PH Swings

PH can be a difficult factor to control in our tanks, especially when we want to lower that value safely for our inhabitants. There are a number of things that can affect the stability of our PH. KH, our buffering anions, when kept at low values for shrimp such as Crystal Red shrimp can allow PH to fluctuate wildly.

Common Causes

Probably the number one cause of unexpected PH swings in your tank is due to the addition of an object that is leeching mineral content into the water. This can come in the form of a rock that is slowly dissolving solids into the water stream. Dead coral and other forms of live rock will also release dissolved solids into the water. When an object like this is introduced into our tank, it will slowly affect the KH and or GH of our water which in turn often raises the PH. It is very important to test each rock you plan on introducing to your tank. Simply pouring vinegar on the rock’s surface and seeing if it bubbles will tell you whether the rock is likely to dissolve in your tank. A rock that bubbles on contact with the vinegar will definitely not be suitable for your aquarium. Other potential things to be wary of when selecting a rock are whether it has any obvious streaks of metallic or shiny surfaces, this can be a sign of potentially toxic substances in our tank.

Driftwood is another common source of PH swings in our tank. Wood releases tannic acid as it decays. This will forcibly lower the PH in our tank if it is introduced in sufficient quantity. Soft woods are generally not recommended since they decay much quicker and can often have other acidic or toxic chemicals in their sap which can be harmful to your tank. When selecting a piece of driftwood look for hardwood that has no visible signs of decay. It should be cleaned of all bark and particulate matter, then cured by some means. You can find more about curing wood for your aquarium here.

Plants can also affect your PH. During the day plants use photosynthesis to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into energy for the plant. At night plants shift to respiration, similar to animals, absorbing oxygen rather than carbon dioxide. This shift can have a severe effect on PH if your tank is densely planted. If you plan on having many plants in your aquarium you can offset the effect this has on your PH by introducing a bubble maker or airhead attached to an air pump. This will ensure that your water is constantly being oxygenated to offset the effect the plants can have.

Aquarium Filters

When deciding upon a filter system for your shrimp tank, it is important to first consider your goals. Many factors can affect our desired equipment for filtration. Whether you intend to breed shrimp or simply have a planted tank with a small number of shrimp, can require different forms of filtration. First of all, lets go over the three basic mechanisms of filtration in our aquarium environment.

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Breeding Dwarf Shrimp

One of the most awesome and rewarding parts of keeping dwarf shrimp is being able to see generation after generation grow and mature in a short time span. For the most part, breeding dwarf shrimp is an easy process. It requires keeping shrimp in the proper parameters for their breed and also a little attention to detail for success.

Preparation

In order for the entire breeding process to be safe and successful it is important to ensure that several things are in place. First of all you need to be certain your water parameters are correctly calibrated for the type of shrimp you are intending to breed. Continue reading “Breeding Dwarf Shrimp”

How to setup an Aquarium

Aquariums are beautiful snapshots of nature’s underwater grandeur. Designing and preparing an aquarium for its inhabitants can seem like a fairly daunting task. The basic things any successful shrimp aquarium is going to need are: the tank, a filtration system, substrate, plants or decorations, and water. Some of these may seem silly or redundant when approaching our aquarium design, however each deserves particular attention to ensure the long-term health and quality of our mini-ecosystem.

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