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Thread: Avoiding substrate change..possible?

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    Default Avoiding substrate change..possible?

    Hello everyone,
    my Akadama substate after almost 2 years, seems to be loosing little by little its power to lower PH.
    It is though still very clean and my Taiwans are happy with it. Changing the substrate is messy and dangerous for the shrimps too.
    I was thinking that maybe I could put some kind of plastic container next to tank and fill it with maybe ADA Africana that makes the PH drop significantly. Using a little pump I could drive the tank water to the container and through the Africana overflowing back to the tank again.
    If this works, then by replacing just the Africana I could keep the PH low in the tank without messing with the substrate.
    The idea of using peat is not tempting since it changes the water color. PH down chemicals are not an option either..
    The volume of the Africana container has to be determined yet.. Is there maybe another way (material) to use?
    It has to be shrimp safe from the first minute. The tank is 80 liters.
    Any relative experience from anyone?
    Regards

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    Shrimpy Lover hyoushoku's Avatar
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    Are you using RO water or tap water?

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    I did it once the rough way. With a tube, sucks the bottom into a bucket. After that dropped the new Akadama into the tank. Only dust for an hour. Feel sorry for the shrimps and will no do it like this again, but not a single one died. So if you do it a little more polite than I did, it's possible you know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyoushoku View Post
    Are you using RO water or tap water?
    I'm using RO water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yiannis View Post
    I'm using RO water.
    Most RO replenishing salt should buffer the pH to 6.2 plus minus 0.4. What salt are you using?

    Alternative to buffering with substrate, you can use Powerhouse Filter media to buffer the water too.

    The key benefit of the substrate is to leech organic acid, which supposed to be good for shrimp, and generally exhausted within half a year. However as your substrate get old and dirty, the dirt under substrate will create organic acid itself. Therefore, it is not necessarily for you to change the substrate.

    Pumping water through a separated container with AS soil is a bad idea. The soil will accumulate dirty and when water goes through the soil, more organic or dirt will be dissolve into the water column, which is like why undergravel filter is bad. You also can't wash the soil and more and more dirty will be accumulated.

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    Thank you for your explicit reply!
    Sounds like a good idea to use Powerhouse Filter media.. Have you used it? Does it really work?
    The mineral I use is BEE SHRIMP MINERAL GH+. I also use Mosura PH down during the water changes.
    The pH in my tank is 6.2. What quantity of Powerhouse Filter Media do you think would be adequate for a 80 lit. tank?
    Cheers

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    I'm currently using the Powerhouse Filter media in two of my tanks. This may sound weird, I'm using the a mixture the soft water type and hard water type; mostly hard water type. The reason of me to mix is due to mine are planted tank and the fertilizer I used to dose are lowering the pH. Nowadays, I created my own fertilizer cocktail that will buffer the pH at 6.2 and the powerhouse filter media will have very little effect. Thus, if you ask me whether the Powerhouse Filter will work or not, I would say it will if you are not dosing fertilizer in the tank and also the RO salt needs to buffer the pH to 6.2 too. Or else, the effect will not be great.

    You are using Salty Shrimp salt, no wonder your pH is slowly going up. Salty Shrimp salt is better engineered to maintain pH stability by adding carbonate when compared to other replenishing salt in liquid form. However, the carbonate will also increases the pH over time. Other brands just use plain calcium and magnesium salts which will only bring down the pH and does not prevent pH going too less like Salty Shrimp does. Which approach or salt is better? It is hard to tell. My preference will be going without carbonate, Calcium and Magnesium salts of chloride and sulphate are already good buffer for pH 5.5 to 6.5 (depending on the concentration).

    Are you able to purchase other type of salts in your region? Alternatively, are you keen on mixing your own salts?

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    Nowadays, everybody is able of purchasing anything via internet and Paypal. But.. trying to keep alive and breed Taiwan Bees is not easy and I really wouldn't like to have any kind of "accident" using other minerals than what most breeders recommend at least in Europe. Actually I've never noticed KH going up from zero using RO water and Salty Shrimp GH+. I'm not as fearless as you are
    By the way, I've noticed in some Taiwan Bee tanks, some huge ceramic tubes (look like the PowerHouse tubes) but much bigger ( 2 cm x 2 cm). Any idea what these are? I'd guess these are used for immediate absorbing of ammonia?? Any source for those?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yiannis View Post
    Nowadays, everybody is able of purchasing anything via internet and Paypal. But.. trying to keep alive and breed Taiwan Bees is not easy and I really wouldn't like to have any kind of "accident" using other minerals than what most breeders recommend at least in Europe. Actually I've never noticed KH going up from zero using RO water and Salty Shrimp GH+. I'm not as fearless as you are
    By the way, I've noticed in some Taiwan Bee tanks, some huge ceramic tubes (look like the PowerHouse tubes) but much bigger ( 2 cm x 2 cm). Any idea what these are? I'd guess these are used for immediate absorbing of ammonia?? Any source for those?
    LOL!!! I'm not fearless. It is because I listen to what everyone recommends and failed utterly, which make me don't believe anyone especially what commercial product mentioned. At the end, I did all the research on scientific approach myself. Sounds like you had bad experiences in the initial stage too, right? In that case, it is better not change your substrate. The older the substrate the better, as long as it is not clogged with dirt.

    Yes, the carbonate in the Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp mineral is very minimal and will not reach 1dKH. It is just lightly buffered the water to prevent pH dropping. However, it is so little and may not have a lot effect. Just that your pH will go up a little when your substrate loses the buffering capability. I'll stop here on this, as it is out of topic.

    Those ceramic ring you see in the tank is normal filter ceramic ring. People putting it there believing it will grow more bacteria to feed shrimp. IMO, it is quite redundant as the bacteria will grow on substrate, tank wall and plant anyway.

    By the way, how big is your tank? Powerhouse media can be quite costly for big tank. If you tank is big, you can get their those economical pack (if available) that comes in 5 and/or 10L,.

    Another effective way to buffer your water is to use those dark color aged driftwood. If you put enough of them, the amount of organic acid it produces are quite substantial. I have a tank that has about 10 stick of that driftwood and the pH is 0.3 lower than other tank of the same size, substrate, filter and water chemistry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyoushoku View Post
    By the way, how big is your tank? Powerhouse media can be quite costly for big tank. If you tank is big, you can get their those economical pack (if available) that comes in 5 and/or 10L,
    My tank is 80 liters.. and yes.. I noticed the price... so costly that I will rather skip it and see if I can keep the pH low by using Mosura Ph down in every water change.. Thank you once again !

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