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Yes slowly adding GH is way to do it. Add enough so that when you top off it builds GH gradually. Also adjust your change water so it’s GH is slightly above tanks current GH, say 1° dGH.

When you get GH in tank where you want it stop with top off addition to GH and just mix up your change water to match tanks GH, you’ll just top off with straight RO but manage GH on water changes.
 

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Might u have pest like planaria or any diseases?
With tap so hard and mix to, I'd look other things could be killing them
 

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If you mix the RO water to 130-150 TDS and use that for top off's and water changes, until your tank reaches same to 200 TDS, you should probably be good on the GH.

What is the TDS of the new mixed water?

Yes, it's fine to use ferts with minerals.


Best of luck getting the insurance stuff cleared soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Might u have pest like planaria or any diseases?
With tap so hard and mix to, I'd look other things could be killing them
No planaria, or other issues I can see, but I don't know if there is anything I'm missing.

For everyone else, yesterday when I checked the tank I found 6 dead shrimp. Now this is what's weird to me. About 2 weeks ago I found that I have a lot of baby shrimp hiding in my monte carlo. All of the babies, from what I can see, are alive. Could some of this just be older shrimp?

I'm also in a bit of a double headed dragon right now, as I'm also fighting an algae outbreak that started around a similar time. It's green hair algae, too, btw.

Could there be a relationship between the two?
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Yes slowly adding GH is way to do it. Add enough so that when you top off it builds GH gradually. Also adjust your change water so it’s GH is slightly above tanks current GH, say 1° dGH.

When you get GH in tank where you want it stop with top off addition to GH and just mix up your change water to match tanks GH, you’ll just top off with straight RO but manage GH on water changes.
So basically what you're saying is, use the salty shrimp in my top off water until i get my desired gh, then just go back to RO to top off? Then, match the gh of my water, with the new water, when it's time for water changes?
What I'm doing right now, let me know if I'm wrong, but I'm adding the mineral straight into my RO/DI water, mixing it up and adding it straight in as top off water.
 

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So basically what you're saying is, use the salty shrimp in my top off water until i get my desired gh, then just go back to RO to top off? Then, match the gh of my water, with the new water, when it's time for water changes?
What I'm doing right now, let me know if I'm wrong, but I'm adding the mineral straight into my RO/DI water, mixing it up and adding it straight in as top off water.
What DaveKS said is right.

Water evaporates, minerals don't... so if you top off with water that has minerals in it, you are only increasing GH/KH (if there's any KH in water) over time... which could make the water very hard.

If the GH and KH is where you want it in the tank, then you would only top off with RO water and do water changes with water that's been remineralized to what you want in tank, or just below that (in case in tank parameters have risen).

Since your GH is already low, it's fine to use remineralized water to top up for now... it will slowly raise your parameters so it's less of a shock to the shrimp.



There's a chance that the offspring are currently "okay" with low GH parameters but the adults need more minerals... and they might be dying due to lack of minerals. Or there could be a different issue... hard to say for sure... but algae should not cause deaths unless the tank is overrun with algae and is somehow causing harm to the tank?
 

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Yea you got it. Bring GH up slowly on top off and water changes, then when you get GH in tank where you want only do GH builder to change water and go to straight RO for top off.

Mix your change water to GH you want not the TDS pen. When GH test reads what you want in change water (remember GH test is only reading Ca/Mg in water) then use TDS pen to take that change waters TDS reading and note it. Once you get formula down for this much water+this much GH/KH builder you can simply check it with TDS pen. If you keep formula the same and you see TDS rising in change water you need to check your RO. Maintain the prefilters on your RO and you’ll get years of use out of the RO membrane, slack off changing the floss and carbon prefilters and you’ll get chlorine reaching the membrane and it will die a early death.

Your change water TDS in theory will always be lower than your tanks water even though you have mixed them to same Ca/Mg levels (GH test). Tank water will have other dissolved organic substances such as poop, food, wood decomposing and maybe minerals from rocks that slowly dissolving. The TDS pen should be used on tank to quickly monitor accumulation of ALL dissolved substances in tank water. After you change 10% water, add ferts, wait 10min for water to circulate and check and note TDS. That is your tanks baseline, if you see it going up to much you need to change a bit more water or maybe feed less.

As far as hair algae problem need more specifics. You never said what gallon/dimensions tank is or exactly what light you have and what intensity/ramps are. You gave dosing and photoperiod in 1st post.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
So basically what you're saying is, use the salty shrimp in my top off water until i get my desired gh, then just go back to RO to top off? Then, match the gh of my water, with the new water, when it's time for water changes?
What I'm doing right now, let me know if I'm wrong, but I'm adding the mineral straight into my RO/DI water, mixing it up and adding it straight in as top off water.
What DaveKS said is right.

Water evaporates, minerals don't... so if you top off with water that has minerals in it, you are only increasing GH/KH (if there's any KH in water) over time... which could make the water very hard.

If the GH and KH is where you want it in the tank, then you would only top off with RO water and do water changes with water that's been remineralized to what you want in tank, or just below that (in case in tank parameters have risen).

Since your GH is already low, it's fine to use remineralized water to top up for now... it will slowly raise your parameters so it's less of a shock to the shrimp.



There's a chance that the offspring are currently "okay" with low GH parameters but the adults need more minerals... and they might be dying due to lack of minerals. Or there could be a different issue... hard to say for sure... but algae should not cause deaths unless the tank is overrun with algae and is somehow causing harm to the tank?
Perfect, thank you!
The hair algae definitely isn't overrunning the tank. I'm wondering if whatever is causing the hair algae, could also be causing the shrimp to die. Is there anything that could be off in a tank that would cause both the shrimp death and hair algae outbreak?
The only thing I could think of that would cause that would be nitrate, but mine tends to be an the low, and too low side. I thought it was that for so long I got about 4 different tests and test styles to make sure I wasn't testing it wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Yea you got it. Bring GH up slowly on top off and water changes, then when you get GH in tank where you want only do GH builder to change water and go to straight RO for top off.

Mix your change water to GH you want not the TDS pen. When GH test reads what you want in change water (remember GH test is only reading Ca/Mg in water) then use TDS pen to take that change waters TDS reading and note it. Once you get formula down for this much water+this much GH/KH builder you can simply check it with TDS pen. If you keep formula the same and you see TDS rising in change water you need to check your RO. Maintain the prefilters on your RO and you’ll get years of use out of the RO membrane, slack off changing the floss and carbon prefilters and you’ll get chlorine reaching the membrane and it will die a early death.

Your change water TDS in theory will always be lower than your tanks water even though you have mixed them to same Ca/Mg levels (GH test). Tank water will have other dissolved organic substances such as poop, food, wood decomposing and maybe minerals from rocks that slowly dissolving. The TDS pen should be used on tank to quickly monitor accumulation of ALL dissolved substances in tank water. After you change 10% water, add ferts, wait 10min for water to circulate and check and note TDS. That is your tanks baseline, if you see it going up to much you need to change a bit more water or maybe feed less.

As far as hair algae problem need more specifics. You never said what gallon/dimensions tank is or exactly what light you have and what intensity/ramps are. You gave dosing and photoperiod in 1st post.
This is the exact answer I needed, thank you.
As far as lighting and tank, here is what I have:
Aqueon 20 gallon long. Tank dimensions; 30¼"×12½"×12¾".
Light is finnex planted+ 24/7 HLC LED
and here are my exact light dimensions:
6am W:0% R:0% G:0% B:0%
9am W:50% R:50% G:50% B:50%
12pm W:50% R:50% G:50% B:50%
3pm W:50% R50% G:50% B:50%
6pm W:10% R:0% G:10% B:50%
9pm W:0% R:0% G:0% B:0%
12pm W:0% R:0% G:0% B:0%
3am W:0% R:0% G:0% B:0%

Also, question how much of a chance could it be that my shrimp are dying because of mini ammonia spikes, due to lack of bio load? When I first had this tank going about 3 years ago and I had tetras, shrimp, and mini crayfish, i never had deaths, except for the fish eating the shrimp (learned that one the hard way). Granted, that was a much simpler set up.

Then my niece dumped all my fish food, medicine, and chemical test into the tank. Killing everything.

Side note to all of this, I have some left over line stone from my cichlid tank. Would it be a good idea to put some of that in the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Also, I have had my co2 on 6am-9pm. With that, the light begins gradually turning on before 9am and will gradually start turning off from 6pm-9pm, when it turns off completely. Could it be caused by the CO2 not having enough light and causing swings?
Maybe turn up the CO2, but start it later, end it earlier?
Let me know what you all think.
Like I said, I'm pretty new to planted tanks and CO2.
 

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Anything?
Sorry for delay, sometime life gets in way. I tend not to give 1/2 answers.

Fuzz/Hair algae almost always nutrients in excess and/or light in excess, I would cut 9am to 40% and do same for 3pm. that will cut that ramp up to a slight peak instead of 6hrs of straight 50%, a 20% reduction in power intensity on both sides of noon peak that will give you light in high range of about 3.5hrs.

In about 3wk (nothing good in a aquarium happens fast, quote from another posters sig) I think you can get things under control just by backing off light slightly. Level out your dosing across week and reduce light slightly and I think you’ll get in that holding pattern where every wk your tank as whole does better.

In about 3wk let us know how it’s going. All proper tank adjustments are small, make a adjustment, see results 2+ wk later,
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Anything?
Sorry for delay, sometime life gets in way. I tend not to give 1/2 answers.

Fuzz/Hair algae almost always nutrients in excess and/or light in excess, I would cut 9am to 40% and do same for 3pm. that will cut that ramp up to a slight peak instead of 6hrs of straight 50%, a 20% reduction in power intensity on both sides of noon peak that will give you light in high range of about 3.5hrs.

In about 3wk (nothing good in a aquarium happens fast, quote from another posters sig) I think you can get things under control just by backing off light slightly. Level out your dosing across week and reduce light slightly and I think you’ll get in that holding pattern where every wk your tank as whole does better.

In about 3wk let us know how it’s going. All proper tank adjustments are small, make a adjustment, see results 2+ wk later,
Perfect, thanks for the response. I'll do what you said and report back in 3 weeks.
 

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One last question for everyone, could the issue be in the flow of my water, as well?
I feel like the flow is good, but maybe I'm wrong. Below is how it is set up.
I have the outflow on the left side, angled at about 45°. The outflow is just the normal nozzle that comes with the cascade 1000, with out the directional spout attached. The intake is in the opposite corner, close to the substrate. I'm wondering if it would be better if I did one of the following; put the spray bar on instead, or move the intake into the same corner as the outflow to create more of a current.
Couple of extra things as well; I have the canister flow at 1/2 so the shrimp don't get thrown around and I have sera florets inline CO2 reactor in the outflow.
Let me know what you all think.
Thank you very much for all of your input
Cody
(P.s. haven't had any shrimp death for a little bit, and the algae has gotten a lot more under control.)
 

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You should be fine with co2 running 8AM to 8PM.

With that long a tank I would use multi-segment spray bar canister came with, point two center segments down and slightly at back wall to flush water down to substrate layer behind plants. The segments of bar on ends point them just slightly up at water surface and headed towards front glass for surface ripple. You’ll have a nice gentle current all around tank and good high->low water movement for proper gas and nutrient distribution. Position co2 diffuser under one of end segments so when any bubbles come up they will get caught in that wide stream of water and swept around tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
You should be fine with co2 running 8AM to 8PM.

With that long a tank I would use multi-segment spray bar canister came with, point two center segments down and slightly at back wall to flush water down to substrate layer behind plants. The segments of bar on ends point them just slightly up at water surface and headed towards front glass for surface ripple. You’ll have a nice gentle current all around tank and good high->low water movement for proper gas and nutrient distribution. Position co2 diffuser under one of end segments so when any bubbles come up they will get caught in that wide stream of water and swept around tank.
I noticed you said: "Position co2 diffuser under one of end segments".
My CO2 line goes directly into an inline reactor. With that, would you position the spray bars any different?
Also, I am wondering if my algae issue might be directly related to my current inlet/outlet positions. Algae will now only grown in some very select spots. Spots that I feel probably have less circulation to them.
Let me know, and again, thank you to everyone who has posted and helped thus far. It has been very helpful and educational.
Like I said, I've had aquariums for a long time, but I am new to planted/shrimp side of things. I've only really had large catfish/cichlid, and African cichlid planted tanks.
 

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No worry’s then, I was thinking you had a diffuser. You’ll have great gas distribution throughout tank.

Stagnant areas of tank are always problematic. Not just for plants but for distribution of gases around tank. It keeps debris in motion so they get picked up and a good high->low flow ensures gases are pushed down to substrate level where micro-currents of oxygenated water are pushed into substrate making sure aerobic bacteria there fluorish. Plants also uptake co2 at roots and use that carbon for various nutrient uptake and transport functions.
 

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No worry’s then, I was thinking you had a diffuser. You’ll have great gas distribution throughout tank.

Stagnant areas of tank are always problematic. Not just for plants but for distribution of gases around tank. It keeps debris in motion so they get picked up and a good high->low flow ensures gases are pushed down to substrate level where micro-currents of oxygenated water are pushed into substrate making sure aerobic bacteria there fluorish. Plants also uptake co2 at roots and use that carbon for various nutrient uptake and transport functions.
So I just read an interesting page that brought up a lot of questions, & maybe some answers, too. I'll include the link at the bottom.

So, in this article it is talking about the surface agitation, O2, and CO2. With that I had no spray bar, and my outflow pointed at 45°~60° from the far top left, and inlet on the bottom right. Because of this, could I have not been getting enough oxygen low enough, and more, or less, been suffocating my shrimp?

Also, towards the end of the article, it talks about getting a surface skimmer, because if you have any surface film it will completely inhibit oxygen exchange. I don't why that never crossed my mind, but my tank does build up a surface film fairly quickly. So, would you all suggest that I get a surface skimmer? If yes, what would your suggestions be?

With a lot more thought on surface agitation and circulation, what would be your suggestions on the amount of surface agitation? Tiny ripple? Medium ripple? Let me know.
The last part of this: on here (can't remember without going back) someone suggested I put the spray bars on with the outer forward and up for agitation & circulation, then the middle two pointed backwards to get co2 dispersion behind the plants. Well, only three spray bars will fit in, so I have the outer two pointed forward and a little up, then the middle one point straight backwards. Will that have the same effect? Also, will the one pointing backwards interfere with the tanks circulation?

Let me know guys, and again, thank you.

Article:
https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/blogs/choosing-co2-why/how-to-push-the-limits-of-co2-safely
 

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A surface skimmer is unnecessary, just use an air-stone to break up the film that collects on top of water.

I have four shrimp tanks and 1 developed this issue. I added an air-stone and the film was gone in hours.
 
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