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Old 01-19-2014, 05:24 AM   #1
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Lowering tds in freshwater aquarium

Hi I am fairly new to the aquarium hobby and have quickly got hooked on the chemistry of water and it's quality as I believe this to be key to success with fish/shrimp keeping?
So I got an api water test kit and then got an api kh, gh kit and a tds pen.
So got my ammonia to 0 my nitrites to 0 and nitrates at around 5ppm my kh is 1 my gh around 14 and my tds at 450 ppm.
So I tested my tap water and it is 420ppm, I have read that if you wish to breed high grade shrimp this needs to be lower than 200 ppm.
So I went to the local supermarket and found a value spring water with only 98 ppm great so warmed it slightly added a drop or 2 of seachem prime and did a 30% water change with the value spring water and checked the tds and it has gone up to 610 ppm?? So I am now puzzled as to what could of happened .? Is it something to do with water buffering issues? I have some algee shrimp in there already which seem happily feeding and dashing around but was hoping to introduce some cherrys when I get the water quality correct? please help

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:22 AM   #2
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It could be a number of factors... some substrates or rocks will leech ions and raise your TDS. More likely, it is just a factor of where/when you test and your TDS meter. The cheaper ones are likely to give some pretty large variation in reading, just given the way they work.

Here is my two cents: While I don't think it is bad to go down the path of softening the water a bit for your shrimp, if it is just RCS you are after, they will most likely breed in your tap water, so long as you keep the water changes up and keep your nitrate on the low side. They are relatively hardy and breed readily. I have kept many, many RCS colonies over the years off and on, and quite honestly, they always breed, even if the tank is neglected for a little while and things aren't 'perfect'.

Welcome to the forum, by the way! Post some pics of your tanks if you get a chance!
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the speedy reply, I have two other tanks which I have not used value spring water and the tds remains around 425 ppm so the value spring water must have something to do with the rise in tds?

So you think I should go ahead and order my rcs then, also would crs breed in this water as that is my ultimate goal?
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:46 PM   #4
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RCS yes. CRS, maybe but they are far more difficult. My strongest CRS colonies had very very soft water, 0 nitrate, and good strong biological and mechanical filtration. They will live in your water if nitrates are kept low and maybe even breed but they are far far less prolific than RCS.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:04 AM   #5
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Thanks think I am maybe trying to run before I can walk lol

Rcs to start with then I shall try to soften the water gradually until I get the right water parameters before attempting crs thanks again
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:32 PM   #6
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Keep in mind they are different species and like different things. You won't want to keep both in the same tank. Good luck!
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for your advice.
Could u tell me the ideal water parameters for both, as u sound like u really know your invertebrates both technically and practically would be much appreciated
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:09 PM   #8
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Just had a thought I have some fluval bio rings in my hob filter wonder if they are leaching ions??
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:52 PM   #9
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Doubtful...
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #10
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Do you top up your tank with tap water ? Do you get a fair bit of evaporation ? If you always top up with tap water, you will raise the TDS readings, especially since your tap water is quite high to start with.

Doing water changes is different, because you first remove water, then replace it, where with a top up, you are simply adding more. Evaporation concentrates anything that is in the water.

You might try using some distilled or RO water, which ought to be available at grocery stores also. Both should read zero or very close to zero in terms of TDS, so if you use these for small top ups, you won't be adding any more solids to the tank. But be careful, DI and RO water will have very different pH, zero KH and zero GH too, so you can't use them for large top ups or water changes.

You could, however, use them to dilute the tap water, which would reduce the TDS readings. You'd have to test KH, GH and pH, to ensure the ratio of neutral water to tap water doesn't change these readings too drastically.

Cherry shrimps and most of the colour variants of Neos are usually quite tolerant of most tap water. Cherries more so than any, where Crystal shrimps need fairly acidic, soft water. Many keepers of crystal shrimps use special shrimp substrates that take quite a long time to cycle, as they leach ammonia for some time after they are placed in a tank. But they keep the pH quite low, below 5, and also soften the water. Many also use RO or DI water, and remineralize it with a product designed for this purpose. Salty Shrimp is one I see mentioned quite often.

Using neutral water and a remineralizing product allows you to customize the water to suit Crystal or Bee shrimp, and then, much like salt water tank keepers do, you mix up water for changes a day or two ahead of time, to make sure it is completely dissolved and mixed before it goes in the tank.

Edit. far as I know, those filter rings are a neutral ceramic that has no effect on water parameters at all.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:47 PM   #11
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Thank you for all the replays I have now introduced some cherrys to the tank and they actively feeding and darting around quite happily now to see if they will berryClick image for larger version

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