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About aqua_che_scapes

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  • Location
    Austin, TX
  • Interests
    aquascaping planted tanks and learning how to breed shrimp for the first time.
  • Inverts You Keep
    Raccoon Tigers, Blonde Tigers, Red Rilis, Amanos

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  1. I realize low ph and Ada Amazonia are a common subject on forums cause it’s how Amazonia works but I have a slightly different scenario I need help with... Earlier this year I was prepping for a rescape in one of my other aquascape fish tanks and I aged and cycled a big bag of Ada Amazonia powder type in a bucket with a filter for several months. I ended up with a bunch of leftover Amazonia from the rescape so I decided since it had finished leaching all excess ammonia in the bucket previously that I could dry the leftovers in a pan in the sun outside and re-bag it for later. So I did this. Recently I’ve been setting up a shrimp tank for my Caridina raccoon tiger shrimps that would need a good low ph (6.2-6.5) buffer substrate so I decided to use the leftover dried out aged Amazonia. In my other nano tanks the Amazonia buffers around 6.2-6.4 and I use RODI water (ph 6.4) with bee shrimp GH remineralizer (0 KH) . But in this shrimp tank the previously aged Amazonia is still dropping the ph below 6 down closer to 5.5 or lower. The tank is three months running and has been cycled, only substrate now and water and eheim canister filter. (I added the pre dried Amazonia to this tank LATER on after a mishap and algae issues I was having with spiderwood and plants and took everything out of the tank for now and added more of the pre-aged and dried Amazonia substrate a few weeks ago (bear bottom tank with Amazonia and water now). Super confusing setup story I’m sorry. 😕. Anyways, i thought after this Amazonia had been aged in a bucket and re dried after a few months it wouldn’t have this ph drop issue it’s having in my new setup. But I honestly don’t know what it’s doing or what to expect concerning the ph level. It does not leach ammonia at all which is why I liked that I had previously aged and dried it out. But the ph is definitely unstable still. My raccoon tiger shrimp have been in a small temporary tank for so many months now cause this tank I’ve been trying to setup for them has been having so many problems. I just want them to go in their tank already 😒😩. I am considering adding a few pieces of crushed coral to the tank to see if it helps the ph stay above 6 until the Amazonia quits buffering below 6. I don’t think my tiger shrimp could handle ph 5.5 and live long. Any ideas or thoughts? Thanks. My setup is a 5 gallon UNS 5N rimless tank with an eheim 2211 canister filter. I plan on adding bucephalandra, moss and cholla.
  2. aqua_che_scapes

    Ph 4.7 and fresh cut driftwood

    Ok I wasn’t sure how long the baking soda would last in the Amazonia filled tank. I’ve been monitoring it closely to make sure it doesn’t drop again. So far it’s a consistent 6.5 since I added the soda a day ago. I’d rather not have the soda in there cause I don’t want to exhaust my substrate faster but I really didn’t know what else to do. I have some struggling plants and mosses in there and it killed my one Amano shrimp I had in there. I got him out fast but he didn’t last long after that in my other tank. I use a calibrated digital ph probe meter that can read as far high or low as the ph can go so it is handy for monitoring soft water. I check the ph on my more neutral ph tanks to make sure the probe matches as close to the API test kit results as I can get. It might be .2-.5 off but it is pretty accurate enough.
  3. aqua_che_scapes

    Ph 4.7 and fresh cut driftwood

    To experiment I will be taking one of the branches of spiderwood I trimmed off and placing it in an isolated plastic container of the same water values and checking the ph on it to see if I can replicate the crash.
  4. I have been trying to stabilize a 5 gallon shrimp tank that has plants, moss, Ada Amazonia, and spiderwood for over two months. the issue that is happening that I wanted to atleast inform people about or get feedback on is this: four days ago my ph had been a consistent 6.2 for a few weeks and the water was finally clearing up from a long term bacteria bloom but I decided that all the branches sticking out of the water weren’t something I wanted in my shrimp tank. It made maintenance and scraping the glass very difficult and my plants didn’t have much room to grow and I knew suicidal shrimp would crawl out. I took the spiderwood out of the tank and used yard clippers to cut off all the vertical sticks and pieces creating many small exposed stumps which I then attached buce and mosses to. After filling the tank back up with bee shrimp gh + RODI water (with tds 150 and ph 6.4) within a day the ph dropped to 5.8 and stayed a few days which was fine with me. I did another 50% water change several days later to remove a lot of debris in the water from spiderwood fungus that was floating around the tank (using the same TDS 150 ph 6.4 RODI water) and the ph started to rapidly drop over the next few hours all the way down to 4.7 and counting! The KH is near 0 and GH is around 5-7. I grabbed baking soda ASAP and raised the tank back to ph 6.5 and it has stayed that way for 24 hours now. But my main thought was the fresh cut spiderwood was the only thing I have changed to this tank besides water changes. Before I cut the wood I realized the possibility of more white fungus which I was prepared to deal with but a total ph crash I had not predicted since spiderwood is pretty neutral and doesn’t leach much tannins. The Ada Amazonia I am using shouldn’t buffer the ph that low. I aged it in a bucket for a few months before using it in this scape. And my other shrimp tank has the same Amazonia but stays in the ph 6 range and doesn’t crash. Both tanks are treated the same, only difference was the spiderwood. I mostly just wanted to warn anybody thinking about trimming their spiderwood in their tank and maybe get some thoughts or experiences shared. I had done lots of forum searches on cutting/trimming driftwood before attempting the trim and didn’t see anything about this. I wanted to put it out there.
  5. aqua_che_scapes

    Lowering PH in Shrimp Tank failing

    Just a update on the shrimp tank. I have done several more kh 0 gh 6 RODI water changes and now the tank matches those parameters which is great . I’ve added a lot more of my ph lowering amazinia substrate to the tank but the ph is still above 7. It has gone from 7.5 down to 7.1 which is good but not low enough. I put almost a whole cup more in 24 hours ago and no changes have happened. The kh is 0 in there or close to it so this doesn’t make sense. Now I am wondering why. Maybe something in the filter like active carbon or something else is preventing the ph from dropping. I’m out of ideas. Or maybe it just takes a TON of Ada Amazonia to drop the ph. But the Tank the shrimp are in is only 2 gallons so it shouldn’t need very much to change it.
  6. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    Quick update. I did what a friend suggested and instead of removing the spiderwood entirely I just did 7 days of seachem stability doses. The tank cleared up pretty fast and there isn’t much debris except left for some normal white fungus on the driftwood and I should probably rinse out my eheim filter now. So glad the thick milky water is gone. I do not know if it will return but I hope not. Also since my driftwood emerges out of the top of the tank I am going to pull the wood from the tank just to trim off this stems. They make it harder to do maintenance and I am pretty sure it will lead to suicidal shrimp crawling out. I always get mold on emergent driftwood anyways and it looks bad and I can’t clean it off.
  7. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    I definitely will update the thread as I figure it out. It’s such a pain. I’ve heard of people not having problems with spiderwood and some people have a lot of problems with it. Maybe it is where the wood is sourced from or maybe pre-boiling the spiderwood makes it a lot worse or boiling makes it leach sugars or resins or saps that cause this. A 5 gallon shrimp tank is already a very water parameter sensitive environment for shrimps. I don’t need all the unnecessary hardscape-inflicted headaches. Someone on my Instagram mentioned they had this problem and they did frequent WC while dosing seachem stability and they said it worked really well. But I’ll probably end up taking it out.
  8. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    Hey that’s actually great idea! I like your thinking. The tank actually clouds up in half a day after 40-50% WC’s. I sometimes collect plants for new tank setups up to a month in advance just sitting in open too plastic containers under a light haha so I’m use to it. I keep on imagining more and more ripping the spiderwood out. It’ll be really sad but oh well. If I can remove the mosses and sort them out they’ll take a really good cleaning to get all the gunk off. Im thinking I’ll probably just use cholla wood, one small Malaysian driftwood piece, leaf litter and some moss and buce plants instead of the Spiderwood. Keep it more simple. Right now it’s kind of crowded with hardscape in the 5 gallon for shrimp breeding. I just enjoy aquascaping so I sometimes go overboard. Thanks for the help. I’ll give it a try
  9. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    I don’t use any kind of aromatizers or chemical sprays or fumes in my aquarium room. None is used near the door or hallway either. The room smells like bad bacterial bloom tank stinky 🤢. The tanks can hit 26-27 C without the small computer fans cooling the tanks down to 23-25 C. All my other tanks in the same room run these same fans too and never had this problem. But yah I would consider removing the wood but I have 12-15 types of buce plants and rare mosses attached to the wood. It would be a huge pain to remove them and find a way to re-plant it all but I’m not totally against the idea after dealing with this mess. 🙄😭😭😭
  10. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    If you read my latest update it’s posisble it was high ammonia (API 3-4ppm from chloramines) somehow coming through my RODI filter. But yah it’s the entire water column, white bio film funk all over every surface of the filter, tubing, plants, wood, and glass. The only thing not affected seems to be the Ada Amazonia substrate. The water surface does not have film built up because it has lots of agitation. Some kind of mass scale bacteria bloom breakout . I’ve been dealing with this for almost two months since I set up this tank. I boiled the spiderwood for an hour before use and it sunk after one week in the tank and then everything went bad. No nitrites or nitrates luckily. Most of the white film is attached to the driftwood in big globs. I have moss attached to all the spiderwood that I hope survives this. Some of the moss is so coated with film. I do my best to keep it off the plants but it’s a battle. I did purchase the aquatic life chloramine carbon block filter add-on for $60. It’ll get here in a few days and I’ll see if It will work. Ive thought about plopping Amano shrimp or ghost shrimp or a nerite snail in there to see if they eat it all but the ph is pretty low for them (ph 6.0-6.2).
  11. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    Forgot to mention the clear water in these videos lasts only less than a day before cloudy up like milk again.
  12. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    This is my tank without cloudy water (post large water changes after the filter crashes. Added more fresh purigen and carbon to help it clear up. 5A3D84B5-A55D-47D5-9839-9C06BFAEF92C.MOV EF520540-3251-4EB5-958B-7215964EE518.MOV
  13. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    Sorry! I have a bad habit of long responses .
  14. aqua_che_scapes

    Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water

    Thanks for responding! Since I posted this I have talked to a few people who have used spiderwood and experienced that same issue . I am not cleaning the filter excessively. What happens is after a week or two with the cloudy water the canister filter clogs to the point the flow stops completely and bacteria starts to die off. Last week this happened so badly and I didn’t noticed it shut itself off for a day or two (also running fans and An HOB so it’s hard to tell when the canister stops flowing) and it stunk horribly and I had to save the filter and get all the dead bacteria and stuff rinsed with RO water asap. This would happen every two weeks if I didn’t rinse the filter. It’s really a pain. I removed the most coggable parts of the filter (aka the fine filter polishing pads). The pre filter sponge collects a lot of things and it’s easier for me to squeeze out on a regular basis than pull the canister open. Hopefully this helps. Someone i I was talking to yesterday about the spiderwood experienced the same cloudy water issue to the point they removed the spiderwood and the water problems cleared up within a day. I really love my current driftwood plant scape (plants fully rooted to the wood now too) and I would hate to remove it at this point but would be willing too. The spiderwood sticks out of the tank in several spots too so I am a little worried about psycho tiger shrimps crawling out too. The only other possible cause of the cloudiness I ran into yesterday. I discovered my new month old RODI filter stopped removing ammonia/ chloramines from the water so I had been unknowingly using it. I am lucky I didn’t kill my tiger shrimps. But I am working on fixing it and did seachem prime and good LFS RODI water water changes today so hopefully solving this will make the bacterial bloom go away. The bacteria population most likely has exploded to consume all the high ammonia which was almost dark green with an API test kit tested straight out of the RODI filter. So BAD!!! 😭😭😭 anyway I really hope this was the cause of the bloom but maybe a combo of the wood and the bad RODI water. There is an incredible about of debri floating in the water and I can’t get it all out. I attached a short video of the cloudiness. E674FF6B-66B5-48DC-96AC-4D5FC70D5FC1.mov
  15. Hello. I am new to this forum and have been setting up my first ever tiger shrimp tank. The tank had been going through some incessantly BAD thick milky cloudy water issues for almost 2 months. I have two large pieces of one-hour boiled spiderwood that I’ve covered in mosses and bucephalandra that are coated in the normal amount of spiderwood fungus. I am thinking the thick cloudy water issue is related to this too. I have to rinse the filter out a LOT, and do lots of water changes or tubing gets clogged and water gets super milky thick to a point where I cannot see the plants at all. A lot of people on the internet say for normal bacteria blooms to not do large water changes and just be patient but my tank would have crashed by now if I haven’t done tons of full tank water changes and filter cleanings. I have done partial water changes for a few weeks previously just to see if it’ll work itself out but it never does. Its the worst cloudy water battle I’ve ever had in a new tank. I have another shrimp tank I setup around the same time right next it but with lava rock instead of spiderwood and it’s been crystal clear with growing plants since day 1. It hasn’t caused me any stress or drama yet. The spiderwood tank has no detectable bad water parameters, ph 6.4, gh 7, kh 0-1 Ada Amazonia powder type, Caribbean sand (all pre rinsed and pre cycled). Fully cycled eheim canister filter, no co2 or added ferts. Has anybody else used spiderwood and experienced this milky water problem?