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Advice needed on new tank


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Hi.. Need some advice.

Stayed a 2 feet tank with borneowild shrimp soil, with borneowild Vigor, Bacter Crystal, Minerax and Humic as soil additive. Currently into 10th day of cycling.

Parameters:

PH- Below 6.0. (Waiting to get a PH Pen as test kit measures only to 6.0)

KH- 0

GH- 4

TDS- 120

NH3/4 - 2.0

Nitrate 0

Considering ammonia will turn to ammonium in soft water, is it safe to add shrimps since ammonium is harmless?

Borneowild shrimp soil supposed to be able to add shrimps in 3 days. Is it because the low PH turns ammonia into ammonium?

With such low PH and it's buffering ability, I suppose I'll keep getting ammonium from ammonia, thus the cycle might not even start at all as I've not managed to find any nitrate in my tests so far.

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What shrimp do you plan to keep? What is your Ammonia reading right now?

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I know overly low pH can hamper cycling because the beneficial bacteria don't like it as much. However, this is what I learned from reading/doing a "normal" fishless cycle, *without* buffering substrate, and not destined for acidic water shrimp. If your tank is going to stay in the low 6's (I think 6.4+ is a common goal?) you're going to have to have bacteria that can live in those conditions. Still, I would consider trying to increase your pH a little to help the cycle if you're not getting nitrites/nitrates. I did it for mine with a very tiny amount of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) - I think others use calcium carbonate (crushed coral, cuttlebone)

 

Hopefully, others who have used these substrates and prepped shrimp-specific tanks will chime in. Additionally, most people recommend letting a tank stabilize and age much longer before adding shrimp, no matter what the packaging recommends.

 

I think SoothingShrimp has said he has had a tank ready to go in a matter of days for an emergency, don't know about others. Do you have any other tanks with healthy bacterial populations?

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what are your NITRITES? ammonia will break down into nitrites then nitrates. so depending on if you have nitrites will help you tell where the cycle is at. 

 

with all that said i would still wait a while. with shrimp patience is very important. its not so much just the cycle as it is building up the bio film in the tank. that is the key to a good healthy shrimp tanks. bio film does not build in a couple days. that is why most shrimpers will "cycle" a tank for a couple months. its not only the actual cycle but all the bio film and organics involved in the tank too to keep the shrimp happy and healthy

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Like Wicca said it is very important to have a fully cycled tank not only are shrimp sensitive to water chemistry but they also eat biofilm and other things that grow when the tank is matured. I would keep waiting and not throw your money away on shrimp.

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Not sure what your using for water, since your cycling could mix some tap in if you want to raise the ph

-Chris

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Posted Image

Posted Image

Cloudy water is a good sign which may be a bacteria bloom.

Just tested parameters and delighted to see nitrite for the first time.

PH 6.7

KH 0

GH 3

NH3/4 0.5

Nitrite 0.25

Will test again tomorrow. Hopefully the PH buffers at around 5.8 to 6.2 and the water will continue to cycle.

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PH dropped back to 5.6 this morning when I tested. That's a 1 point drop in 5 hours. Going to test again tonight after work if it drops further. Ammonia and Nitrite remains same as previous test.

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It should be alright I would say, keep the cycle going should stabilize. Even with ADA soil my parameters are whack when cycling. Mostly due to the ammonia. Have one cycling now and the ph swings in it also.

-Chris

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Hi burp,

 

For the first 3 weeks, I will suggest you don't care too much. The environment will try to stabilise itself and you can see the parameters keep changing. If the water is cloudy, it can means two things:

  1. Anaerobic bacteria is blooming, which your tank still need much more time to cycle.
  2. Your filter is not working well. Either the filter media are not matched properly (generally you need polywool or micron-pad to polish the water) or there is no enough bio-film/slim to trap fine particle.

Years ago, I wrote an article on cycling the tank with acidic substrate. You can take a look as an reference: http://www.shrimpydaddy.com/p/cycling-ada-substrate-for-planted-and.html

 

Hope these help.

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Hyoushoko.. That's a very nice write up. Will look through and pick up what can be useful in my case since its been running for two weeks.

Just wondering. Shrimps are said to have no or little bioload. How does the little amount of ammonia released by them keep these bacteria alive?

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Hyoushoko.. That's a very nice write up. Will look through and pick up what can be useful in my case since its been running for two weeks.

Just wondering. Shrimps are said to have no or little bioload. How does the little amount of ammonia released by them keep these bacteria alive?

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"Shrimps are said to have no or little bioload." <---- This is not totally true.

 

It is all relative. If you compare them with a big fish, then it is correct. However if you just sit at the tank and look at how much wastes are passed out from the shrimp, you will know it is quite significant.

 

In order to maintain healthy bacteria colonies, usually I (and I know some commercial breeder) will do the following:

  1. Feed the shrimp with wheat grain powder and/or barley straw pellet. The left over will serve as food for bacteria. I personally prefer barley straw as it contains less protein and when it breakdown in substrate, it will produce H2O2 that will oxygenate the substrate (prevent/minimise sulphide-fixing, anaerobic bacteria and cynobacteria growth)
  2. Dose bacteria culture regularly. I don't recommend those powder type because it is expensive and it contain food more than bacteria; if you use powder type, then don't do or do lesser point 1. I prefer liquid type that is for general aquarium. It is much cheaper, no added food inside and serve the same purpose.
  3. If you are using DIY food or food does not contain meats, you can just leave the food in the tank to be eaten by the critters (not planaria) that live in substrate. This will help to build healthy ecosystem in substrate, which makes it self-cleaning and at the same time recharge the organic acid.
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I just updated my article with a paragraph (at the very end) to talk about monitoring the substrate critter to judge the quality of water and substrate. Please take a look and it will help you better than just reading the water parameters, which may not be 100% accurate.

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