Will caridina shrimp work with my water?

Fishstery

I just converted one of my shallow tanks to high tech. Originally I was going to buy some high grade blood marys for this tank but I've always wanted to keep caridinas like taiwan bees and am now fixated on the idea. I'd like some advice on if my water is suitable for caridina species, and if so, which sub type would you suggest? My first choice are taiwan bees, specifically shadow pandas, but I would also consider crystal reds if they are any hardier to my conditions.

My kH is 3-4 and gH 7-8 which is where I am getting hung up. It is literally just outside the suggested range for caridina shrimp. Given those parameters, are they able to comfortable survive? I'm not interested in having them breed as it is a display only tank.

I inject co2, approximately 30ppm as my drop checker hits the perfect lime green color. I do have it on a solenoid and a timer so the co2 turns on an hour before the lights and shuts off an hour before the lights shut off. It is a shallow tank with heavy surface agitation so good dissolved oxygen (that gasses off a lot of my co2 apparently because I'm running 2-3bps in a 5 gal).

I have an active buffering substrate (uns contrasoil) that is fresh but no longer actively leeching ammonia. The filter is very mature, it's just been rescaped 2 weeks ago. Water parameters are consistent. I also have to top off the water every day since it's open top. My pH before the co2 comes on is a 6.2, however when I take a reading while co2 has been on it just registers on API liquid kit as 6 but I know it's lower (test doesn't go any lower than 6). I'd assume probably in the low 5 range with co2 on.

I haven't been able to test TDS yet but I have a pen coming in the mail and will post the TDS after. Assuming that my TDS is within a suitable range, do you think I could keep caridinas (like tbees) in my tank? I keep fresh purigen in the canister if that makes any difference. I'm not interested in using RO so fingers crossed my tap is low enough in TDS that as long as I keep ontop of matinence and regularly test TDS in between water changes shouldn't be a problem right?

Thanks!
 

Marlene327

I'm working with my water now, preparing to start another neocaridina tank, and to do it right this time. Caridinas do have different needs. Our guru richiep is working closely with me, teaching me along the way. You know more about parameters than I did a few days ago! The TDS meter will be the tool you need for success.
Knowing your Gh and Kh is paramount. Ask him anything, he's so willing to help, and is so patient. I've tagged him, so he will be reading your post. I'm not feeling my best today, so have lost a day of my training, but still following some instructions!
I wish you well, you're on the right path. There are beautiful shrimp in both species!
PS I see you are in Pittsburgh; I'm in Butler County! Richiep is in the UK, there is a 5 hour time difference.
 

Fishstery

I'm working with my water now, preparing to start another neocaridina tank, and to do it right this time. Caridinas do have different needs. Our guru richiep is working closely with me, teaching me along the way. You know more about parameters than I did a few days ago! The TDS meter will be the tool you need for success.
Knowing your Gh and Kh is paramount. Ask him anything, he's so willing to help, and is so patient. I've tagged him, so he will be reading your post. I'm not feeling my best today, so have lost a day of my training, but still following some instructions!
I wish you well, you're on the right path. There are beautiful shrimp in both species!
PS I see you are in Pittsburgh; I'm in Butler County! Richiep is in the UK, there is a 5 hour time difference.
Ah yes he's helped me before on several threads! Thank you so much for tagging him I didn't even think about that! I've pretty much tested my tap water for everything under the sun except TDS, so I'll be intrigued to see what it says although the accuracy of the TDS meter could be questioned since I didn't buy an expensive one. I'm located in Washington County haha small world!!
 

richiep

Hi Fishstery first off TDS, as I've explained to Marlene a tds pen is only there as a guide and nothing else your important ones are gh,kh,ph once you have these in place then do a tds reading, if you have to add minerals this is where a tds pen is very handy
Your readings as they stand are perfect for neocaradina as you know, I can see you've done your research here so I'll put some ideas for you to chew on
First look at our co2 and test your ph right through its cycle you don't want your ph dropping .5 suddenly, this will kill shrimp
Your perameters as they stand will suite almost all neocaradina so you can pick a colour there and add that
This next step I can tell you from experience you can keep crystal reds, black bee or both in with the neocaradina of your choice,
A gh7 is not going to kill them but will slow their breeding down
I have kept neocaradina and caradina in gh6 and breeding so it's not impossible
What I did find is that my gh at the time crept up to gh11 and my caradina stopped breeding but didn't die, I did infact drop my gh to gh6 again and they started breeding again albeit very very slow
The only obstacle I can see and that's not a huge problem is your co2 you will have to do tests here to satisfy yourself
If you add caradina to this setup I can't emphasis enough how important it is on the acclimation side and that will be 6hrs your neocaradina will manage 2hrs
Hope this helps
 

Fishstery

Hi Fishstery first off TDS, as I've explained to Marlene a tds pen is only there as a guide and nothing else your important ones are gh,kh,ph once you have these in place then do a tds reading, if you have to add minerals this is where a tds pen is very handy
Your readings as they stand are perfect for neocaradina as you know, I can see you've done your research here so I'll put some ideas for you to chew on
First look at our co2 and test your ph right through its cycle you don't want your ph dropping .5 suddenly, this will kill shrimp
Your perameters as they stand will suite almost all neocaradina so you can pick a colour there and add that
This next step I can tell you from experience you can keep crystal reds, black bee or both in with the neocaradina of your choice,
A gh7 is not going to kill them but will slow their breeding down
I have kept neocaradina and caradina in gh6 and breeding so it's not impossible
What I did find is that my gh at the time crept up to gh11 and my caradina stopped breeding but didn't die, I did infact drop my gh to gh6 again and they started breeding again albeit very very slow
The only obstacle I can see and that's not a huge problem is your co2 you will have to do tests here to satisfy yourself
If you add caradina to this setup I can't emphasis enough how important it is on the acclimation side and that will be 6hrs your neocaradina will manage 2hrs
Hope this helps
Thank you so much for being helpful and informative. I also posted a thread on planted tank forums asking the same question and definitely got reprimanded for even asking about tbees in a high tech lol! I think I will do a pH drop test first, see how much and how fast my co2 drops the pH throughout the day. Once I can determine how significant, I will either try crystal reds or shadow pandas. If it drops significantly I will scrap this idea and just get some bloody marys. Thank you again :)
 

Fishstery

Hi Fishstery first off TDS, as I've explained to Marlene a tds pen is only there as a guide and nothing else your important ones are gh,kh,ph once you have these in place then do a tds reading, if you have to add minerals this is where a tds pen is very handy
Your readings as they stand are perfect for neocaradina as you know, I can see you've done your research here so I'll put some ideas for you to chew on
First look at our co2 and test your ph right through its cycle you don't want your ph dropping .5 suddenly, this will kill shrimp
Your perameters as they stand will suite almost all neocaradina so you can pick a colour there and add that
This next step I can tell you from experience you can keep crystal reds, black bee or both in with the neocaradina of your choice,
A gh7 is not going to kill them but will slow their breeding down
I have kept neocaradina and caradina in gh6 and breeding so it's not impossible
What I did find is that my gh at the time crept up to gh11 and my caradina stopped breeding but didn't die, I did infact drop my gh to gh6 again and they started breeding again albeit very very slow
The only obstacle I can see and that's not a huge problem is your co2 you will have to do tests here to satisfy yourself
If you add caradina to this setup I can't emphasis enough how important it is on the acclimation side and that will be 6hrs your neocaradina will manage 2hrs
Hope this helps
TDS in ppm out the tap was 182. However TDS in my tank was 290. I'm assuming it is because it is an open top tank and I have to top off the water every day due to evaporation. I suppose the only way to lower TDS is through small frequent water changes, which I am unable to do because the co2 has been on full cycle by the time I get home from work. If I tried to do a water change after the co2 has been on, it would cause a rather drastic and sudden spike in pH which would surely be even more detrimental to the shrimp than high TDS. Again, the exact accuracy of this pen is in question since it's a cheap Amazon one. Nonetheless, I think bloody marys may be my only option here. I have great success with amanos in my other high tech but they can be super jumpy and probably wouldn't last long in a shallow open top for that reason *sigh*.
 

richiep

Your other option to have full control over what your doing is to top off with ro water or distilled water
 

Fishstery

Your other option to have full control over what your doing is to top off with ro water or distilled water
I found a zerowater pitcher which holds about 2 gallons. I decided to try it out as it filters the water down to 0kh 0gh 0TDS just like RO. It's kind of a pain to use, but I just did my first WC with it tonight. 50% WC took my kh down to 1 (contrasoil may buffer it back up but we will see) gh 6 TDS 200. I have reminerlizer on the way. I'm going to try taiwan bees just because I'm already going all out with this tank as it is, but also because if I'm using RO water dosing EI would be much easier since I know there's nothing in the water that I would have to calculate in to my fertilizer dosing. I can just dose an all in one and call it a day, so at that point I might as well get some cool shrimp too! Im also going to be topping off with only zerowater. One more water change and I will be within range for caridinas :)
 

richiep

You seem to be on top of things I hope things work out and keep the posts coming with picot youf shrimp when grey arrive
 

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