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changing substrate? thoughts


trong
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so ive been doing this CRS and RCS shrimp tank for about a year. Its a 25 gal tank. I started adding shrimp into a planted tank with 4year old ADA substrate. So now the substrate is 5 or more years old. Its a heavily planted CO2 inriched aquarium. Before starting with shrimp I read everything I could. At first I had great luck, turned 11 CRS into maybe 150 and 10 RCS into 300 or more. RCS are still prolific, however my CRS have really slowed down. I'm down to about 15 to 20, hard to tell because of plants and rocks. MY KH with salifert alkalinity test says .8 dkh. my ph probe says 6.2 with lights on. I took a water sample out and let it rest 24 hrs. it tested at 7.6. I do weekly 15 to 20 % water changes with salty shrimp and RO water weekly. I also add potassium bicarbonate to get .8 dkh I have been doing planted tanks for over 20yrs. Plants are thriving. Im think changing substrates regularly is a scam? Maybe someone can help me understand?

Is my substrate loosing or has totally lost it's ability to buffer? I,ve read this happens but never believed it to be relevant to shrimp keeping. If it did loose its ability to buffer wouldn't it be inert? Maybe its only relevant to cardinia species?

Gh 5dkh

Kh .8dKh

Nitrate unmeasurable 

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If your pH buffers 6.5 and below the substrate is usually fine unless the pH is due to co2. With shrimp the problem is that they need a balance of micro elements. Too little and you will have issues. To much and you will also have issues. The issue  is that plants thrive when there are more nutrients than what is optimal for shrimp, unless you just have mosses and some really hardy plants. Now if the substrate is old it can get inert(no more pH buffer) but it also can leech some stuff back into the water which is bad. 

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I never test ada for substrate.

I use akadama.

As i read alot of people change ada after 1-2 years, because ph adjust.

Try to read ph with api ph test.

Why u are dosing  potassium bicarbonate? For co2 ?

Crs are very weird shrimps. ..

If they dont like the water, they stop breeding.

Can u post an image with the tank?

Test your nitrate, those shirmp if no3 go to 20 ppm, they are not active.

What ferts are u dosing?

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thank you for response dao. In all my reading about shrimp i do understand it is a subtle balance of both micro and macro nutrients that shrimp prefer. In regard to substrate leeching i agree. what we are talking about here is balancing water,yes?

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thanks nicpapa for reply. I have been having a heck of a time finding akadama. I do use api Ph test, i aged water from my tank for 24 hrs and it tests at 7.6. I use DI water at water change with salty shrimp Gh 2x per week. 5gal out of 25 gallon tank. i use potassium bicarbonate to buffer Kh to .5. I do use Co2 but never exceeds 20ppm.  Nitrates are unmeasurable (0) as for ferts i dose PPSPro. My tank is in need of a trim. I will post pics on sunday when i can find time.  Before trim and after. 

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2 hours ago, trong said:

thanks nicpapa for reply. I have been having a heck of a time finding akadama. I do use api Ph test, i aged water from my tank for 24 hrs and it tests at 7.6. I use DI water at water change with salty shrimp Gh 2x per week. 5gal out of 25 gallon tank. i use potassium bicarbonate to buffer Kh to .5. I do use Co2 but never exceeds 20ppm.  Nitrates are unmeasurable (0) as for ferts i dose PPSPro. My tank is in need of a trim. I will post pics on sunday when i can find time.  Before trim and after. 

 

Be Careful wiht co2... its a risk.. with those litle kh.

I think u have more ppm co2 there.

A drop in ph 1.2 its ~45ppm ...

I dont add co2 and hard plants in crs tanks, because it get more dificult to keep stable tds, and water parameters.

I made them easy maintenance tanks, just akadama, some moss, and leaves to drop ph.

And if akadama starting loosing the buffer, i top a litle new , akadama it not leaches nh4 , like ada.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you again for your reply. i do understand in regard to Co2. I'm sure my substrate does help with stability in regard to alkalinity. I know it contributes to great plant growth. I love learning and like the challenge of stability. my actual Kh in the tank is .8 My Ph meter calibrated every 6 weeks says Ph in the morning before lights on is 6.6ish and Ph at lights out is around 6.16. I'm pretty sure that's right around 20ppm I do only have easy plants. will do photos tomorrow 

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