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Hi guys. I was wondering what some of yall use as a substrate in your tanks where you breed shrimp and use RO/DI water. Not interested in spending a fortune for more aquasoil or for stratum. I will be using RO water.

How important is getting the pH down around 6.0-6.4 for shrimp like CRS or blue tigers? If this is so important, how do yall do it? Do you prefer to use a substrate that alters pH? Do you just use RO/DI water and inert substrate?

Thanks. Looking to save some money here and figure out what the breeders really do.
 

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it is extremely hard to control pH without some active soil.

This is why it's done this way. The reason for this all being that when you are dealing with breeding conditions for CRS/tigers the KH is almost always right around ZERO. WHen the KH is zero, pH is free to roam around, high or low, it doesn't matter to the KH. With aquasoil, the fulvic acid in the soil controls and buffers the pH between 5 and 7, usually around 6-6.5. This is why it's very important to have soil, otherwise any small thing can throw your pH into the wind.

The money you spend on soil is nothing compared to the money you'll spend on shrimp, so do not skimp on this very important part of setting up a tank.
 

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Tigers seem to be one of those shrimp that has a wide range of water parameters. Many people breed them in everything from 6-7.6 and everything in between. The key with them is stability. Crystals on the other hand, usually always need a low pH. Some people do have limited success breeding them in high 7.6 tap water, but usually you don't get the survival rate you get in a say 6.2pH tank.
 

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can you explain more on that ?
The fluval for some people tends to be hit and miss, either different batches or quality or something. Some people have great success, and I think (don't quote me) That Morph uses it for his tanks and has no trouble, but others have reported no babies ever staying to term with it. This is usually with higher grade species of shrimp. It can also loose its buffering effect quicker than other substrates if you use full tap water with it, which will kill any substrate faster. If you have a 7.8pH tap water and expect your soil to keep it down to 6.0pH, don't do 50% WC's twice a week, you'll kill any soil doing that. I'm using the fluval as a cap in some of my tanks overtop eco-complete, but they are all Neo-species and breeding fine, I just use full tap water on that tank and the pH stays around 7.6. I also use it in my Tiger tank and have 1, maybe 2 berried tigers now, but I top that off with 75% RO, 25% tap water, and its keeping my pH about 6.6-6.8. My Crystal tank uses Netlea soil and that keeps the pH around 6.2 and top off with the same water I use for the Tiger tank. Crystals are breeding good, seeing more ad more babies all the time. I'll see in a few months how the Tigers adapt to it.
 

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I have 3 tanks with stratum, I've had no problems though. I think some of the negative hype around fluvsl stratum is just newbies finding something to blame their problems on. It's just a baked soil like the others, nothing magical that destroys shrimp.

That, is of course, just my opinion.
 

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ive been looking for that netlea but to no avail, execpt for canada grrr. i just dont want a soil to break down fast as ive heard of it doing to people. im just at a toss up of what to get eco/stratum/aquasoil/colorquarts id like the aquasoil but id have to cycle it befor i redo my tank which kinda sucks.
 

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I have 3 tanks with stratum, I've had no problems though. I think some of the negative hype around fluvsl stratum is just newbies finding something to blame their problems on. It's just a baked soil like the others, nothing magical that destroys shrimp.

That, is of course, just my opinion.
Thought it was you that had used it before and was currently. And yes, if you start off with anything and just start dumping shrimp in, you're going to run into problems. Took me 5 months to get a berried shrimp out of my cherries or crystals. Now, I can't even count the cherries anymore, too many and my crystals are breeding good. Can see probably a few dozen babies around now, some have made it past the "critical" first week or two, and that includes me screwing up and toasting their water. Personally, I think everyone should start off with cherries and go from there. They're like the starter shrimp. If you kill them, don't worry about OEBT's or crystals. lol. You don't just jump into a F1 indy car your first time wanting to race. Mostly people spend years racing crap cars to get that level, or go out buy a $3000 guitar and can't pluck a string. Start off small, and read, read, read, read. I've went back on some of these forums to the very start of shrimp postings and read, have tonnes of topics that interest me bookmarked still and constantly read everyday about shrimp. Now I have crystal babies, cherry babies, berried yellow, berried tiger and nicely saddled snowballs. I haven't had a shrimp death minus one fire red in months. Who knows how old or anything it was, so with 1 shrimp dead, I don't freak.
 

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I have 3 tanks with stratum, I've had no problems though. I think some of the negative hype around fluvsl stratum is just newbies finding something to blame their problems on. It's just a baked soil like the others, nothing magical that destroys shrimp.

That, is of course, just my opinion.
I totally agree with this. I've been using it for several months with great results. A lot of the negative publicity is with breeding king kongs. pandas, and red wines. We all know these are one of the hardest shrimp to have success with breeding. If you search most of the other soils you will usually find someone blaming it for their lack of success.
 

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I totally agree with this. I've been using it for several months with great results. A lot of the negative publicity is with breeding king kongs. pandas, and red wines. We all know these are one of the hardest shrimp to have success with breeding. If you search most of the other soils you will usually find someone blaming it for their lack of success.
Yup, I'm sure there is people out there who blame ADA or Netlea for their lack of breeding and they are usually the ones that muck with stuff too much. K.I.S.S. applies to everything. lol. Check your water, keep it in normal ranges for the species, watch temps as well and the shrimp will breed and be happy. Mess with it, do 50% every week instead of only when your TDS/gH,kH gets out of range and you'll have problems. Most things I've read about the top breeders is they never really change water, just top of with what is needed to keep the parameters in check. Shrimp produce very little bio-load, and with even some mosses and floating plants, you are going to have very little nitrates and should only be topping off pure RO water to keep the TDS down and you're fine. Small WC to get some fresh water in there once a month or so.
 

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I have 3 tanks with stratum, I've had no problems though. I think some of the negative hype around fluvsl stratum is just newbies finding something to blame their problems on. It's just a baked soil like the others, nothing magical that destroys shrimp.

That, is of course, just my opinion.
I've never used stratum myself, but if it's similar to Bonsai soil, then it's usually okay for a few months. Long term though... not so good. Eventually you run into molting problems. Not just with Taiwans, but with tigers etc as well. Tigers don't show problems as quickly as the Taiwans of course, but it does eventually have an effect. That's been my experience anyway. At this point all of my shrimp tanks have bare bottoms.
 

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I dunno, my stratum tanks have been going since November last year without a hitch, steady 6.5 pH, Gh and kh normal. It's not bonsai soil, its not fired clay. Now I change my substrate every year because otherwise things get muddy and stop buffering, not to mention the nasties under the soil, so I won't know how well the stratum performs when used past a year, but I can't really complain so far.
 

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I dunno, my stratum tanks have been going since November last year without a hitch, steady 6.5 pH, Gh and kh normal. It's not bonsai soil, its not fired clay. Now I change my substrate every year because otherwise things get muddy and stop buffering, not to mention the nasties under the soil, so I won't know how well the stratum performs when used past a year, but I can't really complain so far.
Yup, any active substrate will start to wear out after a year or so, and if you're breeding and selling shrimp, another bag of soil should just be the cost of doing business.
 

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Yep. I will point out though, that stratum isn't any cheaper than ADA aquasoil. I initially used it in a tank I had to have set up overnight, so couldn't deal with the ammonia from aquasoil. I had 50 bags of stratum so I set up a couple more with it. It's decent stuff, don't know why people hate it so much.
 

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Yep. I will point out though, that stratum isn't any cheaper than ADA aquasoil. I initially used it in a tank I had to have set up overnight, so couldn't deal with the ammonia from aquasoil. I had 50 bags of stratum so I set up a couple more with it. It's decent stuff, don't know why people hate it so much.
As alpha said, I think people get it and get some expensive shrimp and the shrimp die and they blame the stratrum. I stand by my statement, anyone wants to breed shrimp, start with cherries, get them breeding, then move up. You have to learn water chemistry and everything else that goes with breeding shrimp, and then you can breed them in a lot of different parameters. Everyone one says crystals need under 6.8 to breed, yet every now and again someone posts some baby crystals pics and their water param's and they are 7.6 or something. I had a high grade crystal live fine for 5 days in a tote with some plants, didn't see him when I pulled the plants. Spiked my ph from 6.2 to 7.6 in 10 mins, all my crystals lived and even gave birth during me bringing it back down, babies made it fine. My cherries took a 500x salt dip to get rid of their parasites. People mess with stuff too much, adding this, adding that, testing 50 times a day and doing a huge wc is something is 10% off and thats more harmful I think to any shrimp than stability. Plus, you use full on tap water doing 50% wc's twice a week, you're going to kill any soil.
 
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