Jump to content

Crystals and clayish dirt substrates

Recommended Posts

Hi all, New poster with Black Crystal Shrimp but actually a long time planted freshwater aquarist.

I have surface well water, it comes out of the tap with nil mineralization, except for some silcates, Iron and tannins.

I have 2 other heavily planted fish tanks with what I like to call 'stream soil substrates'. It's sand covering over the reddish clay from the stream bed that feeds my weir-well that my house water is drawn from. Since I do low light plants, I don't 'doctor' the tap water all that much.  I add some Potassium Chloride, Epsom salts for general hardness and use a tiny amount of Oyster shell mixed in with the gravel for carbonates.

I have been keeping shrimp since last June, I've had a couple setbacks, but their tank has been pretty stable, the shrimp are growing and I'm not having molting problems. Although I would expect one of my shrimp to have berried up soon, but that's another issue.

There's a lot of importance given to pH buffering substrates with Crystal Shrimp. Would it be within the realm of possible to use an inert sand/gravel with high cation 'soil' beneath it and still keep the environment stable for the shrimp? For right now I'm using the sand/gravel used in the planted tanks in the shrimp tank. If I didn't mention earlier it's a relatively small tank, a 2.5 gallon with a 1.6 gallon vivarium tub fed by a small waterline from the HOB, which also drains into the 2.5 aquarium.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

In short, it is possible to keep Caridina shrimp with inert substrates, it just takes good control of your setup so you can maintain correct/stable pH.  Sourcing good information on this topic is difficult, but I believe many have reported success looking at sites for German or other European breeders, where this is more common.


I tried to look up some old bookmarks I had on the topic but they are broken........I know /u/ShrimpFan went down this path about a year ago, but I haven't seen him around TSS for some time now.  


I never went down this pathway myself, but most of the articles I found pointed towards inert substrate + Sera or other brand granulated peat (pH lowering) + small amounts of aragonite (trace buffering).  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live on the edge of a big forest of Cedar, Hemlock and Alder. I've started using Alder cones in the shrimp tank, along with decayed alder leaves. Both grow a lot of biofilm, which the shrimpies love, and the Alder cones also add a bit of acid buffering and tannins. The water out of our tap is close to 6.6 pH.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah my land here is in coastal lowland, temperate rainforest, it's soil grows acid soil loving plants like Rhododendrons and wild berries like crazy.    There's some sand and sandstone mixed with the clay, it's all an ocher-ish, reddish color from iron.   Assuming this is a high CEC soil, I'd like to try it in the shrimp tank, but I'm a little hesitant to just go and upset the tank right now, as I've just discovered two berried females, and picked up a few extra CBS shrimp to run herd on the vivarium's algae.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...