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FaelynK

Is my tap water any good for neos?

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Hey all,

 

Just getting started in the shrimpie adventure and figured I'd start right. Tested the parameters of my tap water and got a fairly surprising result.

 

0ppm (from what I can tell) of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate but a whopping 8.6 pH!

 

I don't have a GH or KH test kit yet (they're in the mail) or a TDS pen, so I have no idea for those numbers.

 

Can I keep neos in that pH range though or am I gonna need to invest in RO water? Or could I perhaps use substrate to temper the pH?

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@FaelynK Welcome to this wonderfully addicting hobby! In my personal experience, I don't think I've measured the pH of the water in my shrimp tanks since I first started in the hobby about 5 years or so ago. For me, the most important parameters I measure are GH and KH, but I see that you're waiting for them to come in the mail so once those come in you can test your water. The only concern I have with tap water is chlorine, which is shrimps don't tolerate very well. To avoid any possible issues with chlorine you can either buy a dechlorinator (I use Prime) or you can let your water sit and aerate for a day or so (oxygenation slowly gets rid of any chlorine in the water). 

 

I'll always recommend RO water with shrimp remineralizer because you don't have to worry about what the water treatment plant puts in the tap water and because you get to know exactly what you're putting into the water and you get to keep water parameters relatively consistent. I go to the lengths of going to Walmart once a month to fill up 4 or 5 of the five gallon water jugs with their RO water since I live in an apartment complex so I can't use a RO unit. It's a lot of work to move the jugs but I feel like it's worth the effort.

 

That being said, neos are generally pretty hardy and can adapt fairly well to a range of parameters. If you can post your GH and KH once you get your test kit I think that'd tell a lot more about if your water's suitable for shrimp. Glad you're taking the time to do research! I find patience one of the most important and difficult aspects of a successful shrimp keeper. 

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@JSakThanks. I use bottled DI for my turtle tank (with ghosts in it) as of now but I was hoping I could switch to tap for the shrimp and skip remineralizing. Not sure if my county uses chlorine or chlorimide, I heard Prime takes care of both?

 

I know of a couple other people in the same county that keep neo tanks, but they use RO water as they have other large aquariums and are on well water that is massively out of parameter. I'm one of the "lucky" ones hooked up to city water.

 

Checked tracking and looks like the test kits are slated to be here around Wednesday. I'm chomping the bit to get started, I know I've got a long cycle and grow in ahead of me before I even see a shrimpie!

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@FaelynK yup! Prime has sodium thiosulfate in it which deactivates both chlorines and chloramines so I'd definitely suggest using that if possible. Aeration only gets rid of chlorine but not chloramine so that's a good point that you brought up.

 

Yea the neos these days, especially cherries, are way more durable and adaptable than they were several years ago with the recent popularity and rise of the shrimp hobby and with cherries being the most available and well-known of the dwarf shrimps. If you're able to, I suggest finding a local or USA breeder as they're generally more healthy and can adapt best to the changes of being introduced to a different tank. RO water with remineralizers definitely aren't necessary for neos, but generally highly recommended.

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So my GH and KH kit got here today and I'm not sure I did the test right... either that or my water is weird.

 

Firstly, kit bottles say they expire in 2024, so that's good. Liquid in bottles is bright yellow and dark green. Test tube caps suck as bad as my master kit ones... 😣

 

Followed the instructions and KH took 9 drops to turn yellow. Color change was sudden and big. As I was adding drops it got darker and darker blue then the drops swirled as yellow for a moment and then bam! Yellow.

 

GH... first drop never showed orange. Water was pale pale green tint. Second drop was definitely green.

 

Isn't GH supposed to be higher than KH? General everything vs carbonate? I even went as far as to dump the test and try again... 3 times. Kept adding drops the third time, thinking it was supposed to turn orange and it was a typo in the instructions. Got to 14 drops and it just stayed dark green so I gave up.

 

So, total parameters I have numbers on so far for my tap water are

pH ~8.6

Nitrate 0

Nitrite 0

Ammonia 0

dGH 1-2?

dKH 9

 

What do you guys think?

 

 

Also, side note and unrelated but I wanted to share...  my sponge filter came today too! Nice little Hygger double sponge with the media chambers. Whee!

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Sorry it took so long to get back to you. It's been a busy couple of weeks with moving and exams 😓  but yes, that's how the test works. It's called a titration reaction. I used to remember exactly how the reaction worked, but that was back in undergrad when I was taking my chem classes so I won't try to explain it 😂 but just to be sure, did you cap and invert the tubes each time you added a drop of the GH or KH solution, rather than adding a few drops then mixing it together? 

 

GH is generally higher than KH, but one instance when KH can be higher than GH is if sodium bicarbonate is added because GH primarily measures calcium carbonate in the water, whereas KH measures the amount of carbonates in the water (carbonate hardness). I apologize if I mentioned it already, but one of the primary reasons I don't use tap water is because the city controls what's added to the water so my shrimp and I are basically at the mercy of whatever they decide to put in/treat the water with. 

 

I'm sure neos would be fine and able to adapt to those parameters. Just make sure you get them from a good source and acclimate them properly 👍 

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No worries mate! Moving is always "fun".

 

Yeah, I remember titration from science class way back when, the fact that I never got the starting color just threw me for a loop! 🙃 I did make sure to cap and invert a time or two after every drop, although I admit by the third time I was just capping and giving a half hearted shake.

 

I'm totally on board with RO or DI water, however the transport and storage would cause me issues and I can't afford an RO setup. Perhaps I could just get some GH+ to add in at least the required minerals up to preferred levels, or I might just bite the bullet and get a ZeroWater. I've been looking at those anyways for the hoomans, plus side - shrimps!

 

Either way, I've got a starting point. I'm slowly accumulating the equipment, I'm going to go buy substrate next week. Gonna go Walstad I think with a large grain sand/ small grain gravel cap but I can't find any stones to use for my aquascape that I like that don't cost a zillion dollars with shipping. Any way I slice it though, this tank isn't even gonna be cycling for at least a month. 😕 Chickies come first... 🐣

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If I remember right, Ottawa water has  low TDS and GH and very high KH, but this is unusual.

 

If you used API test kit, 1 drop is 1 dH (dGH or dKH), until full color change, not to intermediate color or shade of color, just fact of color change.

 

Here are shrimp requirements, they match my limited experience. Less than 6 dGH for neos, and there could be molting problems. I would use some GH+ additive to raise GH to 6 dGH, do this outside the tank, in water for each water change. GH+ could be Salty Shrimp Bee Mineral GH+, Seachem Equilibrium or any other brand.

 

If hardy and undestructable for someone else, in his water, neos will contintinuously die for you (hope that this will not happen), changing supplier from LFS to shrimp from local breeder, who keeps them in similar to your water, could help. Classifieds and eBay show them.

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I actually wasn't planning to use a heater for mine. From what I understand the higher the temp the more active, therefore shorter lifespans plus more risk of bacterial disease. My room temp is 70-72, which should be just fine for them, and my snails will like it better too.

 

78°F is the de facto "I have no idea" recommendation at my LFS as it's the general tropical temp.

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I kept neos at 78F too and now keeping them at room temperature, 70-72F. Both groups were alive and well, reproduced fast, good survival of the babies. Only at higher temperature shrimp were more active, everything was faster and had more males in litters.

If keep only one tank, healthy stock and aiming for the best, I have an impression that higher than room temperature would be better.

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I keep all of mine at room temp aside from my cardinal sulawesis that require more specific parameters. I try to keep my hobby as simple as possible for myself and for the shrimp as well. I've heard horror stories of heaters malfunctioning which could either cause it to shut off and drop the temp or constantly remain on and boil the shrimp. Even if it's not that likely, I didn't think it was worth the risk considering the shrimp would do just fine in room temp. I have about 15 or so tanks of neos, caridina and paracaridina and they all are doing very well and breeding for me just at room temp which I'm guessing can range from 68-75 F. 

 

As stated earlier, higher temps increase the shrimp's metabolism, so they grow faster, breed faster, and also die faster. I keep green jade neos with my cardinal sulawesis in a tank that's set at roughly 80-85 F and I've noticed that the neos are significantly smaller than the other neos I have that are kept at room temp. I've heard that high temps can cause the shrimps to not grow as large and at least in my experience that seems to be the case. But again, this is based on my research and personal experiences so if it's working for you I'd say stick with it. One of the mottos I try to keep with shrimp keeping is "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

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