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Thread: Is it possible to raise caridina in a walstad?

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Ink's Avatar
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    Is it possible to raise caridina in a walstad?

    Iíve been pondering this question lately. However, I havenít really been able to find any information on this topic. Itís been a little over a year since I have started my walstad tank for my blue neos and they have flourished. If I can grow neocaridina in a walstad can I also grow caridina? Is a walstad tank just as good as those fancy tanks that use aqua soil?

    In my 10 gallon tank (facing a southern window) I started with three inches of sieved organic soil and capped it off with an inch of gravel. I use 75% tap water and 25% ro water, I also planted the tank heavily with easy plants ( rotala, guppie grass, hygrophila difformis, moss, hornwort and a couple species of anubias and buce, thereís also a nice chunk of manzanita wood in there ( I also add avocado, mango and guava leaves ). This tank seems to have gotten to become self sustaining (besides a water change once a month) I am so relieved that this tank has worked out so well.

    From what Iíve come to understand it that the ph and hardness of the water are the two main reasons why people prefer aqua soil. After doing some researching I have come to understand that I can lower ph naturally through tannins or what not and I guess thatís why Iím here. I need help figuring this one out. Now comes the real question. If I can get my original walstad to become stable with my neos is it possible to do this with caridina? I understand that neos are supposed to be a hardier species, but how weak can caridina be?

    I have a 20 gal long that I want to turn into a walstad for caridina shrimp. If there is anyone out there with tips or suggestions I would love to hear some positive feed back. Thanks in advance.


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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Kongro's Avatar
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    Maybe only tigers IMO

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Vincent Tran's Avatar
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    It is possible but you would need an active substrate to buffer the water. I would not recommend relying on tannins to lower your pH because it will be a lot harder to keep it stable. I would also recommend using 100% RO and remineralizing it with a product like SaltyShrimp.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Ink's Avatar
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    If I use active substrate and remineralize ro water then it defeats the purpose of a walstad tank. As for the tigers, can you elaborate as to why you think theyíll work?


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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Kongro's Avatar
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    I think tigers may work because they are pretty hardy compared to the other caridinas excluding amanos. People breed them in neo parameters, around 4 kh and 8 gh is the standard for neos I think.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr anthonyt987's Avatar
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    I donít think it matters if itís a walstad or not, the main check list is the kh being 0-1 which usually requires RO water remineralized to roughly 120 tds in my experience is a gh of 3 and temperature. Cardinia prefer cooler water max temp at 72 usually


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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Redchigh's Avatar
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    I'd go with walstad, topped with rinsed oil-dri (It's bentonite, and lowers pH like more expensive substrates).

    The tricky bit is whether caridina could be vulnerable to something in the soil that we don't test for. I used to be a big fan of walstad tanks, but I've found adding way less soil than she reccomends still works almost as well
    I think the benefits might come from a heavy innoculation of microorganisms at least as much as the nutrients themselves.

    You'll still need to use at least some RO, tannins don't do much to pH unless the kh is also low.
    If you add some dolomite under the soil layer, you shouldn't need salty shrimp.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr phuchuynh92's Avatar
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    Quick question, don't the dirt float up with gravel? I did a dirted tank before and the dirt keeps floating up through the gravel and makes the surface super dirty. I found sand works really well to cap but yeah, just curious.

    Regarding Caridina, I think it is still mostly Walstad if you do everything the same except using remineralized RO with the shrimp mineral GH+ thing no? I kinda want to try this as well.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Ink's Avatar
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    Is it possible to raise caridina in a walstad?



    I hope everyone is staying safe during these uncertain times. I always wanted oebt so if tigers work, this might work out perfectly. After much thought I went with a walstad that uses mostly RO water, guess Iíll consider it a type of hybrid style. I used gravel to top off my first tank and it worked great, I used about 3 inches of dirt and 2 inches of gravel. It became self sustaining after about a year.

    The picture up top shows my second walstad with a sand cap and used tap water. Itís been up and running for about two-three months and seems to be doing good. I started a third walstad with roughly 75% RO water and 25% tap water and see if that works!! I figure instead of remineralizing with bee shrimp or shrimp minerals Iíll just use the hardness of the tap and dilute it with RO water. Imma adjust the ratio of the types of water and see if I can find a balance for caridina. Gonna let it cycle and see what happens.






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