For killing expensive shrimp? Or for getting them to breed? :help:perfect.
OEBTs from my research like temps around 70-74. The temp might be a bit much for them. If you are not opposed to setting up a fan you can also easily do a DIY dual stage temperature controller that controls the fan and heater to keep the temp around a set temp. I just set mine up for my OEBTs.
I have actually read that OP a couple of times from start to finishYou should take a look at this:
Also, TDS meter is a cheap investment needed for keeping cardinias IMO.
I am using Azoo substrate with some twig-heavy Vermicompost under it in this tank, so my PH SHOULD buffer down some from my tap conditions. How much remains to be seen as this is a new type of vermicompost I haven't used before (much more twigs and sticks) and I have used FSS in the past. The Azoo, by most accounts, does much better buffering than the FSS. We have used organic vermicompost in all our tanks with good success, this stuff just has more non-worm-poop matter in it than the stuff we have used in the past, and much of that matter (twigs and sticks) will buffer the water down a bit.I keep my OEBTs in PH6.7-6.8, TDS 135, GH 5, KH 0 water. They grew to breeding age about a month ago and started getting berried. I have 8 of them in a tank and 3 of them are berried. I don't know if I'll be able to keep the babies survive but I'm trying.
Also, your Chicago tap water has almost identical parameters as Toronto's (PH 7.6-7.8, GH 8, KH 5, TDS 170). I use reminieralized RO for WC, pure RO for top-off. Temperature is 65-72, occasionally gets to 75 but no higher (tank is in basement). 10% WC every two weeks or longer, top-off as required. They like to eat and won't refuse any food.
Once I have some babies survive, I'll move some to a neo tank with just the aged tap water and see how they do. I have heard a local's experience, he couldn't get OEBTs to carry eggs to full term in PH 7.2, but once he moved them to a tank with ADA substrate (ph ~6) then he started to have successful breeding, and I have heard the opposite (not from the area).
One thing I find is, it really IS better to get juvi's instead of adult shrimps. I got these OEBTs when they were like 1cm or smaller in mid-April, and started to breed mid June. I also got some adult OEBTs (one comes berried with just 3 eggs), and they don't seem to be as keen in breeding. I think adult shrimps take longer to adapt into breeding mood while juvi's growing up in the tank have less issue. I used to think it's a myth when people say buying juvi's is better, but I'm now completely bought in on the theory.
Maybe pm ykh. He is out in aurora and I believe sells tigers and crs. As far as if he keeps em in our local water I can't Remb, but he might have some pointers or tips for you.
As for a tds pen, I found my first one at brew n grow but they over charge. Internet is cheapest bet.
Also I'm really interested to know your results on this as my thinking is very similar to yours on type of shrimp and also how they fair in our water supply.