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Need to get my water parameters right.

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So I saw a shrimp that looked like he may of had a bacterial infection about a week(?) ago. Saw two shrimps with milky looking tails today. So I pulled out my test kits to check my params and see where theyre at to get an idea of the tank.

This is what I get..
tds: 230 (it normally goes from about 200-250 over the course of a week)

kh: 0-1? water turns yellowish with first drop

gh: 9

ph: 6.6


Inhabitants are cherry shrimp, malawa shrimp, and amano shrimp. Plenty of berries/babies rather constantly.

This is a heavily planted low light tank that gets fertilized weekly. Substrate is NOT a buffering substrate.

I use RO/DI water remineralized with salty shrimp GH+    I normally just throw 1 level scoop into a five gallon bucket of rodi.


I really want to start focusing on getting my parameters right, then keeping them constant so I can insure good long term conditions for my shrimp. I have been lazy on checking my parameters on this tank since I have hardy shrimp



#1. KH. I have read that having a readable KH keeps your PH from swinging to different values. With a KH of zero, my PH is able to swing up or down, correct? How do I raise KH, I thought SS GH+ was the right buffer?

#2. Water changes. I always did bi-weekly water changes, and within those 2 weeks my TDS rose a LOT. I am going to start more frequent water changes on the tank (fck my plants and fertilizing routine, they'll be fine) so should I do the water changes in regards to TDS or GH? Like what is more important, having a stable TDS or stable GH?

#3. If this is a bacterial infection I have going on with my red cherry shrimp (which I think it is) how do I go about treating it? Should I worry about that before I start messing with my parameters?



Any input is appreciated!

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I personally use TDS as the main test in my shrimp tank along with nitrates which I've been told should be around the 10 ppm level.  I know people who also use GH as a guideline too.

GH looks at the actual hardness i.e Calcium and magnesium levels whereas KH isn't really about hardness at all - it's about carbonate and bicarbonate levels which help to buffer any pH swings.

From what I've gleaned on this forum and Fancy Shrimp the ideal parameters are:

TDS around 250 ppm

pH 7.5 ish

GH 7+

Nitrates less than 20 ppm.

I have no idea how to treat bacterial infections tho I'm sure there's bound to be someone else will have the info at hand.

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I think Salty Shrimp Mineral GH/KH+ is better in your case.


and keep pH above 7 is better too.

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Yeah, don't use the API liquid nitrate test. Use literally anything else.

In my experience, when someone says their nitrates ought to be low, when they finally test for them, they are higher than they thought. So, not to insult you or anything, but I always advocate checking them. They are almost always a contributing factor.

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Thinking about picking up a sera nitrate kit, any have experience with these?

My temp is at 76 degrees, no heater or fan just room temp (it will stay that way, I am all about the least amount of tech as possible)

Is PH really that important? When I first got into tanking everyone told me PH didn't really matter if you weren't dealing with super sensitive inhabitants - as long as it was stable. Which I guess is why I think I need to get my KH up...

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I have used the Salifert nitrate test and altho you only get 60 tests compared with API's 90, it's easier to use and interpret. Haven't used any others so can't comment on them.

You are probably right about the pH being stable altho neos are better in basic rather than acidic water. For me, it's about trying to achieve what's optimum for the shrimp not just about what they can tolerate. Want them to thrive not just survive.

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Went to an LFS looking for maracyn two.

Lady sold me maracyn (regular) when I asked for it. Wonder if this will be helpful? I know nothing about gram positive or negative, or medication at all.
Anyone know where to buy maracyn two online? or something that may work better for me?

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I would worry about using a heavy duty med like that. Make sure to research if it is shrimp safe. I am newer to the shrimp hobby, but I have found in General when I have an ill fish a medicated food is much more effective than water treatments and then it doesn't affect my cycle as bad too. You could maybe do a medicated gel food. First you need to find if you are treating for gram negative or positive bacteria. Then I usually make a gel food with the meds I want or I buy one.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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