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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I'm new here, but my head was starting to spin after reading so much information and not finding an answer to my question, so I decided to just ask straight up

I have a new shrimp tank that has been cycling for just over a month now, used filter media from my community tank and it was "done" after just 2 weeks but I let it go longer for safety. Added chili rasboras last week. Last time I tried shrimp (Amanos in my community tank) it ended very badly due to my ignorance in shrimp needs. Trying to avoid the same stiuation.


So to the issue at hand... My local store sold me UNS Controsoil as a good shrimp substrate. I'm now realizing I should just switch to remineralized RO water since my tap water has gone a little wacky on me the last couple water changes. However in my research to determine if I should be using the Bee Shrimp GH+ or the GH/KH+ salty shrimp, I've discovered that maybe I should be using an inert substrate? I really love the way my tank looks, so I don't want to change it now...

Currently (before RO water) I have pH 6.8, TDS 450+ (which is why I want to switch to RO), GH 12-14, KH 2-3

Can anybody give advice on how to proceed with my controsoil and how I should be remineralizing the water? I feel like I've found conflicting information on whether I should get neos or caridina too...

Overall, I'm just confused as to where to go next and how to make sure I am 100% ready for shrimps. Thank you in advance!
 

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Your pH may not change much if you switch to using RO water and GH minerals... however, Controsoil is meant to lower the pH by way of absorbing KH and releasing tannins or humic acid.

Compare your tank water to your source water. Your source water likely has higher KH.


If you want more stable parameters, it would be recommended to switch to RO water and GH only minerals. You could keep low end Caridina, tigers or Neos in that tank. Would not recommend PRL, TB, etc.


Otherwise, you can keep using your source water and wait for the soil to exhaust itself, that is, it no longer lowers the pH. How long this may take however may depend on the KH and soil... could be several weeks or months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your pH may not change much if you switch to using RO water and GH minerals... however, Controsoil is meant to lower the pH by way of absorbing KH and releasing tannins or humic acid.

Compare your tank water to your source water. Your source water likely has higher KH.


If you want more stable parameters, it would be recommended to switch to RO water and GH only minerals. You could keep low end Caridina, tigers or Neos in that tank. Would not recommend PRL, TB, etc.


Otherwise, you can keep using your source water and wait for the soil to exhaust itself, that is, it no longer lowers the pH. How long this may take however may depend on the KH and soil... could be several weeks or months.
Thank you, this is exactly the answer I needed! I was kind of leaning toward just switching to RO with GH+ and then figuring out what my parameters look like afterwards and choosing shrimp from there.

Is there a recommended method for switching to RO? I was planning on just doing a 10% change every day for like a week or so. I do have fish in the tank so I don't want to shock them by doing it to quick.
 

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You can slowly acclimate the fish over by using remineralized RO water with the preferred parameters, or removing the fish, getting all the water out of the tank, refilling with remineralized RO water and re-acclimate the fish back to the tank that way. Either method could work.

If you take the slow and steady way, and you have hardy fish, you could probably even do 20% a day.
 

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I'm jealous of your tap water. In the easiest/ideal world, you could probably do a mix of 30-50% tap with the rest RO and have nice water for them as well as the plants (of course depending on what minerals make up the TDS).
I'd probably be changing out 1-2% of the water in the tank every day and replacing with RO, testing GH/KH every few days and hope to get to the ideal parameters over the course of a few weeks. Over that time I'd experiment with getting the sweet spot for the mix of tap and RO. Zoidburg definitely has the better more controlled advice, but I like to try and avoid needing to purchase additives if I can.
 
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