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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I now have three shrimp tanks- My water , out of the tap, is about 8.2

do I strive to lower it and keep it low or do I strive to acclimate the shrimp to that ph level?

I have RC , CRS in one tank, Yellow neon in another , and dark blue in another.

I know all the nice ways to lower the PH but am wondering if that will turn in to a constant nightmare.....

and no I am not currently using RO water as I gave my RO unit to my nephew when I got out of the Salt tank syndrome
 

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I can't speak to the CRS, but I've kept a large variety of neos in water that is 8.2 to 8.3 out of the tap over the years with no issues. Any time PH comes up, I always "preach" that stability is far more important than hitting a specific number. The problem with virtually every method of lowering PH (short of remineralizing RO water) is that it's near impossible to keep stable. In my case, even running half tap/half RO (and even higher percentages of RO) was highly unstable as my kh is so high that the ph would buffer back up over the course of a few days and end up essentially where I started. I have driftwood in all my tanks, but it makes no difference. In the beginning I tried peat and some of the bottled ph adjusters and all lasted a couple of days, if that. Then, even if you DO get the ph to stay down, you have to pretreat any water you use for top offs or water changes it matches what's in the tank. Not to mention the effectiveness of things like driftwood and peat decline over time, so even if they're effective now, they'll be less effective down the road, causing the PH to slowly rise. Sure, it's not ideal for some species, but there's not been much I've had in my tanks that couldn't adjust - including rams (that spawn regularly), angels, neons, etc. Stability is key, and you won't get that trying to make the water you have be something different.
 

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CRS will tend to fair better in PH6-6.5. Too high a PH and they won't breed well plus the colours look faded. If you mix both RCS and CRS, then a 6.5 will suffice for a best of both worlds.

Using RO and then topping up with minerals tends to be most stable once you get the formulae right. If you can get RO then why do a mix? The mix will mess your TDS which defeats the purpose of using RO in the first place. The RO will end up with less than TDS 10 and then you just load whatever minerals to your ideal TDS. CRS tend to be in the TDS 150 range while Neos can be 200+.

Again a higher TDS will bring deeper colors which is how some sellers tend to cheat.

Hope this helps

J

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pH is not a stand alone value. As noted by the people above, the minerals and salts in the water will control the pH.
If you have things in the water that make the pH high (usually carbonates or bicarbonates) you need to remove these things before you can adjust the pH. Anything you add to adjust the pH will be counteracted by the carbonates.

Starting with RO water and adding just the right amount of the minerals your livestock need is the best way to keep soft water critters when your tap water is too hard.

If the tap water has the right minerals, in the right ratios, just too much, then a blend of RO and tap water might be just right.
If the ratios are wrong you might start with less tap water, then add whatever mineral(s) are in short supply.

Top off should be with pure RO.
Water changes need to be with prepared water.

Do not depend on materials in the tank to fully condition the water. You should not add hard water to a soft water tank thinking the peat or driftwood will treat the water for you. Much better to make the water right first, and depend on the peat or driftwood for fine tuning and maintaining stability.
 

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Neocaridinas are quite hardy and can adapt to a wide range of water parameters.

Soft acidic water Caridinas, (such as your CRS) on the other hand, really should be kept in their specific preference range. 8.2 ph is way too alkaline for them (high pH is usually high KH). The more out of their water parameter preferences, the less likely they will breed, live well or even live at all. So do try and match their pH, KH, GH, TDS, Temperature as close as possible (even the cherries and all living things should be kept in their preference range for the best health). They will not adapt or live well at the current high pH.

I am surprised they are even still alive. Are they molting at all? Colors faded? Inactive/standing still and not eating?

Dwarf Shrimp Water Parameters ? DiscoBee
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My CRS are struggling to thrive....in fact of the original dozen there are probably 3 remaining...I just can't get he PH down. we are about 8.2 out of the tap.

it seems it is either RO water and treating or not trying to raise crs. the RC are doing fine...the neon yellows are doing fine and the blues "seem" to be fine...granted these have only been up for about 10 days....


I appreciate all the advice....thank you
 

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That is usually how it is when dealing with soft acidic water Caridinas (Tigers may be able to be kept using tap water). Most people's tap water is not soft enough and low on the pH scale to properly house Caridinas, so most do need to use R/O water to get the water parameters right to successfully keep them.

Curious to hear how long the CRS have survived in this 8.2 pH?

Sulawesi Caridina shrimp like high pH, but are sensitive and do need KH, GH, TDS and temperature at their desired levels or they too won't do well.
 

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While co2 would lower the pH, the other water parameters are still very important and need to meet the livestocks care specs in order for them to do well. Often very alkaline (high pH/KH) tap water will also be hard (high GH).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just posted- asking about a decent TDS meter-

also- for better or worse, I just ordered a bottle of API PH Down. I have to get this water below 8.0 somehow....we are 8.2-8.4 out of the tap.....water is not terribly hard but I fear if I want to keep and raise shrimp I am going to have to delve further into chemistry.
 

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... I tried peat and some of the bottled ph adjusters and all lasted a couple of days, if that. Then, even if you DO get the ph to stay down, you have to pretreat any water you use for top offs or water changes it matches what's in the tank. Not to mention the effectiveness of things like driftwood and peat decline over time, so even if they're effective now, they'll be less effective down the road, ... /QUOTE]

Can you elaborate more on the use of peat in your tank(s)? Specifically re trying peat and how its effectiveness declines over time.

I have kept and do keep ~50 gallons of water at a pH level of <5 and often <4. My electronic digital meter is on loan at the moment but expected back next week when I could upload photos/vids if it would help.

You are correct when you say that peat declines over time. I have pegged it at the saturation point, meaning that once is sinks it is spent, it will no longer acidify the water and the pH will then begin to rise... UNLESS ... more peat is added. The acidification process and the sinking process are one and the same.

I have been to tropical "blackwater" environs and tested PH levels as low as 3.2

I can tell you that while we were there IAL were falling into the water, and blowing into the water. (I'm sure you know by now that IAL is the Tropic's equivalent of the peat moss in temperate locales, Oak leaves are only mildly acidic.) Nobody was there to remove the spent IAL, but it does deteriorate over the years. In the limited quantity of water we have in our tanks we just can't afford to leave peat at the bottom and add more at the top, soon our tanks would overflow. We need to mimic the constant falling of IAL into the water AND we need to go the extra step in removing the material from the bottom of our water. Spent, saturated, sunken peat must be replaced with fresh, dry, floating peat. And those convenient little fluvals and tea bag looking things ain't gonna cut it. We need bales of it. I go through ~1cubic foot per week.

I realize it's a hassle for most but I have gotten it down to 20mins every other day and have come to love the aroma of my "peat swamp." There's nothing else quite like it.
 

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If you are on a public water supply they often add something to keep the pH high. Acidic water is bad for the pipes. Contact the water company and find out what it is. Then find some way of removing that material from the water.
If the mineral levels are in the right range for the shrimp but just the pH is too high this might work.
 

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I just posted- asking about a decent TDS meter-

also- for better or worse, I just ordered a bottle of API PH Down. I have to get this water below 8.0 somehow....we are 8.2-8.4 out of the tap.....water is not terribly hard but I fear if I want to keep and raise shrimp I am going to have to delve further into chemistry.
Use Sera Peat, just a fistful can lower a 2" by PH 0.5. You can rid the tannins easily later

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
PH down arrived- following dosing instructions. seeking a 7.4ish
also ordered a TDS meter and a PH meter....

more gadgets! more , more more!
 

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When you add the pH Down you are raising the TDS, and doing nothing about the mineral levels.
Are the GH and KH in the right range for the shrimp?

Here is how I handle peat moss treatment:
Run RO + tap into a barrel (I use Rubbermaid Brute garbage cans).
Add a knee-hi stocking of peat moss.
Run a fountain pump at least overnight, perhaps longer. I have tried forcing the water through the peat, but have not really found a way that works.
If the water is intended for a warm water tank then I will also hang an aquarium heater in the barrel.

A knee-hi stocking of peat moss will last for several barrels of water, but when it takes longer and longer to prep the water I toss the peat out into the garden.

In tanks that need this sort of water I also have a small amount of peat moss in the filter. I cut a knee-hi into 2 or 3 bags. This helps to maintain the conditions.
 

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I thought I would post my experience. My well water has a ph of 8, GH 13 and KH 11 from the tap. Five years ago, I got a bag of shrimp from my aquarium club swap meet, and it contained both red cherry shrimp, crystal reds and crystal blacks. I must confess I did not know much about shrimp when I got them. I acclimated them to my tank water before adding them to the 10 gallon tank. The red cherry shrimp have thrived and reproduced for the past four years, whilst the crystal red and crystal blacks were all gone by about 6 months and never reproduced. Thankfully, there were only 3 of each, so I didn't kill too many shrimp.
I now have blue dream neos (as well as the separate tank of cherries) and they are doing great in my water. I decided to just stick with neos since there are several beautiful colours to chose from, and my water seems to suit them, and as previous posters have mentioned, stable conditions are probably one of the most important factors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I hope so, I'll check....

maybe north dakota is not meant to raise freshwater shrimp.....
 
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