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Water Parameters - New Tank Setup

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The whole reason I got out of this hobby 10 years ago was tanks multiplied, work multiplied, and fun diminished.  I want to avoid this and keep things as SIMPLE as possible.


I am starting a tank and would like to use my WELL water if possible.  


Here are my lab results prior to putting in water softener to bring down manganese;


Fluoride - Non Detectable

Chloride - 7 ppm 

Nitrite & Nitrate - Non Detectable

Sulfate - 23 ppm

Calcium - 16ppm

Magnesium - 6ppm

Hardness - 63ppm

Sodium - 9ppm

Copper - Non Detectable

Iron - 0.15 ppm

Manganese - 0.09 ppm


PH - 7.3


I ordered Brightwell Aquatics Substrate which should buffer the PH down below 7.  When I get that installed I will test the pH again and post those results next week.


*** I installed my water softener this weekend and purchased API GH/KH ****


The GH Test was green on the first drop- so this would mean 0-3 degrees.


The KH Test was between 3-4 degrees.


Question;  All over the net for shrimp water parameters people will put numbers like GH= 0 KH = 4.  Are these must be degrees not ppm?


I would prefer to pick the shrimp to fit the water - for now at least.


I plan on purchasing a TDS meter.  I assume this is the best and most economical way to test this parameter?



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A couple things I will point out:


  • When people post what GH/KH they have it is in fact in degrees
  • Definitely consider reducing your KH and raising GH as bostoneric has stated: Degrees- GH- 5/6 KH 0/1, PPM- GH- 89.5/107.4, KH- 0/17.9
  • I definitely recommend a TDS Meter, I use a TDS-EZ meter, works fantastic


What shrimp do you plan on keeping Neo or Caridina?

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I retested. It's actually one drop each. So the kH seems in range. I posted a pic.

Based on my water report I anticipate the TDS to be about 100. I ordered the TDS-EZ recommended here.

Substrate arrived yesterday, tank today so will let you know on the pH or GH if it changes.

What GH booster would be recommended?

Undecided on type of shrimp, I have two kids who are pet of the process as well.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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TDS meter arrived and similar to water report it showed 103. My GH and KH are still 0-1. If I purchase salty shrimp will it raise my TDS? Do I want the GH/KH to provide some stability, keeping neos likely RCS to start.

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I used one scoop of SS shrimp the scoop that came in the tub.  It says the scoop is about 3g into 5.25g of RO water with a beginning TDS of 5.  After mixing and letting it sit for a little bit the TDS read 125.  So if that helps to give you a rough idea of how much it raises TDS.

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