I see a lot of people talk about using a buffering substrate with caridinas to keep the pH low and stable. Couldn't the same be achieved with a high enough KH and 24hr CO2 injection?
Plenty of folks have raised CRS/PRLs in a high tech environment but taiwan bees can be a bit more fussy with their parameters. That said, it's definitely cheaper and less of a headache to just purchase a good buffering substrate, especially if you intend to breed them. It's cheap insurance when you figure in the cost of these shrimp.I'm no expert on CO2 setups, never done so myself, but from what I do know, it seems a lot cheaper and more stable to set up a tank using buffering substrate, RO water and GH minerals.
I believe @Zoidburg means substrates like Controsoil, SL-Aqua, ADA, Fluval Statum, etc. which buffers pH below 6.5 by releasing humic acid and attracting KH ions to their "charged" surface. Most of my shrimp tanks are below a pH of 6, some closer to 5.5 with the use of remineralized r/o water.IME, a buffering substrate is NOT a good way to reduce pH. The carbonate buffers in the substrate are released as the water becomes acidic. This raises KH and, subsequently, pH. The substrate is constantly trying to buffer to 7.0. The lower the ph, the more carbonate is dissolved. Add CO2 and you have a constant carbonate factory. If you are trying to keep pH low, go with an inert substrate, add no carbonates and use the CO2 to set the pH acidity you want. If by "low" you mean a pH stable at 7, then the buffering substrates are good.
What I do is run inert substrate with zero dKH (in RO/DI) and pressurized CO2. I use the CO2 to drive the pH down to about 5.2 during the day with a 2 point recovery at night. Now, keep in mind, I only have several Amano's, so it's not a shrimp tank. My purpose is to have high CO2 levels while stalling the BB with low pH in order to provide plants with more than just NO3. CO2 driven pH changes do not affect fish and, at least, Amano's. The pH is controlled by the CO2 (I don't use a pH controller). In any case, pH shock is something of an old wives tale. What used to be considered dangerous pH changes was actually dangerous TDS changes, at least for fish.@madcrafted @Deanna - madcrafted is correct. I'm talking about RO water with 0 KH (carbonates/bi-carbonates) and GH only on a substrate that's meant to buffer the pH down to 6.5 or below. I'm not talking about a substrate that's crap and maybe only buffers to 6.8 or 7 pH. Also, from what little I know of CO2 and KH, I wouldn't recommend for most people to use CO2 in a tank with inert substrate and 0 KH. I feel like inert substrate + 0 KH + CO2 = would result in potentially major pH swings or too far of a drop in pH. You need some KH to keep the pH stable, even if at a lower pH range with CO2 injection. With a buffering substrate that lowers the pH, it's already targeting a specific pH range and adding a little CO2 could push it down a tad further. If you were to turn the CO2 off, it wont have the ability to jump above neutral as it might in a tank with inert substrate. If I'm incorrect in this information, I'm sure madcrafted or another more knowledgeable CO2 'expert' would correct me!
Yeah, as I mentioned; I can't comment on the shrimp world. My focus was on fish. Of course, we used to think the same thing about fish, but maybe the pH shock is a legitimate issue for some shrimp.@Deanna, osmotic shock I am well aware of, and since you have amanos which are typically rather hardy, probably not such a big deal... but for more sensitive shrimp such as CRS, or perhaps more specifically PRL/PBL and Taiwan Bees, that sounds like a dangerous game to be playing. If you don't have some of these shrimp in low pH, they wont breed. They might live, but the colony wont thrive.
In a sense: yes. Think of pH as a gauge. It’s telling you that something might be wrong if it’s moving too much or is what we think of as a bad level (too high or too low). Then, we need to find out why it is happening. In the case of CO2 driven changes, it’s the carbonic acid, which doesn’t affect fish and some shrimp (apparently), but the TDS components (GH, KH, etc.) or organic compounds haven’t changed. If the pH is being moved by the non-CO2 possibilities, such as TDS component fluctuations (the source of osmotic pressure problems) or increasing organic compounds, now you have a problem that can affect the fish. You might even think of pH as a symptom.Does that imply non-CO2 driven pH changes can affect fish? And if so, do you know what is happening with the CO2 driven pH change that is different?
It definitely suppresses the BB in our biofilters (be they in a filter, substrate or surface). In fact, I count on it happening. If you are referring to other bacteria that might harm shrimp, I don't know, but some bacteria do prefer acidic conditions.There's also the theory that lower pH helps to suppress bacteria in the water column
Bacterial infections are the biggest issue for experienced shrimp keepers (proper parameters are the biggest issue got newer keepers). It's very difficult to keep the substrate clean when you have babies that will get sucked up. Unfortunately, that detritus buildup can start to foster some pretty nasty bacteria, and add something like high heat or high nitrogen, and you can end up losing a colony due to the domino effect that starts.It definitely suppresses the BB in our biofilters (be they in a filter, substrate or surface). In fact, I count on it happening. If you are referring to other bacteria that might harm shrimp, I don't know, but some bacteria do prefer acidic conditions.