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Update: Leopard Tiger Acclimation from Soft to Hard Water

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Hi Everyone,


Currently, I am working on acclimating juveniles Caridina Rubropunctata (a.k.a. Leopard Tiger Shrimp) from soft water to hard water. One objective of this project/experiment is to make these tigers thrive in tiger water parameters. Another objective is to prove that tiger shrimps that were bred in soft water can be house in hard water. The shrimps for this experiment were bred and came from TB water parameters (pH 6.5, kH 0, gH 4, and TDS 145) and will be house to tiger water parameters (pH 7.4, kH 3, gH 9, and TDS 220). I did some research and found that they can thrive in tiger water parameters, which will be investigated and proven in this project/experiment.


To start this, I did lots of chemistry calculations in order to allow them to slowly acclimate to the new water parameters. Keep in mind that there were some assumptions but they were based on chemical industrial standards. In addition, these are approximations (e.i. these are not absolute). However, these calculations are very important for guidance especially to changing pH. Keep in mind that pH is in logarithmic scale (e.i. H+ = 10^-pH). Many people have successfully acclimate some tigers (e.i. tangerine and OEBT) from soft water to hard water without any problems just within a couple of hours in one day. However, this acclimation for Leopard tiger shrimps has not been done before (or at least never been reported). Therefore, I would like to do this at least using my fundamentals and first principles of chemistry. This will a least give me guidance and sanity check on things that I do rather than blindly doing things. Even with that, unfortunately, I had to adjust my acclimation rate per day due to the restriction in my equipment (e.g. getting a 1 water drop per 34 seconds is near impossible with cheap air valve). Even with that, I believe that the acclimation rate is still within acceptable range (e.i. still slow).


Anyways, the shrimps' water parameters today have reached closed to tiger water parameters (pH 6.9-7.0, kH 1-2, gH 7-8, and TDS 201). The shrimps are doing fine (e.g. they are eating normally, no forced molts, and no deaths). My goal is to reach my tiger water parameters in the next 4 days or more. I can conclude that the drip acclimation from soft water to hard water is successful if all the shrimps survive after at least couple of weeks (e.i. the critical time) from the day that I stop my acclimation. This would be at the end of the month. The next challenge (and new experiment) is breeding, which will take months. 


I hope that people will find this useful. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, and/or suggestions.




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Hi Ron Kalman,


Unfortunately, I could not get any pictures during my experiment. I will try to get some pictures of them in my tank (yes, I have finally able to add them in my tank). When I got the shrimps, I also got some soft water. I used some of this water to titrate with my tank's water. I gradually increased my pH (e.i. pH 0.1 everyday) at a very small rate (e.i. 2 to 3 hours everyday). I honestly wanted to titrate the soft water longer (e.i. 10 hours). But my equipment (e.i. cheap air valve) did not allow me to to this. Therefore, I had to adjust my rate. I did the slow acclimation in order to get the shrimps adjust and able to live in my tank's water parameters without getting shock. Remember that my tank's pH is 7.4 while the shrimps' original water pH is 6.5. 


I wanted to try them in hard water because no one has tried (or at least ever reported) in keeping them in hard water although most sites including foreign sites listed their pH range up to neutral. If I succeed in keeping and breeding them in hard water, I may be the first one here in US. As far as crossbreeding, my source told me that they won't crossbreed. My source is keeping these guys with other caridina. Despite that, my source has not seen any crossbred shrimps.



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