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Apt Zero in Planted Caridina Tank, TDS Importance, and Water Changes?

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Hello everyone,

I have a 9.3gal planted caridina (about 12 shrimp and 3 berried) tank, re-mineralized to ~120-140 tds, with 20% water changes every 2 weeks that I recently started implementing 2HR Aquarist APT Zero into. I started using this about 2 weeks ago after hitting a green hair algae problem where plants started losing color but now after daily ferts, are thriving happily. However, with the addition of ferts, naturally the TDS of the tank is reaching around 190ppm.

This is where my concern comes in. 2HR Aquarist suggests a 40% water change weekly and I'm a bit afraid of an accumulation of minerals. I've been told this doesn't matter as long as the base water change water is shrimp re-mineralized to ~120ppm as that's the "important" shrimp minerals but it still concerns me to see such a high number for a generally sensitive shrimp.

Does anyone have any experience with daily fertilizing with caridinas? I have a feeling I should just dose 50-70% of the recommended weekly dosage to find balance as it seems like I have to choose between thriving shrimp (more important to me) and a planted tank.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Bumping this one. 

Re-mineralizing the water with 10% weekly water changes and fertilizing leaves my TDS at around 200 tds with a GH of 7-8. Caridinas technically need 120-140 tds and a lower at GH of 4-5. A bit concerned here. One pregnant shrimp yielded no babies (also the drop checker liquid dropped into the 9.3 gal) and I have another 3 pregnant shrimp at around 1-3 weeks of conception.

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I've dropped many a drop checker and have not had problems. You should be okay there. You could do a small water change if your concerned. 

If you want to drop TDS, I would pre mix the new water to the exact TDS you want and do small water changes with that new water over a week or so. By premixing and doing small changes, eventually the tank will equalize to the premixed parameters.

If you are injecting CO2, I would temporarily back it off while the colony adjusts. Once they start successfully breeding, take CO2 back up over a month. 

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