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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,
Apologies as I'm sure this has been discussed at some point, but could not find a thread on it via the search engine.
Since I keep getting the occasional bacterial problem in my tanks (pH mid 6's), what about the notion of running a super low pH shrimp tank like pH in the low 5's?
I think this is what a lot of the Asian (caridina) shrimp breeders do, and since the bacteria shut / slow down, just rely on the plants to consume the ammonia and NOx. So technically the tank is not "cycled", but you still end up waiting around at the beginning for biofilm to grow, and enough plants to grow in order to consume x ppm of ammonia per day. You'd still need to check that ammonia and NO2 are zero before putting in shrimp.
One advantage, either for the main tank or a quarantine tank, is that you can nuke the whole thing with antibiotics and not worry about killing off the filter bacteria.
BTW, yes I know that tannins are also anti bacterial, but from experience, a few IALs and alder cones are not enough to prevent the problems I am getting.
Then again, that Mark's Shrimp Tanks guy on youtube runs Akadama soil (probably very low pH), yet he still gets bacterial breakouts, so ...
 

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You can have a completely cycled tank running in the low 5's, or even lower.

Hard to say if that would fix the issue or not.
 

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Akadama is just mined clay, so it's not all created equal. Double Red Line (not counterfeit stuff) is super-difficult to get in the United States. But even when you get the good stuff, it's still generally in the low-ish 6s.

Most of my Aqua Soil and other Caridina tanks run close to 5. Bacterial issues can still pop up.

If you're continuing to have issues with your tank, I suggested shutting it down and starting over entirely. Possibly with a different line of shrimp from a different source. Tissue-cultured plants. New substrate. New equipment. New everything if possible. Then keep your hands out of the tank as much as possible. For super-sensitive shrimp like that, I have tanks my hands have never been in - only tools - and then usually only for moss trims. I don't do that with every tank but it's worth trying since you're continually running into issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wasn't asking about bacterial issues "in general", I was asking about your specific case, i.e. low pH, and presumably, you are already doing everything else correctly.
 

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I wasn't asking about bacterial issues "in general", I was asking about your specific case, i.e. low pH, and presumably, you are already doing everything else correctly.
I don't have bacterial issues...? But they can pop up like they do in any other tank regardless of acidity. Most of us find fewer issues in lower pH tanks, though.

Last bacterial/pathogen issue I experienced was about a decade ago in a tank that wasn't low pH. Was from a batch of unhealthy Neocaridina stock I received from a forum member. Had to be treated with Maracyn 2 (I think), some other additives I don't recall and ultimately shut the tank down once healthy stock were isolated for a couple months. Super-unhealthy stock was rampant at the time because so many shysters thought they could get rich quickly by importing tons of shrimp from unreliable sources. That's around the time a few importers started advertising their quarantine process(es) to differentiate.

Prior to that I encountered occasional issues when the hobby was in its infancy in North America and not much was known. Back in the 90s. But I was almost always able to treat things with our normal methods at the time. Meds on occasion, peat in the filter, almond leaves, alder cones, blackwater concentrate - that sort of thing.

Edit: Should add that there have been five or six times I've rejected shrimp upon arrival and/or have had to euthanize because of problems during initial quarantine. In those instances it would have been unethical to attempt treatment because of illness severity. But for the most part, I find being extremely clean and keeping human hands out of sensitive shrimp tanks - along with not sticking much of anything else in the tank - prevents a lot of problems.
 

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I boil oak leaves (like stuff a pot with as much fit in and top off with water, Simmer and cool) to bring my ph down and run peat in my canister. Im curious as to what shrimp would tolerate that as I have one black water tank I could bring down that low
 

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I boil oak leaves (like stuff a pot with as much fit in and top off with water, Simmer and cool) to bring my ph down and run peat in my canister. Im curious as to what shrimp would tolerate that as I have one black water tank I could bring down that low
Acidity or pH isn't the primary issue with the shrimp species we keep in this hobby. Water hardness and osmotic pressure are much more important - along with near-constant parameter stability.
 
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