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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there
I’m new to shrimp keeping. I started with cherry Neos and I’ve now added crystal reds. My parameters are ph 6.3 tds 200 kH 0 gH 5. (Fluval stratum and soft tap water, just bought an RO unit, 200 liter planted tank) Both the CRS and RCS are breeding. But for the long term health of my colonies should I be dropping my tds down to 150? Or if everything seems to be ok should I just leave it as is. My pH stays low... think it’s my driftwood. I’d love some advice.
Cheers Louise
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Water source

My water source is tap water tds is 120. I put it through a Britz filter and the tds is then 105. I do a 5% water change once a fortnight and my tds stabilises between 190 - 200.
I’ve got about 50-100 shrimp altogether... I feed once a day. I haven’t calibrated my meter, I’ll have to look up how to do that.
I’ve just had an ro water filter arrive and I’ve bought shrimp gh from shrimp king to remineralise with. So I can change my modify my tank now.
 

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Please don't change anything based upon what your TDS pen says - it is almost certainly wrong! Maybe by just a little (+/- 10ppm) or maybe by a lot (+/- 50ppm). The readings given by different TDS meters vary widely, so safest to ignore all advice you read anywhere that talks about TDS as an absolute measure of anything. Chances are either their TDS meter is inaccurate, or yours is. Even if both are "accurate" then they would probably still give different readings for the same sample! A TDS reading is only a rough guide at best, and is mostly useful for seeing how your tank water changes over time.

There might be some useful info for you in this thread:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/88-shrimp-other-invertebrates/1312293-tds-rcs-tank-help.html

Given that your pH, GH and KH are all roughly within range, and your shrimp are breeding (i.e. happy and healthy), then why change anything?

I would suggest concentrating on keeping everything exactly the same as you switch across to using RO water. Remineralising RO to match your existing tank water will be a big enough challenge! Shrimp don't like change, so best to focus on stability of what you have rather than making changes to reach some alleged optimum conditions. If you had a dying colony then ok, you probably need to make changes. But with a healthy, breeding colony???

I've chased "optimum" conditions in my RCS tank and not had a single berried female. The big mossy rock then suddenly decided it had other ideas of where it wanted to take the GH (probably once it exhausted the soil), and guess what, now I have a tank full of berried shrimp and 2 or 3 generations of shrimplet on the go! So now I'm leaving the GH at 11 rather than chasing the 7GH "optimum" I had in mind.

Guess what I'm trying to say is.... it if ain't broke then don't fix it! =)

Hope this helps, happy shrimp keeping :)
James
 

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Thanks so much for your advice,! How do I reconstitute my ro water if the meter is not accurate enough?

Even though my tds meter is potentially not accurate can I use it as a guide ie it’s reading 200, my shrimp seem happy, so just use that number without calibration ? Then I can reconstitute my ro water to tds of 200. Or is it bette to reconstitute to a gh reading?
 

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Even though my tds meter is potentially not accurate can I use it as a guide ie it’s reading 200, my shrimp seem happy, so just use that number without calibration ? Then I can reconstitute my ro water to tds of 200. Or is it better to reconstitute to a gh reading?
This is exactly how a TDS meter should be used - to compare one sample to the next in full knowledge that the actual number is meaningless except for how it differs between samples!

To remineralise your RO water, first choose your product and understand that different products will give you very different TDS's for the same GH/KH. Equilibrium is very "dirty" for example - a high TDS for a given GH because it contains lots of other stuff that is of benefit to a planted tank (but not necessary for low TDS loving shrimp). SaltyShrimp GH+ on the other hand is very clean as it is almost pure GH with very little else.

I would very much recommend the SaltyShrimp products. SS GH+ does not increase KH at all (just pure GH) so is good if your tank has an active substrate and 0 KH. SS GH/KH+ on the other hand contains both GH and KH (surprise!) and will give you roughly 0.5 KH per 1 GH (e.g. 6GH and 3KH). n What's your KH in your current tank?

My preferred way to remineralise is by weight. Pick up a small set of accurate (preferably to nearest 0.01g) scales, not expensive. Instructions on SS minerals give you the required weight per volume of water to add, so with the scales it's easy. Then measure the resulting GH/KH with liquid drop tests and adjust the weight of minerals added to get you to your desired value. When you know what weight of minerals to add to your water change bucket of RO water to is super easy - just weigh out the same amount every time! Fast, simple, accurate.

You can then use your TDS meter to compare your mixed RO water with your tank water, and as a sanity check to make sure that you have added the correct amount of minerals each time.

Rather than weight, you could measure by volume (e.g. find a small Starbucks coffee spoon and work out how many spoonfuls you need to get your desired GH/KH). Not quite so accurate as weight as it depends upon how level the spoonfuls are, how much you squish the minerals in, etc. But another option maybe.

Note that SS products don't use TDS measurements, they use Electrical Conductivity "EC". EC is near enough 2x the TDS (so 200 TDS = 400 EC).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thankyou so much for all your help!!!
I’ll have a go.
My kH is below 1. It goes blue if I add another 5 mls of tank water, so I guess it’s around 0.5. I’m on fluval stratum. I read the other link you sent me and I’m going to double the amount of tank water I use for my tests so it reads at 0.5 rather than 1. I’ve bought shrimp king gH+ which I’m assuming is clean like SS gH+. I’ve got some scales too..
Thanks again. The help is invaluable. 😀
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I’ve got my unit. Works great...
Now I’m trawling the web to see if I need to age the ro water?
The TDS is zero. I was just going to use it for a top up first ie no remineralisation. Do I still need to age it to stabilise the pH? I’m assuming there is no chlorine in it. I’m not sure though coz chlorine is dissolved in the water and may pass through the membrane?
Any help would be great 👍
 
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