Question for Sulawesi tanks

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dagray
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Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by dagray »

Mustafa,
I know you pretty much feed flake, pellet, some algae, and boiled vegitables (with the occasional dead fish), but I am currious as to your take on the "Mineral Suppliments" to help make the tank water/ water change water have similar properties to the Sulawesi region water.

Myself I am on the fence as my tap water that is filtered through a solid carbon block filter and then let sit in a five gallon bucket with a double dose of Stress Coat Plus (the plus is aloe vera) works real well for the cherry shrimp and it seems to work for the Cardinals (I have shrimplets in the cardinal tank, I have counted about eight at one time). The problem I seem to have with the adult cardinals is when they go into a molt some molt okay and some don't survive the molt (this could be due to the age of the shrimp itself or other factors). I do have calcium buildup on faucets that don't go through the filter and have had some water spots on the inside of a tank above the water level.

Do you think it advantagious to try some of the mineral supliment or do you like me think that they are more of a gimmick? I also don't like the "instant cycle" products to cycle a tank.

Also what is your perception of the "Mosura" products? I am thinking that as they are shrimp specific from a country where shrimp keeping is even more of an interest than here in the US that there might be something to their foods?

Thanks,
Dave
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by Mustafa »

All marketing gimmicks in my opinion and experience, especially any type of "Mosura" food. What you need to provide is a fully cycled and aged tank and as little messing around with the tank as possible. Do your small water changes every week or two weeks or so and you're good. The trick is to get all the crap (chloramines, ammonia etc.) in your tap water neutralized by a good product. The shrimp don't care if the water parameters exactly match their natural habitats' parameters anyway. As for your adults dying...well, they are wild-caught and went through a lot of stress. Stress seems cumulative in shrimp...they seem fine and then just drop dead when the stress (physical, environmental) reaches a certain threshold. You can't really do anything about that. And yes, some of them may have also reached the end of their natural lifespans.
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by dagray »

Mustafa,
Thanks for confirming my beliefs. I don't mess with the tank except to do five gallon water changes every week or two (sometimes just replacing the water lost due to evaporation as we are in a dry environment here in the desert). I take five gallons of filtered water and then double dose with Stress Coat plus to remove chlorine, chloramine, and amonia. I did a water test today for PH, Amonia, and nitrate and all numbers were way good.

So far I have counted eight shrimplets of various ages/sizes and know there are more in the tank as they have been hiding under the coarse gravel in the tank bottom, I also have found a baby White Spotted Tylomia (Rabbit Snail) in the tank as well.

Dave
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by Mustafa »

Hey Dave,

Looks like you're on the right path. No reason to change anything at all if everything is working well.
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by davrx »

I have Sulawesi Cardinals and Starry Nights (White Orchids) and use R/O water with Sulawesi Mineral 7.5 added to the water. I had tried unsuccessfully to keep these shrimp on several previous occasions with no success until I started adding the Sulawesi Mineral 7.5. I'm sold on it and credit it with being able to keep and breed these sensitive shrimp. I had trouble getting the Cardinals to eat any food I gave them. They were apparently living on whatever was growing on the tank and its rocks. I got a suggestion that I add Starry Nights to "teach" the Cardinals to eat foods that I added to the tank. It worked and the cardinals, starry nights, and unfortunately the tylomelanias are eating a variety food specifically for shrimp and flake food meant for fish.
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by Mustafa »

The success does not come from adding any "mineral x" product, but from the fact that you are using reconstituted RO water. That eliminates problems like having even trace amounts of chloramines and ammonia in your water even after treating your water with the recommended doses of dechlorinators. I double dose seachem prime to avoid that problem as I found that the recommended dose does not work with the amounts of chloramine and ammonia in my tap water. You could pretty much just reconstitute your RO water by letting it run over crushed coral/aragonite until it reaches a kh of about 2-4 and it would achieve the same result as using any "mineral x" product out there. But then again...if it works for you and you don't want to experiment anymore, no need to change. :)
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by davrx »

But my three previous attempts were with straight R/O water and Eco Complete African Cichlid Sand which contains Aragonite and provides calcium, magnesium, and carbonate. So in my opinion it is the Sulawesi Salt 7.5 that is working in my situation.
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by Mustafa »

There are so many variables involved in the success or failure of shrimpkeeping in general that it's always hard to say what exactly contributed to success. The product you are using is quite popular in Germany and even there there are tons of people who try it and come back saying "it does not work" because their animals died. If the shrimp died due to the product not working or another factor is, of course, unclear. Then there are people who swear by this product (or some other product). Others don't use any such product and swear by that method.

You have to run water over *pure* calcium carbonate (that cichlid sand product is mixed, so it won't work as well) for quite a long time to achieve the 3-4 kh levels I was talking about earlier. It relatively easy to get to about 1 kh, maybe 2 kh. The more alkaline your water gets, the harder it gets to dissolve more carbonate from the calcium carbonate. Some kind of marine tank-like calcium reactor (with CO2 injection for acidity to dissolve the carbonate) may help speed up the process.

I wasn't really talking about a calcium carbonate substrate, anyway. I was talking about reconstituting your RO water with calcium carbonate (by letting it filter over calcium carbonate, use a calcium reactor, let your water sit in a big vat of calcium carbonate for weeks...months). Just having a calcium carbonate substrate may or may not achieve the same goal depending on how large your water changes are. If you keep changing water with just pure RO then you're, of course, exporting carbonate from your tank water without replacing it. Having said that, the only tanks where I have a pure calcium carbonate substrate are a few old Supershrimp (Halocaridina rubra) tanks. They have been around for years and were originally filled with just 1-2 kh water. Now their kh is at around 7 as I never perform water changes for them and the calcium carbonate keeps dissolving, albeit at a very slow rate, now that the alkalinity is so high.

As I said, if it works for you, no reason to experiment around now. It's just that after a while using some expensive product may be a little prohibitive for some people out there.
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by davrx »

Using the Sulawesi Mineral 7.5 is a lot easier than allowing CaCO3 to dissolve slowly into R/O water. I just add a small amount to 4 gal. and use it for water changes. It's not very expensive. Maybe it isn't this product and I just got lucky. I didn't do a controlled experiment which would be the only way to determine for sure.
BTW you didn't answer another post I had where I asked what temperature you keep your Opae Ula at. I'm trying out a small heater in mine and have the thermostat set at 76 degrees, it goes a little over 78 with the sun shining on it. I just set an identical bowl up in my wife's 8th. grade science class which will not have a heater. We'll see how that goes.
Please know that I mean no disrespect when I disagree with you on the forum, I know your experience with shrimp is far beyond mine, I thought I was being helpful to the poster who was having problems with Cardinals.
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by Mustafa »

I actually replied to your temperature question yesterday in the Supershrimp forum. Just check there and you'll see it. (If not, contact me as that may mean something is wrong with your forum settings..).

Thanks for the clarification, but I never interpreted any "disrespect." I don't get offended (ever) so don't worry. Disagreements are part of a discussion forum (or any real discussion for that matter). Without rational disagreements one arrive at the truth, unless everything is self-evident already. :) So, don't worry, it's all good. And yes, you're right, it is easier to mix some powder in most cases. In other cases it may actually be easier to just use double treated (dechlorinated) tap water if your tap already comes out at around 3-4 kh. Then you just let the tank settle and "run in" for about 1.5 months or so and you're good to go. If you then do just very small water change (10-15% every week or two) then you don't have to worry about possible nitrates, ammonia, or phosphates in your water all that much...it will serve as food for the algae, which the shrimp eat.

For someone like me, with over 100 tanks, it would be cost prohibitive to use such products. So I just figure out what the shrimp really require and use cost effective ways of achieving that. So besides RO water being the main reason why such products may work it's really just that they adjust alkalinity. Besides some calcium and magnesium the shrimp really don't care much about all the other ingredients in these mixes, despite claims otherwise by the manufacturers.
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by Nedory »

Hi,
What do you use for the KH measuring? I read on czech phorums, that KH measuring is very inacurate. And what is your DGh?
E.g. Water parameters of my tap waters are:
Nitrates: 10,1 mg/l
Water hardness: 2,91 mmol/l

I tried to convert these units and hardness should be 7,8 DGh.

I don´t want to bother you with explaining water chemistry to me (I am trying really hard to absorb all the info on many phorums, but ppl´s opinions varies so much on the topic of sulawesi water parameters).

My question is: Is there a way to work with my tap water or should I go for R/O water and use argonite and Calcium reactor or should I just buy that magic dennerle powder?

I haven´t setup my tanks yet. I just bought 12x 50 litres tanks and I would like to dedicate at least one of them to Cardinals.

Thank you.
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Re: Question for Sulawesi tanks

Post by Mustafa »

I'm so far just using an API KH test kit. Seems pretty accurate and consistent with every measurement. I also have a pool alkalinity test kit that I haven't tried yet...we'll see how they compare.

As for tap water...it all depends on your kH and TDS (total dissolved solids)/conductivity levels. If your water has a very high kH and/or TDS I would just use mostly RO water with a small amount of tap water to get a kH level of about 1 to 2. If your TDS is still too high then, yes...I'd probably go for some limestone substrate (calcium reactor may be overkill) and use pure RO water. The conductivity for RO water is usually under 40 microsiemens but when you use the limestone substrate it should go up to 150-300 over time...which is ok.
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