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Best substrates for Red Crystal Shrimp?


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Hello all,

I am looking for recommendations for Red Crystal shrimp substrate.  I am going all in this time and don’t want to just use what I have laying around or what it is available locally.  I am going to do a special order and do it from the ground up this time.

Many thanks



Edited by Tedrock
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That is a good idea.  In my readings they say sand is inhert so the Ph isn’t affected.

 I was wondering about those types that lower ph.  There are advantages and disadvantages to those types, maybe it is possible to hear from those who use those types.

Many thanks!

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So for RCS (and all other Caridina shrimps) i would def use a soil that lowers and buffers the PH.
Those shrimp don't like high KH and with regular substrate (and pool sand) a KH of zero will give you problems with PH spikes.

I've used ADA Amazonia ver.2 & GlasGarten Environment Soil.

My experience is that plants do a lot better with the Amazonia but it gives an ammonia spike when new in the tank.
I actually lost a group of shrimps after stirring up the substrate to much a month or 3 after set up and i still think it was because of an amonia spike.

After that i switched to the GlasGarten that has no problem with amonia spikes in the beginning (outside of the normal cycle you would see with a new set-up).
The plants in this tank don't thrive as much as in the Amazonia tanks. But i can't proof it's because of the soil or because of other factors.

Haven't used both soils long enough to compare the difference in how long the soil stays active.
But it's a fact you have to change it once in a while depending on how many water change you do etc.
At this moment i wouldn't feel comfortable with switching the Amazonia in a tank with already animals in it knowing it would give an ammonia spike.
So for now i'll probably stick to the Environment and only use the Amazonia i got left to start a new tank.

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I keep a couple of bee tanks and I really like Rio Escuro substrate from Brightwell Aquatics. I personally prefer the medium size but they do have a variety of sizes, imo it’s more of what you like the look of. 

ADA Amazonia is my second choice 

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On 1/16/2023 at 4:06 PM, TheSwissAquarist said:

In my experience it’s more about the color than anything - black is great for actually seeing the colors on them. (Hey, we only really buy them for the colors!😜

For neocaridina yes.

For caridina shrimps (so Crystal Reds) it's a bit more then just the color if you want to do it right

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