about TDS 250. Tada done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you are using planted substrate, you should be using RO water or distilled with GH minerals - ideally

GH is too low for the majority of species of shrimp. You may have better luck in your 40b if you raised the GH of the tank... and if there's no active substrate, you can get a GH/KH remineralizer which is likely to raise your pH as well.


Don't see why you would need to prep water 24 hours in advanced.... I use RO water in my tank with GH minerals because I use active substrate.... but even before then, I ended up switching to RO water BECAUSE I needed to use minerals anyway since, like you, my water is too soft for shrimp. When I do water changes, if I have RO water, I add minerals and dump right in. I don't let it sit.
I don't currently have an ro unit and am not really in the market to buy one. It's just an extra step that I never needed in the past. Before I went high tech for business I was a hobbyist and have historically had great luck with just my tap. I'm still not 100% sold on shrimp so it's probably a no go for this tank. I may set up vase or a cube for them sometime, though, wouldn't be as big of a deal then to just grab a gallon or 2 of distilled water a week. Thank you for your input!!!

It's a lot easier to raise your gh then lower it. Buy a TDS pen and add a remineralizer of your choice (I use seachem equilibrium) till you reach about TDS 250. Tada done.
Definitely something I will look into... Lots of considerations to be made. Set up should arrive on the 10th so I'll probably grab it from my cousin the 11th so I still have time to research :) (y)
 

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Definitely something I will look into... Lots of considerations to be made. Set up should arrive on the 10th so I'll probably grab it from my cousin the 11th so I still have time to research :) (y)
Neocaridina are super easy to keep as well as amano. Your ph will not be an issue. Your gh is not terrible either out of the tap but I would add a little remineralizer to help them along. I simply do not see a reason to go RO based on what you have said so far, I frankly wish my water was like yours ;P

That said it is possible to gas shrimp easier then fish, so if you drive the co2 too high that alone can be enough to murder them all. Go easy on the co2 and watch their behavior and you would be fine.
 

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If there's any KH in the water, it would destroy the buffering abilities of the substrate to keep the pH low, if it is in fact active substrate. That is, if you want to maintain low pH for a longer period of time, use water WITHOUT KH in it - even if the amount is minor.


Whether RO/distilled water is used or not, minerals are necessary for shrimp.


I've also not had luck keeping Neos that well... so from my own personal experience, I would have to recommend tigers first....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Neocaridina are super easy to keep as well as amano. Your ph will not be an issue. Your gh is not terrible either out of the tap but I would add a little remineralizer to help them along. I simply do not see a reason to go RO based on what you have said so far, I frankly wish my water was like yours ;P

That said it is possible to gas shrimp easier then fish, so if you drive the co2 too high that alone can be enough to murder them all. Go easy on the co2 and watch their behavior and you would be fine.
I've actually been told I have "magic water" I can breed just about any cichlid or tank bred fish with tap water lol. I'm hoping to not have to use a lot CO2, just enough to keep carpeting plants happy, and I don't plan on going too complicated with those- hair grass (not dhg) and maybe parva. Thank you so much for the info!! Time to do some neocardinia research!!

If there's any KH in the water, it would destroy the buffering abilities of the substrate to keep the pH low, if it is in fact active substrate. That is, if you want to maintain low pH for a longer period of time, use water WITHOUT KH in it - even if the amount is minor.


Whether RO/distilled water is used or not, minerals are necessary for shrimp.


I've also not had luck keeping Neos that well... so from my own personal experience, I would have to recommend tigers first....
Tigers, huh? Hmm.... That's another research list item 👍 thank you so much. I've got my research cut out for me lol. I really appreciate the input!!

As for the substrate I don't really know what to expect yet and I don't know if I need to cap it. I'll be figuring this out when I unbox. The summary says it will make sure the plants have the nutrients they need but doesn't go into detail 😶 so I'm hoping there's instructions or I can at least identify it by how it looks and feels. The only other plug and play unit I've had was a 30 gallon biocube FOWLR so I'm not sure what to expect there. I thought about adding shells or a little bit of crushed coral but I've read a lot of people having really weird fluctuations using it with pressurized CO2 units, works perfect for normal tanks, though as I've had luck with shellies breeding using that method using my tap water. Ah the research begins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Screenshot_20210402-211115.png
Here's a screen grab of the basics on it, my cousin ordered it and decided she didn't want to do it after I explained she couldn't just set up the tank and put fish in it.
 

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Quick note- take a look at your local water quality report and see how much copper is in your water. My tap water makes it impossible to keep shrimp. So i use ro. But you can buy an external ro filter for around $40. Not a problem and i use my rocks in the tank to remineralize and then add a little epsom salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quick note- take a look at your local water quality report and see how much copper is in your water. My tap water makes it impossible to keep shrimp. So i use ro. But you can buy an external ro filter for around $40. Not a problem and i use my rocks in the tank to remineralize and then add a little epsom salt.
Thank you for the reminder- but that's is not the case here, there is no copper in my water supply and when I did my start up for breeding I replumbed my house without copper piping and replaced my boiler. My concern was more because of the pressurized CO2 ph drop in a high tech setting. I'm glad you brought this up because your point is very valid. I check my local suppliers water testing results (I live in a watershed area) they post the results every year. I'd strongly recommend anyone using tap water to run full tests on water from their tap before they set up any tank- it's nice to know what you're dealing with before you jump in.
 

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So it is the Dennerle's Scapers Soil. It shows a picture in the pictures of what you are getting.


Since the tank will be acidic, if you really do want to try shrimp, I would recommend tigers and up the GH. I use Aqualex GH in my current tank, but had Salty Shrimp GH/KH before converting it over. May switch back to Salty Shrimp or Salty Bee once I run out of the Aqualex. (going from a 10g to a 33g tank)


If you really wanted to, you could consider some low end crystal shrimp as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So it is the Dennerle's Scapers Soil. It shows a picture in the pictures of what you are getting.


Since the tank will be acidic, if you really do want to try shrimp, I would recommend tigers and up the GH. I use Aqualex GH in my current tank, but had Salty Shrimp GH/KH before converting it over. May switch back to Salty Shrimp or Salty Bee once I run out of the Aqualex. (going from a 10g to a 33g tank)


If you really wanted to, you could consider some low end crystal shrimp as well.
Omg thank you so much for this info!!!!! You rock!!!!!

So when I looked up the soil on their site it says it's perfect for crystal red and red bee shrimp. Reading through reviews the consistent "it does exactly what it says" reviews give me a lot of hope. I think I may try a few amano first as a trial, then if they survive I'll try to get some crystal shrimp. I will definitely be looking at getting some salty shrimp- I've had a lot of people recommend it. This seems as though it may be doable!! Thank you so much for steering me in the right direction on this one!! I'll set up a tank journal once I start this journey 😁👍
 

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Amanos and crystals... generally speaking, are a completely different ballpark of shrimp! LOL

Amanos can survive in anything from soft water to brackish water (aka extremely hard water that's not quite saltwater!) - breeding them however is rather difficult... or at least, raising their offspring is. They can do fine in either acidic or alkaline waters as well.

Crystals do best in soft water with neutral to acidic water conditions.


Make sure you get GH only, stay clear of the KH variant of the minerals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So there goes the testing idea. Lol 🎵 I'm in over my head 🎵 well if crystal shrimp like soft water they'll love my water 😂 I love how complicated I'm making this on myself 😂 there's a really good lfs about an hour and a half from me that consistently has crystal shrimp, I think I'll head there to pick some up instead of ordering online and see what their water parameters are like and what they think. I know their water parameters used to be close enough to mine that they could just scoop from my bucket when I'd bring my baby betta in to sell on consignment. Definitely note taking time.
 

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My tap water has GH that is under 3 all year round and I had mostly positive experiences with shrimps (red cherries - Neocaridina davidi - and malawa - Caridina pareparensis), even in a high CO2 environment (my pH drop is close to 1.6 and my pH can reach 5.8). So, I would say that these two species are really hardy and you won't have to do anything to keep them alive and breeding (prolifically) in a planted tank. However, I'm not trying to maximize breeding, I just want a big colony that sustains itself.

To this date I only had two problems. The first one was when I lost my red cherry colony for a reason that I'm still unsure. They were thriving for a couple years in the tank and died after I removed some plants and introduced new ones - no other change was made.

My second problem was when I started my current malawa colony (almost 2 years ago). As I didn't have any fauna in the tank, my CO2 was even higher. When I introduced the shrimp, I've noticed they were mostly hiding and were not breeding quickly. After a couple of months, I've turned the CO2 down a little bit and everything seems fine. Now, when I want to adjust the CO2, I just keep an eye on them and make sure that they are eating and crawling all over the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My tap water has GH that is under 3 all year round and I had mostly positive experiences with shrimps (red cherries - Neocaridina davidi - and malawa - Caridina pareparensis), even in a high CO2 environment (my pH drop is close to 1.6 and my pH can reach 5.8). So, I would say that these two species are really hardy and you won't have to do anything to keep them alive and breeding (prolifically) in a planted tank. However, I'm not trying to maximize breeding, I just want a big colony that sustains itself.

To this date I only had two problems. The first one was when I lost my red cherry colony for a reason that I'm still unsure. They were thriving for a couple years in the tank and died after I removed some plants and introduced new ones - no other change was made.

My second problem was when I started my current malawa colony (almost 2 years ago). As I didn't have any fauna in the tank, my CO2 was even higher. When I introduced the shrimp, I've noticed they were mostly hiding and were not breeding quickly. After a couple of months, I've turned the CO2 down a little bit and everything seems fine. Now, when I want to adjust the CO2, I just keep an eye on them and make sure that they are eating and crawling all over the tank.
VERY good to know!! Thank you. This was actually my most pressing issue with diving into shrimp. Is there anything that you add specifically to the water to keep them healthy or do you just do normal water changes?
 

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Keeping Neos in water with GH under 3? Is that correct?

Seems about unheard of... to have a thriving colony.... unless the tank GH was higher?

My own tap was 3 and 3.... adults lived longer than offspring did... as in, offspring rarely made it past a day or two.... due to lack of minerals. Adults slowly died from failed molts.
 

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I don't think my situation is uncommon. Dennis Wong has a beautiful fire red shrimp colony in a tank that I'm pretty sure is low GH (here you can see some pictures). Tom Barr also had a big fire red colony in his 120 gallon (journal here) and, from what I remember, his water is super soft (GH less than 1).

I'll try quickly summarize my experience with Neocaridina davidi in order to give more context and to see if something makes sense:
Jul/2017: 3 red cherries and 3 orange neos bought and added to a 1 month old, 11 liter, planted tank (substrate was ADA amazonia, CO2 injected, over 50% WC weekly, ferts: KNO3, KH2PO4, plantex CSM+B). Had rocks and wood as hardscape. The rocks were collected, but I don't think they had CaCO3 in their composition. I think it was some very soft slate. I could probably test them in the future, but they are not stored in my home.
Oct/2017: the population was bigger, probably over 20 shrimp of reasonable size, however their coloration wasn't very good, had many healthy translucent ones.
Nov/2017?: moved to a new building. Water report stated ~2.5dGH and ~2dKH (two tests per year). Same supply from the old building. In Brazil we have mostly soft water.
Jul/2018: autopilot until this date, colony grew bigger and had many females that had 2 cm or more. Tank was rescaped. Used new rock that does not bubble with vinegar.
Nov/2018: everything was fine until I added plants from one common farm in Brazil. All shrimp died overnight. Heard that other people also had similar problems when adding plants from this farm, however it could be a coincidence and I'm not 100% convinced of this.

Overall, I never tested the GH or KH of the tank, I have more trust in the water report. Could the rocks leach Ca in the water? Possibly, but I think it is unlikely. I never had problems with salt deposits in the water line of the tank.

There could be something that I'm missing and I definitely can be wrong, but I personally never worried about having low GH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't think my situation is uncommon. Dennis Wong has a beautiful fire red shrimp colony in a tank that I'm pretty sure is low GH (here you can see some pictures). Tom Barr also had a big fire red colony in his 120 gallon (journal here) and, from what I remember, his water is super soft (GH less than 1).

I'll try quickly summarize my experience with Neocaridina davidi in order to give more context and to see if something makes sense:
Jul/2017: 3 red cherries and 3 orange neos bought and added to a 1 month old, 11 liter, planted tank (substrate was ADA amazonia, CO2 injected, over 50% WC weekly, ferts: KNO3, KH2PO4, plantex CSM+B). Had rocks and wood as hardscape. The rocks were collected, but I don't think they had CaCO3 in their composition. I think it was some very soft slate. I could probably test them in the future, but they are not stored in my home.
Oct/2017: the population was bigger, probably over 20 shrimp of reasonable size, however their coloration wasn't very good, had many healthy translucent ones.
Nov/2017?: moved to a new building. Water report stated ~2.5dGH and ~2dKH (two tests per year). Same supply from the old building. In Brazil we have mostly soft water.
Jul/2018: autopilot until this date, colony grew bigger and had many females that had 2 cm or more. Tank was rescaped. Used new rock that does not bubble with vinegar.
Nov/2018: everything was fine until I added plants from one common farm in Brazil. All shrimp died overnight. Heard that other people also had similar problems when adding plants from this farm, however it could be a coincidence and I'm not 100% convinced of this.

Overall, I never tested the GH or KH of the tank, I have more trust in the water report. Could the rocks leach Ca in the water? Possibly, but I think it is unlikely. I never had problems with salt deposits in the water line of the tank.

There could be something that I'm missing and I definitely can be wrong, but I personally never worried about having low GH.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience!! Super helpful right now while I piece what I'm going to do together. Makes me wonder if maybe the farm that you got the plants from used copper in their emersed growth soil...

Oh and thank you a well for the amazing links!!!!
 
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