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TDS « ADA Plant Tanks

Water Parameter

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Posted on 14th September 2011 by King7 in Uncategorized

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Since I started this ADA 60p tank, I think I have killed more shrimp (over 50+) than bread (zero).  Not to mention the hundreds of dollars that I have lost.  Not something that I’m proud of…. if anything it almost made me quit this plant tank and go back to reef.  I would lose sleep at night trying to figure out why I can’t shrimp alive.  I don’t think I have everything figured out yet but one thing I realized was my water parameters.  Apparently shrimp, especially CRS, are very sensitive to the water parameters.  I never had to deal with TDS, PH, GH, KH before.  From what I understand, the best condition for CRS is:

TDS: <200
PH: ~6.0
GH: ~6
KH: ~1

When I first started my tank, I recall my tap water was very low in GH and KH.  What I did with every water change was to use 50% tap and 50% RO.  This way I can keep the PH and TDS down.  I also then added some of the cichlid buffer to raise my GH to 6.  I did a test and figured out that I need to add 10ml of the buffer to get my GH up to 6.  I used this water for all my weekly water changes and I top off with RO water on a daily bases. I added the CRS back in Sept ’10 and they all survived for about 2 months and all of a sudden they all died off.  I had no idea why they all of a sudden died off, it was pretty devastating that I took a break from this tank.  I just did the minimal of topping off water every once awhile and adding the liquid ferts whenever I can.

After a few months, I decided to try this again.  I did a quick test of the water in the 60p and this is what I got:

PH: 7
GH: 5
KH: 8

How in the world did the KH get up to 8??  I did another test of the tap water at my house and found out the tap water now has a KH of 7!  Something must of happened to my tap water during the two months that I had the CRS.  I did some research on forums and people have shared how their city/county changed the source of their tap water which also caused them to lose lots of livestock.   Based on this experience, I decided that I can no longer depend on my tap water and I need to have a more consistent water source.  I thought about using my RO water, but to fill up a 5gal jug from my RO filter takes forever.  I was told from a friend that he goes to safeway to fill up his water jugs.  Since there is a safeway right down the street, I decided to go with this route.  I did some extensive testing on the water and here is what I got:

Water Parameter

+5ml and +10ml is from adding the cichlid buffer to the safeway water

 

I’m doing a 5gal water change to my 60p every week so hopefully this will eventually adjust my water back to an acceptable parameter for the CRS.  Currently I have Fire Red Shrimp in there so that’s why I don’t want to make a drastic change to the water.  None of the FRS have gotten pregnant yet so I’m starting to wonder if all this water parameter changes are causing them to readjust all the time.

NOTE: I recently decided to use about 7-8ml of the buffer instead.  Rather to keep the TDS lower as I’m dosing brightly K everyday which does raise the TDS a bit.

I started this tank thinking it would be much easier than my reef tank… I’m starting to feel like this is NOT any easier.  Might as well go back to reef 🙂