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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Update: Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback on the situation! I only lost one shrimp thankfully despite my mistake and everyone seems comfortable now. I've decided to give rcs their own planted 3 gallon with parameters matched to the ones from their breeder. The aquarium isn't cycled but luckily I had a sponge filter sponge in the media of my main tank so I'd have some established media if an emergency came up. If they breed I may eventually try to upgrade them to something bigger but there's currently only seven and I'm almost certain they're all female.
My main aquarium is keeping the stratum and my OEBT and amanos are staying there. I've ordered some gh+ for that aquarium. I've seen so much more activity from the OEBT with the new parameters! I've seen shrimp I didn't even know I had. Down the line, once I feel confident with the parameters and temperature management I'd love to introduce more caridina and have a mischling aquarium.
Both aquariums are officially heater free! Temps are in the mid 70s currently.


This forum was recommended to me as I'm trying to sort out the parameters for my shrimp. I currently have Orange Eyed Blue Tigers, Bloody Mary Neos, and Amano. The aquarium has been running since January, with my OEBT and Bloody Mary added last month (no breeding as of yet, but they're reaching a mature size now I believe). I did research on them and tried to find a good median parameters, but there's a lot of inconsistency between sources as to what the Tigers need. I recently rescaped the aquarium and took the opportunity to replace the inert substrate with Fluval Stratum at the recommendation of one of the breeders I'd spoken to. It dropped my PH, GH, and KH more than I expected, and lower than seems suitable for the neos (based on my research.) This led me to wondering if I should change the substrate or not. The rescape was saturday and so far there's been no deaths and plenty of fresh molts. No spikes in ammonia/nitrates/nitrites following the rescape so far (I had a lot of established filter media which I imagine helped).

Ideally, I'd like to have the parameters at a spot where both species can reproduce and thrive. I use ro/di or distilled water and remineralize with SaltyShrimp GH/KH+. The aquarium is planted and has driftwood and okho stone. The temperature is usually at 75 F, though I've found it may fluctuate between 72 and 78 F depending on if the ac is on in the room or not despite the heater being set to 72 F (I'm not sure if it might be better to just remove the heater or crank it down further? But I'm worried it may drop too low then?)

My previous parameters (pre-scape) were as follows:
  • PH: 7.2
  • GH: 8
  • KH: 2
  • TDS: 190
At these parameters everyone was molting and such without issue and seemed happy, and the Amano ladies were berried (I know the larvae require saltwater, but it was the first they'd bred since I added them just after the tank was cycled).

My current parameters (post-scape) are as follows:
  • PH: 6.4
  • GH: 4
  • KH: 0
  • TDS: 130
So far, no deaths and plenty of fresh molts, but the GH/KH seems like it may be too low for the neos and may cause molting issues down the line?

Any advice on the correct parameters for each type would be greatly appreciated, since sources seem to be inconsistent and I really want these little guys to thrive. If needed, I can change out the substrate as well, I have plenty of inert substrate available. Below is my personal chart as well, which are the parameters I settled on through my research, though again I'm not sure if they're correct.

 

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My biggest heartache has been my inability to get OEBT to live and breed. I tried both inert and active soil. Neither worked better than the other.
@Blue Ridge Reef has his OEBT on active soil and has been far more successful at getting them to live and reproduce than I have. He may chime in here shortly. One thing I do know is that they are very sensitive to warm temperatures. The cooler the better 65-72 degrees is more in line with the recommendations Ive seen.

I do have OERT with neos and I have been far more successful with these guys. The parameters of this tank are KH 2/ GH 6. TDS is around 175. The neos breed like crazy and the OERT are just starting to after 3 months of having them. They are on active soil, but this soil has been in tank for about a year so not sure it is still active.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My biggest heartache has been my inability to get OEBT to live and breed. I tried both inert and active soil. Neither worked better than the other.

@Blue Ridge Reef has his OEBT on active soil and has been far more successful at getting them to live and reproduce than I have. He may chime in here shortly. One thing I do know is that they are very sensitive to warm temperatures. The cooler the better 65-72 degrees is more in line with the recommendations Ive seen.

I do have OERT with neos and I have been far more successful with these guys. The parameters of this tank are KH 2/ GH 6. TDS is around 175. The neos breed like crazy and the OERT are just starting to after 3 months of having them. They are on active soil, but this soil has been in tank for about a year so not sure it is still active.
Thank you! I may shut off the heater and keep an eye on the temps to see how it does then. I had one OEBT who became berried in my tank, she was very small (too small to breed I would've thought but apparently not), but eventually she just disappeared - presumably passed and was "cleaned up" by the rest of the critters. I'd really love to have a thriving shrimp tank, I tried when I was younger (still in school) but had no idea about parameters and such so while they lived and did well they never bred.
 

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I don't recommend Fluval.... but....... I digress

#1 Issue - You are adding KH into a tank that shouldn't have any in it when you switched out the substrate. The parameters were "fine" and not likely needed to be changed. Now that you've switched the substrate however, I would highly recommend changing out your minerals to one that is GH only. This will result in more stable parameters.

#2 Issue - heater. Not really necessary nor required for shrimp. They do better with cold temps than hot ones. Hotter temps presumably increase chances of bacterial infections. You are free to remove it from tank completely. This is one I have struggled with in the past... we're I live, we get above 100° F in the summer and fall and below freezing temps in the winter. The place I was at never ran the heater or cooler when no one was home... so when someone did get home and it was far too hot or too cold, then one of the items would be blasted until the place came to a comfortable temperature. Shrimp did fine.


#3 Issue - Yes, you want to increase the GH of the tank, but not the KH. GH should ideally be at least 6-8 for Neos.



Disregarding temp and pH, your optimal median is perfectly fine with a tank that's using inert substrate. Minus KH, great for a tank with active substrate! Amanos can handle anything from extremely soft water to brackish water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't recommend Fluval.... but....... I digress

#1 Issue - You are adding KH into a tank that shouldn't have any in it when you switched out the substrate. The parameters were "fine" and not likely needed to be changed. Now that you've switched the substrate however, I would highly recommend changing out your minerals to one that is GH only. This will result in more stable parameters.

#2 Issue - heater. Not really necessary nor required for shrimp. They do better with cold temps than hot ones. Hotter temps presumably increase chances of bacterial infections. You are free to remove it from tank completely. This is one I have struggled with in the past... we're I live, we get above 100° F in the summer and fall and below freezing temps in the winter. The place I was at never ran the heater or cooler when no one was home... so when someone did get home and it was far too hot or too cold, then one of the items would be blasted until the place came to a comfortable temperature. Shrimp did fine.


#3 Issue - Yes, you want to increase the GH of the tank, but not the KH. GH should ideally be at least 6-8 for Neos.



Disregarding temp and pH, your optimal median is perfectly fine with a tank that's using inert substrate. Minus KH, great for a tank with active substrate! Amanos can handle anything from extremely soft water to brackish water.
Thank you! I'm leaning towards swapping out the stratum if my original parameters are suitable. Otherwise, I will definitely purchase the GH+ without the KH to try to fix that issue. Personally, I preferred the substrate I had in there before the stratum, but I switched it at the recommendation of a breeder. I've unplugged the heater now as well. I live in SE Pennsylvania, so our summers are pretty hot and our winters are cold and I run ac constantly in my room all spring/summer because I have no heat tolerance (like the shrimp I suppose haha)
 

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I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide!

I've struggled with Neos but have had better luck with YKK's - as long as I can get them breeding that is! And the population isn't killed off.... haven't tried any other fancy Caridina yet.
 

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Until last week, I had a thriving, breeding, planted colony of OEBT, Babaulti, and Bloody Mary shrimp. An entire bag of food was dumped in the tank while I was away and...

Anyway, my parameters were
70-74 F with a fan and controller, no heater
6 dGH
5 dKH
TDS 190ish, IIRC. I stopped monitoring it long ago.
Sand substrate, daily fertilizer regime.

I never really bothered to check the pH as I used distilled water reconstituted with Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ and baking soda.

The OEBT were as prolific as the BMs, to my surprise.

Good luck.
 

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I never really bothered to check the pH as I used distilled water reconstituted with Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ and baking soda.
...
What was the baking soda added for? I'm new to using RO water, but I would have assumed it would be used for adjusting the pH?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Until last week, I had a thriving, breeding, planted colony of OEBT, Babaulti, and Bloody Mary shrimp. An entire bag of food was dumped in the tank while I was away and...

Anyway, my parameters were
70-74 F with a fan and controller, no heater
6 dGH
5 dKH
TDS 190ish, IIRC. I stopped monitoring it long ago.
Sand substrate, daily fertilizer regime.

I never really bothered to check the pH as I used distilled water reconstituted with Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ and baking soda.

The OEBT were as prolific as the BMs, to my surprise.

Good luck.
I'm so sorry about your shrimp! :(

May I ask what type of fan it is or what you'd recommend? I think I may need to invest in one just to be safe, even with the heater removed since yesterday and the weather relatively cool my aquarium hasn't dropped below the higher 70s.
Those parameters are really helpful, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Just an update: I lost one of my rcs to a failed molt today, she had the tell-tale split on her back and was almost in a fetal position. I feel so bad for putting these guys through this. I have an unused 2.5 gallon that I've set up with inert substrate and some plants, as well as some established filtered media. I'm going to acclimate the remaining rcs back to appropriate parameters and move them into that for the time being as opposed to ripping apart the entire tank again when the others seem to be doing well.
I also looked into the breeder I bought from and their parameters again, and they breed their oebt in caridina parameters, which may explain the increased activity I've seen from them since the rescape. I think they're liking the change so it may come down to having two tanks to try to give everyone the best life I can.

Update 2: The rcs seem much more comfortable now. I found a total of seven, so thankfully I only lost one from my mistake. They're going to get their own five gal when possible and hopefully with better parameters they'll thrive. My OEBT also seem pretty content and active.
 

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I'm so sorry about your shrimp! :(

May I ask what type of fan it is or what you'd recommend? I think I may need to invest in one just to be safe, even with the heater removed since yesterday and the weather relatively cool my aquarium hasn't dropped below the higher 70s.
Those parameters are really helpful, thank you!
Thank you. It's a ZooMed fan with an Inkbird controller. I'm happy with it.

What was the baking soda added for? I'm new to using RO water, but I would have assumed it would be used for adjusting the pH?
It's used to raise KH by 2 degrees without increasing GH. Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ is 6 dGH, 3 dKH.
 
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