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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I had an extra bag of Afrikana and decided to drop it on top of my 1 year old Akadama which wasn't buffering all that well. I was still getting berried shrimp all over the place but figured to cap it with the ADA soil.

Today the shrimp are eating as normal but they are constantly doing the "dance" since I am getting molts all over the place. I spotted 5 empty shells so far which resulted in perfectly clean sheddings. Shrimp are active and behaving as normal. I wonder if the tank will enter a "mini-cycle" in the next few days or if it had enough of bacteria to not skip a beat. I have multiple filters on this tank so I do not see any issues (3 filters on a 20 gallon).

I love the look of fresh substrate but not sure about this orange color. Will take some time to get used to. It's more orange than what you see in the pics.









 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Africana has the strongest PH lowering ability of the three AS from ADA. If it were me though, I wouldn't change a thing if shrimps are berried and no issue in the tank.
Valid point but I was just trying to be proactive. The buffering ability of my Akadama was getting terrible and the tank was sitting around 6.6-6.8.

Are you concerned at all about the old Akadama beginning to release all the stuff it has absorbed over the past several months? That seems to be part of the problem people run into with expired substrates.

Hopefully it won't be an issue - especially since the soil you added buffers really well.
I ran some tests for nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, phosphate and they all came out zero prior to adding the Afrikana. I've always used RO/DI water with weekly water changes without ever missing it once. You are right though, there might be some leaching but I think that it will be picked up by the Afrikana and the half a bag of Amazonia that I added two weeks ago. If anything bad happens then I'll just dump all these substrates in the garbage and start over. I was too lazy to take out the dying Akadama...much easier to pour in new substrate than taking the old stuff out, especially since I have more than 100 tiny babies all over the place. I personally do not think that I'll have any issues but only time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tank looks nice and simple. My sub is hitting its year mark and would love to just drop some new on topbut I just put a new clutch of shrimp in. How long would you say you took to place the new sub in the tank?
I would use "me" as a test to see if everything turns out ok in a few weeks. ;)

It took me about an hour to slowly pour all the substrate in and spread it around the tank. I kept dumping it in one corner where I scared off all the shrimp. I then would take a net and spread it around. Worked just fine and no shrimp were hurt in the process.
 

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I would use "me" as a test to see if everything turns out ok in a few weeks. ;)

It took me about an hour to slowly pour all the substrate in and spread it around the tank. I kept dumping it in one corner where I scared off all the shrimp. I then would take a net and spread it around. Worked just fine and no shrimp were hurt in the process.
Ya, shrimp run out of the way pretty quick when the "sky is falling". lol. I've done it before, just slowly added and they move.
 

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Let me get this straight, you covered your old substrate with brand new, never been used before ADA akadama while the shrimp was still in the tank? I didn't know that was doable! Am I missing something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Let me get this straight, you covered your old substrate with brand new, never been used before ADA akadama while the shrimp was still in the tank? I didn't know that was doable! Am I missing something?
Yup, I covered my one year old Akadama with new ADA substrate...what's wrong with that?

What is ADA Akadama by the way?
 

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Yup, I covered my one year old Akadama with new ADA substrate...what's wrong with that?

What is ADA Akadama by the way?
Doesn't it leach ammonia? Or is that just AquaSoil?

Either way the only bad thing is that a sudden pH change might bother them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Doesn't it leach ammonia? Or is that just AquaSoil?

Either way the only bad thing is that a sudden pH change might bother them.
It definitely shocked them since I have a bunch of molts today and two new berried females. I now total 11 berried CRS/CBS in this tank so I'll keep track. None of the shrimp look stressed at all. Just fed them blanched stinging nettle and they ate as normal.

In my opinion, shrimp are way hardier than people give them credit. I haven't had a death in about 8 months and I am always doing crazy experimental things. I was going to break this tank down since having two tanks in my living room is a bit "much" for guests that come over. Only reason I am keeping this tank around is that the shrimp keep multiplying like roaches. This is the second dose of ADA substrate as i added half a bag of Amazonia two weeks ago without casualties.
 

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Naivety

This thread has been a real eye opener. Please excuse my naivety. I am well aware that out of the water plants need transplanting. Spent soil, root bound, growth etc. but I did not think this was an issue in a planted tank let alone a shrimp tank with moss. Breaking down a tank every 18-24 months or sooner to replace the substrate sounds absurd. It seems once your tank is up and running the way you like and the plant scape is filled in you tear it down. This must be a cruel joke. There must be something I am missing. If this is necessary would it not make more sense to use an inert substrate for the shrimp and moss and use a refugium for maintaining pH and other water chemistry?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This thread has been a real eye opener. Please excuse my naivety. I am well aware that out of the water plants need transplanting. Spent soil, root bound, growth etc. but I did not think this was an issue in a planted tank let alone a shrimp tank with moss. Breaking down a tank every 18-24 months or sooner to replace the substrate sounds absurd. It seems once your tank is up and running the way you like and the plant scape is filled in you tear it down. This must be a cruel joke. There must be something I am missing. If this is necessary would it not make more sense to use an inert substrate for the shrimp and moss and use a refugium for maintaining pH and other water chemistry?
Supposedly ADA Amazonia lasts about 2 years so you'll have to break the tank down every so often. Some substrates last longer than others.

But yeah, it is a pain when you have to change out substrates that have weakened their ability to buffer the water. I took a short cut and dropped new substrate on top...hopefully it works out.

Your idea about the refugium would work but then you'd need more space. Shrimp tanks aren't large with most averaging less than 20 gallons. Using buffering substrate is still probably easier.

Then again, you can keep shrimp that do not need lower PH and then you can avoid the problem all together but then it's not as much fun. :)
 

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Wow. Truly an eye opener. Is this how all the low pH shrimp need to be kept?
Unless you have perfect tap water,it's the easiest prevailing way, although not always the rule. I'm trying some tests right now in a new tank I setup, my progress will be documented here, http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=200561

(sorry for the hijack Hedge, but you did a post hijack in my thread about your substrate, so only fair to hijack your substrate thread with mine. hehehe)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Unless you have perfect tap water,it's the easiest prevailing way, although not always the rule. I'm trying some tests right now in a new tank I setup, my progress will be documented here, http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=200561

(sorry for the hijack Hedge, but you did a post hijack in my thread about your substrate, so only fair to hijack your substrate thread with mine. hehehe)
Haha, nice.

I'm looking forward to seeing how your thread will develop. I hope that you can buffer with stability without using substrate...that would be awesome!
 

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Haha, nice.

I'm looking forward to seeing how your thread will develop. I hope that you can buffer with stability without using substrate...that would be awesome!
We'll see how it goes. I know for the most part, this is how Ebiken, Frank has his setup. Each of these tanks has a small sump on the back and if you zoom in on the photo, you can see they are mostly bare bottom with a small amount of substrate behind a wall and when he was describing his build on another forum, he explained that he gets the water to the pH/gH/TDS, etc beforehand for the different types of shrimp and then uses that, so we'll see. Obviously breeding tank vs full planted show tank are different things, but when you get MTS, cost and easibility over style take over. I have a nice planted tank with platys, I have a planted nano with WCM, neons, I don't need my shrimp tanks to be all showy either.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So you're counting on the mature filter bacteria and the low pH to keep the ammonia that leeches out from harming the shrimp? If so, and you don't encounter problems, I may try this with my CBS tank when I move the BKK to their new tank.
Exactly.

I'll let you know if there are any casualties but for now all my shrimp seem normal. They are eating without problems.
 
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