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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious about setting up a small planted tank (EI for low light, standard Excel & iron) for blue tiger and yellow shrimp, maybe some microcrabs. I understand from a knowledgeable source here that blue tigers require a pH of 6.2-6.8 but the local tap is 7.5+, 150 ppm GH, 120 ppm KH. Peat media and IAL have been mentioned as ways to lower the pH in the tank but how would WCs be handled?
 

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From the topic about OEBT's, they seem to do ok in higher pH. Yellow shrimp are just a different color cherry, and they will be fine in anything. Not sure if you really need a lower pH but if do, buffering soils seem to be the way to go. I have the netlea soil in my crystal tank, 6.4 stable. My tiger tank and my other I don't what yet tank that is just sitting there with 2 full grown feeder guppies that my turtle wouldn't eat, use the Fluval Shrimp Stratum. They stay about 6.4-6.6. My cherries are in a planted tank with eco-complete at 7.6 stable and they are berried like crazy right now.

A thing to note, the Netlea soil and the ADA shrimp soils both contain ammonia in them, intended to be able to fishless cycle a tank with nothing more than the soil, so setting up a tank with them, I would recommend waiting a month or even two for the ammonia levels to go down so its safe, especially if you're getting OEBT's, which in my neck of the woods go for $20 a piece.

The fluval soil, so far, so good. Some say it does start to loose its buffering ability after a little while (which the ADA and Netlea will too, none of them will last forever) but others say the Fluval has been working for them for a while. With all mine, I am basically just mixing a bit of Distilled water, maybe 20% to tap water just to make the buffering easier and just top off with that and do small water changes. Keep it planted good to keep nitrates down and you shouldn't have to change much. Shrimp like old water, and you avoid the pH swings with small water changes. Big water changes also induce molting, which some people say doing too much can force them to molt sooner than they should.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is there a qualitative difference between distilled and RO? The first is easy to find; the second is considerably more difficult to get.

So, if I don't use IAL/peat/aquasoil, I should plan to use one of those and add GH Booster to a level less than 3 dGH/KH? Otherwise everything's similar to a low-light, EI dosed RCS tank?
 

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Is there a qualitative difference between distilled and RO? The first is easy to find; the second is considerably more difficult to get.

So, if I don't use IAL/peat/aquasoil, I should plan to use one of those and add GH Booster to a level less than 3 dGH/KH? Otherwise everything's similar to a low-light, EI dosed RCS tank?
Distilled is actually distilled... as in boiled and condensed and as close to 100% pure as you can get.

RO is filtered through a membrane. It varies in impurities, but basically anything lowish is fine.

You can get RO water at any grocery store or walmart. Those "drinking water" machines are RO. RO water should be cheaper than distilled. The energy consumed to produce Distilled is much more than RO, despite the waste from producing RO>

THE best RO water will come from a home RO filter unit and use a collecting tank. This is obviously a little more work... But isn't that bad and pays for itself.
 
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