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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So first tank has gone alright so far. A planted 29 gallon tall with currently 8 Red Cherry Shrimp, 3 otto cats, and a orange dwarf crayfish. I started with 15 cherries and lost a ton over time (if your doing the math I lost 7 shrimp.) When I asked for help I got a lot of different answers and one ended up being my nitrate cycle wasn't complete at the time i added shrimp. BUT another concern was raised, that being my TDS.

Right now I'm sitting at 334 PPM, where as my Tap is 105. I was told that my substrate choice was not the best. I have 5 bags of Fluval Stratum and two bags of Ecocomplete. I wasn't liking my PH being close to 6 so I added crushed coral. My Ph has been stable at 7 now but from what I read the crushed coral has a large affect on TDS. But I've also read the TDS could be the buffering substrate activated my te tap water. currently my residence seem okay, no deaths in 4-5 days and everyone is eating. The shrimp are enjoying the new frogbit and swimming around more then ever.

So should the TDS be addressed immediately? I've done a 15 - 20% water change today with tap water. But should I just look into RO water? would that help? Should I ditch the crushed coral? I just don't want a super low ph. I read that Tap mixed with RO works for some people should I try that? Also should I use shrimp minerals and RO water exclusively?

Any input on what i should do? I know every tank and regions water is different Could my Root tabs and fert be raising the TDS to high? Also my calcium is off the charts for my API test is that from the excessive TDS caused my crushed coral? since coral raises calcium?
 

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It's likely to be a combination of coral and ferts - everything dissolved in the water contributes to TDS.

I don't think you need RO though, your tap is already quite low TDS.

Do you know what your tap GH/KH is?

I expect you'll find that just doing small regular water changes will help things level out somewhere inbetween your tap water and current tank water. I'd start with 20% a week and see if your TDS then stays roughly steady at wherever it settles or continues to rise. If it continues to rise then increase the water changes a bit to keep it more stable.

Don't do too big a change in one go as there is a big difference between your tank and the tap. If you want to change a lot of water, you'd be better doing 10% a day for a week (for example) so you allow the occupants to adjust slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's likely to be a combination of coral and ferts - everything dissolved in the water contributes to TDS.

I don't think you need RO though, your tap is already quite low TDS.

Do you know what your tap GH/KH is?

I expect you'll find that just doing small regular water changes will help things level out somewhere inbetween your tap water and current tank water. I'd start with 20% a week and see if your TDS then stays roughly steady at wherever it settles or continues to rise. If it continues to rise then increase the water changes a bit to keep it more stable.

Don't do too big a change in one go as there is a big difference between your tank and the tap. If you want to change a lot of water, you'd be better doing 10% a day for a week (for example) so you allow the occupants to adjust slowly.
Ph 7

Ammonia 0

Nitrite 0

Nitrate 5

Kh 75 ppm

Gh 100 ppm

Copper 0

Calcium high as a kite can't even get good reading
 

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Your tap seems to be very good as is. Also, 6 pH is not a problem, in contrary, it is actually better than 7 and coral is making it worse. Your TDS readings should be understood as water change triggers. Higher the TDS difference between tap and aquarium higher the need for water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your tap seems to be very good as is. Also, 6 pH is not a problem, in contrary, it is actually better than 7 and coral is making it worse. Your TDS readings should be understood as water change triggers. Higher the TDS difference between tap and aquarium higher the need for water changes.
Should i remove the coral now all at once or wait till i do a water change? or do it slowly?
 

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All at once any time.
Still the Eco-incomplete substrate will continue leaching and altering the water chemistry (TDS) and therefor requiring water changes. Luckily, without CO2 the leaching is significantly slower. And, http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/29-substrate/196618-fluval-stratum-bad.html
awesome thank you for the input, I'm doing a 10% water change right now and i pulled out the coral, I'll update what happens in like a week. Curious where the Ph and TDS will land at. Here's hoping it all goes well :grin2:

All at once any time.
Still the Eco-incomplete substrate will continue leaching and altering the water chemistry (TDS) and therefor requiring water changes. Luckily, without CO2 the leaching is significantly slower. And, http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/29-substrate/196618-fluval-stratum-bad.html
Okay should i just keep doing almost daily water changes to lower the TDS? I did the 15ish % water change and TDS only dropped 20. So now it's 320 vs the 348. I'm guessing without the coral leeching it might make the next change drop it more but I don't want to stress the shrimp with all the changing.

Or should I just be patient and stick to my weekly change.
 

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Your tap water GH/KH should be ok for shrimp and the other fish. So, yes, what you want to do is gradually adjust the water back closer to your tap. I would do a series of smaller changes. You could just swap a couple of jugs of water each day. A small change will make a bigger difference at first as the values are far apart, but as they come closer together you can increase the amount you change at once.
 

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Are you topping off with regular tap water? If you are that's why your TDS keeps going up and up. To keep TDS at your starting constant you have to top off with 0 TDS water from an RO/DI filter. So top off with DI water and water change with regular tap. That will keep the TDS at constant level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
just an update since its been a couple days, seemed to work like a charm ditching the coral and doing the tap changes. I switched to closer to a 20% change and my TDS is now 260, and I'm just gonna stick to daily changes till it's where I want it. Also due to my inexperience I had no clue how much Prime affects TDS, I think i was overdosing so I'm using a small baster eye drop thing to measure the ml for EVERYTHING! No more unnecessary byproduct for me!

Thanks again dude hopefully my shrimp are much more happy and will breed soon! I also don't think ill ever buy an Aquatic Arts "breeder" pack since the shrimps are already adults and it gives me no idea if they were dying from water conditions or if it was old age. I mean I want to say the water but Aquatic Arts kinda ticked me off with their big talk about replacing the dead shrimp and then not returning my emails lol. I never even asked for a refund I just asked what their parameters were and they tell me they'll replace the shrimp. Then they ghosted me lol.
 
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