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Be gentle. It's my first time (checking water parameters.)


Sandy

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Hi folks,

I posted recently about trying to find out what's causing me to lose so many shrimp.¬† Several members were very helpful about a number of issues.¬† aotf and bobthesushiguy¬† recommended I buy some water test kits for gh, kh, ammonia, etc.¬† So I did!!¬† ūüėä. Tonight, I played with my new Junior Scientist set and these were the results:

 

pH.   7
gh    20
kh    7
Ammonia    .25 ppm or lower
Nitrites    0
Nitrates    5 ppm

 

Based on my very limited knowledge about these tests, it looks like hard water is an issue for me.  Can I lower this gh number through water changes or should I get a water softener?  Do any other results look problematic?  I'd appreciate any feedback you might have.

 

Thanks so much!

Sandy

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What type of shrimp do U have??? some like higher PH and gH

Playing Chemist is cool uhh?? I bet your son like it and now has something to bring to Science class

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8 hours ago, Sandy said:


Hi folks,

I posted recently about trying to find out what's causing me to lose so many shrimp.¬† Several members were very helpful about a number of issues.¬† aotf and bobthesushiguy¬† recommended I buy some water test kits for gh, kh, ammonia, etc.¬† So I did!!¬† ūüėä. Tonight, I played with my new Junior Scientist set and these were the results:

 

pH.   7
gh    20
kh    7
Ammonia    .25 ppm or lower
Nitrites    0
Nitrates    5 ppm

 

Based on my very limited knowledge about these tests, it looks like hard water is an issue for me.  Can I lower this gh number through water changes or should I get a water softener?  Do any other results look problematic?  I'd appreciate any feedback you might have.

 

Thanks so much!

Sandy


Great to see these numbers!
I agree that the gH seems quite high. There are breeders who get away with numbers like that but it's not the case for most people, especially if the shrimp come from a different water source.
Lowering gH is a drag, albeit simple. To my knowledge, you can't really lower it in your tank so a water softener would be the way to go. I don't know enough about them to say whether there's anything specific you should look out for, I'll let the experts on that topic share their wisdom. Depending on how good your softener is, you may have to remineralize after. 
The pH is good while the kH is a little high for comfort (you'd probably want 3-5 kH), although they'll both change a bit as you soften your water (kH will likely go down and you may see a pH drop).
 
Have you been finding the bodies of your fallen shrimp? If it looks like molting issues (split shells, white band of death), then your gH might be to blame. The shrimp would be over-hardening their shells and then finding them very difficult to get out of when the time is right.

I'm still partial to the idea that, even if you had perfect parameters, you may see deaths because of how they were acquired, but it's still worth it to get your tank juuust right so that these guys (and the next) at least have a chance.

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Thanks for the input, everybody!.

aotf, I think you are absolutely right about molting issues being a problem.  I suspected there was a connection, but with what I've learned from you and others on the site along with these gh & kh numbers it seems pretty obvious.

 

chappy, I'm going to add the distilled water and order the salty shrimp tomorrow.  Hopefully I can save the rest of my babies.

 

I really appreciate all the help, everyone!¬† I'll keep you posted and I'm sure I'll need more help.¬† ūüėČ

 

Sandy

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A quick fix is to go 50/50 R/O  with your regular water. Test this in a fish safe bucket, {50/50} let sit for 24 hours after the first test then test for stability. Hey more science for your son too! 

R/O water can be gotten at any Grocer refilling station. I buy this for 42 cents per gallon and fill two 5 gallon jugs at each visit.  

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I will comment on what I know best about xD

 

The ph is looking good for neocaridinas or tigers! 

 

I heard that nitrite is the deadliest and any nitrite present in your tank will need immediate attention. (you dont have any!)

Ammonia is either similar or a little less than nitrite in terms of danger.

.25ppm is not going to kill anyone, but it may weaken the shrimps. That is what I noticed with mine. When ammonia hits .5 or higher, it is bad!

for nitrate, some say to keep it under 20ppm, but other say that they had no issue even at 20ppm. However, I wouldnt let it get any higher.

Usually when I saw my nitrates HIGH, I also noticed ammonia or nitrites being high. 

 

A r/o is one of the easier ways that most shrimp keepers take. You can mix it with your regular tap water and try to find the perfect balance by testing it. 

Also, when you buy any shrimps in the future, test the water in the bag they are in. 

Test the ph and see how far off it is from your own ph. The bigger the difference, I would suggest a longer drip acclimation. 

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19 hours ago, Shrimp lady said:

A quick fix is to go 50/50 R/O  with your regular water. Test this in a fish safe bucket, {50/50} let sit for 24 hours after the first test then test for stability. Hey more science for your son too! 

R/O water can be gotten at any Grocer refilling station. I buy this for 42 cents per gallon and fill two 5 gallon jugs at each visit.  

 

This may or may not fix your problem.  You might have things in your tap water that dont agree with your shrimp.  I speak from experience as my tap no matter how much I diluted with ro water , my shrimps still died.  Once I started using 100% ro water and remineralized it, the deaths stopped.

 

Also your tap water chemistry will change throughout the year as the water company adds more and different chemicals to either clean the lines or to make it "safe" for human consumption.

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34 minutes ago, Sandy said:

Is R/O reverse osmosis?

 

Yup! RO units are pretty common in the shrimp community (especially card breeders) since they guarantee a water source that acts as a blank slate for remineralizers so you don't have to account for whatever strangeness is coming out of the tap (as you are experiencing now). I imagine buying the water at the store will work fine for a while but depending on how much it costs, may be less economical (and a hassle to pick up) over the long term.
 

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4 hours ago, aotf said:

Yup! RO units are pretty common in the shrimp community (especially card breeders) since they guarantee a water source that acts as a blank slate for remineralizers so you don't have to account for whatever strangeness is coming out of the tap (as you are experiencing now). I imagine buying the water at the store will work fine for a while but depending on how much it costs, may be less economical (and a hassle to pick up) over the long term.
 

Awesome!  Great advice.  Is distilled water ok, too/

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3 hours ago, Sandy said:

Awesome!  Great advice.  Is distilled water ok, too/

Yes distilled water is for all intents & purposes for our hobby, the same as ro (reverse osmosis).  As aotf mentioned it is just less economical in the long run to purchase gallon jugs of distilled water vs. producing ro water at home through a ro filter.

 

before any one jumps:

ro (reverse osmosis) water & distilled water are different.  each can be used as a blank slate for our purposes(shrimp keeping).  each arrives at the blank state stage by different methods.  Both are acceptable for shrimp keeping.

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On 11/17/2017 at 3:06 AM, Sandy said:

Thanks, chappy.  Got another water change this weekend. Do you get the drip tubing at a med supply store?

sorry I missed this post.

 

shrimple minded is correct.  I use airline tubing with an adjustable flow valve on the end.  alternatively to the air flow valve you can "tie" the airline tube into a knot.  the looser the knot the faster the flow.  I aim for 4-5 drops per second.

 

drip tubing from a med supply store will also work, but it is most definitely more expensive.

 

here are some links

airline tubing:  https://www.amazon.com/Penn-Plax-Aquariums-Flexible-Standard/dp/B0002563MW/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1511109482&sr=8-4&keywords=airline+tubing+aquarium

 

air flow valves: https://www.amazon.com/Adjustable-Splitters-Performance-Terrariums-Hydroponics/dp/B00TA7BTRC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511109791&sr=8-3&keywords=airline+tubing+flow+valve 

this pack also has splitters included, but it is the same type of valve I use.

 

just make sure your tubing and valve are the same size.

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