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Everything posted by madcrafted

  1. Ammonia readings aren't a big deal when using buffering substrates like you are. Almost all of that is in the NH4 (ammonium) form. The bigger issue is your nitrate level. You are likely overfeeding as many tend to do. We've all been there. Itchy fingers and the need to do something doesn't help matters. The best thing you can do is increase water change to 25% until you can get that nitrates down below 10 (ideally below 5). Just don't go changing more than that at one time or risk shocking the shrimp. Alternatively, you could try doing a couple 15% in one week if you like. Just do this until t
  2. I doubt you'll find many here keeping their caridinas in tap water. I'd probably look for low grade CRS if I were to experiment here. Just have to acclimate them to these parameters yourself. Get more than you think you'll need. lol
  3. The shrimp might have an easier time molting at a slightly lower mineral level. I've had fewer problems at 3.5 - 4 GH. I would get the occasional stuck molt when when I was keeping minerals closer to 5 GH. With SS GH+ that puts me right around the 100 TDS range. YMMV a little.
  4. Haha, ok. I understand. Hopefully you can find more buyers or keep doing water changes, feeding forage foods or maybe using a product like Purigen to help keep nitrates and DOCs in check. I won't be separating by patterns but by actual phenotypes. I could have explained that better, my apologies. I keep mostly hybrids.. tibees, frt, taitibees, galaxies, etc. so it's a grab bag of surprises with offspring with TB genes until you can stabilize them (somewhat). I have several different lines mixed in there, so a long road indeed. I wouldn't select like this with my PRLs for example...
  5. I feel like you've reached the limit without having to change more water and thin colony some as Shrimp Life suggested. That sounds about right going by the 25-30 dwarf shrimp per gallon suggestion I've heard others talk about. Might be time for another tank? lol I have yet to reach a breeding threshold with my own shrimp and most likely won't as I will be separating them by phenotype and selectively breeding them. Drawback to this method is you need several tanks for each type/line. Not very practical for most.
  6. In a tank that size, with that amount of shrimp and heavily planted, you don't need to do much different for the fry. I personally like to feed every 3 days and I have tanks with about the same amount of shrimp as yours, some with a little more. I do like to sprinkle a little sl-aqua magic powder into each tank 10 minutes before feeding. I do this regardless of whether or not there is fry in the tank, so there's a constant source of beneficial bacteria and biofilm residing there at all times, plus the shrimp like to graze on the little bits as the settle. With Bacter AE, I would use less than
  7. There are very few published papers on neo/caridina breeding. One of the ones that I've ran across mentions the affects of temperature and very little on photo period, being it was at a constant 12/12 schedule throughout the entire study. This was for the RCS too, btw. Crystals and other bee shrimp have even fewer studies and ALOT of speculation printed on the web. We do know that metabolism and growth slow down in cooler waters as does reproduction. So temperature is a big one. Not so sure about light myself being as I keep a shorter photo period than most at 7-8 hours of light. I have shrimp
  8. The wood provides a nice grazing surface for shrimp. The white stuff is likely fungal based and the shrimp will pick at it. They are probably more interested in the biofilm that is growing on the wood's surface but also eat various things that make up a mixture of what is referred to as periphyton. A small colony of shrimp can survive off the natural food resources in the tank if it's readily available and might not show any interest in commercial foods when offered. If you want, you could try offering a vegetable based food or fresh boiled leaves of spinach, nettles, mulberry, collard greens
  9. I find this very to be a very interesting scape with great placement of hardscape and plants. Never seen anyone use a slate like that either... very unique.
  10. I think it's more like Marified makes soil for UNS, as well as Brightwell.
  11. Glad to hear they are transitioning well into their new home. Shrimp will generally let you know when there is a problem. I find that the less I fool with parameters and testing, the better off they are. The key to success starts with good soil and SL-Aqua is one of the best, so you made a wise choice there.
  12. Oh they lay eggs in soft water just the same. All in my mosses and cholla wood. Doesn't bother me much, they eventually just dissolve.
  13. If you keep them in soft water permanently, they will die sooner than they normally would in waters with normal carbonate levels. You can see the shells getting thinner over time, sometimes even displaying "pits" here and there. I rotate mine between soft water and tanks with tap water. The tap water tanks barely have any algae these days, so when I toss them into my soft water shrimp tanks, they devour whatever algae they can...quickly. Then I move them back after a month or so, leaving only "pesty" snails like ramshorns and bladder to finish up.
  14. I still have a difficult time sexing shrimp under 4 months or so, but to me, that looks to be male. That underbelly appears straight when males are young but as they age, it takes on a fish-like shape. Kinda like a slight S-curve shape to the belly. Females are rounder bellied and look more "stout" in general. Not always bigger, but beefier. Sometimes that 2nd scale will overlapp scales 1 and 3, but not always easy to see this in females that haven't carried. I never could go by that antenna trick to sex them. I've seen males with what looked to be short antennas up top.
  15. Fissidens always the first to show algaes. It's truly a magnet for the stuff. lol I employ the use of nerites and whatever other hitchikers I may get. Right now there's a huge explosion of bladder snails in my tanks but they are keeping the moss clean for me. Reducing light helps a lot with fluffy and filamentous algae. I have all mine wired to dimmers. So, what are these rare mosses you speak of? I like rare mosses too. lol
  16. Here are the 4 that I just set up back in sept. Nerites devoured that dust algae on the walls... along with most of that brown filamentous algae in the mosses. Plants are just starting to perk up. Nitrates were 2-3 ppm the other day. I have to say though, shrimp seem very happy in sl-aqua soil. My water temps are 62-65° these days, so not much happening as far as breeding but I feel like they will take off this spring.
  17. Yeah, that's not a big difference. You should be fine. Funny, I've never needed floaters in my tanks and I actually have to dose KNO3 the first few months until bioload increases. My tanks are all nano sized 10 gallons or less. I feed very sparingly and prefer to use magic powder every other day with feedings, so they could contribute to my low levels. Shrimp are always grazing, so they appear to be doing well. I just set up a few more tanks not long ago and I'm still using KNO3. Hopefully these tanks will start booming in the spring and I can ease off nutrient dosing.
  18. Beautiful tank you got there. I love the creative use of moss and the rotala indica background.
  19. One other thing to note is that's it's better to add shrimp to water that is slightly less minerals (GH) than adding them to richer mineral tanks. This causes less issues with the molting process due to the osmotic changes that occur when the shell is flooded with salts. There's a whole scientific explanation to this but I'm not smart enough to break it down in detail. lol
  20. I don't bother with pH readings during acclimation and rarely drip any longer than 4-5 hours and that's only if the difference is drastic, GH-wise. I've even received bee shrimp that were in damn near neo parameters and still only dripped them a few hours. I feel like the longer they are dripping, the longer they are being stressed. Once I've doubled the water volume of bag water with my tank's water, I increase drip rate from about a drop a second to 2 drops a second. I like to use marina HOB breeder boxes for acclimating, but the method is the same when using bowls/buckets. By the time the b
  21. I doubt a half a point difference within 24 hours is going to cause any issues. I dumped some peat pellets in a HOB filter once when I was having issues with some fluval soil not keeping my pH below 6.7. The pH dropped down to 4.3 within an hour or so. Needless to say, I removed the peat after that but everyone survived and went on to breed after I swapped substrate.These were german pintos, so they were bred off TB shrimp. I've kept BKK and RKK in a high tech tank for a few months but they never did breed. So they can survive a pH swing , it just isn't ideal, especially when breeding. Not sur
  22. I've seen some "monster" size males crop in my caridina tanks. The biggest shrimp I have right now is actually a red galaxy male. It happens. lol
  23. A few drops of Prime isn't going to make a huge impact one way of the other, it's just not necessary. On the other hand, if you add to much, it could lower O2 levels in your tank. The baking soda will surely have a negative effect on buffering substrates, though. After seeing your pH results, it appears your pH probe and sera test are pretty close. I'd trust that over the fluval test, any day. As for the ammonia readings, ammonium (NH4) will also be detected by API test. You are seeing ammonium readings here, not ammonia, which is waaaay less toxic, especially at those
  24. I misread you post admittedly, I just saw "wide range test" and assumed it was nutrafin. I've heard good things about sera test but never used myself. Maybe your tank just wants to settle in that range. It's not unheard of with buffering substrates, just not as common with this particular soil but shouldn't be a problem. Adding stuff to the water like Prime and baking soda, just changes the chemistry and could cause more issues than it helps. Prime is for tap water or emergency ammonia/nitrite neutralizing (in higher pH tanks). I can honestly say that I've never dosed Prime in a soft water tan
  25. No problem, just wanted to toss that out there. I've had my fair share of headaches with pH testing equipment and reference solutions alike. The dry packets of reference solution "crystals" tend to last longer when not opened, so that's good. Cross contamination isn't a concern the way you are doing it, so good job there. Never re-use solution that has had probe dipped into it. I just pour a little into those disposable sauce cups just enough to fully submerge the probe in the solution. Then I throw it out afterwards. once probe is properly calibrated. One thing I can tell you wit
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