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  1. The bacteria you are adding needs food to consume, they first consume ammonia and produce nitrites, the second consume nitrites and produce nitrates. If you didn't add the ammoina for 3 days, it's likely most of the bateria you added has died. If you still have some left in the bottle, dose it again with bacteria now ammonia is present. And follow the normal cycling process. I used Seachem Stability and it's cycled tanks in a week, though as mentioned above, it's only quicker, it doesn't produce a tank any better than one cycled over weeks naturally.
  2. When I collect wood to use, I first scratch it with my nail to make sure it's hardwood, if I can scratch it, I put it back. I put it in a tub of normal water and give it a scrub to get off dirt and loose bits of derbrius. Let it dry in the sun for a day. Then fill a tub with 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 3 parts water and let the wood soak for a few days in the tub in the sun. Hydrogen peroxide is fairly cheap where I live and it breaks down in water after a day or so, especially in the light, so the wood has no residue that could harm creatures when I add it. Edit: I should note above is talking about 3% hydrogen peroxide (HP), which is what you typically buy at a chemist or supermarket. You can also get Food grad HP which is 35%, or industrial HP which is 50%. I'll explain how to use the higher strengths for people who aren't use to mixing things. Wear gloves and glasses when handling anything over 3% HP and wash your skin off immediatly with water if any comes in contact with you. Say we're making up 1L disinfecting solution, 1000ml would contain 250ml 3% HP and 750ml water. 3% HP is 97% water, so our 250ml above becomes 242.5ml of water, so in total for the 1L mixture, it ends up being 992.5ml water and 7.5ml pure HP. For 35% HP you'd put in about 20ml of food grade HP, and 980ml of water, which will give you (20ml * 35%) 7ml pure HP. For 50% HP you'd put 14ml, with 986ml water.
  3. That is very fine grained sand, it will compact and make plants struggle to grow roots if you are going to aquascape. But it will be fine for a pleco, from what I'v read about discus, they like fine grained sand. The FX6 is marketed for a 1500L tank, seems way overkill for your 350L, and running them slower causes stress on the motor. Maybe a Fluval 407 would be better suited?
  4. I've had good success with Seachem Stability to get a tank cycled quicker, might be worth adding that too if you can.
  5. I had a look around, some people soak it for a few days after boiling, but I didn't mind the brown hue after I added driftwood, and it seemed to clear itself up over a few weeks. If you put the peat moss somewhere easy to access, you can always remove it if it makes your water too brown and soak it in a bucket for longer I guess?
  6. Peat moss will also lower GH, though I don't think it will be much for you. I haven't used peat moss, but when I looked into it a while back, I thought it looses it's effectiveness over time, so putting it somewhere that you can easily change it was prefered, maybe someone with first hand experience can weight in. Maybe have a search too, because it can turn the water a darker color, so some people soak it first.
  7. I've heard of people having blooms after disturbing nutrient rich substrates, so maybe that happened to you. Limiting light can help them clear up quicker, though sounds like it's getting better now, probably used up all the excess nutrients in the water. Just be careful all the BB doesn't die now if you aren't feeding it with ammonia.
  8. That food should be ok. You can look at the price of lowering your pH, there are chemicals for lowering pH, some will also lower to say 7 but not go lower if you are worried about going too far, though with your water you can just add a bit more and you'll raise it again quick. Peat moss is also a good longer term one to lower it, check the prices for what is best in your area. In reality, fish breed in your area will be used to your water conditions rather than the conditions reported online where they traditionally came from. If you need to go down the RO route, honestly I'd choose different fish, at the costs you mentioned, it's not worth it.
  9. Do you have a test for Ammonia? What is the 'stabiliser' you added after a few days?
  10. Changing the params are a constant cost, lowering pH is cheaper, RO more expensive. How long have you given your creatures to spawn, maybe allow them plenty of time to see how your current water goes and if you have no luck, try lower pH first and again give them plenty of time, if still no luck, you can decide if you want to go down the RO route. Though be realistic, if you're buying the cheapest fish food because you need to run an RO system, I'd put the money towards improving the quality of the fish food over changing those water params.
  11. That sounds perfect, so it's either your water parameters or the quality of the shrimp causing the problem. If these new one also have a problem, maybe ask the seller what their PH/GH/KH is and compare to yours.
  12. If it's for anything inside the tank, as long as it's enamel spray paint, you'd be ok. Acrylic spray paint doesn't like moisture, it will peel in water.
  13. Good luck with these new ones. So you drip water from your tank, into the bucket holding these shrimp. After 2hrs of dripping water in, do you tip the bucket back into your tank, or net them and put in your tank?
  14. Did they die in the bucket within those 1-2 hrs, or after adding to the tank? You could also try getting a couple of shrimp from a local place and see if you have a different experience. Or complain to the mail order place, and try a new one.
  15. A lot of people might get away with plop and drop of neos, especially if bought locally with similar water, but the safest way is drip acclimation. Would be interesting to understand the timeline of when the shrimp have died in the past attempts, and how you've been drimp acclimating, maybe there is something that can be changed to help them survive.
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