It is happening to you! ArrrrrghWOOOoooooooo!
I did the one room thing (4tanks2day link) yes it is much much better than a few areas, once I had tanks in the living room the hallway then another snuck it's way into the bedroom, then, hmm yes, time for the fish room. I had a shelf and little corners I used, that worked well enough for years, when this one "had to be built" this time I thought, 6ft worktop, sink, water, Nice. Iron out the kinks.
Now I'm thinking cut a few feet from the worktop and stick 2 tanks in the hole on the end! The only thing I never allowed for was the climate of the room, that was an afterthought, blindly thought the water volume would stabilise the room temp, maybe in a house, didn't work outside!
Sooooo Lucky me, from a certain angle yes. If you like fish this is a little slice of heaven.
The room (technically it's a DIY shed) is the next step up from what you have and really it's better, I'd recommend a nearby sink to anybody. Being two steps away for all tanks is a god send! The reservoir is by far the best new addition though, do your time with those containers first otherwise you won't feel the benefit
Yes the unit probably will help. I got mine to help with water for the L030 plec, that's how it happened, that fish really wasn't happy in my tap water. The unit fixed it and it allowed me access to other fish, well, any fish if I could fit a tank in for it! So I had a load of different fish for a while, I hope that it solves the issue for you. Breeding is very rewarding!
Can't really help you with shrimp, never kept any but tetra prefer the softer acid/neutral side of things normally, Kh
2 is markedly better/more stable and just as good as one. They'll be fine in 3-4 Kh
I would think. My tetras have been in 3-6 on both GH
for ever. (Not cardinals though) Unless you have some ultra special fish (I can think of true soft plecs, the blue phantom L128, that thing liked next to pure water real soft/ultra low) but I'm not that educated on many other real softs. I like sucker mouths. Any change of GH
will see the TDS
rise and fall as appropriate.
Good water to start with would be good! Where's the fun in that though? I still don't think that water is good for marines so it still isn't a perfect start, I may be wrong on that but it wouldn't be as pure. I guess if you don't want salt it doesn't really matter!
From here you can go anywhere, no worries. I knew I'd get salt one day so wasn't too fussed with the plec needing it, still no salt! I'm sure mine has worked wonders, I mean you can see the difference if your water is really poor. An actually clear glass of water! In use you'll see a difference too! Almost instantly with some fish, they colour up nice.
I had a diary on my first tank, then I went without for a year or so, then I made a mess of things so I got a diary again, I think I have almost all of my diaries, I did have loads of paperwork on fish, not quite a cabinet but not far from it. One tank is not so bad if you have decent memory, multi tanks is where I got caught out. Once I started logging my efforts I could see exactly why things went wrong. Adjusted for it. Sorted.
Really for the initial experiments a diary of some sort is a must have, it's a tool.
If anything happens log it, then decide what info you deem necessary to keep. I wrote down everything first of all. I've relaxed a bit now but all tank data is logged, every action. Filter records and water changes that type of thing. Dates for food purchase(logged my bulk buys to tune order, that took about3 years to get right @1 order per year), RO
data etc. I started with a notebook and I ended up using an annual diary. Now I get a diary at christmas like regular folks get socks!