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madcrafted last won the day on October 7

madcrafted had the most liked content!

About madcrafted

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    Taiwan Bees, Pintos and Amanos

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  1. madcrafted

    7.5G Bee Tank

    Are you sure babies aren't slipping through a gap on around the edges of your filter or outflow nozzle, maybe even climbing over the sponge? How high is your water line and is the top of the sponge dry? I ask because I wouldn't think 30 ppi would allow babies to pass through. 15 ppi, sure but not 30. Most of my HOB pre filters are around that density and never had a problem with babies passing through. 45 ppi sponge wouldn't be a bad idea as it would scrub the water better and collect more food for shrimp but I don't think it will solve the issue of them getting stuck behind the filter or ending up and the other half of your tank if there is another entry point for them.
  2. madcrafted

    Little Shrimp Rack

    Congrats on your new found love for these amazing little creatures. Looks like a nice little home you have set up for them and are on the right track. I would advise you save the Fluval Stratum for tiger shrimps or neos once it exhausts it buffering capabilities. I am one of those that had to find out the hard way when trying to breed caridinas in that substrate. I never could get babies to survive past 3 weeks for some odd reason despite ideal parameters. The substrate had no problem maintaining a steady 5.8 pH with my remineralized RO water and the tanks were not only cycled but matured. Nitrates were under control even though babies were fed powder foods and Bacter AE. I had two tanks setup with this substrate, one with BKK/RKK and the other was housing galaxy pintos. Neither tank would produce babies that ever made it to adulthood. A fellow hobbyists did a comparison of fluval stratum, ADA Amazonia and SL-Aqua one of the FB groups I'm in (some of you may have even seen it). He dedicated a total of 6 tanks for the experiment where one tank would get the substrate spread on the floor and the other one housed stockings full of the substrate (same volume in each tank). He did this for each of the following brands I mentioned. Results were similar to what I experienced... babies would die off around the 2-3 week mark in Fluval Stratum and the other tanks with ADA/SL-Aqua produced as expected and colonies grew. Now I'm not so sure how much of this experiment was "controlled" but it was enough to make me think about it, especially aftert having felt like a failure at getting caridinas to breed. I had read about other people having trouble getting CRS to breed in this substrate too while I was raising mine. I saw them happily grazing and getting berried, so I just assumed they had something else going on with their parameters. Nope. Just a poor substrate for caridina shrimp which I confirmed after tank #2 showed the same results. RIP little babies.
  3. madcrafted

    Keeping the Sand Clean (Snails?)

    If shrimp waste is settling on top of the sand, then your sand is most likely too fine. With a coarse sand, like pool filter sand, waste should work it's way down into the sand to decompose eventually, as well as provide nutrition for your plants. With fine sand, anaerobic pockets become a worry, especially if it's over 1" deep. Regardless, what you want is Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS)... not to be confused with "multple tank syndrome". MTS will burrow into sand and feed off of debris during the daytime... which will be churning your soil in return.
  4. madcrafted

    Sponge filters

    It is closed at the bottom, just like the Fluval ones. I've had them on my HOB for months now without significant flow reduction. I say right on par with fluval but at a much lower cost per. It's a good deal if you need a half dozen or more.
  5. madcrafted

    Tank Cycling - No Nitrites?

    The spike in nitrites happen so quickly, most people miss it if not monitoring it daily (who does?). I would test your water out of the tap and see where nitrates are at, from there you can determine how much of that nitrate reading is from the actual cycling process. If you are getting readings around 10-20 ppm of nitrates and your tap water is less than 5 ppm and your not supplying a nitrogen based fertilizer, then it's safe to say ammonia is being converted properly. In the 29 gallon without livestock, are you adding ammonia or food to feed the bacteria? With pure ammonia, you can bring level to around 1 ppm and check it 24 hours later and it should be at undetectable levels once the cycle is complete.
  6. madcrafted

    Sponge filters

    So you just need a sponge pre filter, I presume? The fluval one works well but is a bit overpriced, IMO. I purchased cheaper ones on amazon because I needed quite a few. They have about the same pore density as the fluval one and last just as long. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J5Z44OE/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  7. madcrafted

    Fluval Shrimp Stratum Substrate Review

    I'm guessing you are a rep for Fluval, correct? 2 posts and already promoting probably the worst substrate for keeping CRS or any other caridina species for that matter... that is if you care about fry survival rates. Adults will survive and breed but 2-3 weeks after mother releases them, they just mysteriously die in this substrate. This is from my own observations. But don't take my word for it, many others have experienced the same, dating all the way back to 2011. As for other shrimp species, like neocaridinas and amano shrimp, black diamond blasting sand works perfectly fine, no need for an active substrate in these cases. As far as plants are concerned, Fluval Stratum lacks the necessary macro nutrients for many species to flourish (how else could it not produce ammonia and provide plants with necessary nitrates?) It does seem to provide a sufficient amount of micro nutrients to sustain plants for several months but that's about it. You'll still be forced to dose micro nutrients to keep up with plant demands after these few months pass. I'm not really sure where Fluval Stratum fits into the market. There's simply better substrate choices for equal or less the cost of Fluval, and yes, they are pretty much volcanic ash based as well, just harvested from better or "richer" resources apparently. If you are indeed a rep for Fluval, I hope this post gets shared with the right people at the Fluval headquarters. lol
  8. madcrafted

    High Nitrates

    What ppi is your sponge rated? It could be sucking up the smaller bits of organic matter and settling behind the sponge. Too much feeding of powdered or "messy" foods can seep right through sponges easily. It has to settle somewhere I guess. I would assume HMF would trap a lot of organic matter due to the large surface area, which will ultimately be converted to nitrates anyways. Best you can do is keep up with water changes and maybe feed less.
  9. madcrafted

    RODI water problems

    Oh. This changes everything. I assumed since the KH value went up, you were using a re-mineralizer with KH+. If it's not the added minerals, then something is leeching carbonates into the water. Are you getting your final results (KH= 2.5) after it's added to the tank? If so, what substrate are you using? Are there stones in this tank?
  10. madcrafted

    RODI water problems

    In order to see where your pH settles when it reached equilibrium with atmosphere, you will need to aerate your water first. This will give you your nominal pH value. Being as r/o water has no influence by bi/carbonates, it's pH will be unstable right from the unit. Having said that, it is unusual to see such a high reading. Mine is usually around 6.8 -7 in my holding tank but it drops about a whole point after I place r/o water in sealed jugs (due to formation of carbonic acid). I don't aerate my water either because I need it to be low for water changes and top offs for the species of shrimp I keep. Your pH will never reach below 7 if using some sort of re-mineralizer with KH+ and no buffering substrate. I assume you are keeping neos, so a neutral pH is desired. Again, you should still try to add an airstone to your holding water first, just to see where it brings your pH before adding your re-mineralizer so you can have a reference to where your r/o water settles without the influence of bi/carbonates (KH).
  11. madcrafted

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    This seems odd to me. Is it the entire water column or just surface film? I've never experienced milky water from the use of spiderwood and I have a couple forest scapes that have more than a little bit of this wood... all from various sources and never boiled (at least by me). Just the usual white fungus during cycling process.
  12. madcrafted

    Failure to Breed?

    Yeah, I would try to aim for at least a GH of 3-4. If you start with r/o water from the first fill up, it can buffer and hold a lower pH from my experience. I have a tank with some galaxy pintos in fluval right now that are breeding, but fry don't seem to survive in this substrate. I also lost an entire tank worth of taiwan bees in Fluval because I used baking soda to cycle with (big no no for this substrate). It quickly lost it's ability to keep pH low and hung around 7. Lesson learned, I never cycle with anything other than remineralized r/o water. All of my current tanks hold below 6 pH now because my r/o water is stored in sealed jugs. This keeps CO2 levels higher due to lack of gas exchange. My substrate doesn't really need to do much but keep it where it's at. The r/o water in my storage tank ranges between 6.8 and 7, so that would cause my pH to raise (temporarily) during water changes and top offs if I used it straight from this storage tank. I'd rather keep my r/o water in sealed jugs and just deal with lower pH, as I've had better luck with shrimp health in more acidic water.
  13. madcrafted

    Failure to Breed?

    I hope you meant KH=1, not GH=1. If not, your GH is extremely low and should be between 4-6 for CRS. This is required for proper molting. The pH is a bit high too, so it makes me think your KH is closer to 1-2. Many CRS keepers try to maintain a pH of around 6 - 6.5, which can be difficult with Fluval Stratum, unless your water has no bi/carbonates (KH).
  14. madcrafted

    DIY Air manifolds?

    I finally got my manifold built. I decided to run only two shelves because I didn't want to deal with tanks near the floor plus I doubt the alita 6 would have enough power for all those outlets. I did include 2 extra valves on each shelf for breeder boxes and whatnot. With only running 2 rows of tanks, I'll have plenty of space above them for maintenance and whatnot. I wanted to add pvc glue for the pvc connectors on manifold but decided I'd probably screw up the shape of it, being as the glue sets almost immediately. I guess I could have made an alignment mark on the connectors after assembling it but according to the video Eric posted, glue is not needed if they fit snugly. I did do a quick test on it with valves closed for a minute. No obvious leaks, so I guess it's good.
  15. madcrafted

    Doing water changes on a rack?

    I feel like a breeder box would take too long, especially for 12 tanks... unless you had like 12 of the large marina boxes to spare, even then, you'd be limited to doing 5-10% water changes at most... depending on your tank size. Any storage tank safe for potable water, should work fine for gravity feeding your water changes, plus you can do all 12 at once. I've kept r/o water in polyethylene inductor tanks for years without issue. I'm planning to add something like this for my up and coming 8 rack set up: https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=27845&catid=958. It's a bit pricey but worth it for convenience alone. You can see how many gallons are in there so you can remineralize to exactly where you want. The lid opening is large enough to get a float valve in there easily and it has a 3/4" bulkhead fitting on the bottom for adding any type of splitter/manifold you want.