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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just converted one of my shallow tanks to high tech. Originally I was going to buy some high grade blood marys for this tank but I've always wanted to keep caridinas like taiwan bees and am now fixated on the idea. I'd like some advice on if my water is suitable for caridina species, and if so, which sub type would you suggest? My first choice are taiwan bees, specifically shadow pandas, but I would also consider crystal reds if they are any hardier to my conditions.

My kH is 3-4 and gH 7-8 which is where I am getting hung up. It is literally just outside the suggested range for caridina shrimp. Given those parameters, are they able to comfortable survive? I'm not interested in having them breed as it is a display only tank.

I inject co2, approximately 30ppm as my drop checker hits the perfect lime green color. I do have it on a solenoid and a timer so the co2 turns on an hour before the lights and shuts off an hour before the lights shut off. It is a shallow tank with heavy surface agitation so good dissolved oxygen (that gasses off a lot of my co2 apparently because I'm running 2-3bps in a 5 gal).

I have an active buffering substrate (uns contrasoil) that is fresh but no longer actively leeching ammonia. The filter is very mature, it's just been rescaped 2 weeks ago. Water parameters are consistent. I also have to top off the water every day since it's open top. My pH before the co2 comes on is a 6.2, however when I take a reading while co2 has been on it just registers on API liquid kit as 6 but I know it's lower (test doesn't go any lower than 6). I'd assume probably in the low 5 range with co2 on.

I haven't been able to test TDS yet but I have a pen coming in the mail and will post the TDS after. Assuming that my TDS is within a suitable range, do you think I could keep caridinas (like tbees) in my tank? I keep fresh purigen in the canister if that makes any difference. I'm not interested in using RO so fingers crossed my tap is low enough in TDS that as long as I keep ontop of matinence and regularly test TDS in between water changes shouldn't be a problem right?
Thanks!
 

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Standard Caridina (and definitely not the fancier Bees) aren't going to do well in those parameters. You'd need to use remineralized RO/Di for either, honestly. kH at or near zero and gH at about 5-6 would be best. CO2 injection (bubbles per second isn't really a reliable measure) and fertilizers also aren't going to be great with shrimp. Some people do but it's far from ideal and is even a bit cruel since we know better at this stage of the hobby.

If you want to keep Caridina, you'd need to start a new Caridina-only tank with proper parameters.

Neocaridina would be a better bet for you. Or possibly some sort of Tiger Shrimp like Tangerine Tigers. Have you considered them? TTs would be really active and colorful.
 

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Reading your post, I would recommend tigers... or MAYBE low grade crystal reds or blacks.... nothing high end.


Are you aware that using tap water with a buffering substrate will result in your substrate exhausting faster? Or that using tap with a buffering substrate could cause fluctuating water parameters when shrimp do best with stable parameters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Reading your post, I would recommend tigers... or MAYBE low grade crystal reds or blacks.... nothing high end.


Are you aware that using tap water with a buffering substrate will result in your substrate exhausting faster? Or that using tap with a buffering substrate could cause fluctuating water parameters when shrimp do best with stable parameters?
I was under the impression that a higher kH would exhaust the substrate faster while having tap with a lower kH will allow the substrate to last longer. My tap kH is the same as my tank. I have soft acidic water which is why I thought perhaps they would work in my setup. With a kH in the 2-4 range my substrate should last for quite some time. I was also under the impression on other forums I read that low kH can actually cause pH crashes which is why most people prefer to use active substrates in their shrimp setups so they maintain a low pH without issues. I have seen and heard of people running co2 with Crystal reds and some hardier bred tbees just without observing breeding, however I do understand that they were on the lower end of ppm of co2 than I am running. I was unsure if others had tried with any success, and also considering that co2 and oxygen react independently of each other I figured if I managed to maintain higher levels of dissolved oxygen while running an optimal amount of co2 to keep my plants happy it may not be as detrimental to the shrimp. This is pure speculation on my part however. I do understand neocaridina are often a better pick for high tech tanks. If the tank wasn't shallow I would just use amanos. But from my experience amanos are much better jumpers than neos. I should also note I don't dose extra iron and am lean on metals currently. But again, I'm just curious!

Standard Caridina (and definitely not the fancier Bees) aren't going to do well in those parameters. You'd need to use remineralized RO/Di for either, honestly. kH at or near zero and gH at about 5-6 would be best. CO2 injection (bubbles per second isn't really a reliable measure) and fertilizers also aren't going to be great with shrimp. Some people do but it's far from ideal and is even a bit cruel since we know better at this stage of the hobby.

If you want to keep Caridina, you'd need to start a new Caridina-only tank with proper parameters.

Neocaridina would be a better bet for you. Or possibly some sort of Tiger Shrimp like Tangerine Tigers. Have you considered them? TTs would be really active and colorful.
Yes I had considered tigers! I wanted something very colorful though so my first choice are still bloody marys. But alas I am fascinated with crystals and fancy bees. I have seen quite a few high techs with Crystal reds. I think my doubt wasn't as much with the co2 injection but more or less where I stand with water quality. I wasn't honestly sure how modest of a compatibility range 0kh was, and how much of a difference it would make being a degree or two high. Are Crystal reds more forgiving in that aspect?
 

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Yes I had considered tigers! I wanted something very colorful though so my first choice are still bloody marys. But alas I am fascinated with crystals and fancy bees. I have seen quite a few high techs with Crystal reds. I think my doubt wasn't as much with the co2 injection but more or less where I stand with water quality. I wasn't honestly sure how modest of a compatibility range 0kh was, and how much of a difference it would make being a degree or two high. Are Crystal reds more forgiving in that aspect?
Tangerine Tigers are very colorful when they're in a single species tank.

Deep red Neos will obviously pop in terms of visibility. But in my experience, Tangerine Tigers will do the same when using dark substrate and having healthy stock. They're more active than Neos generally and even more aggressive.

While people do keep Crystals in higher tech tanks, again, it's not ideal. Since we know it's not ideal and often ends up being problematic, it's best to do what's ideal for them since we have the means to do so. You also seem to know better than to stress shrimp unnecessarily. You can do what you want, obviously, but cruelty for the sake of novelty is the opposite of what I'd recommend. The CO2 and ferts should be an equal concern for you with the water quality.

Crystals aren't more forgiving, no. Not really. If you want to keep them, you'd need kH as close to zero as possible. Along with a buffering substrate that keeps pH low and stable. gH of 5-6. Even low grade Crystals need that type of parameter, as quality doesn't really dictate parameters.

I'd stick with Neos of some sort or Tigers - specifically Tangerines because they're really attractive & less common in the hobby despite their strains being generally strong. And I'd wait a few more weeks before adding shrimp. Make sure your tank can process 2-3 PPM of ammonia in a day before adding any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tangerine Tigers are very colorful when they're in a single species tank.

Deep red Neos will obviously pop in terms of visibility. But in my experience, Tangerine Tigers will do the same when using dark substrate and having healthy stock. They're more active than Neos generally and even more aggressive.

While people do keep Crystals in higher tech tanks, again, it's not ideal. Since we know it's not ideal and often ends up being problematic, it's best to do what's ideal for them since we have the means to do so. You also seem to know better than to stress shrimp unnecessarily. You can do what you want, obviously, but cruelty for the sake of novelty is the opposite of what I'd recommend. The CO2 and ferts should be an equal concern for you with the water quality.

Crystals aren't more forgiving, no. Not really. If you want to keep them, you'd need kH as close to zero as possible. Along with a buffering substrate that keeps pH low and stable. gH of 5-6. Even low grade Crystals need that type of parameter, as quality doesn't really dictate parameters.

I'd stick with Neos of some sort or Tigers - specifically Tangerines because they're really attractive & less common in the hobby despite their strains being generally strong. And I'd wait a few more weeks before adding shrimp. Make sure your tank can process 2-3 PPM of ammonia in a day before adding any.
I think I will just go with bloody marys for simplicity's sake. I am more interested in creating an environment for exceptional plant growth being that this is a dutch style than I am interested in keeping caridinas in this tank. Thank you for the advice :)
 
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