0 Kh Good For Crs?

Discussion in 'Cherry Shrimp' started by Fahn, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    Ok, looking to stock my new 1.5g I have set up with a few shrimp after it cycles, preferably some crystal reds or blacks. My question is, how important is KH for crystal shrimp? Most sources I see will list a KH of 2 or less, but I'm unsure about no KH whatsoever. The tank will use an active substrate and I plan on using remineralized RO or distilled water (either Salty Shrimp or Seachem Equilibrium) so the GH is adequate.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. LucifereneValued MemberMember

    I think the bigger worry would be keeping crs in 1.5G, it's strongly advised against. However if you do decide to go ahead with that, try to top off regularly with RO water and keep the parameters stable, as it's much harder with smaller tanks.

    The 0-1 KH listed is because most CRS, TBs or other Caridina keepers use active substrate that'll buffer the pH down. For the active substrate to work, it first strips down KH then drives the pH down, as KH (although not as simple) tries to buffer pH up by having bicarbonates bind with hydrogen ion and releasing CO2.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you are worried about low KH because you think it means there's no buffering ability. Active substrate has a different method of buffering the water (substrate itself is low pH) and adding KH will actually exhaust the substrate's buffering ability quicker.

    Simple answer, don't worry about raising the KH if you are using active substrate. However do monitor your water parameters and switch the soil out eventually, because active substrates will lose their buffering ability at one point.

  3. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    Alright, good answer.

    Here's something I've never understood about active substrates losing their buffering ability though. If you consistently use the same water, with the same parameters, and it has 0 buffering ability due to having 0 KH, how can your pH crash if you're only altering GH and not KH? If your desire was to keep the pH higher I'd understand, but we're talking 6.0 - 6.6.

    Also considering going filterless since the bioload will be so small. The tank has a glass lid so evaporation wouldn't be a huge issue. I plan to plant it heavily from the start as well.

  4. TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    I believe I read a post where somebody puts Shri.p and plants in a jar with no filtering for months and it was fine. I think I recall just too off?
    Here it is...
    "I have 17 RCS in a vase that is way less than a gallon, probably a liter, and they are thriving. It has no filter, airstone, or anything. Only some java moss with only light from the window. They seem happy and have bred 3 times since i put them in 2 months ago. "
    Shrimp in a jar!
  5. FahnFishlore VIPMember


    That's why they're doing well lol
  6. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    Edit: wrong thread.
  7. LucifereneValued MemberMember

    This is my take on the reason for exhaustion.

    Well to buffer you have to first strip KH off but then also drop pH. If we use RO water, that's supposed to be around 7 pH and with active substrates usually drop pH to low 6s. So there much be hydrogen ions being released via acid in the substrate (likely humic acid). Eventually that'll get exhausted with water changes.

    And as you know with water chemistry, with live plants, microbes, etc there are many other reactions happening that could be affecting the substrate. Substrate just simply breaks down after some time as well.

    With that said, there are many cases where active substrate is used for several years and still buffer. It's just that with expensive shrimps you don't want to be risking that possibility, so it's a common practice to be safe, I believe.
  8. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    Quick question that came to me yesterday, would injecting CO2 be a good way to maintain a more stable pH?
  9. LucifereneValued MemberMember

    I personally don't have experience with CO2, but it's advised against if you are planning the best for your shrimps, since CO2 will actually make your pH fluctuate more.

    If you keep CO2 on constantly, when the light is on plants will utilize it and keep pH higher and when light turns off pH will drop. If you only keep CO2 on while your light is on, then when CO2 turns off there still is a fluctuation for pH. It's a difficult balancing game.
  10. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    I've heard this is only bad if the KH swings and that CO2 causing pH swings is negligible. However, with 0 KH...

    I really want shrimp in this little setup but it's proving to be more challenging than anticipated. It's only 1.5 gallons as well...
  11. LucifereneValued MemberMember

    Well there are a lot of people who keep CRS with high tech setup, it's just the question of do you want a planted tank with some shrimps in there or shrimp tank with plant. They'll both most likely survive but one will thrive over another.

    Besides that 1.5 gallon already has too much potential for parameter swing.

    Maybe you can try liquid organic carbon. I've heard mixed response about Excel but there are other ones with no algaecide mixed in them.
  12. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    The idea was to dry start some Monte Carlo, flood, and hope for the best without the need for CO2. About all I can fit in the tank is an airstone for circulation as well as pretty much every option for filtration takes up a fairly significant amount of space.

    I know 1.5 would be prone to parameter swings but I have experience with nano tanks, shrimp, and caring for marine setups (I have mixed hundreds of gallons of RO for reef and coral tanks). So, I think as long as I can control evaporation I can keep a small tank stable.
  13. LucifereneValued MemberMember

    That's basically what I had to think through as I'm setting up Taiwan Bee tank with MC carpeting.

    If that's the case, you can use CO2 to finish carpeting and then introduce CRS. You don't want that carpet to continue to grow after a certain point anyways. And from asking around, Monte Carlo fairs well when weaned off CO2.

    The issue with parameter swing with some active substrate is that it's known to have secondary leech of ammonia after the initial round. So you can maybe try to get something like controlsoil that's known to not do that.
  14. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    I'll try the CO2.

    I'm in luck, I use Controsoil in all my tanks :)

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