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TDS over 700 in Shrimp Tank

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Yup, I have read a lot of other posts on insanely high TDS, but I am posting again to see what more I can learn.

Been running a circa 8-gallon planted nano with 5 RCS and 5 Amano. Cycled for about 6 weeks and then introduced the shrimp via drip method about two weeks ago. Got a TDS meter this week. Shrimp appear to be healthy and active. The Amano have molted and one is carrying eggs.
pH about 7.1
Nitrate/Nitrite is negligible.
KH is about 25
GH is way over 180
TDS is 730
I was dosing Excel daily; Trace 1x week; Flourish 2x week; Advance 1-2x week; but stopped since I started checking TDS and the dosing is known to spike TDS.
Tap water is about 200 TDS

I know TDS shock is a shrimp killer. So, I did a 15% water change and dropped it to about 600, waited 24 hours and water is back at 730ish. I think the issue may be Sea Lab #28 cube I have in the tank. I added them at the advice of a LFS who had amazingly beautiful shrimp tanks -- some of the best I have ever seen. He said he has them in all his tanks, and I could see them. Unfortunately, there was a language barrier, nonetheless, it seemed all good and he knew I was setting up a shrimp tank.

If they are doing OK, do I just keep on trucking along? Do I invest in RO and slowly try to lower it? Do I do the obvious and pull the Sea Lab #28 cube and do water changes.

Thanks community.
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From what little I can gather, Sea Lab #28 cube is meant for marine tanks, not freshwater tanks... so I'd remove those first of all...

If you want to get the water parameters down quickly, maybe consider doing 5% water changes daily or every other day?


I'm doing something similar with a 30 gallon tank. Doing a max of 1 gallon of water changed a day. This is less than 5%, and I'm not doing it every day, but I am trying to get the TDS down to ~200.


KH is about 25 = ~1.4 dKH
GH is way over 180 = ~10 dGH


Ideally, you want GH to be 90 - 145 ppm, but both shrimp can adapt to harder water, so that's not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it too far out of their range, either.




If your tap water is at 200 TDS, then I'd only use tap water for the tank... but I would recommend on double checking what the GH of your tap water is.
 

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Assuming the unit of KH and GH is in ppm? I would avoid using the Sea lab cube. Tap water alone should contain sufficient Ca/Mg. RCS and Amanos are fairly hardy shrimps can tolerate wider parameter range, with that said, pull the sea lab cubes and do several smaller water changes over time to avoid osmotic shock to the faunas. Ideally, keep the tank water TDS below 2X the tap(< 400ppm in your case.) I don't see the need to invest in RO unless you want to keep soft water plants/fauna such as CRS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I have been slowly brining the TDS down. I removed the Sea Lab #28 cube immediately, and ceased fertilizer dosing. In order to try and not shock the shrimp, I have been doing 5-10% water changes over the last few weeks. But I seem to be stuck at around 500. It will dip below 500, but then gets back up to around 530. I assume the substrate or the single rock I have is leaching? My source water has consistently been 250. So, I have hit that 2x tap water mark and I am not losing shrimp. So I seem to be in decent shape. I am going to continue to try and get the TDS lower and then minimize water changes to 2x or 1x a month.

Appreciate the feedback/input/suggestions.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Substrate: Compact Soil Shrimp; made in Japan -- so the bag says. I set up a second filtered "tank" next to this tank. It's a little once gallon plant only tank. The only water ever used has been tap water and the TDS from day one has generally been around 400-430. Thus, I lean towards the substrate being the culprit.

Not sure on the rock. Pic attached, the shrimp are chilling near it while they chow down on cucumber.
 

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Sounds like soil meant for a planted shrimp tank, which adds nutrients to the water, thus your seeing the higher TDS. I agree in that it's the soil causing the higher TDS. Found this.

http://www.aquario.co.kr/en-goods-compactsoilshrimp.php?ckattempt=1



If you wanted to test the rock, you could remove it from the tank, rinse it well, then put it into a bucket of water with known TDS. Test after 24 hours. Test again after 1 week. If the TDS hasn't changed, then the rock is inert and fine. (if we account for evaporation)
 

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I think the issue may be Sea Lab #28 cube I have in the tank. I added them at the advice of a LFS who had amazingly beautiful shrimp tanks -- some of the best I have ever seen.
Did you get your shrimp from the same LFS? Wonder what their TDS is like. I had immediate die offs when I bought shrimp(TDS 150 at the store) and tried to add them my tank at TDS 500 even with a drip acclimation.

Sea Lab, First thought I had was of Sea Lab 2021.


LOL
 
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